There's been a lot of chatter in the Twittersphere (NYSE:TWTR) about Felix Salmon leaving Reuters to join Fusion. A few things jumped out at me regarding his article explaining the move.
First, he's correct that "1,500-word blocks of content" are not the wave of the future; as devices and media consumption evolve, the obstacles and opportunities have shifted in kind. Chasing CPMs lower and fighting for subscribers is a tough business to be in, particularly with the portals, which have traditionally driven the lion's share of traffic, becoming increasingly algorithmic in how they choose content. One of the items I've been feverishly working on behind the scenes addresses these very issues, and I look forward to bringing that in for a landing.
Second, Felix featured Marc Andreesen's "most obvious 8 business models for news now & in the future." They were (1) advertising, and (2) subscriptions; he continued with (3) premium content (that is, "a paid tier on top of a free, ad-supported one"); (4) conferences and events; (5) cross-media (meaning that your news operation also generates books, movies, and the like); (6) crowdfunding; (7) micropayments, using Bitcoin; and (8) philanthropy. It was interesting, at least to me, to see that Minyanville, save Bitcoin micropayments, has tapped into all of the above, often as a first mover.
Finally, take me at my word when I say that the financial universe is extremely focused on how to capture millennial-generation mindshare. We cast an eye on this demographic a few years ago when we were getting social in Palo Alto, and it continues to be one of the more profound conundrums in the marketplace. Suffice to say that the method of communication will be as important, if not more important, than the message itself. I feel like we've got a place to go with this, but as always, the proof will be in the pudding.
The seismic shifts in the financial industry have been astounding; the evolution of media has kept apace. Once upon a time, three television networks existed as an oligopoly that lasted 50-odd years. That evolved into online networks such as Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), AOL (NYSE:AOL) and MSN (NASDAQ:MSFT) that controlled the space for, let's call it 15 years, and turned the networks into channels. In the last five years or so, consumers have built their own networks, further fragmenting content and experience.
We can debate the merits and shortfalls of the various technological iterations -- or how social media has paradoxically created a more insulated, nose-in-your-phone isolationism -- but that's a conversation for another time. The business of media, and the landscape for investors, is exciting, scary, disruptive, and moving at a breakneck pace. Pay attention to what is happening around us; the future is now.
Follow Todd and over 30 professional traders as they share their ideas in real time with a FREE 14 day trial to Buzz & Banter.
Todd Harrison is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Minyanville. Prior to his current role, Mr. Harrison was President and head trader at a $400 million dollar New York-based hedge fund. Todd welcomes your comments and/or feedback at email@example.com.
The information on this website solely reflects the analysis of or opinion about the performance of securities and financial markets by the writers whose articles appear on the site. The views expressed by the writers are not necessarily the views of Minyanville Media, Inc. or members of its management. Nothing contained on the website is intended to constitute a recommendation or advice addressed to an individual investor or category of investors to purchase, sell or hold any security, or to take any action with respect to the prospective movement of the securities markets or to solicit the purchase or sale of any security. Any investment decisions must be made by the reader either individually or in consultation with his or her investment professional. Minyanville writers and staff may trade or hold positions in securities that are discussed in articles appearing on the website. Writers of articles are required to disclose whether they have a position in any stock or fund discussed in an article, but are not permitted to disclose the size or direction of the position. Nothing on this website is intended to solicit business of any kind for a writer's business or fund. Minyanville management and staff as well as contributing writers will not respond to emails or other communications requesting investment advice.
Copyright 2011 Minyanville Media, Inc. All Rights Reserved.