Podcasts

The Reuters Institute’s Nic Newman on bias, bullshit and lies in the news

In this week’s episode Nic Newman, Visiting Fellow at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, takes us through his and Dr. Richard Fletcher’s latest report, entitled ‘Bias, Bullshit and Lies: Audience Perspectives on Low Trust in the Media’.

In the news round-up, Peter and Esther discuss the pivot FROM video, BuzzFeed’s e-commerce proposition, and YouTube’s plans to eat the music industry. They begin with fully 30 seconds of snow puns.

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Podcasts

The Financial Times’ Alyssa Zeisler on using engagement metrics to launch new products

In this week’s episode, the Financial Times’ audience engagement strategist Alyssa Zeisler takes us through how the team uses engagement metrics to identify a need for new products that benefit new audience segments.

In the news round-up the gang attempts the first-ever Media Voices Blitzcast, rounding up as many news items as they can in two minutes each. Among other things, they examine changes to Wired and the FT’s paywall strategies, disappointing news for BuzzFeed and the Daily Mail, and a discussion on diversity in the media. The team burns 30 seconds with a discussion of Peter’s pelvic floor muscles.

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Podcasts

Journalism lecturer Adam Tinworth on the tragedy of platform dependency

This week, visiting lecturer in digital journalism at City University Adam Tinworth takes us through the history of platform dependence. We look at the rise of the intermediary, the tragic loss of focus on building direct relationships, and even touch on Second Life.

In the news roundup, Chris and Peter discuss managing director of Times Newspapers Ltd Chris Duncan’s declaration that “no more than ten” global English-language news brands will survive from subscriptions, and puzzle over whether journalists should be involved in the marketing material for their newspapers. It’s a very sweary episode.

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Analysis

Is digital dying?

According to Betteridge’s law, the answer to all headline questions is, of course, no. But the last few weeks have seen some stories about digital media organisations that have shaken the firm belief that digital can stand alone profitably with a bright future as print lies spluttering.

In a single week it emerged that Buzzfeed and Vice are going to miss their revenue targets, Mashable was sold for $50 million, and the resistance to the Duopoly is growing as Broadcasters, the FT’s Lionel Barber and the Guardian’s Kath Viner have all waded in.

These events all set the tone of this episode of the Media Voices podcast, dedicated entirely to this question of whether we’re witnessing the beginning of the end for digital media.

People have long been saying ‘print is dead’ but it is becoming clear that digital was dead from the start – at least as a sole revenue source – despite all the hope and all the resources that companies have been pouring into it.

One of the poster boys for digital pureplays, Buzzfeed is set to miss its revenue targets, dashing hopes of an IPO next year. It was aiming for $350 million, but is looking to be at least 15-20% off that figure. By itself it’s not too big an issue, but Vice, another high-profile pureplay is rumoured to be missing its own targets as well. Vice was valued at $5.7 billion when private-equity firm TPG invested $450 million in June this year. The company’s investors are said to be pushing it to rein in costs and achieve profitability next year.

To top it off, Mashable has agreed to sell to Ziff Davis for $50 million, which is 20% of its 2016 valuation of $250 million following a $15 million round of funding last year led by Time Warner’s Turner.

The ‘digital dream’ of easy money streaming in, matching the revenue of the golden days of print is over, argues Peter, but it’s not the death of digital media at all. As a form of media, it’s not going away any time soon, but it won’t be able to cover the burgeoning costs of legacy print structures.

Esther points out that rather than being the death of digital, it should instead be the death of overvaluations, a point that Neil Thackray had made on Twitter. “Buzzfeed are growing, and they’re not just growing, they’re growing really strongly. The failure here is by investors for buying into these ridiculous growth projections. Without mad projections you don’t get the funding, but with them you get investors who ultimately get burned.”

So certainly some of the blame appears to come down on the side of the VC companies and the way they fund these businesses. Peter has very little sympathy for them, but cares deeply about the people who work for these companies, who will be in the firing line. Drawing on an analogy from an article by Josh Marshall, he said that “It’s almost like digital media musical chairs, with 30 people trying to sit in 15 chairs, but Facebook and Google have already taken 10 of them.”

