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May 12, 2022Liked by Richard J. Tofel

Good analysis. You're right that scale is imply not enough.

According to Neiman Labs, about half of digital advertising revenue goes to providers of the "tech stack." Now advertising is mostly about finding an advertiser's targeted customers on their phones and computers based on their demographics and online tracking. That's a tech game.

The old game of using news to attract readers who would see an adjacent ad in a positive context is largely gone. Scale doesn't solve that. Sure, publishers can get some programmatic advertising dollars when the ad-tech companies direct ads that way, but that's at extremely low rates per page view.

Creating great content and news products that people want to pay for, and building a loyal repeat audience, can work at small scale and large. But it's not an easy thing to pull off and it requires focus on serving readers/viewers well above else, including above achieving page-view scale.

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