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This roundup from Alex Sherman suggests that the wave of consolidation that swept over digital media is finally breaking. Instead of trying to scale up, Sherman suggests that companies like BuzzFeed and Vox are instead paring back their ambitions to refocus on their ‘core brand strengths’ and differentiate themselves. It’s an interesting thought experiment because what, other than tone of voice, are those strengths?
“‘In the old days of media, with TV networks, if you were down, you could revive yourself with a hit,’ said [CEO of Integrated Media Jonathan] Miller. ‘In the internet age, everything is so easily substitutable. If Vice goes down, the audience just moves on to something else’.”
So what can’t be replicated in the ‘internet age’ (I hate that phrase)? Individual personalities, obviously, which is why some outlets are replicating the creator model. In-depth investigations, certainly – although they take an awful lot of investment. My worry is that some of those digital pureplays will fool themselves into thinking that their brand alone is enough of a ‘core strength’ to suffice.
Never let it be said that Media Voices is behind the curve! Our very own Peter Houston has written this report – due out early next month – all about how local media is taking advantage of AI. Find out how AI can help find the stories in massive datasets, taking care of the busy work to let reporters get back to adding value with commentary and analysis that even the cleverest AI just can’t deliver. You can pre-register for the report here.
NPR is cutting 10% of its staff, in addition to cancelling four of its slate of podcasts including Invisibilia. The plight of non-profits in the media industry is devastating to read about on a regular basis, due to both the sheer relentlessness and the wasted talent as a result, no matter how necessary. As NPR chief executive John Lansing said in an interview. “It’s existential.”
The new bill would direct digital advertising giants to pay news outlets a “journalism usage fee” when they sell advertising alongside news content. Now that’s quite the euphemism! The bill would require publishers to invest 70% of the profits from that fee in journalism jobs, which… I’ll believe it when I see it.
More from Media Voices
Listen again: Medium VP of Content Scott Lamb on the platform’s evolution and vision for the future
While we’re taking a break, why not listen to some classic episodes? In this episode we hear from Medium’s VP of Content Scott Lamb. Scott leads the content and creator relations teams at the platform, so we talked about Medium’s famous pivots, the importance of putting creators at the core, competing with Substack, and Ev Williams’ departure.