Tuesday, June 30, 2009

"If the news is that important it will find me"

The rapid spread of the Michael Jackson news Over the last few days is the perfect illustration of the quote 'if the news is that important it will find me'. This was first uttered at a newspaper focus group in 2008, and it came from a teen who was explaining why he didn't buy newspapers. This chart by my friend Lynette Webb brilliantly illustrates it:

if the news is that important it will find me

I was in Germany when the news broke, watching the news channels on a hotel TV. The next morning the media had reports from all over the world, including the Glastonbury festival (where traditionally people were completely cut off from the outside world), all of whom found out the news within hours. People hearing it were passing it on by text, posting messages online and even starting to play Michael Jackson records at full volume, in order to let the world know.

A few other (media) thoughts:

The media obsession with twitter is out of proportion with it's reach. A few million people (probably 20m maximum) actively use twitter, compared to hundreds of millions who watch TV, read newspapers and so on, and yet in most of the news reports I heard twitter was mentioned before other media. Is it because many journalists use twitter? I think it probably is.

I've seen the search pattern charts (for example here), but has anyone got any stats on the number of texts sent? I'd also love to see the stats on breakfast TV viewing in Europe on Friday morning.

Michael Jackson songs dominated iTunes and Amazon in the days after, but not YouTube - why was this? You would have thougth the famous videos would have had millions of views. [Update 2nd July - Visible Measures is claiming that the Thriller video has been viewed 28m times in the last week.]

It's great that Ebay as well as the main ticketing agencies have offered refunds on the money spent on the concert tickets - Ebay did not need to do this, but it's great that they did.

Musical assets are very valuable in the digital age - depressingly, if predictably, shares in the record companies that had rights over the back catalogue all rose on the day after.

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