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« The Most Powerful Economic Leader in the World | Main | More on Media Disruption »

Oct27
Disruption Eruption
Just saw some news from Reuters by way of Yahoo that was quite interesting. One of the top media leaders, WPP Chief Executive Martin Sorrell discussed the panic that may be overtaking the traditional media:

“Sorrell, head of the world's second-largest advertising and marketing company and one of the media sector's best known prognosticators, told attendees at a Internet Advertising Bureau conference that declining circulation, viewership and revenue figures had big media companies running scared.”

Maybe he is on to something and “the cat is out of the bag,” “the emperor has no clothes” and any other well-worn catch phrases that apply. Media is changing. You know that if you are reading this. Business leaders in all sectors better find a way to understand this change and grab hold.

"’I think there's a certain amount of panic among media owners," he said. "Most of these companies, ours included I suppose, are run by 50- or 60-year-olds who have trouble getting it, and who really don't want to see change on their watch.’"

As I noted last week, defending your turf through a lock-down strategy is a tactic that is outdated in business. Market leadership develops through offense, sharing, networking and using the forces of community . I think that is what Rupert Murdoch is trying to figure out and understand.

“After Murdoch convened a group of his top managers to plot a new approach to the Internet earlier this year, News Corp. has spent about $1.3 billion to buy MySpace.com owner Intermix Media, gaming Web network IGN Entertainment, and online sports company Scout Media.”

This concept of market disruption was introduced to me through the book “Unleashing the Killer App” back in 1998. It made so much sense then. I am thinking of reading it again because disruptive forces are back at work. Sorrell appears to reluctantly acknowledge that media will experience a sea change in the next in five years. Will he be a leader or follower? Will you?

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