Economics of journalism: clickbait vs quality

Discussion in 'The Thinking Cap' started by Narks, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. Narks

    Narks Staff Forums are Entertaining Administrator

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    I don't have a very informed understanding of the economics of journalism so maybe this post is retarded, but w/e.

    My understanding though is, with online journalism, the revenue model is basically: more views = more ads shown = more money
    And I think the end result is that producing lots of low quality clickbait content ends up being more profitable than high quality content that takes a lot of time to produce. Maybe someone with knowledge in this domain can clarify if this is correct or not?


    I've been thinking: what if you have a model where advertising revenue is not divided per view, but based on what a user likes?

    You'd have a website that is some sort of content aggregate, like YouTube. The amount of advertising revenue generated by the user is divided by what the user has "liked" in the month, rather than what he has viewed.

    Not sure what problems a system like would have, or if it would actually promote high quality content. Thoughts?

    edit:
    I should have included an example:

    Bob is a user on MemeMedia. Bob views 100 articles, generating $100 ($1 x 100 articles) in advertising revenue. He likes 10 of those articles. MemeMedia takes a 50% cut, which leaves 5% x 10 for each of those article authors, so each article author gets 5%.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2016
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  2. Gwaiin

    Gwaiin Professional Dumbass

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    Think of it this way, if you get paid, say, 100 dollars per post, regardless of what that post is, how much effort are you going to put into that post? Probably not much, because you want to make as much money as possible.

    This leads to clickbait, getting a user on a site for even a minute generates revenue, so making your post really appealing without telling them that its actually shit is the way to go. The gold plated turd, as it were.

    What these shitty news sites like buzzfeed forget, is that there is such a thing as "the long game." In time, people will realize that these sites are cancer, and that they are unreliable. Therefore, if you had started with the informative-but-poor site, you would be much better off because every person who views it tells their friends who tell their friends, so one of your posts now makes as much as 10 times one of the shitty posts.

    Currently, I think we are hitting a vertex of shitty news sites and it will be thinning out soon.

    But I REAALLY want to know what will happen to the Kardashians next!

    As for your idea, I think its feasible but too easily exploited. People would be hired solely to look at ads all day, and cookies are basically what you are talking about minus the making money part.

    Overall, I think it COULD work, but it would be a huge pain in the ass to deal with problem like this that will most likely fix itself.
     
  3. Narks

    Narks Staff Forums are Entertaining Administrator

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    I should have included an example:

    Bob is a user on MemeMedia. Bob views 100 articles, generating $100 ($1 x 100 articles) in advertising revenue. He likes 10 of those articles. MemeMedia takes a 50% cut, which leaves 5% x 10 for each of those article authors, so each article author gets 5%.
     
  4. Gwaiin

    Gwaiin Professional Dumbass

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    So this leads to each author getting more money for content that people like, and less for the content no-one wants to see. I understand.

    Yeah, this makes way more sense, I don't know why this isn't a thing.
     
  5. Feanor

    Feanor Member Liaison Officer Site Staff

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    You're assuming the audience is a constant. But what if constant consumption of sub par content reduces your demands and expectations for the quality of the content? Because this has in fact been the case.
     
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  6. Thurr

    Thurr DiploMVP

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    Mark Zuckerberg already has the explicit wish to be the online distributor of news.

    Contrary to your joyful sounding MemeMedia, would you still like the concept if Facebook or Google were in charge of the platform?
     
  7. Lawrapous

    Lawrapous

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    I agree in theory but in practice not really. Most of the people reading these clickbait articles are commuting or sitting in the house bored.
    So there not gonna like it half of them don't share it.
    Also if your article is entertaing it travels through Facebook more. If it is shared more means more money which is kinda like your idea of liking it but it instead of taking a cut based on that I think it's a flat % cut.
    So why make real boring news to make money when you can spew shite and make more. But there are groups trying to do news and make it entertaining that's what needs to be done in my opinion anyway.
     
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