Each week, we will look at industry news curated by MediaScope. This week we look at the duopoly of the media landscape, and the early pitch decks of billion-dollar companies.
Lessons learned from the early pitch decks of LinkedIn, Airbnb, Buzzfeed & YouTube (Lydia Dishman – FastCompany)
Is it impossible now to imagine life without an Airbnb, LinkedIn, or YouTube? Yet at the start, they were just like any other small business. They had founders with a vision for what things could become once their idea became a reality. And they built on those ideas, gaining momentum and getting funding to continue to grow. We know (but often forget in the face of success) that it can be a bumpy road, especially in the first five years. Through this compilation of five of the early pitch decks that current billion-dollar companies used when they were trying to raise an investment round, we couldn’t help but wonder: What did they do right? And more importantly: Would a VC fund them now? Or would they pass because the business model just didn’t seem like a smart investment?
Looming shakeout of digital media (Michael Woolff – USA Today)
Not too long ago, a senior figure at BuzzFeed told me at a private lunch that although BuzzFeed was going strong, everybody else in digital media was screwed. Shane Smith, the CEO of Vice Media, in Scotland last week at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, predicted an apocalyptic wave of digital media consolidation that would help Vice while it hurt everyone else. Let’s be more precise. There are two clear winners in digital media, Google and Facebook, and their imperial success has largely reduced everybody else to a vassal state, living off their patronage and goodwill. This duopoly has forced the cost of advertising down and the price of traffic up, meaning, for everybody else in the advertising and traffic business, prospects shrink.
Talent churn puts strain on entire adtech ecosystem (Alison Weissbrot – AdExchanger)
Agencies are straining to recruit and retain data-driven talent. Prospects with a strong background in statistical analysis and data mining – the second most popular skill on LinkedIn as of January – aren’t necessarily looking to work at a media agency. And it’s hard for agencies to retain employees due to a business culture that focuses on extracting the biggest margin possible. When an agency loses skilled employees, it has a domino effect for clients and vendors.
Why the ad industry’s diversity strategy needs a new brief (Rochelle Newman-Carrasco – Advertising Age)
We need to stop talking about gender and racial diversity as a problem. Our industry’s impotence when it comes to dealing with structural racism and gender bias isn’t a “problem,” because if it were, it would be fixed. That’s what we do in advertising. We design strategies to solve problems. What we have here, however, are systemic flaws, deep-seated embarrassments and uncomfortable truths – the kind that doesn’t get fixed because they don’t get faced. We must get comfortable with cultural conflict and collisions as we navigate our intersected lives. Diversity isn’t our industry’s greatest problem. It’s our most visible symptom.
Best of the best: How the Olympics highlights media Innovation (Kevin Anderson – MediaBriefing)
The Olympics are not just the opportunity to see the best athletes in the world, but they often highlight some of the best in media innovation as well. These are not simply vanity projects, a smart strategy executed well during major events can help reach new audiences and power growth to the next level. The Olympics are one of those big set piece events when top news groups, start-ups and the digital platform giants have time to plan and create trail-breaking digital media experiences.