(2024-03-31) Owens The Media Has Entered A Less Is More Era

Simon Owens: The media has entered a less-is-more era. Meta (facebook) and nearly every other major tech platform are sending less and less traffic to publishers, and programmatic advertising adtech has demonstrated a consistent ineptitude at generating meaningful revenue for high-quality outlets.

We’ve entered the less-is-more era of media in which publishers must decrease their content output, de-prioritize driveby traffic, and focus instead on better monetizing their core audiences. This means less reliance on programmatic advertising and more emphasis on direct-sold ads, subscriptions, and live events.

Then there’s The Atlantic. In the early 2010s, its website was almost entirely ad-dependent, and it ran its own viral content-mill called The Atlantic Wire. Over the past few years, it’s completely reoriented its media operations to focus on publishing longer, deeply-reported pieces that are monetized largely through paid subscriptions

As a result, it recently announced it had crossed the 1 million subscriber threshold and achieved profitability

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