“If you work in media you’ve been navigating stomach-turning change for quite some time. But the 2023 inflection feels epochal,” writes ex Hearst President Troy Young. “There’s something deeply transitional in the air.”
Young’s point is that we’ve begun a transition into a completely new era; one in which the ability to “pluck customized narrative responses from reams of digitized human knowledge in ways that feel indistinguishable from human interaction.” Not only is this likely to terrify media incumbents and IP holders, but it will overhaul the entire business of content.
He is optimistic about how we’ll navigate the changes. “I suspect we are becoming better at processing the change coming at us,” he speculates. I’d love to share this optimism, but I suspect we have quite a way to descend first before the impacts – and consequently the solutions – become apparent.
We’ve just posted the final chapter from our Media Moments 2022 report and ironically it’s the one which has dated fastest. Since ChatGPT was released in November (on the same day as our report), the conversation around AI and its impact on publishing has gone up a level. Still, this is a really useful overview of what happened with publisher experiments in the metaverse and NFTs in 2022.
Following trials on five of Reach’s Live brands in November, the publisher is now adding Berkshire, Hertfordshire, Sussex and Hampshire to its newsletter-first brands – meaning the websites are no longer the flagship means of content delivery. We discussed this story on this week’s episode of the podcast and concluded that while the incentives to build a local audience are certainly stronger, to be successful, this has to be backed up by investment in quality local reporting.
There are some really cracking quotes which just sum up the state of this. “The addiction is to the platform,” said one creator economy investment firm founder. “The user isn’t looking for any specific creator, they are looking to be entertained.” Also, the user adoption of short-form video has far outpaced business opportunities. Publishers, be warned.
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