Reports

Evaluating Distributed Content in the News Media Ecosystem

26 April 2016

Free for Members

US$695 Value

Summary:

The rapid rise of mobile and social networks has spawned a mad rush by media companies to distribute content on platforms other than their own, yet whether to distribute and where to distribute depend on the publisher's objectives and context.

Key themes in the report:

  • Why distributed content is important now, with the fusion of mobile and social.

  • Evaluation of pros and cons of partnerships and giving up control over distribution.

  • Breakdown of offers by Facebook Instant Articles, Spanchat Discover, Twitter Moments, Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), Apple News, and Axel Springer's Upday.

  • Layering on opportunities and threats to each distributed content platform with the media company's end game and platform strategy.

  • Profiles of what key publishers are doing with distributed content, including BuzzFeed, Washington Post, Libération, Agora, and Russmedia.

  • Analyses of value maximization and risks across digital spectrum, brought home to distributed content.

  • Tools and matrixes for publishers to evaluate whether and where to distribute content.

Who should read the report:

Media company CEOs, strategists, chief digital officers, audience development executives, editors charged with growing audience and monetising non-traditional audiences.

What you get with this report

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Author:

As a 2016 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Grzegorz Piechota explores the transformation of the media business and the future of work in creative industries while working on a vision of the future news ecosystem.

Piechota is a former news editor of Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza. A law school graduate, he began his career at Gazeta Wyborcza in 1996 as a reporter at the tiniest provincial office, rising to head of its multi-media newsroom and vice president of Agora Foundation.

Before coming to the United States, Piechota was responsible for new product development at Gazeta Wyborcza and lectured on digital innovation and social change in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine.

He is a member of the INMA Board of Directors and a past president of INMA's Europe Division.

Detailed overview:

The rapid rise of mobile and social networks has spawned a mad rush by media companies to distribute content on platforms other than their own, yet whether to distribute and where to distribute depend on the publisher's objectives and context, according to a new report by INMA.

“Evaluating Distributed Content in the News Media Ecosystem” is written by Harvard University Nieman Fellow and Polish media executive Grzegorz Piechota.

The report profiles the distributed content platforms that are sweeping the media industry today: Facebook Instant Articles, Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), Apple News, Snapchat Discover, Twitter Moments, and Axel Springer's Upday.

Yet building on his extensive understanding of the media ecosystem, Piechota urges publishers to ask what their end games are with partnerships as well as their platform strategies — and further layer on top of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The report includes several matrixes that allow publishers to make these evaluations.

Several media companies' distributed content strategies are profiled, but none as committed as BuzzFeed, which the author holds out as an extreme example from which media companies can benchmark with its 30 platforms for content. Brief profiles of what the Washington Post, Libération, Agora, and Russmedia fill out a distributed content picture.

In the end, Piechota is clear-eyed about the “frenemies” facing news publishers. He holds out as the best risk/reward ratio as Google's AMP as an open industry standard. Axel Springer's Upday and Apple News are aggregator apps that are low risk yet also low reward. And he is intrigued by platforms' host initiatives like Facebook Instant Articles, Snapchat Discover, and Twitter Moments for their high rewards — yet cautious about high-risk investments.