Digital media as SaaS: Specialized journalism for specific constituents

Explicitly, you might say consulting will be a centerpiece of News Media 2.0’s business model. That’s more than semantic, it could be an important way to describe the mindset needed for publications to create value for consumers…

Whether VICE or BuzzFeed or Business Insider Intelligence, successful new media companies take pretty basic skills and sell them as premium services. After all, businesses hire consultants to outsource [mostly] menial tasks that they don’t have the bandwidth to perform in-house. Similarly, that convenience is really why consumers used to pay for newspaper subscriptions.

Back then, the local paper could service a lot of needs with the same blunt instrument. It didn’t matter whether the subscriber wanted integration, curation, investigation, entertainment, or social currency — one size fits all. Today, each one of those individual needs can be serviced down to the finest-tuning of personalization. A subscriber will pay a premium for a user experience that’s optimized to address his individual needs, because that’s a real service — that’s differentiated and valuable to him.

“People pay us to integrate things for them, because they don’t have the time to think about this stuff 24/7.”
— Steve Jobs (Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson)

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