VAIL, CO — In a world where Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Apple are all vying to distribute news content, the new platform giants are becoming kingmakers.

Newspapers and magazines face a thorny challenge – do they ride the wave and distribute to millions of social media users, even if they don’t make much money from the partnership?

The Atlantic Digital VP and GM Kimberly Lau thinks its a net gain for her title.

“There’s still a lot of people that have never heard of us,” she tells Beet.TV in this video interview. “So part of our strategy about distribution has been about broadly distributing – the more people that see your content, the more opportunities you have to convert them in to fans. Platforms like Facebook, where there are huge audiences, become important in that quest.”

Such distribution is a double-edged sword. Many publishers complain that, whilst Facebook brings them to large new audiences, the ecosystem is self-contained, with too few opportunities to monetize the readers. But Lau sees value, when such syndication is executed responsibly.

“If we can have consistent branding and control of monetisation, the ability to connect with the audience… it makes sense to push as hard as we can on those distribution points,” she says. “It doesn’t mean putting all our eggs in the Facebook basket. It’s not the only source, not the majority source. It’s more about going where the audience is and using the opportunities to convert them back.”

This interview took place at the Digiday Publishing Summit in Vail, Colorado, in March.

Digiday Publishing Summit, Vail 2016Tagged , , ,