A new-media Christmas


It’s no secret that new media is taking the hammer to old media, but this was the year the fight came straight to my Christmas tree.

First, my mom — one of the most avid book purchasers I know — got a Kindle.

Then, even the traditional media gifts under the tree turned out to be new media knock-offs. The one book was Cake Wrecks, a whimsical volume of pictures of professional cakes gone awry based on an eponymous blog. There was also a Susan Boyle CD with a cover proclaiming, “As seen on YouTube.” Seriously? I realize that more than 100 million YouTube viewers saw her “Britain’s Got Talent” performances. But if you liked her because of the internet videos, how likely are you to buy an old-fashioned CD instead of downloading the music (or videos)?

Together, the gifts were an odd reminder that the Internet now leads, and other media are trying to figure out how to get in on the action. I don’t know the solution, but I can’t imagine that creating Internet knock-off products is the long-term winning strategy.

This week, Amazon put numbers behind the trends, reporting two interesting facts from the holiday season. The Kindle is now the company’s most gifted item ever. And, for the first time, electronic books out-sold physical books on the site on Christmas Day (Amazon stock immediately climbed on the news).

Read More: By Kevin Huffman, Washington Post


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