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robertogreco : snapchatdiscover   4

Brand relevance and revenue in the age of Snapchat » Nieman Journalism Lab
“Surviving and thriving in a distributed platform world in 2016 will be important, but simply view it as an opportunity to extend and grow your brand and your revenue. By viewing it this way, your website won’t necessarily die — it will simply have more platforms leading back to it with readers who really, truly want to be there.”



"In 2015, we saw the rise of publishers’ content being consumed on platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, Periscope, Apple News, Apple TV…and the list goes on. We also saw many publishers reach a confident stride on these platforms, building teams charged with churning out original content in new, native formats, such as vertical video for Snapchat Discover or tiltable images for Facebook Instant Articles.

In 2016, this trend of content creation for distributed platforms will continue, even on platforms that haven’t even launched yet (including ugh, yeah, virtual reality platforms 😓), as well as extending into platforms that have existed for years (TV, podcasts, email).

But while publishers will continue to gain confidence in content-generation in this new distributed platform world, in 2016 they’ll have to face the big gaping hole of revenue generation on these platforms — which until now has been an afterthought.

While advertising on-platform remains a steady chunk of publishers’ revenue, the increase of readers consuming content not on publishers’ websites will necessitate some serious brainstorming on how to make money on those other platforms. When advertising revenue is based on pageviews, clicks, and engagement metrics, as it currently is, how will advertising formats and metrics evolve on these platforms?

These are real challenges we’ll have to face, but there does exist a silver lining: These platforms are wonderful opportunities to invent exciting, new advertising formats and revenue streams in partnership with platforms, as well as extend and grow our brands and audiences.

New advertising formats won’t come from platforms but from publishers

Advertising and revenue has largely been an afterthought on these platforms. Platforms like Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP are focused on delivering better page performance, molding content into their respective native formats, and of course, generating more revenue for themselves by getting eyeballs onto their platform and keeping them there.

With this in mind, pushing the platforms to innovate their revenue products is important. Some platforms like Facebook Instant Articles are indeed bowing to publishers’ feedback and slowly making their formats more flexible. But is this enough, and should we really rely on these platforms, which have differing incentives, to push boundaries in advertising?

I predict that many publishers will begin to recognize the need to innovate and push new advertising formats from within, rather than relying on other platforms to do it for them. They will begin to push advertising both on their websites as well as other platforms. If the adblocking hullabaloo earlier this year signaled anything, it was that the ad tech industry is slow to change and has some serious problems on the brink of a tidal wave of change. Readers are tired of poorly performing ads, and publishers are too. Do you have an internal revenue products team thinking about these problems? Are they working closely with your editorial, product, and sales teams? I think in 2016 we will begin to see publishers playing catchup in the ad-tech space by taking matters into their own hands. (Disclaimer: I work on the revenue team at Vox Media.)

Brands will have trouble staying identifiable and relevant in the world of distributed platforms

There’s another side of this coin, though. It’s not all doom and gloom — although platforms tend to treat advertising as an afterthought, they do offer an incredibly exciting opportunity to build your brand and grow your audience. But that means your brand must remain relevant and identifiable across all platforms and formats. If you build a strong brand, readers and users on other platforms will want to engage with you and your content, no matter what the context, platform, or format.

What does having a strong and relevant brand even mean? In my mind, a “strong brand” is one that is immediately recognizable and identifiable. This comes through in design elements such as colors, typography, motion, and more. This can also come through in the nature of your content — are you known for explainers? Investigative content? Stunning photography? One trend I’ve noticed, particularly on Snapchat, is that many publishers are afraid to embrace their brand and are instead, allowing the platform to dictate it. Just because everyone else is posting gifs of cats shooting lasers out of their eyes, doesn’t mean it’s right for your brand.

“Brand relevance” on the other hand, is a term coined by marketer David Aaker and is defined by a brand that has “carved out a new category for itself for which other competitors are irrelevant.” For instance, if you’re the only publisher focused on a niche audience, like millennial moms, you have strong brand relevance.

[Snapchat screenshots]

This is a winning combination; a distinguishable brand across multiple platforms that speaks directly to a desirable, niche audience will create meaningful exposure to new audiences as well as a pathway for more engaged and loyal readers. And this engagement and loyalty ultimately translates into dollars should you choose to explore other revenue streams such as, say, an events business, a television show, or yes, even a paywall for exclusive insider content.

