I bought Esquire today and I turned to page 26 (yes, that’s basically how many ads you must get by before the editor’s note). There David Granger says the “treasured assumption of the digirati” was that the digital revolution would cause the end of record labels, book publishers and movie studios. But it didn’t, ha!
The disintermediation, he concludes, are freeing traditional media outlets like Esquire, enabling them to expand their horizons.
That’s all well and good, but the reasoning makes me angry as hell. What was said was exactly what happened. We who raised our voices said that traditional media outlets must embrace the web. Companies must listen instead of shouting. Revenue models must be altered. And most importantly, when traditional media and middle men spokespersons yelled at the top of their lungs that all culture will die, we said that no, culture will not die.
So let me set the record straight here.
The old guys were dead wrong. Culture did not die (journalism won’t either) and new revenue models are emerging out of the ashes—just as predicted. For instance, record labels are praising Itunes and Spotify even though we’ve only begun our journey into the new.
Ultimately, internet will be a very good thing, also for men’s magazines like Esquire. And I’m honestly happy that David Granger feels the need to state this in an editorial, even as late as in 2011. But traditional media men should be humble since they were wrong for such a long time. Esquire gives advice on how to be a man, so let me return the sentiment here today:
If you’re going to take credit, first be a man and make sure it’s yours to take.