Calacanis referred to this as “The Bridge.” He starts off with a little more digital triumphalism, and then talks about the real numbers behind the economic downturn, and the 20% chance of civil unrest, riots in the streets, cats&dogs living together, the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, etc. etc.

It’s quite canny of him to stick a mood-changer like this in the middle of his presentation. A relentless parade of stats (allegedly) proving that digital media will win out over all outmoded forms of communication, and we will join hands and walk into the sunrise of a brave new day … would be sickening. So he threw this in here to address the fears of economic meltdown that were at the core of this conference (after all, the title was “Tools for Tackling the Downturn”).

In the early going, he can’t resist taking yet another swipe at “Old Media” saying that the audience cannot be measured – or that it can, but that the Nielsen stats are “bullshit.”  Which there is a certain logic to – advertisers who buy display ads are charged as though every single reader of the newspaper is going to open to that page and look at the ad.  Of course, we all know that they are not – that the ad rates are actually based on the “potential audience.”

And what Jason doesn’t really go into here is that there are some very sophisticated media analysts grinding numbers and coming up with some alternatives to the “Search Is God” theory he’s plugging.

I’ll post the video of that later – if I don’t decide to turn it into a larger story for a magazine or website – but basically, media buyers/planners are starting to get hip to the fact that search swoops in at the last second in the decision-making process of consumers, and takes all the credit for their buying choice.  Meanwhile, if they had never known that there were, say, alternate iPhone headphones that actually sound good and don’t fall out of your ears – then they would not have been able to search for it.

My own prediction: in the next couple of years, we’re going to see content make a comeback.

That is, if the second part of Jason’s bit here doesn’t come to pass, and we’re all either fricasseed by angry mobs, or hiding out in the hills, living like the Gyro-Captain in “Road Warrior.”

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