Chris says that the worrying thing is that Buzzfeed are a company who seemed to have everything going for them in the market. “Buzzfeed, whose page revenue per 1000 impressions is high compared to legacy publishers, the fact that they’re going to miss their revenue targets even with having recently opened up their pages to programmatic and banner advertising…doesn’t that tell you everything you need to know about the state of digital advertising?”

Whether it’s the digital advertising aspect that inflated the expectations and revenue targets or other factors that caused such a gap, we won’t know. But it should be a big red flag to any publishers still wholly reliant on advertising revenue.

Of course, digital advertising spend itself is growing, but the revenue growth is going to two places.

“I never blame the Duopoly for anything,” quips Peter. “It’s like blaming a tyrannosaurus rex for ripping your throat out. The problem is, how does digital media, whether that’s Buzzfeed or the little magazine down the road, how do they survive in this ecosystem which is dominated by these people?…In terms of the rules by which we live which is rapacious capitalism, they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to do.”

It’s an issue which the Guardian’s editor Kath Viner has taken on in a recent speech, saying that the current business model supporting journalism was “collapsing” as Facebook and Google “swallow digital advertising”.

Esther argues that this has happened because Facebook have made digital advertising so easy for small and medium businesses, essentially productising it to anyone and everyone. A recent article from The Drum revealed that the vast majority of Facebook’s 6 million advertisers are defined as small advertisers, for whom advertising on publisher websites and in magazines would usually be completely inaccessible. “It’s idiot-proof,” she comments. “You can put your money in, define your audiences and see results there and then, and that’s what’s been missing.”

So rather than signalling the death of digital, are the revelations this week another sign that scale simply isn’t sustainable? Chris thinks so, and says that this week was the week that digital publishers admitted that they just couldn’t keep up with Facebook.

“This genie that’s out the bottle…hopefully leads people like Kath Viner or whoever to get back to focusing on the readership instead of trying to be Facebook,” Peter said, emphasising that they need to find scalable models for themselves. It’s a point that Skift’s founder and CEO Rafat Ali has written about in ‘The end of scale’ and how futile it is to try and compete with the media giant.

“[Rafat] has got a successful business…but he’s never set out to challenge Facebook. He’s just set out to do what he does best. If the Guardian, the Times…all these other newspapers and magazines can actually get back to focusing on their audience and monetising that, instead of being big enough to attract venture capital investment, then maybe we’ve got a future.”

Esther believes the Economist is one example of a media organisation doing it right. “Rather than using social to drive web traffic, they’ve got a laser focus on turning each person who reads their articles into a paid subscriber,” she says, referring to talks and articles Denise Law has produced over the years about the success of their mixed social strategy.

Few publishers have an audience of 5 million to play with, but Peter sees a common thread between Denise and Rafat’s strategies. “That focus on the audience; what the audience wants, defining the audience, that’s really important….they’re talking about giving people what they want and focusing on the quality of the information.”

“What the Economist always did, and it’s the same thing that The Week always did, they always focused on their readers. They always focused on their mission. The Economist never gave anything away for free. The Week never gave anything away for free, and now they’re winning.”

Chris agrees, and says that organisations need to have the staff there to back those strategies up. “If you have the people there who truly understand what audiences want and how audiences consume media, and don’t rely on this unspoken pact that ‘we can serve you ads if you go on our stuff’, they’re the people who are going to do really well.”

The pivot to video is an unfortunate symptom of this focus on scale, and one which the Media Voices team believe is going to land lots of publishers in hot water in the coming year. “Pivot to video is just banner advertising 2.0” argues Peter.

So what paths are there out of this?

Chris Evans at the Telegraph has talked about blaming Facebook and Google for the lost revenue, but is optimistic that the industry is recovering its confidence because “we are learning to see technology not as a problem but an opportunity”. Publishers like De Correspondent are using the technology to sell to people, and to create content that people want to buy. “They’re making a different thing,” Peter points out. “They’re not taking a print newspaper and shifting it into a digital product…there’s none of that skewmorphism going on. There’s just honest-to-God innovation.”

