Technology has reached a point where the news industry is waiting to be disrupted. The existing paradigms will become obsolete but not the skills of the people (in it) that have been honed over the years. We want to redeploy those skills without the legacy of fixed costs associated with traditional media, in a completely re-engineered model for news.
Oximity has over 2,500 writers who generate news stories.
Reinventing the wheel?
While traditional media is being disrupted by the Internet and mobile, efforts to monetize these new platforms haven’t been very successful. In the days of programmatic buying, its as if ad-rates are in a race to the bottom, just like the quality of content on the web.
Recently, Venture Capitalist Marc Andressen wrote a very optimistic piece about the future of news in which he talked about how the industry is changing (larger monetizable audience etc) and brought forward the usual theories on money making. But as Frédéric Filloux points out on Monday Note the devil is in the detail.
Filloux Wrote :
The Scalability that works for Google Maps or WhatsApp doesn’t work as well for the notion of relevant information, one that is more tightly connected to language, proximity and culture.
Fact is, journalism is inherently expensive because it is by laborious and unpredictable.
What startups like Oximity are trying to do is to turn the expensive labor model around by crowd sourcing writers and “collecting news directly from the source facilitating curation by readers, and distributing the news content across the internet.” It’s an interesting attempt. Looking at other writing platforms like Medium and aggregation services that now support a lot of user generated content, one wonders if the starutp is trying to reinvent the wheel? The distribution play will be interesting to watch.
Also, it isn’t clear how Oximity plans to pay writers. The unpaid ones usually churn content best suited for marketing collaterals.