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Article Archive: Media

Regretful accelerationism
12/08/23   Media
"AI-generated content, though, will likely push the situation past the breaking point: yes, the amount of money that can be made from advertising by any individual page is continually decreasing, but if pages can be produced for no marginal cost then the number of pages that will be produced is effectively infinite."

News you can't use
10/30/22   Media
"But the truth is, each day's news offers little of value to longer-term investors. Instead, for those striving to be prudent managers of their own money, the big wins are to be found in subjects that rarely rank as news"

The news smoking
07/22/22   Media
"That's how I came to see reading the news like smoking: harmful not just to the consumer, but to anyone nearby."

No news is good news
04/10/22   Media
"How many of us have felt true fear or disgust or burning anger after watching the evening news or reading the morning paper or listening to the radio as we commute to work? How many of us have left snarky replies to trending media tweets or submitted rage-fuelled comments on news websites? And yet we continue to consume the news."

Scams, grift, and bad journalism
02/13/22   Media
"That 'rapper' accused of billions in crypto fraud was also a Forbes contributor. Is it finally time to move past the contributor network?"

Collapse of digital advertising
10/16/21   Media
"Digital ad fraud could be a $150 billion business by 2025, which would make it the largest criminal enterprise after the drug trade"

Algorithms are what we read
06/06/21   Media
"I stopped writing a regular column on art and culture for the Globe and Mail, my job for almost twenty years. Nobody noticed. I did not receive a single reader's letter. I had a polite message from my section editor. He was sorry things didn't work out and hoped we could stay in touch. The note contained no sense of symbolic occasion. I knew what I did was no longer important, either to the national culture or to the newspaper's bottom line."

Influencer half-life
05/30/21   Media
"It takes a new influencer about six months to hit their peak. From then on their active follower base steadily declines with a half life of about 12 months or so. For you, as a parent, this means that once your offspring decides to become an influencer, your best bet is to expect that in three years. time they will be living in your basement again."

Time-varying media coverage and stock returns
02/28/21   Media
"This excess return cannot be explained by mainstream risk factors and has an annualized alpha around 12%. Although this excess return is robust among more firms that are out of the scope of news data, it is bound to a short time horizon."

Ads move online
11/01/20   Media
"While internet advertising has increased over the years, more traditional forms have nose-dived in percentage terms. For instance, ad spend on directories reached $6 billion in 2012. By 2024, they're projected to generate merely $68 million in revenue. Like directories, newspaper and magazine spend have seen significant drops since 2012, with projected decreases on the horizon."

Microtargeted ads don't work
10/11/20   Media
"In one experiment, they used six different advertising platforms in an effort to reach Australian men between the ages of 25 and 44. Their targeting performed slightly worse than random guessing. Such research indicates that, despite the extent of surveillance tech, a lot of the data that fuels ad targeting is garbage."

Advertising apocalypse
04/04/20   Media
"Nearly three-quarters of those surveyed say the current ad downturn will be worse than the financial crisis in 2008. About a quarter of those surveyed by IAB have pulled all of their advertising through the second quarter. Another 46% are reducing their ad spend for the same period."

How things go viral
01/03/20   Media
"Derek Thompson stops by The Compound to discuss how and why things go viral with Barry and Michael. Derek is a staff writer at The Atlantic and author of 'Hit Makers.'" [video]

John Malone interview
11/22/19   Media
"CNBC's David Faber sits down with Liberty Media Chairman John Malone to discuss the streaming wars and the media landscape." [video]

The dark forest theory
05/27/19   Media
"In response to the ads, the tracking, the trolling, the hype, and other predatory behaviors, we're retreating to our dark forests of the internet, and away from the mainstream."

People do not value informative news
03/25/19   Media
"We examine how people's perceptions of media bias affect their demand for news. Drawing on a large representative sample of the US population, we measure and experimentally manipulate people's beliefs about the extent to which newspapers suppress information. Inconsistent with the 'more-information-is-better principle,' we find that people who learn that a newspaper is less likely to suppress information have alower demand for news from this newspaper. Our results demonstrate that people have a demand for biased news, consistent with a desire to confirm pre-existing beliefs"

From Time to a Ponzi scheme
03/04/19   Media
"Spin your radio dial, download a podcast or sit down at your next corporate gathering and you'll have no trouble finding a self-styled financial guru to tell you what to do with your money. What you may not know: Financial experts, even those with bulletproof credentials, may be trying to sell you something."

The ugly future of news
01/28/19   Media
"Years of erosion have damaged the paper's ability to cover the community. This is true everywhere: Since 1990, nearly 65 percent of all newspaper jobs have been eliminated, more than in the fishing, steel or coal industries."

