When Steve Jobs took out the equivalent of a full page ad in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal earlier this week to make his statement that Apple would drop DRM from iTunes when the Big Four in the music industry gave up the practice, news was made, but the more significant impact was how Jobs made the statement.
Heather Green at Businessweek’s blogs has an excellent post on the phenomenon of corporations taking their message direct on their own sites to the public and their customer base, eschewing the old practice of briefing select reporters and hoping the message made it through the reporters’ filters to the world as originally intended.
Green points to Dave Winer as the source of this insight, who wrote in a post entitled “Apple is now a media company”:
“Now the morning after it hits me how new this is, because Apple usually communicates through bigpub reporters like John Markoff at the NY Times and Steven Levy at Newsweek. This time he went direct, Markoff’s article appeared this morning, more than 12 hours after the essay was published, and makes clear how much better this system is than the old one.”
This all circles back to Sam Whitmore’s pronouncement to me a year ago when I declared I was leaving media for corporate life that everyone is media now and the traditional media’s role as a communicator for corporations is going away.
In the end, I appreciated the Fake Steve Jobs’ take on the “real” statement before Apple’s PR people edited it:
“It’s like the kids in college who lobby for making hemp legal and they say it’s because hemp makes such great clothing and strong rope. Riiiight. Just a coincidence that it’s always the stoners who are lobbying for this. No, come on. Let’s be honest. What this really is all about is that certain noisy scumbags are trying to decriminalize stealing. They want to make it legal to steal, as long as what’s being stolen is music. What comes next? Movies, probably. Then books. Then software. Who knows where it ends.”