Welcome to the bloggy home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Percolate and general internet tinkerer. This site is about media, culture, technology, and randomness. It's been around since 2004 (I'm pretty sure). Feel free to get in touch. Get in touch.

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Direct to Consumer

In response to articles by Scott Karp and Nick Carr about Google and the news business, Terry Heaton makes a point I’ve been trying to articulate for years: “The problem is that the distribution of content isn’t the real problem for media companies; it’s the growing ability of advertisers to reach people without media companies.”

Or, put another way, it’s the ability of brands to be their own media companies. If the Official Google Blog was a newspaper, it’s subscriber numbers would put it in the top 10 for daily circulation. Not only does that mean Google has less need for advertising, but it also means they have less need for media coverage generally. And it’s not just brands, it’s celebrities too. Shaq has 621,000 folowers on Twitter (and counting). As Kanye explained on his blog, “I told the media you can’t make up lies about me because I have a media outlet myself. Oh and sidebar I don’t know if everyone has realized this yet but I don’t do interviews if there’s anything I wanna say I’ll say right here on my own blog.”

April 13, 2009


  • Brett T. T. Macfarlane says:

    Great summation, seemingly lost in the buzz, headlines and sales pitches of “social media” is that increasingly brands can create their own media. The production cost is declining while distribution has opened up. Why buy a radio station when you can make one. Why sponsor TV content when you can make your own sitcom. Wy buy banner ads when you can make your own display content.

    That said, while it’s already dang hard to come up with an idea for a great TV spot, and get it made, it is exponentially harder to come up with a great brand media idea, and get it made. Lets do a blog or a Twitter isn’t a brand idea. But if you have a good idea for a blog or a good idea for a Twitter it becomes valuable brand media.

  • Tim Walker says:

    Right. Similar to music labels — new technology means they’ve been disintermediated . . . and they hate that, because it removes their ability to broker business, ergo removes their ability to achieve financial arbitrage within a given medium.

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