Friday, December 30, 2005

"The important thing is to identify 'the future that has already happened' - and to develop a methodology for perceiving and analyzing these changes." Peter Drucker

"The future exists today. It's just unevenly distributed." William Gibson

Time to mark thirty and put this blog to bed for 2005. Some random notes.

Love him or not Mel is so money. Look for Mel to make more great copy next year as he continues to gin up the street on subscription media. Expect Howard to stage the most outrageous and creative stunts of his career...the MSM will eat this up and provide continuous team least one member of congress will not be amused; comments and actions by members of congress and the FCC, in response to no more than three wackjob constituents, will serve as the accelerant which generates the biggest press of Howard's career. The pace of sub sales while hot in Q1, decline in Q2. Mel signs a seven figure deal involving inventory within podcasts, online streaming, online ads and live/recorded reads on the Howard channels. The business press will write this up as the moment podcasting became commercially viable. The always amazing Karmazin does get a deal done with Apple - not satradio on iPods but Howard on iTunes. Mel will continue to successfully dodge the real issue - how many actual users (listeners) vs number of subscribers.

The Arbitron PPM data will serve to explode one industry myth after another. The data will prove, without reservation, pledge drives to be harmful to the health of pubcasters. Public radio and TV stations will be forced to admit...almost everything they know is wrong. Commercial radio programmers will face the challenge of a generation...getting people to actually listen...the skill sets developed in targeting the diary and recall will prove to be way less than adequate.
Yergin's Westinghouse Nu Math becomes the rage as reach comes into vogue.

Microsoft Vista will be a success. v2 and v3, as ever, will be much better. Mr Softy will also lead the "reinvention" of interactive ad markets albeit in starts and stops. Redmond will take the lead in a revolution among MSOs introducing a suite of very cool set top box apps. EPG will come into its own in 2007.

Having significant capital committed and not acquiring the ABC Radio assets, a private equity group will acquire a major radio group not now nor previously for sale.

Battery life will continue to hold back major innovation in handheld devices. The handset market, especially telephony/data will have a good year next year but a truly great 2007.

A couple of broadcasting's bold faced names will suddenly "retire" having tired of the almost impossible tasks associated with being public in another slow growth year.

One of the three business cable channels will hire Joseph Jaffe to comment on the advertising markets. Jeff Jarvis will host a short lived weekend slot on MSNBC. Keith Olbermann and Jimmy Cramer are recognized as major video stars while their respective channels continue to disappoint. David Faber jumps to ABC, Bloomberg or FBC after a dozen years on CNBC.

Les Moonves will hit the trifecta - CBS will win the entertainment, sports - and for the first time - news battles. Both the new CBS and Viacom equities will do well without regard to the early negative reviews by analysts and biz writers. Katie joins the fold.

CBS posts best ad revenues per viewer for 2006, MTV networks top the same metric on cable.

At least one broadcast license revocation hearing will move forward before cooler heads prevail.

A media research guru with strong academic credentials will expose a much discussed set of "national findings" for what they actually are...statistically invalid guess work derived from a series of focus groups.

Fred Wilson will walk away from the VC world and join Time Warner writing in Time as music critic at large, Jann Wenner makes Fred an offer he can't refuse...hiring him to lead a dramatic reinvention of Rolling Stone.

Joel Hollander reveals "second season" deals with Robin Williams, Dave Chappelle, Ricky Gervais and, via KYOU, a previouly unknown podcaster who also happens to be a successful bay area mortgage banker.

Hot: RSS, AJAX, WiFi, headhunters, social media, video and vo ip (thanks to broadband), Live Web, David Rehr, Scoble, digg, Nick Denton, Opera, Pierre Bouvard, Wikipedia, interactive media ad sales, podcasting, Joel Denver, Firefox, Diller, blogs, Whole Foods, Dave Winer, Washington state wines, Mark Masters, talent, Kurt Hanson, Google, Drew Horowitz, Peter Morville, Pixar, Stu Olds, AOL, Ed Lambert Jr., MSOs, Deal or No Deal, "family friendly cable", Tom Peters, Tom Kent, P&G, WSJ, Icerocket, Bob Shannon, John Battelle and The Week.

Not: Web 2.0, newspapers, Delta airlines, MSNBC, CNBC, Air America, RBOCs, talentless hacks, the motion picture industry, RIAA, each and all of the current blog and podcast ad networks, jockless radio broadcasting, Tony Danza (due to loss of key DMAs), most Dems in the midterms, DRM, and TiVo.

Having no inside information please allow me to suggest most (and more likely all) of the above are dead wrong. Happy New Year!