Can the media business be saved? A “Spotify for news” is not the answer, says News Media Alliance CEO David Chavern.

I think News Media Alliance CEO David Chavern represents the industry well in this Recode Decode podcast with Kara Swisher. He explains why a “Spotify for news” model doesn’t work for newspapers:

“There’s this mental model: When it comes to content, they always say ‘Spotify for,’ right? ‘Spotify for news,’” he said. “A couple things to keep in mind when news is compared to music, though. First of all, our back catalog is not super valuable. You may have listened to Ella Fitzgerald this morning but something tells me you didn’t read about Jimmy Carter. … And trust is a huge part of the transaction. You have to know where it’s coming from and have some trust in who developed it. As long as it sounds like Ella Fitzgerald, you’re kinda pretty okay.”

And discusses the challenges with the big tech companies beyond the typical arguments that are made around the First Amendment and regulation:

“They’re our regulator,” he said. “The government can’t regulate the news business, First Amendment. But these guys can … They determine which of our content gets delivered to who, in what priority, how it’s monetized, whether we exist on their platforms or not. They stand between us and our audience and determine everything about that relationship.

You can listed the the entire podcast at

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