Variety president Neil Stiles has a blunt assessment of firms trying to make new money from old content

Neil Stiles – president of the Variety Group, the leading entertainment industry news organisation  – knows ‘content’… he both sells news and produces the definitive coverage of the film, music and TV industries.

Speaking to me at MEF Americas 2011 in Miami his take on delivering to mobile devices is blunt:

It’s a really nice idea to think that if you do something on an iPhone with current content  you can have an up-charge. The publishing and music businesses went through that ‘brain-fart’ as well and it doesn’t work. Your core business declines at such as rate the news business doesn’t make up for it.

He’s sure there are ways to add new life to – for example – television content on a mobile device, but it’s adding links to purchasing items on-screen (in a TV show for example) that he sees as a more exciting opportunity than charging extra for the show to be made ‘mobile’. Small ‘toe in the water’ experiements won’t cut it he argues… media companies need to be bold, recognise the trends and have confidence in the value of quality content.

Hear the full interview in this supplementary 361 Degrees episode:


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