Media pivots away from advertising
A tourist looks through a copy of The Times newspaper. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images
For decades the primary source of revenue for media companies was advertising, but competition from technology companies and more privacy scrutiny are pushing most media companies to explore alternative forms of revenue.
Why it matters: Most media companies have to unwind years worth of sales and product infrastructure to make way for the transition. Not all will survive it.
Between the lines: Most companies are looking for creative ways monetize their owned and operated channels and content, but the transition away from advertising and Facebook traffic has been difficult.
- Subscriptions and memberships: Bloomberg, Vanity Fair, Wired, Business Insider, Quartz, New York Magazine, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, HuffPost
- Commerce: Buzzfeed, CNN, New York Times, NBC
- Content licensing deals: Vox, New York Times, Buzzfeed, Axios, Refinery29, Conde Nast Entertainment
- Technology licensing deals: The Washington Post (Arc), New York Magazine (Clay) Vox Media (Chorus) Hearst (MediaOS)
TV networks are also trying to build their own streaming services as more ad dollars float to big tech, but the competition against streaming giants is tough.
The big picture: There's a legal case for getting out, too. Advertising used to be an easy business to maintain from a compliance perspective, but new privacy laws and and an increased focus on transparency are forcing publishers to pay closer attention to their supply chains.
Be smart: Most companies are in the experimental phase, and haven't yet figured out what their long-term strategy for growth will be, if there is one.