In the 19 years since Guido was founded we have seen a lot of fads come and go, along with investors’ money and the existence of the publications themselves. Who now remembers Westmonster?
Vice was supposedly a supernova multi-billion dollar digital media company that was going to replace MTV and CNN with its new stylised video-journalism, which seemed to produce warzone reports in the manner of a music video. In 2017 Vice was valued at $5.7 billion, Guido could never figure out how Vice made money. There was very little traditional advertising. There were “brand partnerships” with cool brands. Cool brands which didn’t seem to be marketing their products, just associating themselves with another cool brand –Vice. Eventually the brands suffer a comedown from being associated with rockstar war reporters and stop wasting their money on “partnerships”, instead concentrating on boosting e-commerce markegting. Because you know what is the coolest thing? Making a profit.
Buzzfeed and its listicles have blown hundreds of millions of their investors’ money. Now they claim AI will save them from bankruptcy. Which seems to Guido to be an admission that they are completely exiting the business of journalism. Good luck to those who still have jobs at Buzzfeed subsidiary HuffPo…
Vice going bankrupt and taking down with it investments from the likes of Disney, James Murdoch and George Soros goes to show how hard it is to make video journalism pay. Guido makes occasional forays into video; these are expensive in terms of time and manpower. We have yet to figure out how to make them commercially viable. All credit to the likes of Novara Media getting supporters of their world view to finance their output – which is basically a left-wing version of radio phone ins where the presenters aggregate and regurgitate the prejudices of their audience, slicker and better with added access to talking heads. It works and we have considered it and tried it ourselves. At the end of the day we’re in the business of breaking news… and making profits.