In July, paidContent published a list of the Top 50 media companies, ranked by digital revenue. GigaOm's Mathew Ingram used the occasion to name five firms that he felt were the most innovative media companies. They included:
- Twitter (user-generated content)
- Amazon (disrupting publishing and mobile)
- Buzzfeed (migrating to more serious coverage)
- The Guardian (open journalism)
- Gawker (making comments work as part of a story)
In his post, Ingram reflects on his decision to include The Guardian, noting "It may seem odd to nominate an old-media company like a newspaper as one of the most interesting media companies". Sadly, it is odd.
A while back, I wrote a short post lamenting the practice of appointing "chief digital officers". Common in legacy publishing, these structures segregate digital as a revenue stream. They make it more difficult to manage digital as a core component of how a content business must compete. The result: a lag in innovation.
Time Inc. last appointed a chief digital officer in 2010, prompting my earlier post. After it hired Laura Lang from Digitas, it seemed more likely that "digital" might become part of business-unit DNA.
Now eight months on the job, Lang last week named three executives as the team that would jump-start the company's digital initiatives. Top-down strategies and roll-outs measured in years convey a consistent message: innovation can wait.