I’ve always been a big fan of the annual Media Honeypot conference. Typically it takes place in the hometown of our company’s headquarters (Verto Data Labs) in Finland, so I always try to attend.
The event was produced originally by Heikki Rotko, former CEO of MTV3 (the largest commercial TV network in Finland), with the intention of connecting the different companies, startups, and corporations within the media industry to exchange thoughts in this very dynamic environment for media and advertising companies.
A wide range of companies attended this year, including Telia, The Drum, Alma Media, Axel Springer, Schibsted, Yle, Sanoma, Bonnier News, ESL, Small Giant Games, Accenture, Viaplay, Twitch, Aftonbladet, Rovio, Otava, Yle, MTV, Socius, Utelly, Turner International Warner Media, Publisher’s Toolbox, and more. Many presentations focused on the role and influence of the tech giants. Also discussed: The cross-platform challenge, plus how brands are navigating a complex environment full of silos among the external agencies and advisors (all of which have distinct agendas).
Jan Bayer, president of Axel Springer’s News Media, gave the keynote presentation, during which he made very interesting remarks about the revenue models used in the industry today, and the evolution of those models. Jan had a great summary of some of the downturn in print media and its current challenges, and he also had a great outline of the history of their company and the overall media industry in Europe. Between the lines, I sensed a bit of dissatisfaction and discomfort with tech giants. According to Jan, they represent themselves as ad platforms, but they are, in fact, media owners, competing and winning more revenue rather than facilitating new revenue growth for other media owners.
He also had some super cool slides about different revenue models in the industry. Specifically, he praised the revenue model of Amazon, Microsoft, and Apple–all of which have multiple revenue models from subscriptions to SW sales, devices-to-advertising, and infrastructure/cloud-to-content downloads. According to him, these companies contrast a lot from Google or Facebook, for which fewer than 90 percent of all revenue comes via advertising.
(Perhaps that is also the reason the markets trade these big tech companies, with their versatile revenue streams, at prices higher than the market caps of Facebook and Google!)