MediaDeals – a morning newsletter for media execs and investors

As I dive into this Monetizing Media project, I’ve been hunting for a media industry equivalent of Dan Primack’s Pro Rata newsletter at Axios (a morning round-up of key investments, M&A, and other business news in venture capital and private equity).

I haven’t been able to find any daily media newsletters that seem very business-savvy, however, and several of you who have been in the industry for many years echoed that sentiment too. So for a couple days last week, I compiled an example newsletter and sent it to friends. Based on the positive response, I’m formalizing it as the “MediaDeals” newsletter and will keep publishing it every weekday for a couple more weeks. If it seems to be finding “product-market fit” then I’ll keep at it.

Sign up for MediaDeals here and invite friends and coworkers to join us as well. I eagerly welcome any ideas, critiques, or other suggestions on how to make it better.

Launching “Monetizing Media”

Amid the Disney-FOX and Time Warner-AT&T deals, “fake news” deteriorating most Americans’ trust in media, and publishers up in arms over changes to Facebook’s news feed, I kicked off 2018 with a particular interest in how the media industry is reshaping away from a race to the bottom for pageviews and toward subscription platforms.

Seeing dependence on advertising as a fundamental misalignment for most media companies, I keep coming back to one simple question: how do you get people to pay for content? Better yet, how do you make people proud to pay for your company’s content so they are evangelists of the brand and generate high lifetime value?

I’ve started this deep dive into understanding the details of media business models where your audience – not advertisers – is your customer. The biggest business model shift underway, not just across media but across nearly every industry, is to digital subscriptions. We’re entering the era of the “subscription economy” where both people and companies are shifting from pay-per-product transactions to ongoing subscriptions…shifting from one-night-stand relationships with companies to long-term dating.

While there are many resources for understanding the major shift to enterprise SaaS (software as a service) in tech – like the blogs of venture capitalists Tom Tunguz and Jason Lemkin – I found a gap in resources on this topic for media executives, entrepreneurs, and investors. Whether it lasts a couple months or a couple years, hopefully my Monetizing Media project helps fill some of that gap through the upcoming blog posts, podcasts, newsletter, and events.

If you share my interest on this topic and are interesting in contributing to the project or collaborating in another way, don’t hesitate to reach out.