MySpace was where you went in the past, WordPress and Movable Type were where people went if they had the patience and writing output to maintain a traditional blog, Facebook was where you went to define yourself by schools and checkboxes, and Tumblr was where you went to make your own identity and express your creativity.
People tell me that content is king, but that is not true at all. Most people make money pointing to content, not creating, curating or collecting content.
Rishad Tobaccowala, chief strategy and innovation officer at Vivaki, to the Wall Street Journal, Content Deluge Swamps Yahoo
The Wall Street Journal outlines how Yahoo and AOL are struggling with their ad-supported business models.
In a nutshell: in the not so distant past having great scale almost guaranteed profits, but with the proliferation and commoditization of most content that’s not the case anymore.
As the article’s authors write:
It’s a simple rule of any market. The more information that is created, the more the value is reduced. And despite attempts to woo spending with bigger, bolder and more targeted ads, services that help consumers navigate that content, namely search, remain the big money makers online.
In other words, services that make content discoverable either via search (Google) or social (Facebook) are thriving.
In 1998 Yahoo was charging CPM rates of $25, according to the Journal, that’s now down to $6.50.