I’m feeling upbeat about the future of digital media.
With ad fraud in the spotlight, ad-blocking now pretty mainstream, redundancies at big publishers, reduced public trust in the media, Facebook playing god with traffic, and ever more convincing fakery possible thanks to technology, it’s easy to think media is doomed.
But as I noted in a talk I gave yesterday, there are reasons to be optimistic:
- As social clickbait models prove less successful (bye-bye, Little Things
), real quality has a chance to shine in a way it hasn’t in the past.
- Whether it’s via e-commerce, paywalls, events, webinars, or exclusive perks, publishers with a strong audience can still build successful businesses.
- Journalists themselves have more opportunity than ever to build individual brands and businesses for themselves. My former colleague Owen Williams is a great example of this, with his $8.99 per month Charged community
- Companies like Google and Facebook now see it as their responsibility to fund journalistic initiatives. I’m working with Google as an external assessor for the latest round of their Digital News Initiative Innovation Fund, to support innovation in digital news journalism. Applications are open now