Over the course of the last five years (already?) our company has grown from just a tiny, standalone, niche publication, to a fully-fledged publishing company that caters to three specific demographics, as well as hosting a site that covers everything automotive. It wasn’t a smooth transition, and it certainly wasn’t easy by any means, but it’s been a journey for sure.
That said, there’s an ever-changing way of how we produce content, and the way content is consumed by audiences the world over. In the olden days, there was print media — roughly 80-110 pages of words and images printed on paper, that depicted various car features, tech stories, new product announcements, editorials, usually a reader’s rides section, and whatever else the editors of the day felt like putting in that particular issue.
As someone who worked in print for a brief time, it was quite limiting to what you could and were physically able to do with it. It was fine way to get insight in the pre-Internet era, but as technology evolved on other platforms putting out time sensitive articles, often weeks or months after certain news stories broke, made print redundant.
Of course there’s the argument that’s always made, usually from older generations, that there’s a certain “realness,” or “tangibility” that comes from print. That’s fine if that’s how you feel, but usually that’s just code for, “I enjoy reading your magazine when I’m sitting on the john.” Or, they just like to collect things.
Either way, digital has taken over in the last decade with print being barely an afterthought, but now the culture has shifted yet again. At this point, digital viewers don’t even want to read anymore. They want video, much video, and the shorter, more entertaining and more to the point that it is, the better.
The immediate and easy access of smartphones and social media has made “influencers” and “outlets” out of more people than ever before. The vast majority of whom have zero professional experience or background in the field in which they’re lending themselves. However, the amount of subscribers their channels have and views their various videos have will lead people to believe otherwise.
You can say it’s a good thing if you’re on the outside looking in, but in my opinion it has diluted, and sue me for saying it, dumbed down the hobby and the industry as a whole. It’s more about getting clicks and views than it is the quality of the content, or even being informative of whatever it is you’re on about. The more ridiculous that you appear, the more traffic and followers you gain. People want cheap and easy thrills these days, and pretending to be a goof while talking to your iPhone for the sake of Facebook views leaves a distaste in my mouth.
I’ve tried to follow some of today’s most popular vloggers, many of whom are almost young enough to be my children, with little inclination to return for the next episode. I grant you, it’s a miracle and a blessing that these kids are even into cars to begin with, given what we know about their generation as a whole, per the SEMA research database. But it leaves someone like me, a member of late GEN-X little to show interest in.
So what’s a car guy to do? Most of the print publications that I used to subscribe to no longer exist, and the vloggers that are out there now I can’t relate to. Considering that I’m also looking to evolve what we do for the new decade, and beyond, it only makes sense that we take the same style of content that you love on our websites, (AutoCentricMedia.com, GM-EFI.com, BlueOvalMuscle.com and TimelessMuscle.com) to the trenches of social media video.
We’ve been dabbling in it for quite some time, but for 2020, we’ll be taking our platform entirely to the various social channels with video content that will range from the dirty, down-home and gritty stuff, to polished professional videos that the manufacturers will love.
Timeless Muscle, GMEFI and Blue Oval Muscle all have had their own video channels for quite some time, but we’ll be adding much more content, and launching a channel for AutoCentric Media — a network for all things automotive! Oh, and yours truly has a new YouTube channel too, and that takes us back to the down home gritty stuff mentioned earlier. It’s a channel that’s not too far removed from what most viewers are into, without the clownish slapstick.
You’ll get an up close and personal look at many of our in-house project cars, as well as first hand knowledge of the wrench time we’ll be putting in. You’ll find that under the “Rick Seitz: Automotive Extraordinaire,” tagline. Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram as well.
AutoCentric Media is the fastest-growing all-encompassing digital magazine, catered to automotive enthusiasts from all walks of life, with various interests.