Introduction to Niche Media Markets

Credit: Pete O’Shea, via the Creative Commons license on Flickr

People like to feel connected to their interests. They reach a sense of belonging when they vibe with like-minded individuals and communities, on and offline.

This innate need is something journalism can fulfill through a new media market — niche publications. These are spaces where people can bask in whatever interests them, catering to everything from simple hobbies like knitting, fishing or rock-climbing to something broader like American politics or celebrity gossip.

Niche media markets have erupted in a busy time for journalism. This is an age where media is just as competitive as it is dynamic. And niche markets appeal to that in a great way. A piece from the Harvard Business Review sums this up quite nicely:

“Nichepapers aren’t a new product, service, or business model. They are a new institution. They’re a living example of the institutional innovation that is the key to 21st century business. They’re not the same old newspaper, sold a different way. They are 21st century newspapers, built on new rules, that are letting radical innovators reinvent what ‘news’ is.”

There are many signs of promise in this budding beat industry, but the one that stands out to me the most is its transparency. Niche markets aim to appease the very populations they represent.

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