Perceived Authenticity is Key to Profitable Niche Publishing Business Models

Via TC, I discovered IBM released a report on how the they think the $550 billion global ad market might change in the coming years. The predictions look bleak for most ad agencies and traditional media gatekeepers, but good for niche publishers who have a solid stream of attention:

The "voice" delivering a message, along with its perceived authenticity, will become as powerful perhaps as the message or offer.

As media gets more saturated, we get better at filtering out garbage. Jakob Nielson's article about writing articles instead of blog posts does a great job of explaining why writing fewer and more in depth articles is effective for gaining and keeping attention in a competitive marketplace.

On a related note, Frank just noticed a TV show skipping the TV and starting out on the web. There is no easier way to increased perceived authenticity than having a direct and open relationship with the audience.

IBM also offered research on the attention economy in a paper titled Vying for attention: the future of competing in media and entertainment. Rich Shefren recently created a mindmap of what he calls the Attention Age Doctrine, which shows why people are willing to pay larger premiums for great advice and nothing for decent advice.
attention age

Published: November 12, 2007 by Aaron Wall in marketing publishing & media


November 12, 2007 - 4:03pm

I also found this report fascinating in that it tends to suggest that perceived authority/authenticity could possibly trump mainstream brand affiliation. Of course, this is already happening in certain niche markets.

I also thought it was worth mentioning that the FCC has announced that they may take steps to open the cable TV market to independent entities, so the little guy might get their foot in there door in that space as well.

In the end TV and Internet will be one and the same eventually, so savvy internet folks should be in a great position.

November 13, 2007 - 2:15am

"Authenticity" is a tricky thing online though. Faked testimonials and marketers who were perhaps a bit too much better than their product have polluted the internet customer base at large. It's not enough anymore to seem enthusiastic or honest; there must be a kind of authoritativeness to the voice talking about the offer that is really quite hard to fake.

November 13, 2007 - 3:20am

And the authenticity thing gets even tougher than the typical pollution issues, because there are also a virtually unlimited number of people looking to cut down anything or anyone that is popular to get a few crumbs of attention.

November 13, 2007 - 2:39am

I agree. Also, since I am also a photographer, I am very active with websites that offer me the ability to participate. It can be I post my photos so others can view and comment or practice photography (step by step instructions) in increase my abilities as a photographer so many great things can be done on the internet. It is what TV wish it could be.....

November 13, 2007 - 7:41pm


sorry if I am off topic.

I know you have started reviewme.

I would like to create something similiar for italian bloggers.

Any advice or suggestion?


November 13, 2007 - 8:25pm

I sold my stake in ReviewMe, so I am no longer involved with the company.

You might want to look around on ReviewMe and some of the competing sites like Blogsvertise to see if there are any Italian bloggers. I don't know if you searched Google yet, but maybe also look for "Italian blog reviews" or however people might say it in your culture.

November 13, 2007 - 7:51pm

We never before had so many tools to be able to create authenticity with the purpose of creating a profitable business even if you are a person and not a company. The enormous challenge is to be able to process the huge quantity of information in the appropriate way and establish relationships with trust (users and customers) through this network. Definitively, this is a great time if you are smart enough.

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