Is Conversational Media Dead?

John Battelle
10 min readApr 7, 2022

Caveat: This will likely be one of my longish, link-heavy Thinking Out Loud pieces, so I invite you all to pour yourselves a glass of your favorite adult beverage or rustle up a fine cannabis pairing, should you care to indulge…

As The Recount prepares for a major launch this spring, I found myself again contemplating the state of digital marketing — a subject I’ve written about extensively over the years. To not bury the lead, the industry is in a profoundly disappointing state. We believe we are innovating, but in fact, we’re making the same mistakes old school media companies made when faced with the rise of the internet 15 years ago. But before I get into why, some background on how I came to that conclusion.

The Recount will soon launch a novel live news streaming product. We’ve been working on it for nearly a year, and we’re taking exactly the kind of risks that startups exist to tackle. We’ve rethought nearly every aspect of what makes “good television” in a post-social, digitally native information ecosystem. And while it’s true The Recount has a large and highly engaged social audience (tens of millions of views and engagements each week), there’s no guarantee that audience will join us in the world of live streaming. We know we have to prove ourselves — we must build and iterate a compelling service that people will find engaging, useful, and even fun. It’s…

--

--

John Battelle

A Founder of The Recount, NewCo, Federated Media, sovrn Holdings, Web 2 Summit, Wired, Industry Standard; writer on Media, Technology, Culture, Business