Why are leading digital news providers embracing native advertising?

Native advertising is a priority for leading digital news providers – this was a striking finding from the research conducted for my recent book, Innovators In Digital News. Striking and surprising, since sponsored content is risky. It punctures the Chinese wall between editorial and commercial activities, and if done clumsily can damage credibility with audiences. Journalists are sceptical – there’s a high degree of cognitive dissonance between sponsored content and a commitment to journalism. So if sponsored content is dangerous territory for purveyors of quality news, why does it feel … Read more

7 Factors behind Success with Digital News. What BuzzFeed, Vice, Quartz, The Guardian and The New York Times are doing right

Last week saw the publication of my new book, “Innovators in Digital News“, exploring several key players in the digital news industry – the Guardian, the New York Times, Quartz, BuzzFeed and Vice. It identifies and discusses the common elements that underlie their success, and provides pointers for how all players, legacy and clean sheet, can seize the growth potential that digital markets present. How do they operate? How do they innovate? Based on first hand research, the book’s case studies explore how these organisations approach digital news. How do … Read more

What Should Legacy Media Do? Never Waste a Good Crisis

Johan Peretti (CEO BuzzFeed)i: “Don’t you find that … mainstream media … come to Vice and say ‘OK, we need to figure this out and we can’t, so we want to buy you?” Shane Smith (CEO Vice): “Yes, I have noticed that … and part of the problem is that it wouldn’t even save them if they bought us … staying independent allows us to do a lot of things that we wouldn’t be able to do otherwise … even if they bought us they would still have a massive … Read more

‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’ – The Necessity of Responding Enough to Digital Disruption

Interviewer: “What was your biggest mistake?” Media industry CEO: “I always say that if I could go back ten years, … , I would not be saying, ‘The Internet’s going to be big’ … what I would really be saying is, ‘Your business is going to be more screwed than you can even conceive of now. Your worst case scenario is just a scratch’.” This exchange comes from an interview with a CEO on leadership in disrupted industries. It highlights a significant strategic threat – the threat of responding, but … Read more