Back in the days of monopoly distribution, selling the news was a fantastic business. Local media outlets, with captive customers and competitive insulation, enjoyed profit margins as high as 25% or even higher. The internet dismantled their monopoly advantage. Now, offering general news like that is a shitty business. In a world where diversion is just a click or a swipe away, user engagement with general news products is irregular, with short, shallow usage sessions and erratic visit frequency. Smartphones have given birth to the Age of the Skim, which has made the engagement problem even worse. How to build audience by transforming skimmers into engaged customers with a predictable consumption habit is the singular challenge faced by media outlets today. The second challenge? Learning how to sell them, of course.
Plus, the fall 2021 update of the most interesting current developments in media…
Traditional news monopolies had no incentive to invest in the art and science of creating user demand. So when the Internet arrived, users grabbed the chance to go to more interesting places. Can they be persuaded to come back?
Giant digital news networks are rising – will any newspaper company be among them?
2015 – a new era in news begins. Just as cable television created a new product cycle in media, introducing brands like Discovery and CNN and HBO, so new digital brands like Vox and Buzzfeed and Reddit are rising on the Internet