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Audience vs. Traffic: the key difference for publishing winners (and losers)

If you’re an ad-supported publisher but haven’t built an audience, you’re in deep trouble, says L2’s Professor Scott Galloway in one his latest video broadcasts.

For those unfamiliar with Galloway’s work, his reputation marks him out. A Professor at the NYU Stern School of Business where he teaches brand strategy and digital marketing, Galloway has served on the board of The New York Times amongst others. His member-based business intelligence firm, L2 Inc., benchmarks the global digital performance of brands in eleven industry sectors, including publishing.

In one of his most recent videos, Galloway lauds the New York Times for its publishing strategy that saw its share price leap 41% last year, thanks in part to its huge subscriber growth which crossed 1 billion dollars and accounts for 60% of total revenue. As Galloway says, “The Times isn’t only making content that people want to pay for, it’s making people pay for the content they want“.

By contrast, Galloway compares the NYT’s figures with those of BuzzFeed whose unique visitors are declining causing them to miss revenue targets and cut staff.

His conclusion? Media firms with an audience are winning, whilst those with just traffic are losing.

Galloway’s video can be viewed in full below: