On this week’s episode of Media Voices, Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey talks about publishing economics and sustainability, how B2B is cool, and the value of being really honest about change
In the news roundup, the Media Voices team discuss the very sad closure of The Pool, the problems with one-size-fits-all verification tools, and how Hearst has transformed itself into a revenue behemoth.
The transcript for Brian Morrissey’s interview can be accessed here.
In our own words:
This week’s guest made my job really easy. If there’s one thing Brian Morrisey knows it’s the media, and I only had to raise a topic for him to be off and running, eagerly sharing his expert take on where our industry is heading.
As I noted in a tweet, the three biggest things to come out of my chat with Brian were:
- B2C is harder than B2B
- It’s easy to say you’re not about scale when you’re constricted by scale
- Advertising is a good business
Brian’s point about B2B was that the business model is fairly straightforward. You need to place yourself at the centre of a community and provide resources that people value in helping them do a better job. The secret to success is in execution and Brian talked about his disdain for traditional Trade Publishing cheer leading and effective business-to-business journalism that tells the truth about industry change.
He contrasted B2B business models with the challenge of B2C where change is all-encompassing, and pitches established consumer publishers of digital
At the heart of that is the scale issue that B2B prophets have dismissed as a Unicorn no longer worth chasing. Brian agrees that going after scale for scale’s sake is a mistake, but says it’s too easy to dismiss scale when you operate in a niche market where scale simply isn’t an option.
The solution for some B2C publishers might lie in developing networks of niche publications and Brian reference streetwear site HighSnobiety as an example. Others will
On the revenue side, Brian sees challenges for mainstream B2C publishers trying to pivot to paid content but advises that no one should abandoning advertising. “Everyone criticizes advertising now, but the truth is it’s high-margin and can be a very lucrative business. Advertising is a good business.”
Having spent almost many years covering media and marketing Brian offers a balanced perspective on our industry. He’s got one eye on the thrill of the new and the other fixed firmly on the bottom line.
Republished with kind permission of Media Voices, a weekly look at all the news and views from across the media world