Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Forbes' D'Vorkin's 11 Observations about the New Business

I don't always agree with what Lewis D'Vorkin writes in his column about the confluence of media and journalism in the digital age, but he's always worth reading. Sometimes his column is all #humblebrag about how smart Forbes is -- actually, based on a very unscientific survey, most of his columns are humblebrags. 

But his current column, "Inside Forbes: 11 Realities And Observations About The News Business, Like Them Or Not," is definitely worth reading for the following observations. (I'm not going to repeat all 11 items -- go read the column for yourself -- I'm just pointing out those I find most significant, and including some of my observations based on D'Vorkin's.)

  1. Content needs to be mobile-friendly and easy to consume -- but much of it is not. One problem is that when you click on a website on your mobile, often you'll get a pop-up ad (Forbes does this to, by the way) that you can't exit from because the form factor doesn't let you scroll easily to find the X. That's annoying and a problem.
  2. Ad-blocking software will get more popular -- a trend we didn't really address for 2016, but I tend to agree. The rise of ad-blocking will hurt online ad revenue that media properties can generate and depend on -- this is will lead to lower revenues, layoffs, and more media properties being shut down. Oh, and higher subscription fees for those media outlets that have a paywall.
  3. Facebook is not just a social network. It is a media play, and other sites' traffic rates are declining because people check out the headlines and comments on Facebook without clicking through. Again, that will affect online ad rates.
  4.  Lest you think Facebook is unstoppable, it is facing stiff competition from messaging apps like Kik, Snapchat and Whatsapp.
  5. A lot of the media sites (and quasi-media/e-commerce sites like Refinery29) that are doing well are targeting women. That says something for companies looking to target customers.
  6. Death of Page Views -- which even D'Vorkin admits has been a prediction that people have made for years now. But this time, it's different because there are new data and engagement possible via mobile.

Anyway check out his article.

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