Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me. Apple is making another run at making fools of some of the biggest media companies in the U. Which means the prospects for everyone not named Apple look just as grim and unappetizing as they did when Facebook, Google and Snap previously tried to muscle their way into the digital media space. These may have looked good for a minute to businesses that couldn't fund or face the problems of trying to build their own digital distribution strategies. But then Facebook abruptly changed the game by focusing on wholly-owned ad revenues from its News Feed and not the prospect of shared revenues through the Facebook Audience Network.
The publishers were left high and dry as the Zuck decided to prioritize friends and revenues over facts and quality content. There's not much you can say or do when someone else is driving the bus. But the poor publishers never seem to learn. Calling Apple the Messiah for media is like calling Colonel Sanders the champion of chickens. In fairness, given its leverage as the only one of the 3 big brands willing to say "yes" to Apple, it's highly likely that the team from the Journal owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.
The Bite in the Apple -
The pitch to the smaller publishers is always superficially seductive and almost always exactly the same: We've got all the eyeballs you want and massive traffic as well. This is where your prospective readers live their online lives. You don't have squat and - even if you have the beginnings of a for-pay web strategy for your content - you'll never scale and get big enough to pay your bills and make a business out of the venture.
But these two cases are fairly extreme exceptions. Very few other publications have their connections, clout and even "status" in terms of the audiences that still read anything. I've been saying for a while now that, as the major primary platforms continue to extend their dominance and attract larger and larger user populations to fewer and fewer destinations, more and more businesses will sadly come to learn that they no longer control their own front door.
The only way they will survive is to figure out how to establish a persistent presence on someone else's platform and get paid for being there and offering your products and services as well. You can expect to see maybe half a dozen major platforms -- finance, e-commerce, social, business messaging and documentation, and maybe health-- and a few also-rans in each space, but that's going to be the whole story.
It's their world and you're a temporary tenant. Given where the world and the action is today, as a smaller player in any space, you don't really have much choice, and you've got to be there when your buyer is ready to buy. If you're not where your target customers are, you're nowhere.
Poetry and science: A Bite of the Apple
However, be warned that once you jump into this undifferentiated and basically uncurated pool, not only do you give up control over the placement and presentation of your material, you also lose the ability to leave because, in so doing, you'll be leaving your readers behind. Horizons are no resting place.
Updates and revisions are a given and science gives to certainty a frown of constant doubt. When did we forget the worth of silence and march towards a world of words instead? Much written would be better left unread. If you would like to write guest posts in EuroScientist magazine, send us your suggestions of articles at office euroscientist.
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