While in the middle of hiring a new member of my marketing team, a few weeks back, I sensed an unknown judgement sneak into my evaluation process. I would immediately scan the page, with each resume, looking for some kind of media background. A sign that the individual competing for this position had knowledge of media and literary masterminds from years past, knew how to explore the streets looking for clues and sources, and had experience in the newsroom.
Around the same time every morning I leave my house and walk to my office that is just over a mile away. I pass park police putting up hammocks in parklets that cut back the Atlantic Avenue’s center. I walk past a row of media trucks, just before I reach Thomson Place in Boston’s neighborhood of Fort Point, that were covering high-profile cases.
On the side of the road, global news teams from CBS, FOX and CNN sit, going through their notes, before addressing their audiences by standing in front of their cameras. As the news anchor is about to go on, I sometimes make an eye contact with him. I ask myself, What’s he going to say? After that, he straightens his back, snaps his eyes and delivers his story to the audiences with authority and poise.
I admired women and men in the advertising industry most, when I was in school. Their business instincts and creative acumen were the two most important qualities that helped them built long-term success careers. Their ability to create commercial art and woo brands for a living seemed like a dream come true.
I couldn’t imagine anything cooler than telling friends and family members they’re in my book, associating myself with the largest organizations and being part of a massive global agency. My initial dream of becoming a journalist, a job that would force me to tell stories that wouldn’t always be easy to fathom, tell or write and step outside of my comfort zone, was abandoned because of this obsession.
I stand on the inside of a business, now years later that is a combination of media and marketing. In the way the world tells news stories, there has been an evolution —change is no longer viewed as a lingering threat like it was back in my high school days. Nowadays, you hear more talking about the fall of the advertise agency than about first-class media corporations.
In order to be the best publishers in the world media executives wised up and learned that they also have to be the most cutting-edge technology companies.Not so long ago I published a list by brand-name media companies that included new product innovations. Nonetheless, those products were just a few of the many that have remodeled the entire industry, catapulting it back into the view of emerging talent, advertisers and VCs. Today, the death of the media industry is no longer feared by students, because they see it as an opportunity worth seizing and challenge worth taking.
Purch, the owner of a network of e-commerce websites and technology content, recently raised $135 million to fuel acquisitions. In recent years, for a digital media company this was one of the larger rounds of funding. Just under $100 million in revenue in 2014 Purch took in, and in 2015, according to the Wall Street Journal the enterprise expects to draw in even more than that.
So far this season, television viewing has dropped nine percent according to reports from MoffettNathanson Research and this investment round comes at the same time. In order to splinter their businesses, media companies have started separating digital publishing from television, placing bets on the outright of digital media websites’ future.
Some might say that television has developed a catch-22, where the downfall of the industry is due to its attempt to innovate. Think of it this way: In order to rescue the drowning industry TV executives are desperately trying to impress advertisers, and by introducing digital streaming versions of their shows is one way these execs are doing it. The business model of Netflix is also justified by the foray into streaming apps. In order to watch their favorite show, people no longer need to tune in at a specific time because they are already heading online.
In order to reach audiences, every business has migrated to the Internet creating blogs and developing publishing divisions. This is the main reason why the Internet is impregnated with information, and coerced readers to look for the publishers and content they trust most. Now, after a number of years spent in mastering how to develop audiences via visual and written content, media companies have a leg up.
With huge subscription fees, the ad sales for publishers like Politico can be supplemented. This year, Politico is on track to reach half of the company’s revenue. The audience would pay for the content, because this business has the capability of publishing it. The business will continue to focus on quality, because it no longer worries about scale.
According to Jim VandeHei, CEO, president and cofounder of Politico, you cannot have quality and scale at the same time and at the same level. However, other digital media companies are doing everything they can in order to prove that the VandeHei’s words are wrong. Arianna Huffington, cofounder of Huffington Post in a leaked memo boldly declares her confidence in the potential of her company to own the media industry going forward.
Circulation revenue numbers have rebounded even in the more-traditional news industry, and now ad dollars are overshadowed. Global newspaper circulation revenues, both digital and print, are now larger than newspaper advertising revenues according to findings from the annual World Press Trends survey. This means that people are willing to pay for information they trust and have come back to media.
In many ways, the media industry is still damaged. However, in the right direction, money is starting to flow back. In this resurgence, new and innovative technology has played a key role with technology even looking for new rounds of funding.
We see businesses such as the New York Times, as we enter further into the next stage of media, breaking down age-old editorial barriers and innovating with new products. In order to create new media enterprises, we see journalists moving to new tech companies. We witness the fall out of the broadcast television. And we witness the media industry, ever so confidently and slightly, becoming cool again.