Jettisoning brands?

Business 2.0 editor-at-large Erick Schonfeld has an interesting piece in the magazine's April issue, offering five suggestions of ways to save Time Warner. He suggests dumping distribution, creating "nichebusters" instead of blockbusters, letting the audience play with content, becoming a content rebundler and structuring the company around customers, not products. It's that last one that seems most radical, as it most likely would mean the end of brands to a certain extent. For example, if I want business content from Time Warner (parent of Business 2.0 and a number of other content providers like CNN, Money and Fortune), is it enough to provide it to me in a way I want without being able to brand and market it a certain way? Perhaps there's a future where they'll be able to brand my own preferred content as "John's business news" and target ads to me, but I'll be willing to bet that TW and others won't make that leap without a lot of teeth-gnashing and hair-pulling.


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