On: “The End is Already Here” by @LukeOneil47
After a three-year stint in and around the digital media space, I have seen enough to know that executives must be forward-thinking to survive this whirlwind. I know some who are, I know many who are not. So O’Neil’s words strike me because many will read them today after reading Peretti’s words on Buzzfeed’s future. Here’s a striking para from O’Neil’s essay:
Dailies who aren’t already well ahead of the game in terms of reverting back to subscription models, or of significant enough national prominence, or don’t find their own relatively benevolent billionaire owner, will continue to either be neutered or flattened out by conglomerates into content distributors. The ones that don’t will buy some time, but will ultimately become vanity projects read only by people wealthy enough to remain interested in the superficial comings and goings of other wealthy people.
To Luke’s point,the remedies that I envisioned were tactical departure for most in the media space (and very difficult to execute). These were the five points on my whiteboard:
- Build a premium subscription product for our most loyal. Do not ignore this advice, bosses. Recurring revenue is something that we can build upon.
- Let’s treat news like a commodity but let’s treat our platform as a brand. This means avoid discounts or promotions. It also means that we must think like a CMO.
- Direct-to-consumer commerce and native advertising partnerships should be influenced by affiliate data. Affiliate revenue is a treasure trove of data.
- Let’s measure success, not in DAU or MAU but in affiliate / D2C commerce conversion. What are eyes without the ability to influence the mind (i.e. cart conversions)?
- Let’s build a community, not a readership. Communities persist, readerships do not.
See more of the issue here.