This posting is part of my series of Journalism and media postings that try to cover the changing field of media business.
Business Insider vs. Digiday: One man’s aggregation is another man’s traffic hijacking article talks on practices some call it aggregation, while others call it copyright infringement or even theft. Plagiarism. Copyright infringement. Traffic hijacking. These are all terms publishers like to use when someone excerpts their content without permission. Some digital publishers have different words for it, however: they prefer to call it curation, or aggregation, or just old-fashioned blogging.
In his post at Digiday, entitled “Surviving the Media Aggregation Economy,” Morrissey argues that we are trapped in a digital-media environment based on boosting pageviews to draw more advertising, and that this has “taken publishers hostage.” Some publishers have taken this approach to its logical conclusion and generate a lot of their revenue by repurposing content created by others.
Why publishers should follow the Verge-HuffPost aggregation dustup article tells that anything that pushes its piece down the page for someone searching for the article could arguably erode the value of that investment. It’s less a matter of aggressive aggregation than a stone-cold exploitation of how Google works. Assemble enough of those sorts of links, the argument goes, and you’ll vacuum up pageviews in numbers that will increase your own value to advertisers.
There are companies that try concentrate on aggregation. Searching for Relevance: Yahoo Aiming to Be the “Google of Content” article says that Yahoo aims to become the “Google of content.” While one might argue that Google is already the Google of content, the plan is to make Yahoo more relevant by tailoring it to the individual and make the site a “trusted destination to get them to where they want to go and keep going back.” That means more partnership deals from third-party sources, with an additional social component layer and synced across a number of devices and platforms, especially video. If it all sounds a bit like a turbocharged Twitter, you’re right. The Google-of-content effort is all part of Mayer’s recent statement to make Yahoo one of the “world’s daily habits.”
On quality and value of journalism in the future
Another blog post that won’t make any money article tells that it’s been a strange and daunting decade for print journalism — it’s now an even stranger time for web journalism. Evangelists have long held up the web as the savior of the news business, but all that digital triumphalism ignores web media’s basic economic dilemma: we’re simply producing far too much of it than is economically justified.
Journalists need also to look at the mirror for the quality of their work. Copy-paste journalism wants to be free article tells that Google News is a depressing read for a journalist. It shows you how many news outlets depend on copy-and-paste reporting, regurgitating the same press releases and quotes in an infinite loop. Who needs all these clones of the same story, with the same basic facts and sources? For PR departments in technology companies, this is a dream come true: In the end you have hundreds of copies of the same press release, slightly tweaked.
The downside of this approach is that the more you have copies, the less value a single copy has. In the old days, when all the publications had their own, small print market, readers did not realize they were reading copies. Neither did advertisers. But the Internet made all this transparent, and this is the main reason why traditional publishers are losing audiences, especially paying ones. Readers will not pay for stories they have already read elsewhere. What is even worse, advertisers realize this as well. They are not willing to pay a premium for a product that is a duplicate. If you notice yourself writing the same stories as everyone else, or even worse, using copy-paste more than before, run. Your job will become extinct.
A Day in the Life of a Freelance Journalist—2013 article talks about situation where magazines can’t pay you for freelance journalists, just tell that they reach millions of readers. The article talks about the deteriorating condition of journalism as profession and the difficulty for serious journalists to make a living through their work resulting in the decline of the quality of news in general. The article comments also tell that TV news is also looking for content for free. State Media Rushing Into Coverage Void Left By Dying Newspapers article says that As newspaper budgets shrink, state-sponsored media outlets like RT, China Daily, and Al Jazeera have grown, hired more writers and offered more (free) coverage. The new economics of media: If you want free content, there’s an almost infinite supply article tells that the reality is that the economics of content have changed forever, and the supply of free content is almost infinite. Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story Than a Human Reporter? article mentions that Narrative Science is a company that trains computers to write news stories: the universe of newswriting will expand dramatically, as computers mine vast troves of data to produce ultracheap, totally readable accounts of events, trends, and developments that no journalist is currently covering. This was the state of journalism in 2013.
Niemanlab twitter comment “The dirty secret about the web media business is that there’s a massive oversupply problem.” has a point. It points to blog posting Another blog post that won’t make any money says that we’re simply producing far too much of it than is economically justified. The dirty secret about the web media business is that there’s a massive oversupply problem. All of that is being distributed via more channels on more devices. This creates more supply for display ads, that however, drags down ad prices.
Quality coverage still requires money, which means finding funding from somewhere. You see the effects of this ever day: If your revenue is based mostly off of pay-per-click banner ads, a lowest-common denominator post, like a cheap roundup of cat pictures, is quite possibly going to pull in way more views for less money than a nuanced, deeply reported, and expensive dispatch from Syria.
And, yeah, ads can be a bummer, especially when they’re executed poorly, and paywalls aren’t great. But when the alternatives are either fluffy, thin reporting; or worse, blatantly biased coverage sponsored by governments, we have to find a palatable way to fund good reporting.
Are personalized newspapers the answer to publishers or new competitor?
‘DNP: the first newspaper with personal subscriptions to journalists article tells that Dutch based Digital Second and imgZine has announced the launch of an innovative newspaper app: DNP (De Nieuwe Pers). The app has an unique business model. It is the first newspaper in the world that allows personal subscriptions to journalists. DNP, which ceased to exist as a printed free daily last year, offers quality journalism from specialized journalists. DNP is starting with 12 journalists.
Facebook Is Making The World’s ‘Best Personalized Newspaper’ article tells that Facebook is making it’s News Feed to more like a “personalized newspaper”. There will be bolder images and special sections for friends, photos, and music, saying the activity stream will become more like a “personalized newspaper”.
Flipboard Opens Curation Platform: Now Anyone Can Create And Share Their Own Magazines article tells that the plan is to give an easy for people to collect, save and share amazing stories, inspiring videos and beautiful photos on Flipboard. Flipboard 2.0 refreshes app’s look, now lets everyone run their own magazine (hands-on) gives some details on this. Flipboard Adds 3 Million Users Since Launch Of Personalized Magazines, Over 500,000 Magazines Created To Date article says that Flipboard says that now over 50 percent of its users are reading these personalized ‘zines daily. Apparently, the magazine is transitioning to become a morning news paper of sorts, with users doing the most reading around 9:00 AM, while magazine creation takes place in the afternoon (1:00 PM) and sharing peaks in the evening (7:00 PM).