“The natural ability of the Internet to distribute unbundled media is disrupting broadcasting’s basic business, and that will accelerate in 2006.” (The Unbundled Awakening by Terry Heaton)
After reading this excellent piece, I can’t get the idea of “unbundled media” out of my head. Like all broadcast media, radio stations offer a bundle of content/programming. Music, weather, sports, news, etc. We bundle it all together in something we call a format and deliver it to the audience (in a very linear manner).
I remember getting calls from frustrated listeners demanding to know when I was going to give the school closing report (I had just given it 2 minutes earlier but they had missed it.) They couldn’t get it when they wanted it because it had to be bundled up with other content/programming.
For the past 20+ years I have worked for a company that supplies content/programming to radio stations and for most of that time, a big part of my job was to insure that our “stuff” made it into the bundle.
And now the unbundling has begun. iTunes has just about any song I might want to hear. Weather.com has my forecast. Cancellations.com (or my school’s website) has the cancellations. Same for school lunch menus.
And RSS means I won’t even have to go searching for all this. It will come to me. Wherever I am.
It seems pretty clear that most people don’t want their media bundled. They like to choose. A bit of a sticky wicket for businesses dependent on being part of the bundle. Is the value shifting from being able to bundle (TV and radio stations, newspapers, magazines, etc)… to creating the content that was once part of that bundle?