What makes a strong Digital Media Brand?

In a meeting today, John Squires the COO of Time Inc, shared plans to reinvigorate the digital properties of the Time Inc. magazines.  He talked about leveraging the strengths of their individual media brands.  It wasn't an exhaustive conversation, but he cited factual reporting, access, and talent as attributes that their audience value in their media brands. 

Without having a BAV study at my fingertips to back this up, it seems that the most powerful digital media brands, the digital brands that cause people to say "I love site X!"  do not produce their own content.  Google, YouTube, Craig's List all help people find the right content that was made by somebody else. 

If that is what audiences value in the sea of infinite digital content — then it would seem like currency, relevance, and breadth are the key attributes rather than anything tied to content creation. 

Blogs are an obvious exception — but the reason they are loved is seemingly because of their ton of voice and editorial perspective rather than anything about the quality of the content. 

I'm curious to read comments if I'm splitting hairs or off the mark.