To remind you, The Medium identifies a few key trends each fiscal quarter that reveal the most important tensions and seismic shifts in the media marketplace. The key trends help you answer a simple question: "What's next for media, and where's it all going? How are the pieces lining up for business models to evolve, succeed, or fail?"
Read the three key trends The Medium will be focused on in Q3 2023.
I am going to reference Dante Alighieri’s “Inferno” because this market moment keeps reminding me of the final moments of the epic poem.
Now, as I rule I try not to use literary references when writing about business. Many (but not all) executives and investors simply don’t think of literature as applicable to business, and yes, references to classical literature can seem out of touch and pretentious. I'm going to make an exception here because the final moments of Inferno help to illustrate an important insight.
The narrator (Dante) and his guide (the poet Virgil) end their evening-long descent into Hell by climbing down the body of Satan, who is entombed in ice. Virgil climbs “down from tuft to tuft / between the tangled hair and icy crusts” as Dante holds onto his neck. But, at the moment they reach Satan’s “thigh joint”, Virgil seems to reverse direction. They are now climbing upwards, except they are still headed towards Satan’s feet above them. They find a crevice in a rock to climb upon, where a disoriented Dante asks Virgil how down suddenly became up, and how night instantly became morning.
I felt similarly disoriented while researching stories and analyses for The Medium’s three themes for Q3 2023. But nothing was more confounding than the extraordinary, sudden emergence of Meta’s new Twitter-competitor Threads. It reached 70 million users within less than 48 hours on Friday, and it is on track to reach 100 million users on Monday (if it didn’t already hit the milestone over the weekend).
Meta's extraordinary launch of Threads revealed a new paradigm that points to consumers investing more in to creators as premium content, and less into "core brands and franchises" or the “beloved characters and worlds”.
Total words: 1,300
Total time reading: 4 minutes
I thought this description from Jessica Lessin of The Information last Thursday night helped to frame the significance of Threads:
“A tech platform, in a matter of hours, skyrocketed to millions of new users—almost 50 million now—using an algorithm (informed by your Instagram followers) to ...