10. We Want Your Machines

May 17th, 2011 | spirit tracks

But here’s a thing about the rust of broadcasting. Something Russell Davies, who works in what he termed the post-digital space, said a while back:

“We have broken your business, now we want your machines.”

What Russell and his crew at Really Interesting Group (who share office space with BERG in a Scrutton Street gulag now called The BRIG) have done is wrangle deals with newspaper printers. Whose business, in an emergent post-industrial age, is certainly a bit broken. Huge fucking machines designed only to print newspapers, in a time when newspaper publishers are printing fewer newspapers. RIG set up Newspaper Club, that allows people to print their own short-run newspapers using these big lonely machines that are not running the volume they used to but still need to pay for themselves.

A mature technology. Like broadcasting technology.

Sometimes, though, I look up at these rusting aerials and towers, in a time when TV comes to an increasing number of people through a ground cable or a phone line, and wonder how long it’ll be until that business breaks completely — and, more importantly, how long until someone comes for the machines and makes them a deal.

Can you do that with cities?


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  1. You can find Warren on Twitter: @warrenellis