Soapbox: Publishers, stop giving lucrative content away to Amazon and Facebook
In today's Soapbox, the focus should be less on walled gardens and more on embracing the future as a forward-thinking digital brand.
As Facebook once again rolls out its pitch to publishers, this time pledging publishers more money and promising to hire former journalists to evaluate the feed, the industry begins its seemingly never-ending, tired debate around Facebook’s trustworthiness.
But it’s not just Facebook trying to lure publishers, Amazon launched Onsite Associates program as an appeal to publishers to upload publisher’s lucrative product guides to the Amazon platform.
Are publishers really going to fall for it again?
Look to the precedent of their treatment of video creators on Prime Video, where they mirrored the classic moves of Facebook and Google and cut the returns for the actual creators of content.
Publishers need to protect their future by lessening reliance on any intermediary. Publishers recognize this which led to the recent craze in instituting paywalls. And already, there are incredible advancements in this area. Some companies are making use of the assets publishers exclusively have at their disposal (first-party data) to build models that aren’t reliant on platforms like Facebook and Amazon to create revenue.
By using all the data signals they have at their disposal, publishers can drive subscriptions effectively, thus lowering their dependence on the walled gardens for revenue. Publishers have a lot of weapons at their disposal but they’re still, by and large, thinking like a newspaper that gets read on a computer, not like a forward-thinking digital brand. Publishers should embrace all the data they have at their fingertips and invest in exploring how to cut out the intermediaries.
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