28 days later: It’s been a rough month for media

November’s been a wild ride in the world of publishing, with seemingly no brand spared from the wrath of fickle readers and falling ad revenue.  Programmatic advertising just ain’t what it used to be. And with an increasing cut of digital ad dollars going to platforms like Google and Facebook, if there’s one thing to […]


November 21, 2017

November’s been a wild ride in the world of publishing, with seemingly no brand spared from the wrath of fickle readers and falling ad revenue. 

Programmatic advertising just ain’t what it used to be. And with an increasing cut of digital ad dollars going to platforms like Google and Facebook, if there’s one thing to take from the past few weeks, it’s that “too big to fail” doesn’t apply.

To recap the big media shakeups in the past month:

  • Conde Nast is out of Vogue: the old-guard of glossy mags plans to shut down its print edition of Teen Vogue and reduce the print frequency of its other properties including GQ, Glamour, and Bon Appetit.
  • Mashable sells for ⅕ its previous year’s valuation: Valued at $250m after their funding round last March, the tech news site sold for a mere $50m, and plans to post a loss in 2017.
  • Oath pledges to lay off 500+: The digital Frankenstein cobbled together from Yahoo, AOL, and HuffPo’s brands announced major layoffs just months after AOL’s CEO announced its rebrand with the battle cry: “#TakeTheOath. Summer 2017.”
  • Vice and Buzzfeed shoot for the moon… and miss: BuzzFeed is expected to miss its $350m annual revenue target by as much as 20%, while WSJ reports that Vice will likely miss its revenue goals by nearly $800m.

Hold your horses, Vice and Buzzfeed are still crushing it

We’re not saying it’s the digital media end times. Buzzfeed and Vice are still doing well over a billion in revenue combined, and even the New York Times has boosted their digital subscriptions thanks to strategic partnerships with companies like Spotify.

But the point is no one’s immune to the trends — and even tastemakers like Buzzfeed and Vice have to keep their eyes on the horizon, lest they too go the way of the glossy: once “en vogue,” no longer in business.

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