Oct 28, 2021: The Information’s Creator Economy Summit

Medium CEO Ev Williams. Photo by Bloomberg.
The Takeaway
Media/Telecom

What Everyone Is Missing About Media Business Models

Photo: Medium CEO Ev Williams. Photo by Bloomberg.

Oh, how the winds have changed for ad-supported media. Over the past year, it’s become decidedly trendy to praise non-advertising business models. This week Ev Williams, a longtime advertising adherent, called online ads a “broken system.” Fred Wilson, a venture capitalist who has argued vociferously that news and opinion should be free, this week proposed a complicated micropayment model for Medium inspired by bitcoin. 

I’ve watched this rhetoric change with hope. There has never been a more important time to fix the broken business model of news. With the election and its aftermath, the news has become the news, and readers everywhere are rooting for quality.

But everywhere I look, I see publishers paying lip service to more direct payment models without taking real action. And publishers—unwilling to embrace and prioritize subscriptions—are still serving advertisers over readers.

Get access to exclusive coverage
Read deeply reported stories from the largest newsroom in tech.
Latest Articles
 
The Briefing Facebook Apple
Facebook’s Rebranding Is About Tim Cook, Not Whistleblowers
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks during a virtual developer conference in June. Photo by Bloomberg
Next week is going to be a big one for Facebook. There will be a corporate rebrand from the company of some sort, a very high-stakes earnings report, and Facebook’s biggest event of the year, its Connect developer conference, featuring a keynote from CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Oh, and a storm of a document dump that will be fairly unprecedented in corporate history, as Sylvia and Mark reported today...
Latest Briefs
 
Google Employee: Ad Business is Like Goldman Sachs Owning New York Stock Exchange
Shoppers Can Now Buy Bitcoin at Walmart
Chinese Firms CATL, BYD Balk at Building Battery Plant in U.S. For Apple Car
Stay in the know
Receive a summary of the day's top tech news—distilled into one email.
Access on the go
View stories on our mobile app and tune into our weekly podcast.
Join live video Q&A’s
Deep-dive into topics like startups and autonomous vehicles with our top reporters and other executives.
Enjoy a clutter-free experience
Read without any banner ads.
Art by Mike Sullivan
Exclusive Startups Facebook
Facebook’s Ad-Tracking Loss Is Startups’ Gain
Apple’s clampdown on ad tracking has prompted some small online merchants to cut back their ad spending on social media sites like Facebook, which they see as a less effective outlet than in the past.
Data Point Venture Capital
Andreessen Horowitz Investment Staff Grew 170% in Four Years
One of the running jokes among Silicon Valley venture capitalists is that, eventually, all of them will become partners at VC firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Kyle Samani, Multicoin Capital co-founder and managing partner. Screenshot via YouTube. Art by Mike Sullivan.
Exclusive Crypto Venture Capital
Multicoin Capital Targets $250 Million for Third Crypto VC Fund
Multicoin Capital, which operates a hedge fund focused on crypto tokens, is planning to raise $250 million for its third venture fund to back crypto startups, according to fundraising materials viewed by The Information.
Art by Mike Sullivan
Exclusive Media/Telecom Facebook
New Facebook Storm Nears as CNN, Fox Business and Other Outlets Team Up on Whistleblower Docs
It’s not often that major news organizations coordinate to sift through a large trove of leaked company documents and agree not to publish stories about them until a certain date.
Illustration by Josh Brill
Exclusive Crypto Venture Capital
No Longer Just Crypto Curious, Sand Hill Road Investors Get Blockchain Fever
For years, the most avid investors in crypto startups have been firms that specialize in the category—with the notable exception of Andreessen Horowitz, the Silicon Valley venture capital firm that got crypto religion early.
Clockwise from upper left: Brian Brooks, Catherine Coley,  Venkata “Murthy” Renduchintala, Brian Boland, Kirthiga Reddy and Janice Min
Free Agents
On the Market: Executives From Facebook, SoftBank, Intel and Binance.US
The wave of job changes dubbed the Great Resignation includes top tech and media leaders. Executives who have left roles at Intel, SoftBank, Facebook and crypto exchange Binance.US in the last year are among those on the move.