An over-reliance on events is bad for business journalism
Lacy writes, “An over-reliance on the events business is hollowing out American Journalism — maybe at a faster rate than even sponsored content has managed to. In the process, it’s killing what was a golden goose of a revenue stream for some.
“I realize that’s an odd position for me to take given how many PandoMonthly events we host, not to mention our annual Pandoland conference. But I’ve always argued if events were our only business, we’d be screwed. I learned a lot of this from Heather Harde, TechCrunch’s CEO. Despite the dominant Disrupt franchise, Heather never wanted TechCrunch’s revenues to be more than half events– for good reason. She used to argue it was the most cyclical revenue, and the hardest to scale.
“Most people on the outside assume events are our strength. The truth is in the middle of last year when I realized it was some 80% of our revenue, I thought it was also our biggest weakness. That’s why we’ve made a lot of changes since then — and have more coming.
“I’ve spent a lot of time arguing this point to friends both inside and outside the media industry. Until recently, though, I hadn’t put any of that argument in writing.”
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