Digital disruption in action

This cute video making the rounds on the Internet that I’ve posted below is a perfect illustration of disruption in action.  Not only must print industries like newspapers and magazines grapple with digital disruption of their business models that has eroded competitive advantages in creation and distribution of news and information and advertising, but  they must also take into consideration the new customer segments digital technology has created.

As this video shows, digital natives are born with a “digital first” mindset.  They simply do not have the same affinity for print that previous generations may have had.  One of the early mistakes newspaper executives made with the Internet was to try to recreate the print product online, failing to ignore and capitalize on the advantages afforded by an interactive medium.  Almost a decade ago, when he was a Harvard Business professor, Clark Gilbert (he now runs Deseret Media), conducted a multi-case study of 8 different newspapers.  The vast majority of the newspaper’s online content (75-95%) was a recreation of the print product at all but one of the newspapers.

Newspapers have certainly come a long way since Gilbert’s 2002 study.  Now, wireless mobile distribution affords newspapers another opportunity to tackle digital disruption head on. Tablet devices like the iPad and smartphones like the iPhone and Droid devices afford newspapers the opportunity to create new digital products for digital consumers like this baby below.

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