Insights on Marketing & Technology

Is Content Marketing the death of traditional Danish media?

Journalism is in trouble. Except for when it comes to Content Marketing. In traditional media journalists must create more and more content in less and less time. To really go in depth is rare, but journalists working with Content Marketing often get the resources to do so. The traditional media companies are under pressure during their transition from print to online and mobile. So, will all journalists work in Content Marketing in the near future?

Eric Ziengs
  • By: Eric Ziengs
  • Published: 25-11-2015

The enemy you can beat

Danske Medier (DM) is a lobby organisation for Danish media companies (but not the Public Service media house Danmarks Radio). For the past years they have said, that DR is stealing online users from JP, Se og Hør, TV3, etc., by producing content online. And since DR steals users, online ad sales are not creating enough revenue. This means fewer journalists, and less actual journalism. That is a simplified version of the argument. The argument is easy to understand, and the current right wing government (Venstre) is open for it.

They, of course, ignore the fact that this research from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism says, that a weakened BBC (the UK version of DR) would not benefit the commercial players. But that is not my main point.

My main point is, that there are two wars being waged against DM and it members right now - and DM barely seems aware of them. DM continues to fight against DR, a national opponent, instead of uniting against the actual foes. Who are they? Google, Facebook and Content Marketing.

A cynical version of me would say, that DM thinks it can win over DR using the Minister of Culture, Bertel Haarder (Venstre), as their puppet, as he now demands that you need to login to to view its content. This will hurt DR, probably not help the other media and annoy the hell out of the users.

It’s a bit like taking the lunch money of the smallest kid at school, because the two biggest and baddest boys at school took yours.

The enemy that scares you

While DM is fighting against DR, Google and Facebook are watching from the sidelines. They remain calm and let the others fight. Why? Because being silent means that DM won’t start a fight against them. In the meantime Google, Facebook, and similar companies, take more and more...

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Eric Ziengs

Eric is Digital Strategist at Bolius and Content Marketing blogger/speaker at Nochmal with more than 10 years of experience with communication, PR, and digital marketing. He also is the host of the weekly Help Marketing podcast.

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Rine Søgaard and Marie Ravn likes this.

Danske Medier, Digital chef, Allan Sørensen writes:

Danske Medier’s argument is not, that DR is ”stealing” users. You must understand that users can consume multiple sites. So obviously is it neither the case, that this “theft” causes a drop in ad sales, which are increasing steadily (link). The private media sector does have a declining number of journalists, mainly due to a fall in market size in the newspaper sector. Fortunately some on the journalist now work in online departments instead and the publically funded DR has increased also it’s number of journalist. Sadly the overall number of journalists is declining, even though we do our best to prevent this. What we try to explain to the politicians (and you with little effect so far) is the following: It is harder to convince customers voluntarily to pay for private media services after they are obliged to pay DKK 2.400 in a compulsory licence fee, when DR uses this money to produce the exact same services as the private media does on the digital platform. Not only is the digital content freely available from DR in abundant supply. It is also presented without advertising and with no need to even login, which for logical reasons is required for paid services from private media suppliers. In a nutshell, it is about the state competing with the private sector. In most other markets we do not allow this, since it is both inefficient and unnecessary. The research, you so boldly refer to, does NOT show, that a publically funded supply of digital news media is without effect on private news media. It is a theoretical modelling focused on TV conducted by a former BBC employee, who concludes: “Attempts to overcome this attention problem by entering the digital arena bring public service broadcasters into greater conflict with commercial providers, increasing the scope for harmful market impacts. The time has come for a fundamental reappraisal of the role and extent of public service broadcasting.” (p.19) Regarding you views on Google and Facebook being the true “enemies” of the media since both sell advertising. Well, there is nothing wrong with competition. And even if Google and Facebook didn’t exist the media would still compete with each other and other marketing channels such as tv, radio, cinemas, billboards … and yes … content marketing. We do however think that the private media sector will prevail and that the broader population still appreciates the existence of a free and independent press.

Nochmal, Owner, Eric Ziengs writes:

Your Comment Allan, shows exactly my main point. Danske Medier is more obsessed with DR than with Google/Facebook and Content Marketing. As long as your fight stays local and you can't see the real problems, the chances of a strong Danish media will continue to go down. It's really a shame since we both want the same - a competative and strong Danish media landscape. I hope you'll open your eyes for the real threats soon! I keep my fingers crossed :)


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