There is no question that traditional publishers have faced some significant challenges over the past decade, but this article does a good job of showing the paradox between content creators (writers/authors), content delivery (publishers) and content discovery (social/search). Publishers do not really have the exclusive on anything. The value has gone more to the people who can reach the right people and surface the content.
(Full Disclosure: The first 5-6 paragraphs are less relevant…stay with it…you will get to the good stuff).
Article Link: https://stratechery.com/2014/publishers-smiling-curve/