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.

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