Slightly more than 100 fantastic articles
10/09/18   Media
"A list of nonfiction journalism from 2017 that will stand the test of time."

Scott Galloway bites
08/13/18   Media
"The combined market capitalization of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google is now equivalent to the GDP of India. How did these four companies come to infiltrate our lives so completely? In a spectacular rant, Scott Galloway shares insights and eye-opening stats about their dominance and motivation" [video]

The best investing blogs
07/30/18   Media
"It's that time of the year again when Tobias and I sit down to pick out one hundred of the best investing blogs on the planet. This year, with so many great blogs, we've extended the list to one hundred and fifty. This list is by no means complete but if you're an investor, take some time to read through the great blogs on this list, they'll provide you with an awesome starting point for your investing education."

Business gone bad
07/30/18   Media
"Bethany has covered many of the most interesting stories in business and investing, including Enron (which became the famous book and documentary, the Smartest Guys in the Room), Valeant, Wells Fargo, SAC Capital, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the great financial crisis, and most recently, fracking and the energy revolution." [audio]

The future of media
07/09/18   Media
"The conversation, with Niel Robertson, covers media, e-sports, content distribution, marketing, and a lot more." [audio]

Expiring vs. long-term knowledge
07/02/18   Media
"How much of what you read today will you still care about a year from now? 80%? Half? Any of it? I ask myself this question a lot, and it's painful. If I'm honest with myself the answer is often close to none."

Art leveraging science
04/10/18   Media
"Communicating and allocating capital are miles apart. Completely different topics. But look around, and the two are constantly paired."

The FT paywall
01/15/18   Media
"The pink financial paper has used online subscriptions since 2002. After decades of diminishing ad returns, fellow digital publishers are finally catching on."

Investment writing of 2017
01/01/18   Media
"Reading the work of others is the most helpful way to learn about investing and it can also improve your writing. So, where credit is due, my favorite investment pieces of 2017"

Goodbye Gatekeepers
10/23/17   Media
"Most importantly, though, the end of gatekeepers is inevitable: the Internet provides abundance, not scarcity, and power flows from discovery, not distribution. We can regret the change or relish it, but we cannot halt it: best to get on with making it work for far more people than gatekeepers ever helped - or harassed."

You are the product
09/04/17   Media
"The researchers found quite simply that the more people use Facebook, the more unhappy they are. A 1 per cent increase in 'likes' and clicks and status updates was correlated with a 5 to 8 per cent decrease in mental health. In addition, they found that the positive effect of real-world interactions, which enhance well-being, was accurately paralleled by the 'negative associations of Facebook use'. In effect people were swapping real relationships which made them feel good for time on Facebook which made them feel bad."

A serf on Google's farm
09/03/17   Media
"Over the last several months we've gotten a few notifications from Google telling us that certain pages of ours were penalized for 'violations' of their ban for hate speech. When we looked at the pages they were talking about they were articles about white supremacist incidents. Most were tied to Dylann Roof's mass murder in Charleston. Now in practice all this meant was that two or three old stories about Dylann Roof could no longer run ads purchased through Google. I'd say it's unlikely that loss to TPM amounted to even a cent a month. Totally meaningless. But here's the catch. The way these warnings work and the way these particular warnings were worded, you get penalized enough times and then you're blacklisted."

Press tactics
07/30/17   Media
"As a reporter and editor covering Wall Street for 18 years, I studied the industry's aggressive approach toward the press: Financiers, and the multibillion-dollar companies they work for, are friendly and charming as long as you see things their way, and they do everything they can to win reporters over. But when reporters don't buy their line, the Wall Street answer is to get intransigent journalists removed from stories."

The internet is broken
05/28/17   Media
"The trouble with the internet, Mr. Williams says, is that it rewards extremes. Say you're driving down the road and see a car crash. Of course you look. Everyone looks. The internet interprets behavior like this to mean everyone is asking for car crashes, so it tries to supply them."

Vultures are circling
05/21/17   Media
"A decade ago, most media companies were still slapping ideas against the wall, trying to see what would stick. A decade ago, it wasn't so clear that Google and Facebook were going to rule the internet ad business, leaving everyone else to beg for scraps. That's why the New York Times Co., Conde Nast Inc., Hearst Corp. and News Corp., among others, have all figured out that they can't rely on advertising alone, but need to be able to extract circulation revenue from their internet viewers."

Moats and podcasts
01/06/17   Media
"Podcasts face the public good problem. Fortunately 'talking into a microphone' is similar to 'talking to a theater' and 'talking words onto a page,' two excludable services."

How technology disrupted the truth
07/17/16   Media
"Social media has swallowed the news - threatening the funding of public-interest reporting and ushering in an era when everyone has their own facts. But the consequences go far beyond journalism"

07/03/16   Media
"What you don't want is the brands to disappear in some kind of homogenized platform."

