Where is the Taylor Swift of news? Not for glamour or youth, though lord knows the business could do with both, but someone with the singer’s ability to convince technology companies to pay for their work.
Within days of Swift asking Apple to pay musicians royalties during a trial of its streaming service, one of the world’s largest technology companies had succumbed to the youngest person to be included on Forbes’ most powerful women list.
There are so many reasons a letter starting “Dear Apple” and ending “love Rupert” would not have the same impact. Yet the entire news industry, and not just Rupert Murdoch, has allowed the idea of news as a no-value commodity to take hold – with a report from Syria or the Federal Reserve as interesting to advertisers as one of the 4m mentions of laundry posted on Facebook each day, or possibly less so.
There is only one Taylor Swift.
And there’s tens of thousands of people who can and do churn out news pieces. As Jane Martinson and, erm, Tim Worstall show. As any random perusal of Google News shows, there’s simply no shortage of people willing and able to churn out 500 words on whatever. Thus the ability to churn out 500 words on whatever is not highly valued.
It’s this supply and demand thing. It really does work you know.