72 per cent

… of mobile display ad revenue now goes to six companies – none of which are news producing organizations.”

A truly gut-churning statistic from Pew Research, quoted in an article by the media commentator Tom Foremski in which he argues that no amount of billionaires will save journalism as long as it depends on an advertising-based business model.

His solution is a radical one: a media cartel that might need special protection from anti-trust laws.

The billionaires should all get together to fund the development of a sustainable media business model that any local news organization can adhere to and build on.

It can only be done on an industry-wide basis,  it’s the only way to develop the scale that can compete with large media platforms such as Google and Facebook.

It will require a cartel-like approach to provide the control and the metrics to revive advertising revenues. For example, to show how media content drives far more commerce than search advertising and is thus more valuable to advertisers.

It’ll probably require the Department of Justice to provide special protection from anti-trust laws but unless there is an industry-wide effort to shore up revenues from the deflationary crush of the tech media giants, the news industry will continue to struggle and fail.

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