The Secret Cost of Pivoting to Video
Mic’s website audience is tanking by millions of readers a month—and if it continues, it just may save online journalism.
That’s because Mic is another example of the cautionary tale set by publications that pivot to video. The strategy, which came into vogue around May 2016, goes like this, with apologies to a famous South Park episode:
- lay off most of your writers, who produce stories fast and cheaply for your own website
- produce more video, which is vastly more expensive and time-consuming and which only finds an audience on other platforms, like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube
While in the famous South Park cartoon, the “???” is a joke, it’s deadly serious in media: Hundreds of journalists have lost their jobs while shiny-object-chasing publishers are no closer to creating cohesive video strategies to replace the traffic those writers were producing.