It’s not all doom and gloom in the numbers either, says Esther. Jason Kint of Digital Content Next says on Twitter that he has seen growth climbing and the best quarter yet for their members in Q3. He attributes it to revenue diversification and advertising’s ‘flight to quality’.

Chris thinks about all the organisations we admire and that are doing well, and draws out a common theme. “They have fingers in all the pies that they can find. They have a finger in print, a finger in digital, a finger in ecommerce, a finger in events…they have a finger in every revenue stream you can think of.”

“The one thing that comes out of a crash is always opportunity,” says Peter, in a rare state of of cheery optimism. “If this really, truly is a crash, and people are waking up to the fact that Facebook and Google aren’t going to save them, and VCs aren’t going to save them, then they’re going to have to save themselves.”

“How are they going to do that? By being what they truly are….they’re not pivoting to video just because Facebook wants them to.”


Esther Kezia Thorpe

Podcasts

The Death of Digital Special

In this very special episode of Media Voices, we discuss the conflux of news about BuzzFeed, VICE, Mashable and many more and ask whether the dream of a digital future for publishers is over before it began.

It’s Media Voices’ first birthday! The team briefly reminisce about the travails of launching the podcast, their favourite episodes, and their plans for the future.

One of those plans is to make Media Voices so good you have to listen to every single episode. The only way we can do that is if you tell us what you like, what you don’t like and what should be doing that we haven’t even thought about. Please take a few minutes, complete our survey, and tell us how we could make Media Voices better for you.

What we’re reading:

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Podcasts

NYU’s Jay Rosen on the Membership Puzzle Project

This week, director of the Membership Puzzle Project Jay Rosen takes us through why membership could be the future of funding journalism, and what needs to be done to make it valuable to readers and publishers alike.

In the news round-up the team discusses Esquire’s controversy for controversy’s sake, how journalism can convince the public it’s relevant and useful, and ask what the future of Twitter might look like. Chris takes potshots at two beloved authors.

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Podcasts

The Tip-Off’s Maeve McClenaghan on celebrating investigative journalism

This week, host and founder of The Tip-Off Maeve McClenaghan takes us through why it’s important to celebrate investigative journalism in an age of ‘fake news’ and limited resources for journalists.

In the news round-up, the team takes a deep dive into new ad-blocking stats, laments the closure of Teen Vogue in print, worries about Snapchat’s future and celebrates more paywall success. Audio glitches suspiciously kill a discussion on billionaire media owners.

What we’re reading:

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Podcasts

Dennis Executive Director Kerin O’Connor on The Week’s enduring appeal

This week, publisher of The Week Kerin O’Connor takes us through the reasons behind the magazine’s continued success on the newsstand, and how it encourages a relationship between it and its audience.

In the news round-up the Media Voices team talk about the Guardian’s membership success, the spectacularly frightening changes to the Facebook news feed, and ask whether we should be nice to the Duopoly. Listener beware, you’re in for a scare!

What we’re reading:

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Podcasts

Stylist Magazine’s editor-in-chief Lisa Smosarski on its circulation success

This week, Stylist Magazine’s editor-in-chief Lisa Smosarski explains how the title has managed to grow its weekly circulation at a time when much of the industry is experiencing print decline.

In the news round-up the gang butt heads over the Guardian’s new £42 million Venture Capital fund, argue about The Wall Street Journal’s new social media guidelines and agree that BuzzFeed UK’s success is a good thing (mostly).

What we’re reading:

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Podcasts

University of Oregon’s Damian Radcliffe on local journalism in the Pacific Northwest

In this week’s episode, the University of Oregon’s Carolyn S. Chambers professor in journalism Damian Radcliffe takes us through his latest report into local journalism in the Pacific Northwest.

In the news round-up, the gang discuss strict new NYT social media guidelines for journalism, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s statement on moderating news content, and whether publishers should ‘punish’ audiences who come in through social. We can’t stop making analogies; we’re like sharks who just have to keep swimming.

