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The media industry has gone through many changes since banner advertising first appeared on the Internet. Legacy constraints on traditional media outlets have hampered their ability to respond. Startups have sought to capitalize on these constraints; not all of them have survived. In this article, Mike Caruso and James Katchadurian draw on CR3 Partners’ experience with media organizations of all kinds to bring light to why this is happening and what solutions are available.
Media has undergone tremendous change since banner advertising first appeared on the Internet in 1994, which unfortunately was also the first spam email campaign. 
Traditional media’s response, though immediate, was hampered by legacy constraints including:
Online-exclusive start-ups quickly materialized to take advantage of these constraints. Unburdened by existing business models or relationships and fueled by venture capital financing, these start-ups endured booms and busts, with many not surviving.
Fast forward to today and the winners have emerged. Digital advertising is expected to yield greater results than all traditional media formats combined. Facebook and Google dominate digital advertising with a combined 60% market share while Amazon and Apple are also on the rise. 
As a result, an increasing volume of distressed media companies, both traditional and digital, are burdened by debt they can no longer support and find themselves under increasing competitive pressure. There are a number of operational responses to these continued trends aimed at focusing your business plan and maximizing your companies place in the market.
All the above may seem easier said than done. Not only do entrenched competitors and financial constraints limit a company’s options, but some of the solutions are self-contradicting. Keeping up with technological innovations and broadening product offerings requires scale and significant financial investment. However, this is contrary to the need to focus on a target audience (few of which are of sufficient size to obtain the needed scale). Consolidation of multiple independent editorial/sales operations under one technologically advanced infrastructure is one answer, but the tension between those two approaches can prove difficult.
One thing is clear – media independent of the large platform companies are here to stay and innovation continues at a breakneck pace. CR3 Partners has experience not only across the capital markets, but within the media landscape, and is positioned to assist in managing the transition.
CR3 Partners, LLC is a national turnaround and performance improvement firm that assists, guides and collaborates with management teams and their constituents facing any sort of transition, stress or distress. Michael Caruso is a Director in CR3’s Boston office and James Katchadurian is a Partner in CR3’s New York office.
 Zakon.org: https://www.zakon.org/robert/internet/timeline/
 U.S. Digital Ad Spending Will Surpass Traditional in 2019, Article by eMarketer Editors, Feb 19, 2019
 1st-Party Data Is Overrated, Misunderstood, Ted McConnell, Media Insider July 11, 2019
 Bond Internet Trends 2019, Mary Meeker, June 11, 2019