It’s all about audience

Via Jack Lail, this very insightful quote from Roger Black:

Newspapers will not pull out of this mortal glidepath until they get a lot more interesting. This is something that Rupert (Murdoch) has understood, presumably from birth. His attitude has always been to damn the institutions and give people what they like. This is what worked for Hearst and Pulitizer, and for Paley and Sarnoff. But today the traditional media polar bears (in newspapers, magazines, TV, radio, music, movies and books) seldom blame the product for their shrinking habitat.

I spend a good part of my life worrying about things like usability and strategy — sort of the scaffolding of the online news business, but in the end, all that really matters is the content, and what matters most when it comes to content is what people want.

Give the people what they want.

One thing Murdoch does exceptionally well is figure out where the market opportunity is, and then goes after that opportunity with a narrow, focused strategy. He concerns himself first with building audience.

Related, read this insightful post from Alan Mutter about Murdoch.

UPDATE: Right after I posted this, Jack Lail had another post with this quote from Vin Crosbie:

The real problem, Mr. Newspaperman, isn’t that your content isn’t online or isn’t online with multimedia. It’s your content. Specifically, it’s what you report, which stories you publish, and how you publish them to people, who, by the way, have very different individual interests. The problem is the content you’re giving them, stupid; not the platform its on.

One thought on “It’s all about audience

  1. The problem I always seem to run into with newspaper people is that they’ve forgotten the word “and.”

    If you can attract an audience with page two girls, some tabloid crime coverage and all the other things the journalism priesthood hates, then maybe you can afford to do the watchdog journalism we all love.

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