Surviving and thriving in a distributed platform world in 2016 will be important, but simply view it as an opportunity to extend and grow your brand and your revenue. By viewing it this way, your website won’t necessarily die — it will simply have more platforms leading back to it with readers who really, truly want to be there. And that kind of loyalty is worth a whole lot of money."
2015  journalism  alisharamos  snapchat  pltforms  socialmedia  facebook  snapchatdiscover  applenews  periscope  faceookinstantarticles  brands  branding  advertising  distributed  fragmentation  publishing  googleamp 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Print is dead, but print’s skills aren’t » Nieman Journalism Lab
"“Trimming copy, optimizing graphics for smaller space, curating the day’s best content, and understanding the best typography to tell a story are as valuable when laying out print as when putting together a Snapchat Discover edition or tweet.”




"Print is dead. Long live print.

For more than 20 years, a chorus of “digital first” has risen in newsrooms like a warning: Those who do not hear its calls will perish at the same pace as dwindling print newspaper sales. But with the rise of mobile and apps has come a print renaissance. Forget about the paper, it’s about the skills that go into print.

Print experts who are nimble enough to pivot to mobile will see that their skills are invaluable as we move toward publishing in smaller and smaller spaces, meant for an audience on the go — the same as with newspapers, the original mobile media.

Trimming copy, optimizing graphics for smaller space, curating the day’s best content, and understanding the best typography to tell a story are as valuable when laying out print as when putting together a Snapchat Discover edition or tweet.

The advent of digital left editors with an endless expanse of space to fill on the vast World Wide Web 24 hours a day. Although that space has facilitated award-winning journalism, it has also meant the cluttered digital palette of competing video, visuals, and words.

What happens in a post-Internet world where publishers deliver their news on platforms and messaging apps that offer text and design constraints as a selling point? How many things are we asking a reader to read?

As we move toward the answers for publishing on that tiny screen in our pockets, we must look to the wisdom of our inky colleagues."
2015  carlazanoni  snapchat  snapchatdiscover  print  publishing  media  socialmedia  messaging  typography  design  graphidesign  layout 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Social platforms scale down locally » Nieman Journalism Lab
“These deals will force media companies to think about how they’ll generate revenue in places other than their own site or publication.”



"Much of the talk around the rise of platforms (Facebook Instant Articles, Apple News, Snapchat Discover, etc.) revolves around what many assume to be their lack of interest in local media. I don’t think that’s true — 2016 will be the year the platforms will scale down to local news partners.

The turn toward local will happen as we see groups of local media band together to work with the platforms. It strengthens their position to get more attention, and it provides the platforms with easier access to larger, aggregated audiences. It’ll be good business for the platforms and local media.

The platforms initially targeted the big, national partners for obvious reasons: They could negotiate with a few entities with large audiences as they fleshed out and tested their own model. The next logical step was to turn to national networks of local or niche properties. We saw Facebook sign up Hearst and Gannett this fall. And Facebook’s willingness to sign up digital startup Billy Penn is proof they’re willing to go even more local.

It’s clear local media organizations must go to the platforms to some degree to serve their audiences and meet people where they are. Creating partnerships with the social platforms is a tricky proposition for any media company because it means giving up more control of the distribution channel — but that cat’s already out of the bag.

It’s also good business for the local partners. They can serve their communities better with the content they already create without much of the resource-intensive work required to compete with the infinite amount of players in the digital space. If the content is good, it’ll remain good regardless of the platform. And we can’t forget the media companies get paid — 100 percent of revenue from ads they sell and 70 percent of what the platform sells. Of course, this all assumes the platforms’ terms will remain favorable to their partners. I don’t see that changing as long as the platforms continue only to aggregate and not create the local content.

As a by-product, these deals will force media companies to think about how they’ll generate revenue in places other than their own site or publication. Local media will work together and the social platforms will turn to them for partnerships."
2015  johnclark  journalism  local  media  facebook  facebookinstantarticles  applenews  snapchat  snapchatdiscover  socialmedia  socialplatforms  platforms 
december 2015 by robertogreco
Notes on the Surrender at Menlo Park - The Awl
"8. These stories, for now, only exist in the Facebook iOS app. If you share them on Twitter from within the app—which is an option—you will be sharing a link to web versions of these stories. As I understand it, publishers have basically been given an API for Instant, which they can use to more-or-less automatically export their stories to Facebook. Follow this through:

– Publishers want to publish directly to Facebook because it gives them greater access to Facebook’s users
– This belief in greater access is predicated on the idea that native Facebook stories will share better than linked ones
– If this is the case, and if all stories are co-published on Facebook, the result is that the near-entirety of a publisher’s Facebook mobile is hosted and monetized through Facebook (for some partners this is clearly the intention; for others, maybe not)

Facebook owns an enormous share of mobile traffic overall, meaning that any publication’s mobile web referrals were already composed largely of people coming from Facebook. With wider adoption, Instant would effectively remove Facebook from the mobile referrer pool, and mobile web traffic would plummet—for adopters, totally; for everyone else, more than they might expect. If enough partners use Instant, and if there is enough good Instant content to read, users will begin to regard linked-out stories as weird slow garbage that should Not Be Clicked.

