The August edition of the Cycling Business Podcast takes on the occasionally turbulent topic of the ever-changing media landscape.
With speculation that Immediate Media – the parent of MBUK, BikeRadar and others – is up for a £300 million summer sale, the podcast discusses a general shift from print to digital, as well as how social media has affected live reporting.
Guest and former publisher of MBUK, among others, Richard Schofield gives a first hand point of view on running specialist media.
“The growth of cycling has meant more people coming into the market, going for the same slice of pie. When you get new entrants in the market you get a tendency for brands to support everybody, to make sure everybody gets a bit of the action. That works against the bigger businesses in the market. It’s not an easy place to operate, despite the fact that, in the UK the market is still in growth.”
Neal Rogers, US editor of CyclingTips then goes on to discuss branded content, something which is causing media outlets to draw the line between advertising and editorial.
“Rather than doing a traditional ad, the company will send sponsored riders off to some amazing location to shoot a video. Maybe it’s Peter Sagan or another pro where the audience is very interested. It’s compelling content, but it’s a commercial. They’ll go to the editorial staff and say ‘Hey, this is a sweet video and they talk about life as a pro, would your audience find this interesting?’. Sure they would, but if posted the brand then essentially gets a free commercial.
“The editorial team is paid salaries, that money has to come from somewhere,” adds Rogers. “The audience that we’ve cultivated, we have to have some kind of compensation for this access.”
Singletrack Magazine has even gone as far to issue a statement asking brands to cut down on the practice and value their partners in the media.
Tune in to the episode right here:
Prior Cycling Business Podcast episodes include: