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Plus Report - By Thomas Baekdal - February 2014

Platforms, Services, Channels, Tools, or Things?

What is the difference between the media business models of the past versus those that will exist tomorrow? relation to both brands and publishers?

Life was easy in the old days. Everything was so neatly defined by the limitations of the market. Take brands. The product team would make a product the individual would like, the sales team would sell it to shops, and the marketing team would target the undefined mass of the market with inspiring brand-centric campaigns.

It was the same with the Media. Newspapers were the bringers of news, while PR agencies were the publishers of press releases for the newspapers to bring. Newspapers of course, also did their own reporting and the occasional perspectives for the weekend edition. It was also the same with magazines. Brands would pitch their product for the magazines to write about, mixed with the occasional guides.

Life was so simple. Everyone knew what their role was, and our customers/readers had a pretty good idea of what to expect. We knew when an ad was an ad. We understood the role of newspapers as being the only place to get non-advertised information.

But none of this exists today. Today, we live in a completely different world where all the old limitations have been abolished and what used to be a neatly set of defined roles is now a complete mix.

We see this with how brands are now increasingly hiring journalists. Here is an example from an article over at Contently:

For as long as there's been media, there has been a revolving door between newspapers, magazines and PR firms," said Evan Hansen, senior editor at Medium. "As far as that goes, nothing is new.

Hansen should know. He recently walked through that door himself, departing as's editor in chief to put down stakes in the land of content. While the path he took has been traveled by journalists before him, it's undeniable that something has changed. Brands are luring away big names in journalism - Newsweek's Dan Lyons and Melissa Lafsky Wall, PandoDaily's Hamish McKenzie, Wired's Michael Copeland, USA Today's Michelle Kessler - and these writers aren't churning out press releases; they're still telling stories.
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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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