Looking For Advertising Revenues, Advertising Revenues, And Advertising Revenues

Vox Media – home to Vox.com, The Verge, Eater and others – has raised a lot of money (again). Just like BuzzFeed and Vice did earlier. On The Awl, they know why:

These investments are neither mysterious nor confusing. They are bets that companies with advertising revenue will be able to produce more advertising revenue, or that maybe they will be purchased by companies with even more advertising revenue. Their editorial pitches might be different but their investment pitches are the same: They are, effectively, ad agencies for Facebook or or for YouTube or for Twitter or for Pinterest or for whatever new thing comes along.

I wonder how we should see traditional newspapers if we use the same definition. Ad agencies for kiosks? The main difference of course is that these newspapers used to also rely on subscriptions. And a subscription model leads to more trustworthy journalism.

An ad-based model on the other hand, only makes you look for more traffic – even when it hurts journalism.

To be honest, this is the cynical me talking today.

Because I just as much admire the tech journalism by The Verge, the competing-with-Wikipedia-quest of Ezra Klein and their incredible design skills.

PS. By the way, by its own definition, The Awl is also an ad agency.

 

Published by Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst Pfauth is co-founder and CEO of The Correspondent, a journalism platform for “unbreaking news” that successfully crowdfunded $2.6 million from 45,888 backers in November 2018 and will launch in mid-2019.

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