A trend has emerged in the past year where some publishers and web services have separated their products into smaller offerings or verticals.
".. the digital unbundling is an extension of the decline of general interest content in print form — like Reader’s Digest and Newsweek — in favor of special-interest titles."
The all-you-can-eat approach to digital media is going away in favor of à la carte. Consider Facebook. It launched Facebook Messenger and Paper as standalone apps.
Foursquare also sees value in having a portfolio of services; it’s separating its original check-in service from its recommendation service.
The New York Times is planning to launch dedicated mobile apps focused on food and opinion, on the heels of offerings for both light and rabid users.
Yahoo introduced a tech vertical and is planning digital “magazines” on single topics like food and fashion.
With digital ad rates declining, even the more successful publishers need to find new ways to bring in revenue to their websites, said Rick Edmonds, media business analyst at Poynter. Verticals can supplement their core offering.
It’s also a recognition that people increasingly are using the side doors of search and social to get to the news. Roughly half of Facebook users — about 30 percent of the U.S. population — post or discuss news or events on those networks, according the Pew Research Center.
People also are participating in the news themselves, one-tenth of them uploading news videos they have taken themselves. In a sense, the digital unbundling is an extension of the decline of general interest content in print form — like Reader’s Digest and Newsweek — in favor of special-interest titles.
“News is packaged, consumed, shared in many different ways, and each of those ways is going to speak to a certain audience, and the needs of that audience,” said Amy Mitchell, director of journalism research at the Pew Research Center.
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