Commoditized vs differentiated content strategy

Fact of the matter is that reporting the news (e.g. current events & breaking news) is a commodity business. There are two strategic approaches to commoditized offerings…

  1. Syndication (e.g. The Associated Press, AP):
    Open source and/or non-profit.
    Reward = data + licenses or donations
  2. Modularization (e.g. wicked local sports):
    Monopolize a small, niche market.
    Reward = low volume * high fee subscriptions

In contrast, unique & differentiated content requires different business models depending on its sub-classification…

  1. Aggregation (e.g. portals & curators):
    Reward = advertisements (free for users) or subscriptions (premium/freemium)
  2. Clickbait:
    Reward = high volume * low CPM advertisements
  3. Opinion & analysis:
    Reward = subscriptions or sponsored
  4. Documentary/research/investigative:
    Reward = point of sale or sponsored

That’s not an exhaustive list, and there are exceptions to every rule… but these are good guidelines.

“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...” 👉