What once was the “shiny new toy,” as one publisher put it, is now the problem child for publishers: video. Over the last few years, study after study has cited consumers’ climbing appetite for video — a trend that eager bandwagoneers were quick to chase. And why wouldn’t they? Media’s number one objective is to reach the people, wherever they are. So if people are watching video, then video it is. A couple short years later, many of the publishers who doubled down on video have experienced the sour outcomes of a frothy market: layoffs, low-ball valuations and complete shutdowns.
Unfortunately, this sudden ankle-breaking pivot to video was too hard and too fast. Is the fault line in the video business or the overall media business? And how did the industry get here? Here’s a retrospective on how the video industry entered the “Dark Ages,” as one former Verizon go90 executive put it, based on the very media businesses that have struggled over the last 18 months, including Awesomeness TV, Defy Media, Refinery29, Mashable, LittleThings and Vox and the producers making content for digital distributors.
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