I was reading this piece recently about Facebook's uneasy relationship with the media industry.
It makes the point that media companies are starting to doubt and even withdraw their support for Facebook and Google as distribution platforms. That the media companies provide so much of the content that drives engagement and yet are left with only a tiny percentage of the action. It also covers how the media companies are compromising their commitment to quality in pursuit of click and eyeballs.
We are left with an all-powerful duopoly in the world of social media and a whole world of pain in the world of traditional media.
But I think we are seeing the early signs of good content making a comeback. We are sacrificing quality for convenience. We are consuming content that has been filtered and abbreviated. It's leaving us with a sense that we are not being well informed and it's leaving the media companies with broken business models.
For me quality content will always win out. It's been like that since the beginning of time. The distribution channels have changed but not the value of good content. Over the last few years the market has fallen into the trap that distribution trumps content. But increasingly this is being challenged.
The media companies are not going to go back to physical magazines and newspapers. Their day is done. But I think we will see more paywall options, less advertising and new distribution platforms with a stronger commitment to the facts and more evenly balanced views and opinions.
Quality content is not done yet!
Its withdrawal reflects a broader change in the media industry. After years of pandering to the online masses with clickbait, and chasing hits and “likes”, many publishers have concluded that the expected deluge of digital advertising is unlikely to materialise. Last year roughly 89% of the growth in digital ad spending in Britain was soaked up by just two companies, Google and Facebook, according to figures from Enders Analysis. Publishers, from humble bloggers to well-funded operations such as BuzzFeed, have been left to feed on scraps.