Today’s sports fan has a seemingly infinite number of resources for news, commentary and long-form reading. I often use the Bleacher Report for scores, ESPN for short-form articles and Oyster for books. It’s nice having all those options but it can also be very inefficient. Besides having to configure all my favorite team settings in each news service I also have to remember the shortcuts and idiosyncrasies of each of their reader apps.
I’d prefer more of an all-in-one service. I’m talking about something with an all-access pass to every form of content, from tweet streams to up-to-the-minute scores to editorials to full-length books. Think ESPN Insider plus a sports book library; or maybe Oyster’s sports library plus the breadth of short-form content in ESPN Insider.
Amazon recently launched Kindle Unlimited, their all-you-can-read service for ebooks. Traditional publishers have been slow to embrace this model, partly because they fear both cannibalization and Amazon. Regardless of whether Amazon succeeds with Kindle Unlimited (they will), the all-you-can-read model is here to stay. It’s now just a question of how long it will take before it includes all content forms, short and long, and becomes more vertical, topically-focused.
An all-access model for news, short- and long-form content is more likely to succeed if it’s focused on specific content verticals. Sports, business and religion are three segments that immediately come to mind, but there are plenty of others. And even though traditional publishers will still have their fears, there are plenty of younger, less risk-averse publishing brands emerging who will gladly fill the void and reap the benefits. It’s bound to be yet another real world scenario brought to life from the pages of The Innovator’s Dilemma.