20200
P
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20100
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2050
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2040
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2020
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7

A call for collaboration between storytelling and tech

“True partnerships require trust. Trust between the media company and its audience. Trust between advertising partners and media companies. And trust between different parts of our media companies.”

Not long ago, the media woke up and realized that it didn’t own its relationship with its customers, didn’t manage the business deals profiting from its efforts, and couldn’t control the technology needed to produce its products. The media had ceded virtually everything but the storytelling to Big Tech.

There are lots of factors that broke up the historical dominance of ownership and relationship in media, but it was mostly tied to the platforms. The platforms opened up new opportunities in targeted advertising, which moved the industry emphasis from awareness to transactions, not based on context, but based on data. It also allowed content to be created and consumed everywhere, with the platform holding the primary relationship with the customer. The unlimited opportunity of consumption and access shifted the idea of consumer revenue and what a subscriber means. And the tech, well…the technology was built to capitalize on your attention, everywhere.

True partnerships require trust. Trust between the media company and its audience. Trust between advertising partners and media companies. And trust between different parts of our media companies. We need to have trust between the journalists in the newsroom and their colleagues in engineering.

Meaningful cooperation could help create the scale to counter platform power and defray the costs of ever more complex technology. In 2020, we expect to see publishers beginning to create and share the technology they build to solve our common problems. Once we solve basic challenges of publishing — how to publish lightweight articles on common standards and how to create our own advertising platforms — we can let our news stories be our differentiator, not our tech stacks.

At The Washington Post, we’re committed to looking at new ways we can cooperate together internally and also how we can help collaborate with other media companies to try to support each other. In 2020, if we work together the whole media industry will be much stronger.

Jeremy Gilbert and Jarrod Dicker are director of strategic initiatives and vice president of commercial technology and development at The Washington Post.

Not long ago, the media woke up and realized that it didn’t own its relationship with its customers, didn’t manage the business deals profiting from its efforts, and couldn’t control the technology needed to produce its products. The media had ceded virtually everything but the storytelling to Big Tech.

There are lots of factors that broke up the historical dominance of ownership and relationship in media, but it was mostly tied to the platforms. The platforms opened up new opportunities in targeted advertising, which moved the industry emphasis from awareness to transactions, not based on context, but based on data. It also allowed content to be created and consumed everywhere, with the platform holding the primary relationship with the customer. The unlimited opportunity of consumption and access shifted the idea of consumer revenue and what a subscriber means. And the tech, well…the technology was built to capitalize on your attention, everywhere.

True partnerships require trust. Trust between the media company and its audience. Trust between advertising partners and media companies. And trust between different parts of our media companies. We need to have trust between the journalists in the newsroom and their colleagues in engineering.

Meaningful cooperation could help create the scale to counter platform power and defray the costs of ever more complex technology. In 2020, we expect to see publishers beginning to create and share the technology they build to solve our common problems. Once we solve basic challenges of publishing — how to publish lightweight articles on common standards and how to create our own advertising platforms — we can let our news stories be our differentiator, not our tech stacks.

At The Washington Post, we’re committed to looking at new ways we can cooperate together internally and also how we can help collaborate with other media companies to try to support each other. In 2020, if we work together the whole media industry will be much stronger.

Jeremy Gilbert and Jarrod Dicker are director of strategic initiatives and vice president of commercial technology and development at The Washington Post.

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