July 22nd

The virtuous cycle of aggregation

Once upon a time, the supply and distribution of news was a simple affair. We decided which newspapers or magazines we wanted to read, then went out and procured them. Then the interweb came along. We no longer needed to choose what to read because the news just started coming at us. A tidal wave of it. Now we have to sift through the clickbait flotsam to find anything of value. That makes us, the consumers, our own suppliers of our daily news and gives us the controlling position in the relationship between publisher and reader.

It’s a fundamental shift in the dynamic of the publishing industry that Ben Thompson ponders over at Stratechery.com. He calls the new paradigm Aggregation Theory. It creates a virtuous cycle of content supply begetting supply that show no signs of slowing. The tidal wave will keep coming at us.

The best distributors/aggregators/market-makers win by providing the best experience, which earns them the most consumers/users, which attracts the most suppliers, which enhances the user experience