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Content Forecast: Partly Sunny Skies, Some Clouds and Fog, High Revenue Pressure Front

AMC 2013 Logo FinalAs the lines around content continue to blur, the media industry assessment and outlook has been mixed. The AM2C / American Magazine Media Conference in New York this week convened a wide range of media, ad and tech industry leaders. They offered an array of diverse and sometimes controversial perspectives, and below are selected excerpts. Much like the classic Farmers Almanac, only time will tell how it all plays out.

Content quality: (Jonah Peretti, co-founder and CEO, BuzzFeed)

“It’s dangerous to only follow the optimization numbers. You need the creativity to experiment with lots of different content types. There’s a broad purview of topic areas we cover, from entertainment to investigative reporting. We create content that people are proud to share.”

“If you only create salacious garbage, then you end up with 90 percent of people that won’t want to read your site and won’t want to return.”

Discovering unique content: (Eric Schmidt, executive chairman, Google)

“In the media industry everyone is at the same confabs reporting the same things. The challenge is to report things that no one else has found.”

“Editorial content tells me things I wouldn’t have otherwise discovered. Google can program 90 percent of serendipity regarding what you’re reading and who your friends are, so we can suggest other interesting items. The other ten percent is one-offs, and there you need gifted editors.”

Sponsored content: (Joe McCambley, co-founder and creative director, The Wonderfactory)

“These are the early days of natïve advertising. Now there’s increased supply and demand, so the quality of native content will decline. As bulk comes into play we need more editorial oversight, including fact checking.”

“We need to ensure high quality so that magazine brands can last several more years. There will be a shakeup, leaving only the brands who do it right.”

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