What we’re reading:

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Background music courtesy of Nicolai Heidlas Music via SoundCloud -@nicolai-heidlas
Podcasts

Future’s Rock titles Editor in Chief Scott Rowley on covering rockstar deaths

This week Scott Rowley, Editor in Chief of Future’s rock titles, takes us through how his magazines responded to death of Tom Petty in real time, and why he believes reporting on rock star deaths is devolving into a “bun fight”.

In the news round-up, the gang discuss Glamour magazine moving to a bi-annual publishing schedule, whether Google and Facebook failed in the wake of the Las Vegas shootings, and whether Rupert Murdoch is really publishing’s White Knight (no). Esther imitates a sheep.

We’re reading:
Why objective journalism is a misleading and dangerous illusion
– Is ‘guerrilla war’ being waged on news broadcasters?
If journalists take sides, who will speak truth to power?

Subscribe to Media Voices on iTunes here or by searching for ‘Media Voices’ in your favourite podcast app.

Podcasts

FIPP CEO James Hewes on international lessons for media owners

In this week’s episode of Media Voices, Peter speaks to CEO of FIPP James Hewes to discuss its upcoming congress and the lessons learned through watching other titles from round the world.

In the news round-up the team discusses the backlash against a pivot to video and the decision by a UK cycle retailer to stop advertising with the right-wing tabloids. Chris, Esther and Peter accidentally make it through a whole episode without mentioning Trump.

Subscribe to Media Voices on iTunes here or by searching for ‘Media Voices’ in your favourite podcast app.

Podcasts

Deutsche Welle’s Esra Doğramacı on best practice for digital video

In this week’s episode of Media Voices, Peter travels to Cape Town and interviews Deutsche Welle’s Esra Doğramacı, to find out how the German broadcaster is approaching digital video.

In the news round-up, we discuss BuzzFeed turning on banner advertisements and whether that makes them sell-outs, The Atlantic launching a membership supplement for its hardcore members, and the Yellow Pages going out of print. The team wonders if they can get through a whole episode without mentioning Trump.

Subscribe to Media Voices on iTunes here or by searching for ‘Media Voices’ in your favourite podcast app.

Podcasts

International Network of Street Papers special

In this week’s episode of Media Voices, Peter speaks to members of the International Network of Street Papers to discover what drives the people behind publications that aim to ‘provide an innovative solution to urban homelessness and unemployment’.

In the news round-up, Esther and Chris discuss the BBC’s Today show widening its paper round-up to include websites, Ars Technica UK and the perils of launching a consumer tech site, and the “coincidental” timing of Murdoch taking Fox News off UK TV screens. The two agree they aren’t as impartial as the BBC.

Subscribe to Media Voices on iTunes here or by searching for ‘Media Voices’ in your favourite podcast app.

Podcasts

De Correspondent’s International Editor Maaike Goslinga on crowdfunding journalism

In this week’s episode of Media Voices, Peter speaks to De Correspondent’s International Editor Maaike Goslinga to find out whether its type of crowdfunded journalism could exist in an English-speaking country.

In the news round-up, Peter, Esther, and Chris discuss why magazine cover designers have struck gold with Trump, take bets on whether the pivot to video is good for publishers long-term, and try to come up with a name for a three-party duopoly (harder than you’d think). Chris and Esther argue about the origin of three-dimensional chess.
Chris’ pick for best Trump cartoon:
Peter’s pick:
Esther’s pick:
Podcasts

Newspaper analyst Liz Gerard and Stop Funding Hate founder Richard Wilson

This week’s episode of Media Voices features two interviewees discussing UK papers’ obsession with immigration, the emotive language used on their front pages, and whether anything can halt that trend.

First, newspaper analyst Liz Gerard takes us through the recent history of tabloid front pages, then Stop Funding Hate founder Richard Wilson explains the goals of the campaign.

In the news round-up, Chris and Peter discuss the news that UK current affairs magazines have seen a year on year rise in circulations and the MediaMavens project, which aims to see what a news publication looks like when only women pick the stories and headlines. Peter sings us out.