Ad blockers
05/22/16   Media
"The principal reason why most people haven't yet switched on an ad blocker is simply because they are not aware they could block ads - a stat that should worry businesses that rely on online advertising to make money."

A falling Star
02/21/16   Media
"There's no love lost between Torstar and Postmedia, or between Honderich and Paul Godfrey, chief executive officer of Postmedia. They've been competitively sparring for many years, politically and in business. But the nature and tone of the recent series of Star attacks on Godfrey and Postmedia are beyond anything seen in 100 years of riotous newspaper competition."

Jealousy List 2015
12/19/15   Media
"But throughout the year we are also reading, and every so often we feel a little twinge of jealousy: We wish we'd published that. What follows is our attempt to curate those twinges, and present a list of some of the best stuff we read this year."

What I learned as my industry died
11/28/15   Media
"But even in our small, art-friendly city, we were abandoned, at first slowly and then very, very quickly. By our last year, each month was down some 30 percent from the already meager takings of the previous year, and it became increasingly clear that there was simply nothing we could do to stop the slide."

How the Mad Men lost the plot
11/15/15   Media
"Marketers consistently undervalue consistency. Diageo recently carried out an audit of all the endlines that it had attached to one of its biggest brands, Guinness, and were embarrassed to discover it had used more than 20 different slogans in 15 years. What's more, when it asked people to recall an endline, the only one they remembered was 'Good things come to those who wait', which hadn't run since 1999. Vast sums of money had been spent on campaigns which probably had short-term effects but barely left a trace in consumer memories."

Fake audiences
09/25/15   Media
"About 18 months ago, he set to figuring out how much of his inventory - ad spaces for sale - was fake. The answer mortified him: Two-thirds was either fraud or suspicious"

Popping the publishing bubble
09/20/15   Media
"However, while the concern over ad-blockers may be too early, publisher angst is arguably too late: if iOS 9 ad blockers do end up causing serious harm it is only because the publishers have been living in an unsustainable bubble that is going to pop sooner rather than later."

09/20/15   Media
"The sands they are a-shifting. We have spam blockers, a whole industry trying to weed out bad e-mail, but we can.t get rid of bad ads? Come on."

The cassette business
09/05/15   Media
"The audiocassette tape is not dead. In fact, one Springfield, Mo., cassette maker says it has had its best year since it opened in 1969."

The internet's original sin
08/16/14   Media
"Once we've assumed that advertising is the default model to support the Internet, the next step is obvious: We need more data so we can make our targeted ads appear to be more effective. Ceglowski explains, 'We're addicted to 'big data' not because it's effective now, but because we need it to tell better stories.' So we build businesses that promise investors that advertising will be more invasive, ubiquitous, and targeted and that we will collect more data about our users and their behavior."

Print is down, and now out
08/16/14   Media
"A year ago last week, it seemed as if print newspapers might be on the verge of a comeback, or at least on the brink of, well, survival."

Will life ever get better for journalists?
04/12/14   Media
"The Internet is to blame for all this, of course. Online has decimated the advertising revenue that media outlets have traditionally relied on, while a plethora of other sources and options from Twitter to Reddit have in some ways obviated the need for journalists. And let's not even get started on robot reporters."

April ROB
04/04/10   Media
I'd like to thank The Globe and Mail for providing a free digital version of their ROB magazine. Now I don't have to pay for the paper copy anymore. Get it before the newspaper files for bankruptcy . . .

A Capital Idea
03/20/10   Media
The Canadian Capitalist blog moves in with Money Sense magazine.

Users' guide to the business media
10/26/04   Media
"Many of us are hooked on the financial press and, as a result, we get most of our investment information from the newspaper, the Internet or the specialty cable TV channels. In light of this dependence, it's useful to pause once in a while and think about how we use it."

Sex and violence don't sell?
08/19/03   Media
"Sex and violence don't necessarily sell, according to a University of Michigan professor who says studies show that viewers remember the commercials on more racy programs far less often then they do on more neutral fare."

Rukeyser gets the boot
03/22/02   Media
"Louis Rukeyser, the venerable financial commentator who has hosted public television's "Wall Street Week With Louis Rukeyser" for 32 years, said Thursday he has been forced from the program by his partner, Maryland Public Television."

Paying for time
01/30/02   Media
"This story is an inside look into how some TV business shows are charging companies to appear on their programs. It's called "pay for play" and often it allows companies to have editorial input during the filming and scripting process. Good coverage can then raise the company's stock price. It's a win-win situation for everyone - except the viewers, who are not in on the deals."

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