On Monday (July 17th), Horse Racing Business published “Technological Disruption in Horse-Racing Media,” and in it opined:

“While content that attracts readers or viewers is, of course, imperative, more so is the ability to disseminate the material effectively because so much high-quality content is available for nothing.  What matters most is the proven capacity to entice the right demographic to read or listen to what you have to say.”

Also on Monday, an article–“Publishers are Doubling Down on Video”–appeared in the Wall Street Journal that provides actual examples of how some well-known old-line print-oriented companies are responding to destruction of their longtime business models.  A few key excerpts are as follows:

  • Condé Nast and other legacy magazine publishers are redoubling their efforts in online video after learning from their stumbles over the past few years.  Those who tried unsuccessfully to build centralized, destination websites for their brands are now more concerned with distributing their work on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and MSN.”
  • “At Condé Nast, traffic at the Scene [the name for its video hub] and its related branded video channels fell from a peak of 13.5 million unique visitors in October 2014 to 4.9 million unique visitors in June 2016…But the switch to publish and distribute stories on Facebook, mainly for young women, has worked.  In May [2017], the Scene attracted 98.3 million video views across Facebook…nearly triple the 36.4 million online video views the Scene generated in October 2016.”
  • “Time Inc., like Condé Nast, created a centralized video destination called Daily Cut several years  ago, but it never caught fire and is now in the process of being closed.  The company is experimenting with different models to distribute its biggest brands on streaming-media platforms.”

In the age of social media, horse-racing publications (print and online) and horse-racing telecasts will increasingly have to distribute content in non-traditional ways.  As Baby-Boomers gradually give way to younger generations in which information-seeking on social media is second nature, simply putting up a website and filling it out with news stories or scheduling a telecast on channel XYZ at a certain time will be insufficient to remain a going concern.

The requisite cultural change for media companies is to think of themselves as comprehensive creators and disseminators of useful content for a specific demographic rather than, say, as a magazine, a website, or a television network.  Call it technologically-driven new-age journalism.

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