From pageviews to t-shirts

“Most media brands will start selling merchandise in 2018, if they’re not already.”

Until recently, going back to 1999, every real paycheck I’d received was thanks to digital content and display advertising. Now, I sell t-shirts.

I get that that sounds weird and may be a scary glimpse at your own future, but they’re really cool t-shirts.

The company is called , and each shirt celebrates a trending sports moment. We put great care into tracking social data to generate ideas in real-time, getting the design (content?) just right, printing on quality fabric, and giving customers a great experience.

We also partner with media brands to promote the shirts and share the revenue. I guess that’s what matters here.

This year was a bloodbath — gory media layoffs everywhere, and talent flooding the market. One of the brands that fared well, though, was Barstool Sports. Look at what they did on Black Friday alone: .

It would take hundreds of millions of page views (or even video views) to get to that level of revenue via traditional advertising.

Barstool wasn’t alone, either. BreakingT also had record-high Black Friday sales. And thanks largely to the media brands we’re partnered with, our annual sales were higher than ever, too.

We expect to double that in 2018, primarily because digital media brands need e-commerce now. Why not sell things that strengthen your brand while bringing joy to people and revenue to your company?

(Of course, this may work best and most consistently in the world of sports, but I’ve seen my share of out in the wild, too.)

It’s new money, it delights readers/followers/viewers/listeners, and the merch can be content, too. When , it wasn’t just a great moment that ended up on SportsCenter, etc. — it also made for over-performing posts and great business for the publishers we partnered with (e.g., Houston Astros sites and ).

It created a closer connection with their audiences. Their readers now get to “wear the moment” and take their media diet into the world around them. It’s one thing to tell a friend where you’re getting your news and information; it’s another for them to see you wearing it.

So yeah, that’s all great, but what’s the prediction?

Simply put, most media brands will start selling merchandise in 2018, if they’re not already. That could be anything, but the most obvious place to start is with a combination of branded apparel (i.e., what Barstool and Crooked Media are doing) and trending apparel (i.e., what we do with others at BreakingT).

And hopefully it helps make it so that the people making the content keep getting real paychecks.

is president of BreakingT and former senior director of social content for Gannett.

Alastair Coote   The year of self-improvement

Sue Schardt   Jump the niche

Vivian Schiller   Pivot to tomorrow

Frédéric Filloux   External forces

Mary Walter-Brown   Show a little vulnerability

Mariana Moura Santos   Think local, act global

Dheerja Kaur   Fun with subscription products

Elizabeth Jensen   Show your work

Niketa Patel   Live journalism comes of age

Kristen Muller   The year of the voter

Mandy Velez   texting is lit rn, fam

Nancy Watzman   Know thy TV

Alexios Mantzarlis   Moving fake news research out of the lab

Sara M. Watson   Feeds will open up to new user-determined filters

Cory Haik   Suffering from realness, pivoting to impact

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   The Snapchat scenario and the risk of more closed platforms

Dan Shanoff   You down with OTT? (Yeah, DTC)

Borja Echevarría   TV goes digital, digital goes TV

Tracie Powell   The muting of underserved voices

Rubina Madan Fillion   Unlocking the potential of AI

Damon Krukowski   Reviving the alt-weekly soul

Charo Henríquez   Training is an investment, not an expense

Richard J. Tofel   The platforms’ power demands more reporters’ attention

Nikki Usher   The year of The Washington Post

Umbreen Bhatti   The trust problem isn’t new

Monique Judge   Letting black women tell their own stories

Zizi Papacharissi   Women come back

Sam Sanders   Shine the light on ourselves

Almar Latour   Conquering calm

Edward Roussel   Eyes, ears, and brains

Doris Truong   Computer vision vs. the Internet vigilantes

Millie Tran and Stine Bauer Dahlberg   (Hint: It’s about your brand)

Michelle Garcia   Navigating journalistic transparency

Jassim Ahmad   Thriving on change

Susie Banikarim   R.I.P. Pivot to Video (2017–2017)

Raju Narisetti   Mirror, mirror on the wall

Will Sommer   The year local media gets conservative

Jamie Mottram   From pageviews to t-shirts

Evie Nagy   Pivot to mobile video frustration

C.W. Anderson   The social media apocalypse

Neha Gandhi   Filler killers

Jake Levine   The return to now

Corey Johnson   The pro-fact resistance

Usha Sahay   Wallets get opened

Nicholas Diakopoulos   Fortifying social media from automated inauthenticity

An Xiao Mina   Memes and visuals come to the fore

Sydette Harry   Listen to your corner and watch for the hook

Marcela Donini and Thiago Herdy   Collaboration is the way forward for Brazilian journalism

Kawandeep Virdee   Zines had it right all along

Jacqui Cheng   Retailers move into content

Errin Haines Whack   At the ballot, it’s time to count black women

Tim Carmody   Watch out for Spotify

L. Gordon Crovitz   Serving readers over advertisers

Nushin Rashidian   Publishers seek ad dollar alternatives

Rodney Benson   Better, less read, and less trusted

Michael Kuntz   The only pivot that might work

Sally Lehrman   Trust comes first

P. Kim Bui   The reckoning is only beginning

Eric Nuzum   Beyond the narrative arc

Imaeyen Ibanga   Longform video leads the way

Bill Keller   A growing turn to philanthropy

Taylor Lorenz   Social and media will split

Renée Kaplan   The year of quiet adjustments (shhh)

