Less Money. Less Traffic. Advertising In Chaos?

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Who benefits from a world where advertising is getting less money and there is less traffic for the content?

This is the question that all media is challenged with. It is a fact. Some are suffering in a big way. Some are suffering a little softer. Some will be suffering sooner than they anticipate. Advertising (mostly due to programmatic) is seeing the CPMs being pushed down in a technological version of a reverse auction (i.e. “how cheap can we buy this spot for?”). There is less traffic, because there are so many different ways to consume media (on demand, recorded for later, ad blocked and more). The numbers don’t lie. Yes, advertising continues to be a healthy business (see: Advertising. Full Steam Ahead), but there is a sentiment that the major media companies are still being very protective of their respective networks, channels and properties… and not doing enough to move towards a world where video content will be consumed – primarily – on mobile devices.

The struggle is real.

Many point to a media company like Vice as the antidote. They have the millennial target audience and they are now producing all kinds of channels and networks to satiate their content-starved audience on whatever platform these viewers desire. Vice co-founder, Shane Smith, is an amazing speaker, thinker and practitioner of this new media reality. He has a clear vision of what media is (and what it should become), while being very frustrated with the politics, and its current state. In a world where 70% of all digital video is happening on Facebook and Google (and these companies are claiming that they are not media companies), what will be the next few chapters for everyone involved in media, content and advertising? At this year’s Edinburgh International Television Festival, Smith addressed the crowd in a very compelling one hour speech, and then sat down for an additional hour to field questions. If you’re reading this article, you’re interested in media. If you’re interested in media, you need to watch both the presentation and the post-presentation interview. 

Keep a notebook handy: The James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture – Shane Smith, Founder and CEO of Vice and The Post-MacTaggart Interview.