20 July 2017

Trust, reach and business models: the things you learn when launching a media startup

When in doubt, ask an expert.

Startups founders often have a very acute take on what could be the solutions to enduring problems in the media. Put that on the account of having put their whole lives in the balance to create a product that can solve a very tangible problem, or simply for having spent months on end digging deep into the factsheets, reports, research and algorithms.

We talked to startup co-founder and CEO Mads Holmen from Bibblio.org, a B2B recommendation service based on genuine user satisfaction and engagement, to get his take on the challenges facing digital media today, the roles of algorithms and business models, and how these fed his team’s work and the launch of his startup.

GEN: What are the challenges facing the media and publishing industries that gave you a direction with your startup?

Mads Holmen: The failing digital ad market and value chain represents one of the biggest challenges for media and publishing industries across the globe. “The world of digital advertising is a nightmarish joke,” The New York Times CEO Mark Thompson said at Cannes Lions last month. Together, Facebook and Google now control some 50% of the online ad market globally, a position set to earn them a combined $106bn in 2017, and by some reports they’re hoovering up 99% of all growth in the sector. At the same time consumers of media and publishing feel bombarded by an awful ad experience and increasingly block ads and lose trust in content businesses and their brands. The vicious spiral is complete.