March 24, 1997 4:00 PM ET
Bloomberg warns Internet market close to saturated
By Eric Lundquist

  TUCSON, Ariz. -- Don't drop that newspaper subscription just yet. And don't feel that bad if you're a Baywatch fan. You've got lots of company.

Bringing a voice of business reality to PC Forum's "The Living Web" conference, Michael Bloomberg, CEO and founder of Bloomberg LP, cautioned Forum attendees not to get too enamored with Internet technology.

"We tend to let the brilliance of our designers drive our companies, compared to what our customers really want," he said. Wearing a business suit and addressing a casually attired crowd, Bloomberg cautioned the attendees,"Don't knock the old paradigms."

People will still be getting their news from print publications and watching television programs such as Baywatch for some time to come, despite all the talk of 3-D worlds and cool Web sites, he said, adding that most consumers tomorrow are going to be doing the same things they do today.

Bloomberg did not hold out too much hope for ad-driven Internet sites. Unless a site can come up with a unique brand of news, it is likely to follow the economic dictates of economist Adam Smith: Too much supply and too little demand can only mean declining ad revenues.

Bloomberg's warnings of too many Web sites chasing too few consumers was seconded by AOL Chairman Steve Case, who forecasted a major shakeout of ad-driven Web sites over the coming year.

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