A lot of the local blogetariat (and now me, too) have written about the rise of new media (and the concomitant decline of the old). While the days of the printed newspaper as we've come to know and love it (or, come trash/recycling day, know and loathe it) may be numbered, I trust that entrepreneurial types 'round the world will find new ways to bring us the things we need, conveniently, and make a tidy dollar or two in the process.
I noticed this article in the Economist yesterday http://www.economist.com/business/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13109804 about Amazon's Kindle and other e-readers that are gaining steam with book-lovers. Good for them. They've found a clever way to market a legitimate product in an easy-to-use, handy format that doesn't clutter people's houses, burn down trees to produce, or weigh down peoples' cars when they move.
I love the fact that iTunes has been so successful, despite many predictions that people were too used to downloading free music to pay for a service like the one it offers. iTunes proves that people will do the right thing, provided it's convenient, user-friendly, and reliable (and the threat of going to jail or paying huge fines for illegal downloads doesn't hurt, either). Witness also the runaway success of Netflix, which offers the by-the-mail service as well as the instant-to-your-PC version of movies.
For me, the best thing going right now is the podcast. Because I spend a LOT of time driving, podcasts provide me with the perfect solution for being stuck in an enclosed space but wanting to be reading and/or learning. Now, many podcasts are free, but not all are. Some are pay-to-play, some are split content (some is given away, the rest you gotta pay for), and some are free assuming you already pay for something else (like the Economist's podcast, which is free for paying print edition subscribers). Without the podcast, I might've canceled my Economist subscription because I've noticed a few more stack up on the kitchen table than I've had time to read, but I keep it going just because it hooks me up to the podcast. With Learning Indonesian (www.learningindonesian.com) I found a great free service that inspired me to pay for a subscription to all the content (which I've found, by the way, to be well worth it).
I'm sure there are many people out there with long commutes, who walk on the treadmill every day, or who just enjoy listening to the spoken word, and want to use things like podcasts to keep them informed.
For every one of those people, there's a potential for some innovative marketer/entrepreneur to make a buck. All parties can be better for the transaction.
The same could be said for any form of media -- yes, it will morph, but no, the main ideas behind it won't die. Things will change shape, but the changes will provide opportunities for those who can see them coming from down the road, and seize upon them.
Consumers, by and large, will benefit.