"To serve advertisers, digital media companies are shifting away from text and pictures toward video, a hard move for small web properties with few resources"
(Brian Feldman/New York Magazine) - 2016-08-28T00:45:0
good luck. with advertising, old and new media orgs have relied on a seriously flawed business plan for many years. yet the failures seemingly go unnoticed by media orgs. they have to become low quality, high quantity content mills to have a fighting chance.
It’s been a big, weird year for the media industry. Gawker, the pioneering blog, declared bankruptcy and was sold off to Univision, whose millennial-focused digital endeavor Fusion has been having trouble finding an audience.
The Awl, an heir to a certain version of Gawker, moved to Medium along with a number of other small websites. Medium’s own in-house editorial product, Matter, has turned itself into a … studio? Or something?
BuzzFeed missed its early revenue goals by a wide margin, and has reorganized internally to emphasize video. (A better outcome for employees than at Mashable, where dozens were laid off in April, in preparation for a “strategic shift” toward video.)
Vice launched a cable channel! Which no one is watching. Not that the executives at Disney, who seem likely to purchase the company, mind.
And then there’s Tronc. Tronc! Whatever it is.
What’s going on? At the root of these changes is a change in how digital publishers and advertisers do business.
Selling display ads — banner ads and other advertisements you see alongside articles on websites in your browser — is no longer really lucrative enough to support a business.
At the same time, sponsored ads — article-like pieces of content that are created at the behest, and with the input of, brands — haven’t been able to replace them.
So what’s next? Video ads. And to sell video ads, you need video.
We’re living through the effects of an ongoing shift away from text and pictures and toward video as the primary product of digital-media companies, a break that even the best-capitalized media brands are navigating only with difficulty.
Smaller publishers are calling it quits or offloading their technical infrastructure to Medium. Larger ones are cozying up to telecom giants, partnering with the hydra-headed conglomerates like Disney and NBCUniversal, or subsidizing themselves with conferences.
According to The Wall Street Journal, “The company has to host regular screenings with pizza and beer so that its largely 20-something staffers can actually see the shows they spend their days making”; millennials don’t have cable.
That doesn't apply only to millennials, which is an idiotic label. We don't have cable nor satellite TV either. We do not have a landline phone. We use Verizon for our cell phones. For internet access, we use local provider Toast.net. We watch TV, mainly by using a Roku box. I watch DvDs on the little TV in the basement while I exercise. It's the only way that the basement TV can be used. We only have two TVs. Toast.net partners with AT&T's Uverse somehow for its high-speed internet offerings.
It’s not that writing is dead, or that we’ve moved to a “post-text” world. In fact, the problem may be that there’s too much text. It’s the easiest content to produce and is in high supply. I’m doing it right now! But text is not a high-margin business. Writing isn’t what media orgs do to pay the bills anymore; it’s the bonus afterward.
A few media orgs are sustaining themselves with their text-heavy operations by charging a fee (subscriptions) for their products, like many businesses do.
- The Information
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