Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

The Guardian's Changing Media Summit in London: No Answers There Either!


On BoomTown’s recent grand tour of Europe, I paid a visit a week ago to London to moderate some sessions at Media Guardian’s Changing Media Summit 2009.

As in the U.S., a lot of the same questions were asked there about when and how the new media business would cross the Rubicon to transform into a strongly profitable and sustainable enterprise.

Via advertising? Subscriptions? Product placement?

“We’ve got to get to a place where we’re going to become an industrialized-sized business,” said one panelist at a session on monetizing such media, in what was a common question.

Well, considering how small the revenues in new media still are compared to traditional media, along with the recent negative impact of the econalypse, even a profitable popcorn stand would be an admirable achievement right about now.

Still, the room was packed at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel overlooking the Thames River and Big Ben, as people searched for answers.

One of the panels I moderated had the much-too-vaunted title of “The Future of Media: Capturing the Essence of Reinvention in the New Age.”

The panelists talked about what the media company of tomorrow looks like, as well as discussing the Next Big Thing.

The group included Ashley Highfield, managing director and VP, consumer and online for Microsoft (MSFT); Larry Kramer, former president of CBS (CBS) Digital and senior adviser to Polaris Ventures; Peter Smith, president of GE (GE) NBC Universal’s international unit; and Mike Volpi, CEO of video start-up Joost.

Here’s a video of interviews I did talking about all this and more while at the Guardian Media Group’s new digital-heavy offices in London.

It includes Volpi and Kramer, as well as Guardian-owned paidContent.org head Rafat Ali and the BBC’s tech news correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones:

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google