In other words, traditional media outlets like newspapers may not be succeeding, but online publishing has never been better. It’s not clear exactly what kinds of companies or businesses were included in LinkedIn’s definition of online publishers for the purposes of the report — presumably it would cover digital-only entities like The Huffington Post and the rest of the AOL empire, as well as Yahoo’s publishing units (both of whom have been hiring writers away from traditional print outlets) and a number of other online-only publishers such as Politico. And obviously some traditional companies like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have significant online operations, although whether they were included isn’t clear either.
It’s also worth noting that Bloomberg and Thomson Reuters have been hiring journalists at a fairly rapid pace over the past year or so, and while they fall into a different category in LinkedIn’s ranking, that’s definitely a sign that digital media is in pretty good shape (Bloomberg has also been able to absorb Businessweek magazine’s estimated annual losses of $20 million or so). For both companies, of course, the consumer-facing parts of their media businesses are funded by proprietary information services that are designed for financial and other specialty markets — so their digital businesses subsidize their “traditional” media assets, instead of the other way around.
Legacy publishers, he notes, are weighed down by the pre-existing business models and practices, and find themselves in a “valley of death” where they need to cannibalize the old in order to proceed with the new.
Image: LinkedIn Industry Trends: Shrinking and Growing Industries. Via LinkedIn.