Must-Read: In the age of the modern internet, according to Ben Thompson, publications must either...

  • chase the mass advertising-based audience, and so succumb to spending most of their time publishing clickbait...
  • rely on a niche audience and subscriptions, and thus block (most of their) valuable content from (the long tail of most of) their potential readership (most of the time).
  • accept that they are going to be endothermic: burn more money than they take in, and survive off of sugar mommies and sugar daddies of one form or another.

If he is right, this is not a good situation from many perspectives. But is their an argument that he is wrong?

Ben Thompson: What the Media Misses About Facebook, Facebook’s Missing Humans, Will the iPhone 7 Be a Hit?:

Media executives need to take a very hard look at their businesses and decide where they can survive...

...because the implications of their choice run in two very different directions: niche means heavy investment in differentiation, presentation, depth, and a willingness to forgo easy traffic for the sake of lifetime value that is exceptionally difficult to realize. Scale means cutting costs, simplifying presentation, breadth, and the uncertainty of living on another platform which doesn’t hate you but also doesn’t give you any special favors and may occasionally wrong you without meaning to. Doing both means death...

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