Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

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Direct to Consumer

In response to articles by Scott Karp and Nick Carr about Google and the news business, Terry Heaton makes a point I’ve been trying to articulate for years: “The problem is that the distribution of content isn’t the real problem for media companies; it’s the growing ability of advertisers to reach people without media companies.”

Or, put another way, it’s the ability of brands to be their own media companies. If the Official Google Blog was a newspaper, it’s subscriber numbers would put it in the top 10 for daily circulation. Not only does that mean Google has less need for advertising, but it also means they have less need for media coverage generally. And it’s not just brands, it’s celebrities too. Shaq has 621,000 folowers on Twitter (and counting). As Kanye explained on his blog, “I told the media you can’t make up lies about me because I have a media outlet myself. Oh and sidebar I don’t know if everyone has realized this yet but I don’t do interviews if there’s anything I wanna say I’ll say right here on my own blog.”

April 13, 2009