There's another casualty in this battle: long form writing.
In the early 2000s, when Fatbrain Books was bought by Barnes & Noble because Amazon's stock had collapsed and the world believed brick & mortar stores were real businesses and dot bombs were a joke, I knew Jeff Bezos and the Riggio brothers (who ran B&N) very well (I had founded Fatbrain). We were all terrified that books would go into steep decline because Millenials had video games to play and the Internet to read.
A host of new social media and news sites saw the trend and confidently bet on shorter content — BuzzFeed, Twitter, and SnapChat, for example. I realized I was a dinosaur because I listened to longer-form audio like those obscure things called podcasts, which were definitely not taking off, and I still read dinosaur publications like Wired and The Atlantic.
But here we are a decade and a half later and it turns out books are a thing, podcasts are on fire, Wired is crushing it, 10-episode TV is all the rage, and John Oliver's 20-minute Last Week Tonight episodes are getting megaviews on YouTube. But Buzzfeed & Snap are struggling with twitchy content.
Thank God. Sometimes it takes more than short-form content to tell a great story.