Bleacher Report’s Rory Brown on the promise and perils of platforms

Rory Brown, president of the Bleacher Report, joined Digiday’s senior reporter, Sahil Patel, for a discussion about the Facebook-Google duopoly at an event for Digiday Pulse. Here are the some highlights, lightly edited for clarity:

The Bleacher Report has gone from redirecting audience to their website to building audiences on social media platforms.
“Social is the new way to build audience and brands.”

Getting this mobile generation to pay for content is going to happen without question.
“We’ve got a whole generation of people that don’t subscribe to cable. But think about it. Interest has never been higher. Young people will pay for that, even to just watch it on their phone.”

Google and Facebook do own a huge part of the ecosystem, but this phase of the industry is exciting.
“The exciting part is that it’s a little bit of the Wild West as far as what you’re allowed to do, and how you monetize on these platforms. So the rules are changing a lot. But that means there’s huge opportunity for us to lead this new wave of publishers that have to make money off this platform.”

There’s always going to be disruptors in Google and Facebook’s duopoly, but there’s also a challenge.
“There’s going to be companies that have catered their strategies so much around this duopoly. They’re not going to be able to pivot fast enough.”

Thinking about what’s next.
“[Publishers] have to figure out social video at this particular time in this industry, but there’s always something that’s going to come next. Like Amazon and Netflix. The eyeballs are going to be where the young audience is going.”

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