It's an On-Demand World

June 25, 2009
In his post "Drowning Upstream," Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine argues that businesses seeking to avoid the ravages of the internet are headed in a doomed direction by virtue of the fact that they should be designed to take advantage of the internet in the first place. Jarvis writes, "I've said often that protection is no strategy for the future. An industry whose strategy for the future is built on trying to keep us from doing what we want to do and resist the flow of the internet is an industry that is merely biding time. That should be the lesson they learn from newspapers and music." As a person who consumes television solely from the internet and dvds delivered to by mailbox by Netflix, I have to agree that cable television as it is currently sold is a dinosaur on the brink of extinction. Consumers are learning to expect the same media menu offered by iTunes when it shook-up the recording industry by allowing users to buy single songs instead of albums that featured a few hits and a lot of filler. What Jarvis fails to explicate fully is that audiences are also growing savvy to watching media around their schedules, instead of clearing time for the communal television hours that ruled in the heyday of prime time. It's not just a channel issue, it's a program issue. Sites like Hulu and are appealing because they remove the constraints of the network line-up, but that also means that they effectively remove the bookends of the evening newscasts from the daily television intake of Americans. Jarvis calls for the unbundling of cable, but does not mention that the value of news programming on cable is met, if not surpassed by the quality of news available solely on the internet. As demand for pick-and-choose cable television increases, so does the need for services that curate the spectrum of digital media found on cable and the internet. I am not referring to the baseless punditry that has become a staple of cable news shows, but a service that scours the internet, cable, and satellite channels to provide a diverse range of credible perspectives on the news stories of the day. offers a business model that is unique among media companies because they are infinitely adaptable in their curation of open-source content into two-minute online video packages for the internet, cable television and mobile devices. Newsy does not claim to be a comprehensive news provider, nor is it simply a recommendation service like iTunes Genius. takes viewers to the next level by telling the stories among the thousands of headlines returned from a typical search for news on the internet.