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Chasing subscriptions over scale, The Athletic wants to turn local sports fandom into a sustainable business — starting in Chicago
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Aug. 28, 2014, 10:19 a.m.
Business Models

There may be no greater sign of the topsy-turvy nature of today’s media world than this:

BuzzFeed thinks of itself as a tech company. GE thinks of itself as a media company.

The BuzzFeed business is old news by now, and GE has been doing things that look media-like for some time. (Not even counting NBC.) But there’s more detail about the company’s self-image in this piece by Jasper Jackson in the Media Briefing. Here’s GE global head of media strategy Jason Hill:

We are really looking at multiple touchpoints to reach a business decision maker audience. We have invested heavily in social, we’ve invested in some of our own channels and blog properties. [But] we believe that kind of taking a look at our media strategy when it comes to publishers and partners pays dividends. We believe there is still great value to that and some of what the great media companies have done is provided great, educational content for some time to certain audiences.

We like to think of ourselves as a kind of diversified media company. Ultimately audiences have more choice but they are behaving across all these different places and ultimately brands have to do the same thing. At some point the publishers and the media companies might not have dominance any more because there will be enough owned and social channels to augment those. They’re still going to be a very important part of the strategy because I think they provide an enormously important service just in the overall consumption of content, news and information. It’s just not the sort of hegemony any more.

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Chasing subscriptions over scale, The Athletic wants to turn local sports fandom into a sustainable business — starting in Chicago
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