Wondering Out Loud

Don’t fear social media technology, embrace it

Thanks to Adam Ostrow for exposing the folly of the SEC’s (Southeastern Conference) new media policy. But the SEC is just another in a long line of media that has feared new technology rather than embracing it for their benefit.

When radio was in its infancy, record publishers would forbid stations from playing their music out of fear that people would opt for the free access and their sales would plummet – history would repeat several years later when digital downloads became possible. What they ultimately figured out, purely by accident, is that sales actually increased. You see, when the audience is exposed to and likes part of the whole, they have an increased interest in owning the whole.

A similar scenario was played out when television came along. Movie studios were so worried that people would stop attending the weekly matinee, they refused to release movies that had completed their theater run to TV networks for airing.  Never mind the addtional revenue they could realize or the added exposure of their biggest starts, the common wisdom among motion picture executives, like the music industry before them, was that the new technology was a rival to be feared and beaten.

To the SEC, CBS and anyone else who is considering banning social media out of fear of losing control of their product: take a deep breath, close your eyes and let it go. You will find an existing audience that loves you for doing it and a new audience – you didn’t know existed – will be driven to try what you have to offer.

As with music downloads, people will find a way to get the content they want. I hope the SEC, CBS, et al, learn from the mistakes of the past.

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August 17, 2009 - Posted by | Journalism, Public Relations, Social Media | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] NHL gets social media and is using Twitter to generate fan interest. Unlike the NFL, and even some college conferences, the NHL is embracing social media tactics and the benefits they can bring. Seems an odd thing on […]

    Pingback by The NHL goes where others fear to tread « Wondering Out Loud | September 30, 2009 | Reply


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