For many of the new media giants, as well as the old stalwarts, talk revolves around engaging audiences on mobile, creating a wealth of distribution strategies, pivoting to video, and developing snack-able content that works well with social media. Unfortunately, this year has shown that doing this in a profitable way has been a challenge. Pulling together all the insights from those near to the situation, it seems both Mashable and Time Inc. lost their way on the innovation train. Both were keenly making use of all that was out there, but there was not a profitable management strategy behind the advances.
New technologies, which seem to come out on a weekly basis, have put not only Time and Mashable but much of the digital media industry into a frenzy where innovation and temporary success becomes king instead of a well thought out path forward. Out of the frenzy, The Atlantic recently stated that the goal for many media companies has become to “produce the equivalent of corporate confetti, fast, flimsy, and forgettable morsels, blasted from the CMS cannon, which upon inspection were less journalism than Millennial Mad Libs: “[Number] Ways That [Google-Trend-Generated Subject] Totally Made Us [Past-Tense Verb].” That is condemning to say the least.