Eric Schmidt’s 5-10 year view on news

By November 5, 2009News, Venture Capital


Inspired by Fred Wilson’s recent post on thematic investing I’ve been thinking a lot about how the world will look in five to ten years with a view to building an investment strategy around that vision.  Hence I was interested to read the following quote from Eric Schmidt this morning (on Niemen Lab):

In five or ten years, what will the primary news reader look like?

Well, that person will be probably on a tablet or a mobile phone, probably the majority of the reading will presumably be online not offline, just because of the scale of it. It’ll be highly personalized, right? So you’ll know who the person is. There’ll be a lot of integration of media — so video, voice, what have you. It’ll be advertising-supported and subscription-supported, so you’ll probably have a mixture. Think of the Kindle as an example. The Kindle is a proto of what this thing could look like. People will carry these things around.

I think this is pretty accurate.  Picking out the bones:

  • News is consumed on a device – I would say it could well be the mobile phone
  • It will be connected – I would add there may well be caching capabilities for offline consumption, tube, plane, poor network areas etc
  • It will be highly personalised and self educating
  • Text, audio, video will be combined
  • Revenues come from ads and/or subscriptions – I would add subsidised by third party services, e.g. airtime contract (think Nokia Comes with music)

Most of this could be delivered today, meaning the startup opportunity is in application/service provision.

As ever, I post this to crystalise my own thoughts and start a conversation, so please comment away.

I may follow with other 5-10 year view posts.

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