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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - November 2018

The Market for Reviews Has Changed Massively

For a long time reviews have been the 'go to' topic that most magazines turn to when planning out the next edition. But you might also have noticed that many things have changed about how reviews work.

In the digital world, reviews in the form that we often see with traditional publishers, don't really work anymore. Every single day, YouTubers are massively outcompeting even the most respectable magazines when it comes to reviewing products.

So, in this 28-page article, we are going to take a deep-dive into this trend, and talk about what the market for reviews is like today.

The many forms of reviews

One of the first things to understand is that there are different forms of reviews. We have big reviews that go into every detail of a product, and then we have tiny reviews where the magazine is basically listing a bunch of random products with a short description under each one.

Like this from a random magazine.

There are also many different types of product. And you might think that a product costing $100 would be reviewed differently than one that costs several thousand dollars. But, as you might be able to see from the example above, this is rarely the case with traditional publishers. On the page above, the products range from $98 to $1,995 ... and they are all presented in the same way.

Another example of this is what I see in the newspapers every day. One of the largest newspapers in my country recently wrote about a new car ... and this was all they wrote:

Yep. That's a 150 word article about a $22,500 car.

So, there is a strange thing with traditional media in that the cost of the object has very little influence on the format of the review, but this shouldn't really come as a surprise.

In the old days, publishers were limited by time because each magazine only came out once per month. And, as such, the review couldn't focus on any specific moment, but instead became a kind of journey of discovery.

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What is Baekdal?

Baekdal is a magazine for media professionals, focusing on media analysis, trends, patterns, strategy, journalistic focus, and newsroom optimization. Since 2010, it has helped publishers in more than 40 countries, including big and small publishers like Condé Nast, Bonnier, Schibsted, NRC, and others, as well as companies like Google and Microsoft.

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé


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