Innovation in Media 2019 Tag

Your data may be worth (a lot) more than you think...

Data in the media world used to mean just four things:
1. Number of subscribers
2. Number of newsstand sales
3. Advertising revenue
4. The number on the bottom line

Today, data are what your chief data scientist parses and interprets for you. If you don’t have a chief data scientist, data are what you and your team struggle to convert into editorial, sales, and marketing insights.

But even that is a limited view of the power of data today. Today, data can be much, much more. Data can actually make you some serious money.

media companies as agencies: Almost everything a brand needs to create campaigns exists in media companies in spades

What makes a successful agency?

• Knowledge of the desired audience
• Knowledge of the brand’s customers
• Access to, and a relationship with, the desired audience
• An audience database second to none
• Exquisite storytellers.
• Expert videographers
• Media tech expertise
• Proven, sophisticated design capabilities
• Multimedia, multi-platform, multi-channel expertise
• Proven marketing expertise
• A nuanced understanding of how to build sophisticated multi-platform campaigns

Does that list sound like a media company to you?
Sure sounds like a media company to me.

The expertise inside media companies is looking like an agency to more and more brands around the world. Many have given up trying to create branded content and media campaigns on their own, or even with traditional legacy agencies.

As a result, many media companies that have created in-house agencies are seeing results that have come to represent from five to 60% of total revenue! Consider this example:

Bespoke software systems built BY media companies FOR media companies have proven successful and profitable for a select few.

If you’ve worked at a media company, you have had the “pleasure” of using a content management system or ad management tool, and you know it is, in fact, rarely a pleasure.

In the last five years, a few media companies decided to do what everyone else was thinking: WE could do a better job at this!

And why not? Who knows the needs of the editorial and advertising departments better than those departments themselves?

The frustration boiled over first at the Washington Post back in 2014. Over the following few years, Vox Media, New York Magazine, and Hearst all got into the Software as a Service (SaaS) business.

The Washington Post’s Arc system

Even before Amazon chief Jeff Bezos bought The Washington Post, the company was moving in the direction of solving its tech problems by itself.

While the company was scrambling to keep up with the lightning speed of digital change, they, like most other media companies, discovered that their CMS and ad management systems were holding them back.

“As a business, we asked more of our newsroom,” Jeremy Gilbert, the company’s Director of Strategic Initiatives, told Fast Company. “What we noticed was: 1) We didn’t have the tools to be more productive and, 2) The CMS was a fairly monolithic platform. Adding any features to it, making any changes to it, or getting support from vendors was just very difficult.”

Despite what could look like a daunting business model challenge, there are significant philanthropy-based media company success stories out there. Philanthropic donations have helped sustain national and local news outlets like ProPublica, the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Voice of San Diego, Texas Tribune, and...