But then Naspers can't even be called a traditional media company anymore. They may own papers such as Beeld, Rapport and the Daily Sun but they're literally streets ahead of the likes of Avusa, Caxton and the Independent when it comes to new media - and they're doing it in lucrative emerging markets across the world, such as China and Russia.
SHOOT: Some interesting thoughts here, but I disagree in one major area. Stewart Brand may have been talking about 'cost' when he said information wants to be free. I think we have all taken the lateral meaning of that - meaning 'information wants to be distributed, wants to be released, and found and searched for and explored'. That is the treasure of the concept. And more valuable information can be expensive. As soon as you charge money for information, you can expect to see users decimated, and by implication, the providers. In the real world, nothing is for nothing. I see the future having far fewer media companies, and the survivors will charge because they have to, and users will pay for content because they have to. The something for nothing mindset is a temporary aberration associated with the idea that energy is cheap and abundant and always will be. Like real news and valuable information, it's not.
The current thinking internationally is that hyper local is the way to go. I guess the gurus forgot to pass the memo along to the traditional media houses in South Africa.