By Greg Mason, CEO of Purch
For years, publishers have raced to win over new online audiences, wherever those audiences might be — on Facebook, Google and myriad other platforms that readers use every day. The thought process behind this mad chase was simple: To stay relevant, publishers reckoned, they had to reach as wide of an audience as possible, across as many platforms as possible — surely profitability would follow.
This thought process turned out to be partly correct; entire media empires have risen on the backs of digital platforms. But profitability? It turns out that the immense ad revenues associated with larger audiences were not a foregone conclusion. The platforms hosting those audiences, namely Google and Facebook, now guzzle up ad revenue like water at the finish line, taking $.70 of every new dollar spent my marketers, while leaving publishers with ad-supported business models high and dry.
But there is a way forward for those publishers that now find themselves floundering. To get ahead, they need to differentiate themselves ruthlessly.