By David Skok (these highlights provided for you by Annotote)
“ digital journalism has already gone through three eras: the portal years, the search years, and the social years. Each era advanced storytelling and presented new revenue streams, but I would argue that digital journalism is now entering its most exciting period yet. Think of this as the stories as a service era, where journalism will be paid for by readers, for readers.
“ The first wave of digital journalism disruptors were the portals. This was a time of integrated value chains, where those owning the bandwidth, software, and the dial-up servers also controlled [journalism] … revenues were tied directly to their display advertising … CPMs were high [and] inventory was low … platforms closely resembled their print counterparts by being end-to-end publishing businesses who gathered, aggregated, published, and distributed their journalism.
“ Second, were the search years. This was a time of discovery and modularity with search engines like Google generating referral traffic to a new set of journalism sites that understood [SEO] … by the end of the era, new advertising technologies like programmatic real-time bidding, put severe downward pressure on the value of CPMs … This was a time when digital platforms also began to overshoot the needs of their consumers [e.g. gratuitous pop-up ads], resulting in the early days of market fragmentation.
“ Next, digital journalism entered its third phase: the social era. During this time the market fragmented even further. Thanks to social networks, particularly Facebook, journalism was optimized for viral buzz and “click-bait” … journalism had now failed to meet the needs of consumers both in content and in user-experience.
“ consumers are now living through a surplus of news and information, including fake news, that has eroded trust and credibility. They are on a flight towards quality and community. Digital journalism has been commoditized, creating new market opportunities at the bottom of a new disruption curve that is not yet “good enough.”
“ [In the new SaaS era] technological revolution upending digital journalism and creating this disruptive new market includes the emergence of machine learning, predictive analytics and a targeted understanding of user behavior … Digital journalism has gone from a modular phase of disruption to a new phase of integration that relies on owning the relationship with your reader through data.
#AI #personalization #algorithmic curation
“ For example, Skift — a travel industry publication, and The Information — a tech industry publication, are sites born out of the SaaS era who are focused on doing a few things really well instead of trying to cover their entire world.
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