One of the high points of last week’s DLD Conference in Munich was the What’s Next? panel which explored the future of media in the digital age. Buoyantly chaired by DLD host Yossi Vardi, the panel included longtime media exec Jon Miller, whose illustrious career includes stints as Chairman and CEO of AOL and Chief Digital Officer at News Corp.
So, I asked Miller when we sat down at DLD, what indeed is next in digital media? Miller’s response was encouraging for content creators in TV, music, and books. Companies that actually produce digital content, he explained, will become more valuable than companies that are simply channels for distributing content. And it’s television, Miller told me, that will become the key “battleground” in the war to successfully create models for distributing digital content.
Miller’s optimism about the music, TV, newspaper and publishing industries is encouraging. He’s bullish on the New York Times’ freemium model, optimistic about new music subscription services like Spotify, and is even hopeful that the publishing industry is finally understanding how digital technology can successfully reinvent the analog book. Which may be why Miller is now setting up his own (still unnamed) investment shop that will take advantage of what he sees as the myriad opportunities in tomorrow’s digital economy.