9. Basically: Instant allows publishers to hand over nearly all of their mobile business to Facebook.

10. The Facebook app converts any link to a story with an Instant version to an Instant embed. I posted a link to the Times launch story—the web version—on Facebook. Viewed on mobile, this link was replaced with the Instant story. Makes sense! Remove the inferior version when possible. Death to links!"



"13. Some future controversies we can look forward to: differences spotted in web versions and Facebook versions of articles; publications exceeding vaguely defined standards for, say, violent content; image rights issues (the DMCA never imagined this scenario in its wildest nightmares). Haha, sex stuff. Have you SEEN Facebook’s “community standards?” Facebook is very prudish, historically! Many, many discussions about the ideological opacity of T H E A L G O R I T H M. Idk, some other stuff. It will be crazy-making for all kinds of people. Lots of tweets. Can’t wait!

14. Now that we can see Instant in action,**** we can more clearly see what constitutes a publication on a Facebook-centric internet. A Facebook publication is… a brand? A “vertical?” It doesn’t own its distribution, it doesn’t meaningfully control its sources of revenue. It has no “design” outside of its individual articles. It is composed entirely of its content, as represented to Facebook users by Facebook. A lot of institutional advantages sort of evaporate. What is the difference, from the outside, between a large publication and a small one? One with a hundred reporters and one with ten? One with bureaus all around the world and one with a single office? One with strong institutional politics and one without? These distinctions are to be expressed through Facebook, which means through the News Feed, which means… not very coherently at all. An internet intermediated by Facebook is one in which publications are constantly struggling to stay on the right side of a thin line: are they justifying their own existence on Facebook’s new terms, or are they just weird middlemen introducing inefficiency into a system in which they are very obviously guests? This is slightly worse than a channel relationship. Partners are not guaranteed any more space, or traffic, than they can earn within Facebook’s own structure. They are essentially Facebook users with special publishing tools, legacies, momentum, and an immediate need to make money. Or are publications…. celebrities? No. I mean yes, sorry! Definitely! Congratulations!"



"234875627839452. Or maybe this is all just a short detour for Facebook. The history of software and web platforms is instructive here: Platforms grow by incorporating the labor of users and partners; they tend, over time, to regard the presence of the partners as an inefficiency. Twitter asks developers to make a bunch of apps using its data, so people make a bunch of mobile apps, then Twitter notices that these apps are actually very important to Twitter, and so Twitter buys one of the apps and takes steps to expel all the other apps, rendering the job of “Twitter app developer” more or less obsolete. In this formulation, publishers are app developers: They are working not only for their own benefit but, in addition, to find ways to increase Facebook’s share of user attention and satisfaction. If they find ways to succeed, through the practice of journalism or some other sort of content production, Facebook will take note. Perhaps Facebook will then devise a way to compensate reporters, or content creators, directly, rather than through the publications they work for. Maybe they’ll just buy a publication! Or many publications. If Instant is a success then, like everything at a functioning technology company that wants to make money, it will be iterated.

45862170348957103946872039568270. This is unspooling into a more general complaint, but whatever. There is toxic mindset that permeates discussions not just about Facebook but about most accelerating, inevitable-seeming tech companies. It conflates criticism with denial and nostalgia. Why do people complain about Uber so much? Is it loyalty to yellow cabs and their corrupt nonsense industry? Or is it a recognition that, as soon as a company reaches its level of importance and future inevitability, it should be treated as important. A word of caution about Facebook is not a wish to return to some non-existent ideal time. Print media was broken, TV was broken, commercial and public radio were broken, local media was broken, web media was very broken. Understanding this—or even just assuming it to be true!—is understanding that it is imperative to seek out the manner in which your media is broken, and the pressures that keep it that way. Worrying about the details of the coming future is merely taking that future seriously. People who insist otherwise? They have their reasons.

19. Oh, right: So what happens when Facebook goes away? Are today’s publishers, by then, just portable content generators ready to be passed to the next platform? Or have they been replaced by something else entirely? There is apparently only one way to find out!"
johnherrman  publishing  facebook  facebookinstant  journalism  2015  unspooling  twitter  walledgardens  archives  data  advertising  analytics  theatlantic  nytimes  buzzfeed  nationalgeographic  nbcnews  snapchat  snapchatdiscover  web  internet  online 
may 2015 by robertogreco

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