Saturday, January 20, 2024

For a Few Million More...

I want to ask you to indulge me for minute or two. Imagine a time when there were maybe 15 to 20 blogs out there of any real significance. By significance I mean to say that there were enough readers or impressions ('cause let's be honest, true readership numbers are far different than number of clicks) out there to give a brand manager or marketing head the feeling that it wouldn't be the worst idea to spend a few thousand dollars per month to advertise with a given blog.

While I wouldn't say it was a land rush, I would say that there was no shortage of folks who jumped in with varying degrees of success. And the notion of what success was, and is in this format is extremely hard to quantify. Some of the early leaders have fallen away. Watch Anish is one example. In fairness, as a seeming one-man band it/he achieved a great deal of traction and advertising money. There was a magazine, and foray into lifestyle, but that might have been too far of a stretch. In truth? I have never met the man behind the Instagram account, and in fairness? Nothing lasts forever. His Instagram account is still active, but the posting is infrequent, with several months between updates.

Any watch brand knows the name Hodinkee. It continues to ring out, but it is also clear that the awkward funk they encountered a few years ago has yet to lift. And even more curious, if you were to check the masthead of Hodinkee, you would note that there have been more changes. Of the five new editors that were brought in a year or so back, only three remain with Brandon Menancio and Sarah Miller having slung their hooks. Most curious of all is the change at the top of the masthead. Eneuri Acosta had always been top of the page, most recently as the Chief Brand Officer. Whether or not he has moved on I suppose will not be known by the public. More curious is the addition of two new top level people - Niten Kapdia and Evan Price are now top of the page as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer respectively. 

And the real question is, and continues to be, what's next for the media wing of Watch Town? There are no shortage of brands out there who want & need coverage. There is no shortage of potential customers and fans out there waiting to discover these brands. And finally? No shortage of people out there wanting to share this information whether out of passion, out of avarice, or some combination of the two. To be clear, there's nothing wrong with wanting to make a living while being involved with your passion. But ultimately, regrettably, and unfortunately, a select few outlets continue to absorb the majority of revenue, of product and news access, and of largesse from the brands. A simple review of who ends up at Watches and Wonders this spring will bear that out. Rather than inviting several individuals from several outlets, the folks entrusted with the guest list for Journalists will continue to invite the same large number of journalists from the same single outlet/s. 

So lather, rinse, repeat. Let's just hope the money keeps flowing...

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