(2023-01-17) Morrissey Media's Identity Crisis

Brian Morrissey: Media's identity crisis. The reason what makes a media business such a riddle is media itself is no longer an economic function wrapped inside a corporate entity. Media, like tech, is embedded in every company and most endeavors...if you squint, just about any company now can be considered a media company.

as Joe Marchese told me, media has an outsized ability to attract attention, influence and habit, particularly compared with its ability to make money off those things. Media is a great front end to different types of businesses. (attention economy, sales funnel, content marketing)

Media companies that seemingly yesterday were the swashbuckling pirates are stuck now as bureaucratic navies fighting warfare with individual creators with no costs and an eagerness to feed the algorithms fresh content. So-called recommendation media is on the rise, and it’s not a battle for publishers who have high costs of production, distribution and monetization.

Attention is the currency of media companies. But the value of attention is going down as it becomes atomized from the fleeting interactions of algorithmic platforms

my friend and Miami consigliere Alex Ragir happened to send me a text reading “I wrote your next column” with a screenshot of ChatGPT breaking down the problems of building sustainable media business models. I don’t mean to be sensitive, but I believe the robot did only a so-so job, although it hit many of the high level challenges. AI in general will further the media's identity crisis.

Publishers don’t like to talk about it, but they pump out a lot of SEO pages as part of brand arbitrage strategies.

The role of a media company is changing because most of what is produced is unremarkable, lifeless filler that can be replicated by a machine fairly easily. (NewsHole)

My bet is humans will always gravitate to other humans seeking to make sense of the world. This is one reason why in-person events aren’t going all virtual. I’ve called this primary-engagement media and humanistic media.

Differentiation has always been the hallmark of media success. You should be able to remove the branding and identify the brand.

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