Tik Tok, Clubhouse and SVoD with Forbes Writer David Bloom
David Bloom is a writer at Forbes, TVRev, and Tubefilter, and is the host of the Bloom in Tech podcast. A long-time journalist for a range of daily newspapers in Memphis, Dallas and Los Angeles, he has also written for Red Herring, Variety and Deadline Hollywood.
He spent a decade as an earned media advisor executive handling communications strategy for a range of clients, including MGM and the USC Marshall School of Business.
In this podcast interview, David talks about journalism and PR, the future of video content, streaming media, digital public relations and more.
Journalism and Public Relations
From his early days as a local print journalist to working with outlets like the LA Daily News and Forbes, David has found himself adjusting and adapting to the evolving field over the decades. “[Journalists] had to redefine ourselves and on the new platforms and pick up new skills,” David says. “I had to learn about SEO, and learn about things like search and how to optimize my stuff across social media.”
David is interested in stories that show how new technologies change behavior. He believes in a growing need for less “Hollywood-centric” news coverage. He cited Netflix as an example, a service that is accessible in 192 countries with over 200 million subscribers. Netflix purchases, produces, and showcases content in different languages from different countries. With their content, they are able to cater to the diverse tastes of a considerable chunk of the world’s 7-billion population, instead of just focusing on the now-saturated United States market. “They’re all over the world, and everybody else is trying to catch up.”
With regard to how the global audience for longform content has changed and influenced it, David’s writing style incorporates background details into the stories he writes. He says there’s still an audience for this type of writing. We have to think about how to make content more accessible to anyone with even just a passing interest in the subject, regardless of their geographical location.
David also observed that publications like The New Yorker, which puts out 10,000-word deep dives into certain topics, still find an audience from which they earn revenue. “There's a big wide audience out there, we have to evolve and do stuff.”
Cable, Broadcasting, and the Future of Video Content
There’s an expanding array of options for video content consumers worldwide, from standard TV stations to cable subscriptions to free streaming services across digital platforms.
David notes, however, that as a result of increased accessibility and options, the traditional cable bundle is experiencing a decline in popularity. This phenomenon has caused cable providers to “recast” who they are: “[Cable providers are] getting away from thinking of themselves as a provider of TV and more a provider of high-speed data networks that include TV and other entertainment, news and stuff, but also security services and internet connections at high-speed for gaming, and on, and on, and on.”
The concept of media bundles has also changed, going from a general, blanket approach to a more surgical, targeted assembly of offerings for specific segments of the audience. Citing his colleague Alan Wolf, David opines: “We've been busy breaking up the bundle. And at some point, we're going to start putting it back together; it's going to have more value, but it's going to be a more targeted bundle that we have control over that we can get in and out of more easily.”
Social Media Platforms
On the subject of social media and digital platforms, David shared his thoughts on TikTok, a platform that has experienced a surge in popularity in the last couple of years. He mentioned that Tiktok has a very different kind of interface, and delivers an engaging, if not hypnotizing, experience.
Unlike Facebook, which is much more involved in a slower, “older generation” social media experience, TikTok delivers a more fast-paced, trend-setting experience really well, though not without controversy (India, for instance, has banned TikTok and other Chinese apps).
“Each video you look at gives them a lot of signals about the things you like,” said David, adding that it’s different from how Instagram’s continuous scrolling, tap-tap-scroll, tap-tap-scroll experience works. “The fact that you watched this video and you skipped past that one is a signal, the fact that you liked it is another signal, the fact that you may copy that one—because you can create a new video based on the previous one—that's another signal about interest engagement.”
To listen to my full interview with David (in which we also talked about the stories that interest David, the streaming race, Clubhouse, the antitrust fight between Facebook and Apple, and more), click the link at the top of the post.
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