Subscribe to Media Voices on iTunes here or by searching for ‘Media Voices’ in your favourite podcast app.

Podcasts

Nieman fellow Katherine Goldstein on maternity culture in journalism

This week’s episode of Media Voices sees Esther speak to Nieman fellow Katherine Goldstein about what it will take to make journalism in the US friendlier to new mothers and maternity leave, following the publication of her article ‘Where are the mothers?

In the news round-up we talk about digital success at the Guardian and NYT, the ongoing pivot to video and the successful crowdfunding project to keep Snopes alive. Peter and Chris throw Esther under the bus rather than admit they were wrong about the Guardian’s membership scheme.

Subscribe to Media Voices on iTunes here or by searching for ‘Media Voices’ in your favourite podcast app.

Podcasts

British GQ’s Becky Lucas on the true meaning of ‘engagement’

In this episode of the Media Voices Podcast, Esther interviews British GQ’s Insight and Strategy Editor Becky Lucas. They talk about what ‘engagement’ means for a luxury magazine that exists across so many different platforms.

In the news round-up Peter, Esther and Chris discuss BBC pay, Snap’s latest efforts to thwart its competitors, and (shocker!) print revenue. They also take a deep dive into the Reuters Institute’s latest study and Google’s attempt to create a ‘friendless’ recommendation engine. Esther gets preoccupied with a particular GQ article, and Peter and Chris agree they don’t want to join any club that would let them in.

Subscribe to Media Voices on iTunes here or by searching for ‘Media Voices’ in your favourite podcast app.

Podcasts

Journalism.co.uk’s Madalina Ciobanu on putting together a great media conference

In this week’s episode of Media Voices, we chat to journalism.co.uk’s senior reporter Mădălina Ciobanu about what considerations go into creating an event like the upcoming news:rewired – www.newsrewired.com

In the news round-up, Chris and Esther discuss a less-is-more approach to digital display ads (and whether AdBlock Plus was right all along), and why Amazon might be launching its own dedicated messaging app. Esther’s lack of experience with MySpace makes Chris confront his own mortality.

Subscribe to Media Voices on iTunes here or by searching for ‘Media Voices’ in your favourite podast app.

Podcasts

Dennis UK CTO Paul Lomax on the tech that underpins a modern publisher

In this week’s episode of Media Voices we hear from Dennis Publishing’s CTO Paul Lomax, who discusses the technology that underpins a modern publisher, and how Dennis builds agile working into its culture.

In the news round-up Peter, Esther and Chris talk about the dawning age of robot journalism (we for one welcome our new robot overlords) and discuss the ramifications of journalism becoming the preserve of the rich. Chris and Esther call Peter out on his gratuitous use of devil’s avocado.

Subscribe to Media Voices on iTunes here or by searching for ‘Media Voices’ in your favourite podast app.

Podcasts

CNN’s Samantha Barry on innovative social media for a global newsbrand

On the fourth of July, Media Voices is celebrating its own Independence Day. In the inaugural episode of our new-look podcast, Esther interviews CNN’s executive producer of social and emerging media Samantha Barry about its U.S. election coverage, the rise and rise of chatbots, and how the team approaches storytelling across different platforms.

In the news roundup Peter, Chris and Esther discuss the NYT making 100 copy editors redundant, the end of the ‘Trump Bump’, and Instagram’s A.I. approach to censoring nasty comments. Peter throws cold water on Chris’ dream of living in a Star Trek universe, and Esther risks the entire future of the podcast on a joke about Peter’s accent.

Subscribe to Media Voices on iTunes here or by searching for ‘Media Voices’ in your favourite podast app.

Media Voices

Welcome to the Media Voices podcast

Media Voices is picking up right where TheMediaBriefing Podcast left off, with 30 minutes of media news and views every Tuesday in a fast-moving discussion and interview format.

The team producing Media Voices recorded 25 podcasts with TheMediaBriefing, interviewing senior media executives from publishers, publications and platforms that included Facebook, The Economist, Cosmopolitan, Empire, The Times, Trinity Mirror and Quartz.

