Almost 4 years ago in 2005 an animator put together a vision of the future that gained a certain notoriety in both publishing and online companies:
It foretold of a future in 10 years from then. It was one where Google reigned-supreme online and ended up destroying the market and business model of the major newspaper networks such as the New York Times.
But as The Atlantic has reported recently, that future may not be in 2015, it could be in 2009!
You see The New York Times Company is already more than $1billion in debt and come May could well default on about $400 million of that (it only has about one-nineth of that sum- $46 million - in the bank).
Now its almost certain that the NY Times won't disappear entirely. In fact many potential purchasers have been put-forward, including:
Rupert Murdoch, David Geffen, Michael Bloomberg, Microsoft and (not suprisingly) Google!
However, just like the Governments of the Western democracies that are ignoring Darwian Economics and buying-up shares in banks to stop them dissapearing.... is this something Google or another one of its digital cohorts should do?
To quote Google's CEO, Eric Schmid in a recent Wired interview:
“The good news is we could purchase them. We have the cash. But I don't think our purchasing a newspaper would solve the business problems”
It seems that the predicitions may not last until 2015