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Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Was today the beginning of the end for media?

I'm not surprised that journalists fall over themselves to get tickets for Apple's product launches. At the moment the company has that combination of charisma, excitement and surging forward motion that I felt on the day when Sgt Pepper came out.

It's journalist who create this. When the history of this era is written they will conclude that Apple's grip on the popular imagination had less to do with massive advertising campaigns than thousands of opinion formers all arriving at the same opinion. By that time most of those opinion formers will be out of work because the value will have passed from those skills that were formerly called "creative" to those that were formerly called "technological".

On the day that Apple unveiled its new iPad novelist Linda Grant tweeted that she had lunch with her agent who tells her that within five years "no-one, not authors, agents or publishers will be able to make money out of books". It's the same day that the papers report that Randy Newman, interviewed at the Oscars, remarked that getting into the music business today was like breaking into a bank that had already been robbed. It's also the same day that Rupert Murdoch made it clear that anyone who was worried about the future of diversity in news providers could take Sky News off his hands, operating losses and all.

He knows what Steve Jobs knows. That the value right now is in the pipe, not the stuff that flows down it. You'd have thought more journalists would realise.