Carlos Martínez de la Serna   The new journalism commons

Steve Grove   The midterms are an opportunity

Cindy Royal   Your journalism curriculum is obsolete

Matt Carlson   Attacks on the press will get worse

S. Mitra Kalita   The arc of news and audience

Tanya Cordrey   Finally, the seeds of radical reinvention

Laura E. Davis   Writing answers before you know the question

Joyce Barnathan   It will be harder to bury the news

Dan Newman   A return to trust

José Zamora   Revenue-first journalism

Lucas Graves   From algorithms to institutions

Aron Pilhofer   We can’t leave the business to the business side any more

Joanne Lipman   Journalists inventing revenue streams

Feli Sánchez   The year for guerrilla user research

Rick Berke   Value is the watchword

Ruth Palmer   Risks will grow for news subjects — especially minorities

Jim Brady   With the people, not just of the people

Amy King   Let’s amplify visual voice

Yvonne Leow   The rise of video messaging

Molly de Aguiar   Good journalism won’t be enough

Lanre Akinola   Making noise is not a strategy

Brian Lam   Sketchy ethics around product reviews

Jesse Holcomb   Information disorder, coming to a congressional district near you

Justin Kosslyn   The year journalists become digital security experts

Pete Brown   Push alerts, personalized

Juliette De Maeyer   A responsible press criticism

Jared Newman   Venture funding and digital news don’t mix

Alfred Hermida   Going beyond mobile-first

Caitlin Thompson   Podcasting models mature and diversify

Heather Bryant   Building the ecosystems for collaboration

Julia B. Chan   Looking for loyalty in all the right places

Michelle Ferrier   The year of the great reckoning

David Skok   Finding an information-life balance

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams   Women of color will reclaim and monetize our time

Corey Ford   The empire strikes back

Rachel Schallom   Better design helps differentiate opinion and news

Jessica Parker Gilbert   Design connects storytelling and strategy

Pablo Boczkowski   The rise of skeptical reading

Mira Lowe   The year of the local watchdog

Lam Thuy Vo   Breaking free from the tyranny of the loudest

Matt Thompson   Here come the attention managers

Nicholas Quah   Stop talking trash about young people

Matt DeRienzo   A recession, then a collapse

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Seeking trust in fragmented spaces

Rodney Gibbs   Tech workers turn to journalism

Alice Antheaume   Are you fluent in AI?

Burt Herman   Things get real

Nathalie Malinarich   Peak push

Jarrod Dicker   Honesty in advertising

Ståle Grut   Reclaiming audience interaction from social networks

Federica Cherubini   The rise of bridge roles in news organizations

Amie Ferris-Rotman   More female reporters abroad (please)

Mary Meehan   Real lives are at stake in rural areas

John Keefe   Scooped by AI

Mariano Blejman   News games rule

Betsy O'Donovan and Melody Kramer   Skepticism and narcissism

Tanzina Vega   It’s time for media companies to #PassTheMic

Eric Ulken   The year local publishers get smart(er) about change

Paul Ford   Go global

Mario García   Storytelling finally adapts to mobile

Kinsey Wilson   Facebook and Google: Help out or pay up

Pia Frey   Address users as individuals

Christopher Meighan   Passive partnership is in the rearview

Amy Webb   Listen to weak signals

Basile Simon   We need better career paths for news nerds

Julia Beizer   A longer view on the pivot

Caitria O'Neill   The new court of public opinion

Emma Carew Grovum   Newsroom culture becomes a priority

Debra Adams Simmons   And a woman shall lead them

Helen Havlak   Keywords, not publishers, power the world’s biggest feeds

Mike Caulfield   Refactoring media literacy for the networked age

Monika Bauerlein   The firehose of falsehood

Jennifer Brandel and Mónica Guzmán   The editorial meeting of the future

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Publishing less to give readers more

Hossein Derakhshan   Television has won

Kelsey Proud   No, no, no

Sam Ford   The year of investing in processes

Alan Soon   The rise of start of psychographic, micro-targeted media

Miguel Castro   The arrival of the impact producer

Andrew Haeg   The year journalists become relationship builders

Andrew Ramsammy   The year ownership mattered

Dannagal G. Young   Stop covering politics as a game

Adam Thomas   Sharing is caring: The year of the mentor

Kim Fox   Audience teams diversify their approach

Mi-Ai Parrish   Blockchain and trust

Vanessa K. DeLuca   Women’s voices take center stage

Trushar Barot   The Jio-fication of India

Kathleen McElroy   Building a news video experience native to mobile

Cristina Wilson   The year of the Instagram Story

Craig Newmark   Working together toward sustainable solutions

Joanne McNeil   Gatekeeping the gatekeepers

Manoush Zomorodi   Self-help as a publishing strategy

Luke O'Neil   The end is already here

Sarah Marshall   Loyalty as the key performance indicator

Tamar Charney   We get serious about algorithms

Ray Soto   VR reaches the next level

Marie Gilot   No assholes allowed

Emily Goligoski   Looking beyond news for inspiration

Jim Moroney   Newspapers have to be good enough for readers to pay for

Felix Salmon   Covering bitcoin while owning bitcoin

Ariana Tobin   Too tired to tap

Rachel Davis Mersey   AI, with real smarts

Matt Boggie   The intellectual equivalent of the Dead Sea

Raney Aronson-Rath   Transparency is the antidote to fake news

Jennifer Choi   Standing up for us and for each other

Andrew Losowsky   The year of resilience

Kyle Ellis   Let’s build our way out of this

Jennifer Coogan   The future is female

Claire Wardle   Disinformation gets worse

Carrie Brown-Smith   Transparency finally takes off

Daniel Trielli   The rich get richer, the poor scramble

Hannah Cassius   The year of the echo-chamber escapists

Francesco Marconi   The year of machine-to-machine journalism

www.ukrterminal.kiev.ua

yarema.ua

https://yarema.ua