plataformas não são publishers

« a reckoning is next »

Only three years ago, the power that technology platforms would gain over news publishing was unimaginable in depth and breadth. Now platforms both increasingly act as publishers and support the entire publishing ecosystem. This dual role marks the beginning of a new phase in the platform-publisher relationship, and a new step in the way platform companies wield their power.
in "Platforms, publishers, and the end of scale" 22 nov 2019

Em tópico com old bias que envelhecem depressa - mas não depressa demais... - e vcs sabem que temos um gostinho especial pelos media: no TOW Center da CJR publicaram um survey / report de acompanhamento da relação atribulada plataformas e publishers circa 2019. Senhores, a diferença aos primórdios desse casamento! Primeiros:

The question of whether platforms act as publishers is no longer widely debated. Not only are platforms creating and supporting newsrooms externally, they are also forming them internally - every major platform — including Facebook, Google, Apple, and Twitter — now defines and curates news [and] curation is done by humans who are often former journalists and editors, and who are aided by algorithms.
in "Platforms, publishers, and the end of scale" 22 nov 2019

E vai uma. Outro momento à timeline:

News organizations have come to learn that the promise of on-platform ad revenue at scale is broken.
Publishers spoke of the end of a platform “era.” This era was defined by scale, the platforms’ long-standing promise: audiences of hundreds of millions and billions would bring publishers enough advertising revenue to make it worthwhile for them to forfeit direct editorial control and audience relationships. In order to get in front of those audiences, publishers had to distribute their work through, or create new work exclusively for, these platforms’ publishing products. Publishers now understand that such control and relationships with readers are essential to their success. This era, it turns out, was a “bubble” and a “distraction”. After years without meaningful or consistent revenue, publishers finally believe that “the scale game is over.”
in "Platforms, publishers, and the end of scale" 22 nov 2019

E espaço à terceira.

Publishers regret undervaluing their own audiences in favor of brand-diluting social-first content.

The question publishers face is cruelly simple: How do you get subscriptions, memberships, and other revenue streams flowing before advertising effectively dries up? No platform product can answer it. Publishers now believe that they must regain control of their revenue streams and put their own audience interests above platform demands. This means a renewed focus on owned-and-operated properties, where publishers control audience experience, data, and revenue. “It’s much clearer to everyone that the endgame has got to be sustainable readership. Publishers are learning how to better understand and retain readers who can be lured to their sites. The shift is from scale to loyalty.
in "Platforms, publishers, and the end of scale" 22 nov 2019

Hum... go figure. Ah, e se precisam de pistas para relatórios futuros, também já vos demos algumas: aquilo da autenticidade, mas não vos vamos fazer a papinha toda.


Platforms and Publishers: The End of an Era 22 nov 2019

Executive Summary: the relationship between technology platforms and news publishers is entering a new moment.

Publishers continue to rely on a variety of platform products, but the ethos of collaboration that infused our research in 2018 has since significantly diminished. More openly than ever before, publishers expressed heightened distrust toward platforms. And while in past interviews they appeared willing to overhaul parts of their businesses to fall in line with platform maneuvers, their priorities were more focused this time around: Post-scale success necessitates regaining control of revenue streams and putting core audience interests above platform demands.

Last year, we observed strong signals that publishers were looking to bring audiences back to their own properties over “social-first” publishing. In 2019, the trend gained momentum. Many publishers interviewed openly regretted focusing on brand-diluting social content during the scale era, at the expense of undervaluing their core audiences, and have subsequently recommitted to serving their most loyal readers. From a business perspective, this means diversifying reader revenue streams to include, for example, events and membership programs.

Our key findings from this phase of research are:

  • The most discernible difference between past findings and those of our most recent interviews is that any hope that scale-based platform products might deliver meaningful or consistent revenue for publishers has disappeared. This does not mean, however, that publishers will no longer work with platforms—an impossible scenario, as the latter are the gatekeepers of the online information ecosystem—but rather that any optimism about the ability of ad-based products to sustain journalism seems all but gone.
  • The 2018 Facebook algorithm change de-emphasizing news content on News Feed confirmed a previously theoretical fear: that platforms can turn off “audience taps” on a whim. The fallout from disappearing traffic forced publishers to train their focus on the core audiences that some admit they had previously taken for granted. Rather than chasing clicks and shares on social media, publishers recommitted to serving their most loyal readers (or trying to: The transition is proving treacherous for those most dependent on advertising dollars).
  • In previous reports, publishers used the word “diversification” to reference diversifying ​platform​ strategies—in other words, putting resources toward a variety of platform products. In this round of interviews, however, publishers spoke of diversification almost exclusively in the context of squeezing revenue from their own properties in as many ways as possible. This often involves reader revenue (membership or subscriptions) and new products to drive that revenue (newsletters), events, branded retail products, sponsored content, affiliate links, agency services, and, of course, traditional advertisements.
  • After years of contradictory public statements, platforms have lost credibility with many publishers. Our interviewees were more skeptical than ever of platforms’ commitment to helping journalism and often framed platforms’ journalism initiatives as mere PR moves.
  • Unlike in the past when publishers were eager to participate in new platform products, they now have a heightened bar for signing on. Due to years of disappointing returns on investments, many publishers described no longer feeling a “fear of missing out” when it comes to platform opportunities. Instead of crafting strategy around platform products and hoping for revenue, publishers are planning around revenue, and from there determining which platform products might provide a means to that end.
  • Publishers’ owned audiences increasingly determine editorial. Instead of commissioning stories around what performs best on platforms and measuring success by audience size, publishers are focused on serving their core audiences, regular readers likely to become a source of revenue. The platforms are a secondary consideration. That being said, those publishers most dependent on ad revenue are more likely to find themselves still prioritizing clicks, and therefore chasing what’s trending on platforms.
  • As more news organizations turn to direct contributions from audiences, interviewees from various newsroom types repeatedly spoke of platform products not as money makers but as marketing vehicles to capture readers at the top of an engagement funnel, with an eye toward eventually converting them into paying readers.
  • A conversion-focused strategy requires thinking about audience data and metrics in a new way, setting different goals and benchmarks, and seeking more granular insights. As publishers seek to regain control of their audiences, they are segmenting them with the aim of better focusing on serving their core readers, while strategizing around converting more casual readers. Some reader categories we heard included: “drive-by,” “grazers,” “most loyal fans,” and, of course, “subscribers.”
  • Sensing the opportunity to insert themselves into this funnel process, platforms have been quick to unveil new subscription products that offer to take “friction” out of “conversion.” Google offers Subscribe with Google and Facebook rolled out a paywalled version of Instant Articles. Just as publishers previously had to weigh the pros and cons of ad-based platform publishing products, they are now facing similar decisions over which platform-led subscription products to use—and how.
  • The increased public scrutiny of big platforms’ effects on society and democracy has led to new ethical considerations for publishers and their audiences. Some newsroom employees wonder whether their companies should accept platform money, and if leading their audiences to platform properties makes them complicit in a harmful information ecosystem.

Podem ler o relatório completo online aqui.