Internet broadcasting: the future for trade publishing?

Last night I happened to catch the BBC Money Programme’s feature on DIY TV – a clumsy title for their investigative report on internet broadcast and the rise of user-generated content.

What caught my eye in particular was a section on niche internet broadcasting, which profiled a new generation of companies who are capitalising on the benefits of online TV.

To cite an example, a company called ‘Franchise News 24’ is an online channel dedicated to the multi-billion pound franchising industry. The channel is run on a cheap budget, but manages to attract big industry names for interview as it’s successfully reaching a highly targeted audience of between 100-500 people at any given moment.

By the end of the programme, I was convinced that this is the route trade magazines should be taking. While many publishers are rushing to get e-versions of their titles available online, they would arguably be better off investing in an internet broadcast channel. I know some trade publishers are already making steps towards this, but not on the scale and with the urgency that they should be.

I’m going to stick my neck out and say that within the digital media industry alone, the average reader of trade titles NMA, Marketing Week, Media Week, Marketing, Campaign, Revolution etc, would much rather view bite-sized internet videos of breaking news and interviews etc, rather than download an e-zine to their desktop or PDA.

As the social media revolution continues and the level of quality user-generated content grows online, the profit margin on trade publishing is going to be increasingly threatened. Only yesterday I parted with £100+ for a one-year subscription to one of the above titles, and the thought did cross my mind that this might be the last year I do this.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m a big supporter of the trade press, being an ex-NMA reporter. But I do think publishers should be far more urgent about embracing the internet broadcasting phenomenon that is currently sweeping the web.

One thought on “Internet broadcasting: the future for trade publishing?

  1. I think you’ve got a point that niche trade titles need to look beyond just their print domain but moving straight into multimedia- podcasting/vodcasting can, for trade magazines lead to the creation of unprofessional media. There’s nothing wrong with rough and ready..but publishers do so at their peril after-all it can damage their brand and reputations. Publishers should certainly look to experiment but wholesale change will probably be a step too far for most of them.

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