We often talk about direct commerce in retail and how niche players are « circumventing the middlemen and are shipping directly to consumers ». It's happening in the media too and I'm happy to see it's getting easier for people to buy/consume exactly the information they want versus buying/consuming mass media.
Niche knowledge hubs take different forms but I think the most interesting one is the one-(wo)man show. People develop niche knowledge hubs online and build distribution channels, business models, and communities around them. It's niche knowledge as-a-service.
In technology, Ben Thompson is quite famous for running Stratechery and growing a healthy subscriber base. He explains how he built his community and business in this short video. It's really good, I suggest you watch it.
The interesting part here is that as a reader, you can unbundle your media consumption but subscribing to 4-5 niche knowledge hubs such as Stratechery. Instead of receiving the generic analyses of big publications, you receive a very personal point of view, daily/weekly, on a very specific theme. It feels much more interesting than reading news and allows you to diversify your consumption instead of betting it all on one big publication.
For example, I get my cryptocurrency insights via CoinSheets, my strategy insights via Ben Thomson, my tech insights via Ben Evans, my manufacturing/problem-solving insights my Spencer Wright, my music insights by Bob Lefsetz and my daily philosophy by Maria Popova.
That way I can avoid mass media and moreover, I feel like I'm feeding off the top minds in their respective fields. I'd love to receive well-curated insights from other industries/themes but I'm still slowly building my list. And as your career/life evolved you can easily switch on/off certain feeds.
Yes, RSS feeds have been around for a while, but access to new publishing tools and platforms (blogs, newsletters, twitter feeds, Patreon, etc.) makes it easy for an individual to compete with big publishers in terms of content quality and ease-of-use.