“Big is relative. Yes, the digital startups have gotten big by publisher standards — but they’re small compared to Google and Facebook. Those companies have formed an effective duopoly, taking in more than 40 percent of the still-fast-growing digital ad business in the U.S. (and probably more in Europe). The two companies are built for mass, and their size means that even ad rates driven down by programmatic buying can be made up by sheer scale.Against that scale (and against their targeting technology that moves farther ahead of the competition day by day), all original content publishers — legacy and newer — suffer. That’s part of what we’re seeing in the BuzzFeed slowing and general worries about how much ad monetization can be wrung out of the big newer media audiences.”

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