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The Risk of Billionaire-Funded Media, the Importance of Archiving, and Other Takeaways From the Demise of DNAInfo and Gothamist
November 3, 2017 at 1:41 pm

What billionaires giveth, billionaires can taketh away. DNAinfo and Gothamist, two popular local news networks, were abruptly shutdown last night, just a week after employees of companies voted to unionize. Billionaire Joe Ricketts, who launched DNAInfo in 2009 and acquired Gothamist last year, wrote that while the two sites had accomplished much over the years…

Facebook Beats Earnings Expectations With 49% Growth in Q3, Despite Russian Ad Controversy
November 2, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Facebook reported another $10.14 billion in advertising revenue in the third quarter even while the company’s top attorney testified in Congress about how Russian operatives bought ads to misinform users before, during and after the 2016 presidential election. Today, the company said revenue for the previous three months grew 49% compared to the same period…

Condé Nast Shutters Teen Vogue in Print, Cuts 80 Jobs
November 2, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Condé Nast is expected to complete its final round of cuts by next Thursday, WWD has learned. The New York-based publisher, which has instilled a hiring freeze, will slash about 80 jobs, equal to a decrease of about 2.5% of its 3,000-person workforce. Budgets across departments are also expected to get a haircut, with the…

Social Platforms Grilled on Russia
November 1, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Welcome to November. Tuesday was day one of long-anticipated Congressional hearings with representatives from Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Russia’s presence on the social platforms as it attempted to influence the 2016 election is now well established, and the testimony confirmed that. What still isn’t clear is what impact the attempts actually had. The platforms confirmed…

New York Times Co. Increases Revenue, Books Healthy Third Quarter Profit
November 1, 2017 at 2:28 pm

The New York Times Co. is suffering the same miserable print advertising losses as others in the industry — down 20% year-to-year for the third quarter. But the Times, unlike the rest of the public news companies, still achieved revenue growth — 6% for the quarter — thanks to another surge in digital subscriptions and…

Media Industry Reports Are Releasing Less Data on Print Ad Revenue & Employee Head Counts
October 31, 2017 at 1:48 pm

The last decade has seen a steady erosion in the number of media industry benchmark reports — at least those made publicly available to trade reporters and bloggers — leaving less reliable, third-party data by which to gauge the overall health of the media business. The Publisher’s Information Bureau, which long provided quarterly and annual…

How Medium Is Attracting Premium Publishers to Its Partner Program (Hint: Money Up Front)
October 31, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Would you pay, online, for something that you already have access to free online? Medium hopes that the answer is yes. Last month, the site started running, behind its $5/month paywall, “curated content” from a couple dozen publishers. Some (the Financial Times, The New York Times, The Economist) have paywalls of their own. Many others…

Guardian Says Money From Readers Has Overtaken Advertising; Boasts 500,000 Paying Supporters
October 30, 2017 at 1:39 pm

Guardian News and Media claims that more than 300,000 readers are now paying it at least £5 a month as supporters and members. Added to around 100,000 print subscribers and 100,000 digital app subscribers this means around 500,000 are now making regular payments to The Guardian and Observer publisher. Editor Katharine Viner has said that…

In the Hunt for Reader Revenue, Publishers Give Micropayments Another Look
October 30, 2017 at 1:34 pm

Micropayments haven’t delivered on their promise to save the publishing business. But publishers are finding new uses for them in the hunt for new subscribers. Both publishers and vendors are driving this shift, and it’s an early step in a long walk publishers have started to augment their advertising business. “The focus had been so…

BuzzFeed Wants to Sell Your Gadget, And Keep a Cut of the Sales
October 27, 2017 at 1:33 pm

BuzzFeed makes money selling ads. It has started making money selling its own gadgets. Now it wants to combine the two ideas: The publisher is telling gadget-makers and inventors it will make ads for their inventions, in exchange for a cut of their product’s sales. This one comes out of BuzzFeed’s newish Product Labs group,…

Time Inc. Cuts Continue, Between 50 and 75 Employees Out
October 27, 2017 at 1:29 pm

Time Inc. has let go of between 50 and 75 employees, WWD has learned. The news was confirmed by a spokeswoman from Time Inc., who added that the cuts were a combination of volunteers and job eliminations, meaning some workers left willingly, while others were laid off. “This is a normal course of business as…

Recommendation Engines for News Are Terrible. Scoring Stories Could Help.
October 26, 2017 at 2:50 pm

For news media, recommendation engines are a horror show. The NQS project I’m working on at Stanford forced me to look at the way publishers try to keep readers on their property — and how the vast majority conspire to actually lose them. I will resist putting terrible screenshots I collected for my research… Instead,…

Artificial Intelligence Is Coming for Publishers’ Analytics
October 26, 2017 at 2:35 pm

A four-year-old London startup called Echobox found traction in Europe and is poised to further expand in the U.S. with its AI-assisted social media product. Echobox, which has about 30 employees and raised $3.4 million in seed funding last year, aims to develop “AI for automating repetitive tasks” for publishers, according to CEO and founder Antoine…

The Ad Industry Is Changing—Here’s What Publishers Can Expect
October 25, 2017 at 2:16 pm

The advertising landscape is undergoing its most sweeping transformation in years. Apple just released the new version of Safari, which prioritizes user privacy; an updated version of Google’s Chrome, with a new ad filter, comes out in January; and new rules on data protection in the European Union take effect in May. These changes will…

In Race to Win Subscribers, Some Publishers Have a Head Start
October 25, 2017 at 2:11 pm

As Google and Facebook gobble up an ever-larger share of the digital advertising pie, subscriptions and other paid content offerings have been pitched as an antidote for publishers’ financial woes. But not everyone is sharing in the riches equally, according to a new report from the trade group Digital Content Next. The 20 publishers that…

How The Los Angeles Times Used Hit Podcast ‘Dirty John’ to Drive Newsletter Sign-Ups
October 24, 2017 at 1:32 pm

It turns out hit podcasts can help drive newsletter sign-ups. The Los Angeles Times used interest in “Dirty John,” a podcast and editorial series that the Tronc-owned title produced in partnership with Wondery, to get an additional 21,000 email subscribers to Essential California, five times the total it has accumulated in the months leading up…

BBC Will Use Machine Learning to Cater to What Audiences Want to Watch
October 23, 2017 at 1:43 pm

Today, BBC’s R&D team announced a five-year initiative to use machine learning to work out what audiences want to watch. To accomplish this, the team is partnering up with data scientists and experts from UK universities as well as media and tech companies based in Europe…

At BuzzFeed, a Pivot to Movies and Television
October 23, 2017 at 1:37 pm

BuzzFeed started its motion picture arm in 2014. Initially, the division specialized in creating clickable video content, racking up an estimated three billion views a month. But over the last year BuzzFeed Motion Pictures has expanded its purview. These days Mr. Henick and his team of 42 people concentrate their energies on mining BuzzFeed articles,…

The World's Most Powerful Publishers Refuse to Admit What They Really Are
October 20, 2017 at 1:43 pm

It took a terrorist attack for Google to enter the news business. On September 11, 2001, after hijackers crashed two commercial jets into the World Trade Center as well as a third plane into the Pentagon and another into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, internet users turned to the search engine for information. Again and…