The demise of Fairfax

The demise of Fairfax, nice writeup by Paul Budde

This is like like watching a very large sinking ship or one of those slow motion “train hitting a broken down car” movies..  Fairfax appear to be completely lacking any understanding of their customer base and how to pivot in order to monetise a shift toward digital content.

Fairfax – I’ll give you this for free:

  • Paywall based news sites lose customers.
  • Lost customers do not come back.
  • You need to stop thinking about yourself as a print media business that trades in “words”.
  • You trade in content.
  • Content these days moves and also follows your consumers EVERYWHERE.
  • Content these days rarely costs the viewer anything.
  • Niche, customisable content and communities that develop around that niche content are what generate revenue and stickiness.
  • Build a user generated news content site, turn the news into a bidirectional communication process that users both contribute to and consume and maybe you’ll be in business in 2 or 3 years time.

Go and open up a newspaper from 80 years ago, it looks like a really weird version of the trading post and is mostly announcements and advertisements.  Compare it to a newspaper from today, there is lots of immersive content, still some adverts, and theres a teeny, tiny (dying) section at the back (classifieds)which still resembles the original newspapers.  Now is the time to find your new content type and to monetise it, FAST.

Want help?  Get out of the office, go and visit your consumers. Listen to them.  Ask them how to fix this problem. You do know who they are don’t you?

Once you’re done, ask the guys who you just fired how to fix your business..  I’m willing to bet that all the answers you need are sitting in both your customers and ex-employee’s minds.

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