Tubes, Tunes & Tears

I woke up today to read a kickass column by’s Diane Mermigas, who says TV networks can reinvigorate their revenues by repackaging content and delivering it to daytime audiences via desktop and mobile means. Her advice for mass media moguls applies in spades to mini media startups.

Thanks to MediaPost for steering me to Mermigas’s column, which is chockablock with revenue estimates and a valuable read for startups that have to live and die by these new, emerging markets. For anyone in or near that space (I’m thinking about folks like Bay Area media maven Mary Hodder, Mermigas’s insights won’t be news — tomorrow’s video successes will be the firms that find ways “to be paid for providing their most popular content to all digital broadband venues — from cell phones and video game consoles to streaming media on any Internet-connected device.”

But Mermigas makes good points as to why soaps or sports delivered to mobiles or at-work computers should be worth more because the content reaches a better demographic than daytime stay-homes. (Although I shudder to think of the productivity hit and wonder how long before corporate sysops learn to screen out the interruption). But forget that curmudgeonly comment, and focus on what Mermigas writes: “upward of 850,000 (major league baseball) subscribers watch baseball games on their computers even though many of the games occur during work hours. Telemundo had about 600,000 unique users watching its soap operas online in March.”

I have blogged along similar lines myself, though my concern is whether small producers are allowed into the distribution channels and get a fair deal.

On that note let me switch to tunes. I read a hopeful bit that goes like this — Apple Computer used to pay independent music producers less for iTunes downloads but that appears to have changed and now they get equal treatment. So writes Good Morning Silicon Valley columnist John Paczkowski, who cites a blog posting by Derek Sivers, founder of CD Baby the online music store. Tune-makers who want to learn more about Sivers should read the LA Weekly profile that was also pointed to in the column. I just started reading Paczkowski’s posts. They seem concise and informative.

Now let me weep for the staff of, which has been riffed according to a CNet report. I have (or had?) friends there. Time to reach out and see if I can help. Of course I’m in a tenuous position myself. It may be a great age for users to content, but for content creators every day seems to bring a new kick in the teeth.

Tom Abate
‘Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media