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Carr + Disney = Back to the Future…

Carr points to and illuminates some of the thinking coming out of Disney on the future of media:

The whole idea of participative, or citizen, media is an assault on the power of big brands to determine what people read and watch and listen to. Tokens of central, paternalistic, commercial control, brands lie at the very heart of the traditional power of the so-called mainstream media. Sweeney is saying that media brands, which have seemingly lost some of their power recently, will ultimately triumph on the web. The future will end up looking like the past – only more so. Faced with the welter of online media choices, “consumers” will flock to trusted brands to “help them navigate the digital world.” Same as it ever was.

I’m not so sure. At the end of the day, content will triumph over brand. That will work in the favor of some content creators – such as the NYTimes. I don’t think it will work so much for those in the entertainment market where loyalty is much more fleeting. I’m not likely to migrate to big brands as much as I am brands that are relevant (YouTube vs. Disney). And I don’t care if those brands are individuals blogging (like Nicholas), blogmedia (I read Engadget more than CNet), or focused feeds from traditional media…

What is really exciting about Disney’s announcement is that they are finally – if somewhat incompletely — understanding that we are on-demand, time-shifting maniacs. I’m still stumped as to why I can only watch TV on the broadcasters schedule. For instance, I can get channels for the region I am in (PST), on their schedule. What I actually want though is all the EST programming on a PST schedule – and both for purposes of Tivo. I want several episodes of Lost back-to-back. Same for 24. The fact that they are beginning to enable me to run my own viewing schedule is a good sign.

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