Online News Sites Should Act Like Networks

    August 27, 2007

Content producers prefer to control their own distribution on the Web, but it will not be a successful strategy for most producers in the long run according to a new report from JupiterResearch, "Networked Media: Thriving In An Intermediated World."

Portals are the single most important source of news on any medium for online users aged 18 to 24. Around 57 percent access news through portals compared to 21 percent receiving information from a cable news site. According to the report online users trust portals almost as much as traditional news media.

"Not only must content producers embrace intermediaries to serve their own audiences and reach out to new ones" explained Barry Parr, Analyst at JupiterResearch, "They should exploit opportunities to become intermediaries for their core audiences."

The report notes the role of intermediaries on the Web is a challenge and an opportunity for content producers. The challenge is they will lose control of their distribution systems. Those who try to maintain control of their distribution will risk falling behind their competitors, they can instead learn from progress made by established portals and blogs and incorporate best practices to their sites.

"To thrive on the Web, news sites must become more network-focused and aggregate content from other sources while distributing their own content through intermediaries," said David Schatsky, President of JupiterResearch.

"By paying closer attention to the tendencies of the end user, these sites will be able to evolve and meet the needs of a wider online audience."