Monday, July 09, 2012

Is Traditional Media About To Lose To Aggregators?

Monday Note is one of my favorite blogs about media, technology and business models. When I worked at emediavitals it was an invaluable, international resource about how traditional media companies -- in Europe, particularly france, and America -- were navigating an era in which they are no longer the gatekeepers. Today Frédéric Filloux on Monday Note argues that traditional media players that move online are about to get crushed against pure players and aggregators:
"We are a facing a culture shock. On one side, legacy medias: Great franchises who grew on strong values, such as 'pristine' journalism, independence, storytelling, fact-checking, solid editing, respect for the copyright… Along the way, they made their share of mistakes, but, overall, the result is great. After all, at the height of the Fourth Estate’s power, the population was better informed than today’s Facebook cherry-pickers. Now, this (aging) fraternity faces a new generation of media people who build their fiefdom on a completely different set of values. For instance, the notion of copyright has become exceedingly elastic. A few months ago, Flipboard began to aggregate contents from French news organizations, taking large excerpts — roughly capturing the essence of a story — along with a token link back to the original content. Publishers sent polite letters saying, in substance: ‘Guys, although we are fond of your iOS applications, you can’t simply pick up our stuff without permission, we need to talk first…’ Publishers’ attitude toward aggregators has always been ambiguous ..."
A little too skeptical, perhaps, but one that traditional publishers should take seriously. Filloux argues that old school media doesn't get SEO nearly as well as new media organizations like The Huffington Post (that's pretty obvious). They don't get "the dark arts" of SEO because they are hampered by a journalistic ethics in picking titles whereas sundry places like HuffPo have no such internal restrictions. Result: HuffPo gets more page views on the same news story as an old school joint like The Wall Street Journal. A compelling read for those of us interested in the intersect between media, tech, journalism and business.

More here.

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