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Episode 01: The Great Reckoning

“The ad only internet is basically a thing of the past.”

In the very first episode of The Center of Attention, Sachin and Andrew discuss the current pivotal state of the attention economy. In what Andrew calls “the Great Reckoning” in digital attention, brands and publishers are converging in how they serve their audiences. They also talk about Google ending its “first click free” policy, Facebook’s new subscription tool, and whether or not they personally spend half a day with digital media. They close up with “+1/-1” quick takes on ICOs and the Facebook Explore feed.

Industry news that caught our attention:

01:15 – Google ends its “first click free” policy.

02:44 – Facebook introduces a subscription tool.

03:55 – Adults in the U.S. spend an average of 12 hours, 1 minute a day with digital media, according to eMarketer projections.

The story that held our attention:

07:39 – What is the Great Reckoning?

“Publishers, brands, and consumers are having all of their roles reconfigured by what has basically become a large-scale attention economy on the internet.” —Andrew Montalenti

“So it’s almost like a role reversal in a sense, where what brands are trying to do is actually build audiences, which is what publishers have historically done. And what publishers are trying to do is build products that they can monetize—like subscriptions, events, newsletters, research—which is historically what brands have done.” —Sachin Kamdar

11:33 – What role do platforms like Google and Facebook play in the Great Reckoning?

14:54 – How are brands, publishers, and platforms leveraging data as they compete for audiences’ attention?

“You need these independent entities that have their own data sources—their own approaches to building audiences—and they’re in competition with one another. But I think you also need to have a data savviness across the whole industry because ultimately there’s only so many hours in the day…and these platforms are the entry points into a lot of our digital lives. So if you want to capture people’s attention, you have to enter into their daily workflows using these platforms.” —Andrew Montalenti

19:26 – What phase of the Great Reckoning are brands, publishers, and consumers currently in?

+1 or -1? Quick takes:

21:19 – Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs)

22:29 – Facebook Explore feed

Show notes:

This episode was recorded on October 23, 2017.