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

Mobile News Site Circa Closes —Media Disruption Continues

Posted by Tom Foremski - June 24, 2015

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Circa CEO Matt Galligan in 2013 in the San Francisco office

Circa, a news aggregation service for smartphone users has closed, a further casualty in the ongoing disruption in the media industry.

Jason Abbruzzese reports: News app Circa says it cannot survive as a viable business

News app Circa, once a media darling for its mobile-first approach, has announced that it is going on an "indefinite hiatus" after it was unable to find someone to buy the company.

In a Medium post entitled "Farewell to Circa News," CEO Matt Galligan admitted that while they had succeeded in their goals of making a high-quality mobile news platform, Circa had failed to become a viable business.

Foremski's Take: Producing a "high-quality news platform" is hard, as Circa CEO Matt Galligan says it is but Circa had it easy, it didn't have any reporters writing original stories, it pulled together stories from several major news sites which had journalists on the ground and around the world.

Circa's design was excellent and I loved its use of photos and also the way that stories were structured into self-standing modules of text, which made it easier to push out a new story because background paragraphs and related editorial material was already written. 

But if Circa can't make money while not paying for reporters then imagine how tough it is for news organizations that don't rewrite other people's news reports but pay salaries for large editorial teams.

The media industry disruption continues. And we still have no stable business model to support a thriving independent media industry — it's the biggest and most worrying failure of the Internet, so far.

Foremski's Take: Producing a "high-quality news platform" is hard, as Circa CEO Matt Galligan says it is but Circa had it easy, it didn't have any reporters writing original stories, it pulled together stories from several major news sites which had journalists on the ground and around the world.

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