Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

New Media Disrupted: GigaOm Web Sites Suddenly Stop Publishing

Posted by Tom Foremski - March 9, 2015


Above, at the recent Crunchies Awards, Om Malik (right) is told by Mike Arrington, founder of news site Techcrunch, that there's far more money in investing in startups than there is in publishing.

The management of GigaOm, the San Francisco-based publisher of tech focused web sites, has abruptly "ceased operations."

GigaOm was founded by Om Malik (above, right). The following notice was posted:


Foremski's Take: One of the biggest disappointments of the Internet Age is that we still do not have a  value-recovery mechanism  for good quality media content. A click is a click is a click - but it's not — some media content is much better than others. But we have no rewards mechanism to support the creation of more great media content.

We still have no satisfactory business model that can save the media industry from the disruptive economic forces of the web, that continue to hound its shrinking news rooms and dwindling pools of exhausted professionals.

And in this second media apocalypse new media companies are squarely in the path of this disruption.

[GigaOm's Matthew Ingram, its Media beat reporter, totally missed this one. He is a constant critic of traditional media businesses versus new media's paperless "advantage."] 

Mobile is killing media...

The shift to mobile is extremely disruptive to new media titles because it is happening much  faster than the transition of business from print to digital (which is still in progress).

The problem with mobile media is that it's near impossible to monetize via adverts that earn one-tenth that of desktop ads, which earn one-tenth of print ads. From dollars, to dimes, to pennies. 

The collapse in ad revenues due to mobile users is a key reason Say Media, a very innovative San Francisco based publisher and advertising network has been selling its titles, such as tech site Read Write. It has pivoted into a technology company with its Tempest content management system.

GigaOm's demise brings up questions if other sites can survive, such as VentureBeat which shares much of the same audience.  Kara Swisher, co-founder of Re/Code, said late last year that the tech news site is not yet profitable following its split from Dow Jones a year ago. 

Unless you are Buzzfeed, Gawker or Business Insider – you can't make a living as an independent publisher from ads because the traffic numbers required are out of reach. And it's getting worse.

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Please see: The Media's 2nd Apocalypse: The Nightmare Rise Of Mobile Tech

The Media Industry Is Blind, Dumb And Dumber: Daylight Robbery - Billions Stolen

San Francisco's Extraordinary Media Heritage - 12 Daily Newspapers

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