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Executive Report - By Thomas Baekdal - March 2023

The trend and future outlook for "brand+publisher", and how to make that work

One of the really interesting trends we are seeing is a new type of publisher which combines selling products and services with publishing into a single product, or combined platform.

Now, if you are a traditional publisher, this may sound like something awful that is undermining the independence and integrity of journalism, and if you are a traditional brand, you probably think I'm talking about marketing.

The reality, however, is neither. Brand+publisher is not marketing (it's not the marketing people who run it), and it's just as much about quality and relevant journalism as any other publication.

In other words, it's an entirely new way of thinking about brands and publishing, and it's a market that shows incredible promise for both.

If this sounds weird and scary, but also somehow intriguing to you, in this report, we are going to dive into what this is, how to make it, and what the market for it looks like.

What brand+publisher is not

One of the fundamental problems with this new market is that we don't really have a good word for it. I call this "brand+publisher" because those are two main ingredients, but in using these words, I'm well aware that this is creating associations in people's minds that aren't really helpful.

So, in order to reset our mindset, let me quickly explain what brand+publisher is not.

In the old days, our definition of markets was almost entirely divided. Look at the media world, for instance, in the 1960s. Newspapers were a separate market from magazines, which were separate from radio, and which was separate from TV.

But then think about publishing today. Take the New York Times, it is doing all of these things. It has normal text articles for newspapers, it is running NYT Cooking, which is a mix of a magazine, a platform, a tool, and a service. They are doing podcasts (aka radio), and so much more.

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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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