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Niche vs Mass Media: How the Disruptors are Winning in the Media Business

Speaker: David Skok

Moderator: Graham Griffith

December 8th, 2020, 17:25-18:00 CET

Written by Olha Kotielnikova

Keywords: Media, Journalism, Disruption Theory, Business

Short annotation, summary

In the panel, David Skok talks about current digital transformation with regards to different perceptions and challenges. Besides the role of the Coronavirus pandemic in the media was emphasised. The critical approach that the speaker presents is a theory of disruption.

The project or approach to be discussed in the session

- Disruption theory as the most efficient business model in journalism, providing a lens where everything happens over time.

- Job-to-be-done theory – the same job that we now try to fulfil existed centuries ago. The position of journalism is timeless. Analysing previous experience in the job, experts can elaborate the most efficient way to perform it (for instance, via technology).

- RPT Model and Leadership – which culture should the organisation implement and in which way.

Evidence of impact

Journalists can turn to the theory to increase the efficiency of their work. However, there should be a combination of proper business, product and editorial side to have it work. As David Skok gives an example, “You can have a great piece of journalism, but if it does not load on my phone in a point of 0000.1 seconds and result in 500 pop-up ads on my site, I am not paying for it.” Adaptability is also an asset of a journalist or executive, since not only should they use state-of-the-art tools, but also to be able to respond quickly to the audience’s demands. He emphasised on the quality of the product; it should be “10 times better” than on free platforms.

Limitations, risks of the approach provided by the speaker

Within the disruption theory, “The pursuit of profits is what makes a firm vulnerable”. There is a risk of media executives in the bottom market overlooking potential threats or opportunities. Finally, organisational culture implementation is a “hard work”, it should only be systematic providing all the resources for the stuff.


1. Disruption theory in the media can be challenging to apply.

2. There is a difference in using and prioritising a specific model for each editorial, business or the product strategy in each specific time of technological development.

3. Culture of an organisation is all its investments and priorities and it should be identified and developed.


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