Nothing new

Nothing new: Before reporters and bloggers treat NASCAR’s announcement of getting into “the news business” or the “content-generating” business as something new or revolutionary, let me say (in my day-role as a custom media developer), the “concept” of what they’re doing is about as old as a dirt track. Corporations, associations and other institutions have been in the “news business” forever.

In fact, technically speaking, NASCAR can’t “get into” the content business, as it’s already in the “content business.” Their business model is advertising, sponsorship and ticket sales and related raceday revenues revolving around the “content” of cars revolving around an oval.

I’m not going to recount the history of corporate entities creating their own “content machines,” but they’re called “soap operas” for a reason, and the Christian Science Monitor and the association magazine you get and that magazine that comes from your alma mater can all be traced back to someone getting into the “news business.” For that matter, every corporate communications department or PR firm can trace its lineage to someone wanting to get into the “news” business.

The fact is, everyone today is in the news business; everyone is in the “content-generating” business.

And that’s a good thing.

Update: Should NASCAR consider this David Geffen quote? “I wouldn’t go into the entertainment industry [if I started again] today.[Content] is too expensive to produce, and it’s getting more and more difficult to find home runs.”

  • Hudge

    Great point about NASCAR already generating loads of content, but you left out the “news” that flows from it like, well, the reader can supply an apt metaphor. As a completely casual and only occasional consumer of their “news,” I have often thought that NASCAR was simply borrowing ideas from its showbiz predecessors. Lately this has truly turned into soap opera – remember the plot lines of Pro Wrestling from the 90s? the relentless flackery of early Hollywood with their arranged, spurious romances and marriages (sometimes between gay and straight people)? Look for cussing pit crew boss action figures on the shelves by Thanksgiving.