Publishers could use a few gifts from Santa this year, so here is the list I made up. I recommend coming up with one of your own and getting the letter in the mail fast!
The list of what TNM would like for Christmas this year is still quite long, and since I doubt Apple or any other company will fill my requests, I have decided to write Santa in hopes that he can come through.
When a crusading but conflict-averse billionaire bankrolls several of journalism's most prominent mavericks to create a hard-nosed investigative news organization, it's a recipe for turmoil. eBay founder Pierre Omidyar's differences with First Look Media staff have been all over the press. Two top hires are out the door. Sarah Ellison asks whether First Look Media can make headlines that aren't about itself.
In emerging markets, smartphones are gaining ground based on crazily low pricing. Check out this Gadget piece about recent figures from South African retail giant Pep. In the second half of 2013, 1 percent of the pre-pay phones Pep sold were smartphones. That was up to 13 percent in the first half of this year, and soon it will be 30 percent. Much of this is down to the arrival of super-cheap, WhatsApp-centric Android phones priced as low as R399 ($38).
Mike McCue thought he was done. Two years after selling his startup Tellme Networks to Microsoft for a reported $800 million-plus, McCue essentially completed his efforts to integrate the company's innovative voice-recognition software into the Microsoft platform. So in mid-2009 he handed over the reins, turned in his resignation and set his sights on a life of leisure--maybe the occasional angel investment here, perhaps some philanthropy work there, a whole lot of family time in between.
Ms. Mayer says that she wants to make Yahoo a "daily habit" for its 800 million users. But she doesn't want people to come to Yahoo just to read email, post photographs on Flickr or get the latest sports scores. She also wants Yahoo to be a place where they curl up and spend some time, whether they are into haute couture, the latest gadgets or tabloid gossip.
And curling up right beside them would be the advertisers.
Earlier this month, Sky News reported that Vice Media was in talks to sell a major stake to Time Warner in a deal that would value the youth-focused digital-media company at $2.2 billion. Though Vice CEO and cofounder Shane Smith has said in the past that Vice could be worth as much as $30 billion on the stock market if it were to go public, the Time Warner deal would peg the 20-year-old company as being worth nearly as much as the 163-year-old New York Times Co. and exponentially more than most of its competitors in the digital-media space.
German news publishers are escalating their fight to get a cut of the ad revenue that Google makes when it republishes parts of their news articles.
The publishers' society VG Media has started legal proceedings against Google after the search-engine giant refused to negotiate with the collecting society and publicly declared it would not pay such a compensation, VG Media said Wednesday.
Twelve German online news publishers took a 50 percent stake in VG Media last February with the aim of beginning to start collecting compensation from search engines.
The leaked New York Times Innovation Report highlights the challenges it is facing in the digital age, but more importantly, it echoes the issues impacting the publishing industry as a whole. This report made waves not because the issues revealed were anything new, but because it shows even one of the best news organizations continues to struggle with managing the digital transition.
Are we living in the golden age of digital media? It certainly looks that way to Ken Lerer. Venture capitalists like him have poured close to $100 million into digital content businesses since the beginning of 2013, by my calculations. Corporate investors have thrown in about the same amount, bolstered by the $70 million Rupert Murdoch put into Vice Media last August. Then there’s Pierre Omidyar’s down payment of $50 million on a bigger pledge of $250 million for his would-be new media chain, First Look Media, putting him in a class by himself.
Last week, a letter arrived from my friend Jacob Weisberg, who runs Slate, the venerable Web magazine. Weisberg's letter was not to me, specifically, but to friends of Slate, proposing - or really imploring - that we join a special category of loyalists and voluntarily contribute to the magazine. Like NPR or PBS. Or crowdfunding.
Such a plea seemed, on the face of it, alarming, an admission of flaws in the basic business. If Slate's virtues, intelligence and style didn't immediately move us, we should contribute $50 a year if for no other reason,