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1564830cookie-checkWhy Companies Will Continue to Go Broke in 2020
Angry Assault

Why Companies Will Continue to Go Broke in 2020

Digital media companies at a seemingly accelerated rate have continued to go bankrupt or been forced to lay off significant amounts of their staff as they undergo restructuring. Many correctly attribute this decline to a rise in said outlets pushing progressive and Marxist agendas while simultaneously attacking their readership for not wanting to be subjected to such rhetoric; aka getting woke.

Although this plays a very large part in what is transpiring, were it so simple there wouldn’t be an ongoing culture war. These websites would decline at an accelerated rate as viewers became wiser to the early warning signs of wokeness and corporate overlords would be keen to root out the pestilence wherever and whenever they found it.


Clownfish TV touching upon the numerous layoffs occurring in the industry explained how an injection of venture capital propped up the industry for quite some time. This is true as many venture capitalists and corporations saw the growing market potential of digital press and purchased into the medium only to do very little to evolve let alone course correct their investment. Many simply content to sit back and siphon off the revenue the sites generated, but this lack of change also owed in large part to their complete ignorance of how digital markets worked compared to what they were used to.

Leading to either digital media specialists often with a leftist lean being put in charge of managing these websites, hence the rise of social justice, or they contently left the project to more or less manage itself. They were largely unconcerned because if or when the project stopped producing revenue to their liking they’d just sell off their position or sell off the site. Leading to sites like Kotaku being traded hands twice in such a short span of time. Along with large tech companies like Verizon looking to divest from their digital media holdings

Yet to understand why these websites stopped making money we need to understand the mechanisms that lead to this and why these mechanisms will continue bankrupting companies going forward.

The First Adpocalypse

There is a trend to attribute the first adpocalypse to YouTube’s decision to push family friendly content on their platform rather than have the site be aimed at a general or mature audience. This is calling the symptom the condition. YouTube’s decision wasn’t the cause of the adpocalypse, but came as a result of the incoming adpocalypse.

Those in finance knew the original adpocalypse was coming for quite some time before it eventually hit. What had transpired beforehand was the overselling and misrepresentation of Google’s advertisement reach and benefit of digital marketing to marketing departments. Corporations started looking to become leaner or having heard whisperings of the issue began asking their marketing departments how effective their advertisement campaigns with Google were.


Investment sites were reporting that the result of their findings was their advertisement campaigns were generating next to no results. Google for their part could have undertaken a revision to how advertisement works and in part personalized advertisement is that solution, but they instead opted to do nothing noticeable to mitigate the incoming problem.

Then in 2016 a wave of companies cancelled their advertisement contracts with Google. Not because they had found any content offensive nor had they any issues with how YouTube was ran, but because their advertisements were not producing results.

YouTube was the most noticeably affected by the adpocalypse, but adsense and online advertisement were both significantly impacted by the event. In a short time the landscape changed and advertisement money became scarcer. Future incidents making association with YouTube untenable for brand images would trigger further adpocalypses.

With resources becoming scarcer it was that this time websites needed to buckle down and undertake restructurings to how they would function and earn revenue. Rather than do so they idled either because the owner was indifferent or sluggish to the change in the market or management believed they were untouchable.

Overpaid Staff and Bloat Drain What’s Left

Last year journalists pushed for unionization and revealed their salaries were in fact so high it put them solidly as middle class to upper middle class . Some of them out earn US Senators (pre-bribe), NASA Engineers, miners and a slew of other professions that are required to keep society functioning or to advance us into the next frontier.


With writers at Kotaku for example receiving 50k a year starting salary as a result of protectionist unionization these websites slowly go bust as they cannot generate the revenue needed to sustain the high cost of their own staff, whose salaries were determined during the golden age of the site’s existence.

Worse, many of these companies then bring on hundreds of employees whom have absolutely nothing to do with the production of material that generates advertisement revenue or provide any significant optimization to work flow or revenue generation. Each of these people then receive a massive salary and is it any wonder why sites like Buzzfeed, Vice, and Vox fail to make money and find their stocks to be worthless.

With payment trends not reversing nor revenue production increasing these sites are going to continue to deplete whatever reserves they have left until they either fold or are sold off to be someone else’s problem.

Wokeness Drives Away Viewers

As previously stated Wokeness or in more specific terms sociopolitical narratives of a Marxist, modern socialist, and progressive orientation does play a large role in the decline of these sites. The average person may never invest themselves fully into politics nor political thought do possess certain distastes for having politics heaved onto them. As more people become affected by these agendas the more so this distaste grows amongst the populous.


In turn, people gradually stop viewing content that promotes such agendas and narratives.

Yet to claim that to be the sole cause of the decline in readership would be disingenuous.

It is also important to note as sites become what is referred to as converged, wherein their staff becomes overwhelming progressive, social (in)justice online warriors, or Marxists — their content coverage declines with the rise of increased promotion of their ideological agenda.

As Vox Days puts it, one cannot serve two masters and these people will always seek to push their agenda over corporate/organizational interests.

Certainly it is funny to laugh at the declining viewership of those who openly express contempt for their audience there is a reason why it is extremely dangerous to a website’s bottom line. Marketing is based upon viewership rates and interactions with advertisements. The more people you have on your site the higher your rate. The more people that click through the advertisements the better your engagement rate is so that both guarantees continued advertisement, but ups your rates as well.

With declining viewers so too does site rates decline. Generating less revenue, but at the same time continue to pay their employees extremely well for them to in turn trash the general market creates a death spiral for sites.

Where this leads is straight to the master list.

Until the fundamental problems of their operational design are understood there can be no course correction. As Social Justice Warriors have little interest in the perpetuation of the organization’s well being they have regularly bucked at even the mere notion of course correcting their operations.

Thus 2020 will become the year of Go Broke.

Other Angry Assault