Subscribe to Media Voices on iTunes, Soundcloud or your favourite podcast app, leave us a review and follow us on Twitter. We’re also planning a weekly email newsletter, so give us your email address (we promise to look after it) and we’ll send it as soon as it’s ready.

Podcasts

IDG’s Michael Friedenberg on driving a major media brand forward

In this week’s episode, we talk to IDG’s CEO Michael Friedenberg about how IDG has managed to consistently stay ahead of the curve, the future of display advertising and changing revenue breakdowns within the company.

In the news round-up Chris and Esther discuss Apple’s in-browser autoplay-blocking following a similar move by Google last week, the launch of News UK’s new ‘vertical video studio’ and two significant new publisher additions to Snapchat Discover. Chris attempts to guess the election results.

Podcasts

The Tab’s Charlie Gardiner-Hill on taking a student brand global

In this week’s episode, we talk to The Tab’s COO Charlie Gardiner-Hill about taking the student brand to the States, building other titles around a totem brand, killer clowns and drinking game rules.

In the news round-up Chris and Esther discuss the Guardian’s $50,000 fundraising campaign to support an environmental series called ‘This Land is Your Land’, Google’s latest attempt to control and monetise the ad-blocking ecosystem and Slate applying podcasting lessons to try out VR. Chris sings a song.

TheMediaBriefing podcast is sponsored by Make Real. Make Real, providing virtual reality experiences that engage, inform, inspire and delight.

Podcasts

Owain Rich on the opportunities and challenges of VR storytelling

In this week’s episode, we talk to Owain Rich, co-creator of the Trafficked VR experience, about the opportunities and challenges that come with making a VR film. Topics of discussion include the challenges of distribution of VR content, how to create immersive audio, and what form monetisation of VR should take.

In the news round-up, Chris and Esther discuss Apple News’ appointment of an editor in chief, a plethora of original video plans, and Facebook’s sop to publishers over its Instant Articles.

TheMediaBriefing podcast is sponsored by Make Real, creators of VR and AR applications that inform, engage, inspire and delight.

Podcasts

Author and podcaster Emma Gannon on authenticity and ‘the influencer’

In this week’s episode, we talk to author, blogger and podcaster polymath Emma Gannon about the death of ‘the influencer’, balancing authenticity and commercial concerns, and the relative value of corporate and personal brands.

In the news round-up Chris and Esther talk about Facebook’s original video programme being delayed and its efforts to enter the food ordering marketplace, discuss Wired’s edition-based entrance onto Snapchat discover, and try very hard not to swear while talking about net neutrality rules being overturned.

Podcasts

Cosmopolitan UK’s Farrah Storr on Snapchat and representation

In this week’s edition of TheMediaBriefing, Esther talks to Cosmopolitan UK’s editor-in-chief Farrah Storr about the brand’s Snapchat success, whether women’s magazines have a duty to be representative of an entire gender, and what the magazine might look like in the future.

In the news roundup Chris and Esther discuss Snap Inc’s disappointing results, El Pais’ plans partnership with Amazon to deliver a print product in under two hours and why Amazon Prime is launching a live concert division. An argument ensues over who owns the MediaBriefing office crown (not a metaphor).

Podcasts

The New European’s editor Matt Kelly on bravery and business models

In this week’s episode, The New European’s editor Matt Kelly discusses the respective strengths of right- and left-wing rhetoric, the ephemeral nature of pop-up publishing, and what it means for the paper to have been rewarded with four prizes at the British Media Awards last week.

In the news round-up Chris and the newly-married Esther discuss Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook’s race to own video, newspaper owners’ desperate pleas for advertisers to come back to print and Airbnb’s new print partnership with Hearst. In our new regular feature ‘Who Hath Blighted The Consumer This Week’ we discuss whether anyone really needs an IoT-enabled salt shaker.

 

Podcasts

Virtual Umbrella’s Samantha Kingston on the opportunities of VR marketing

In this episode of TheMediaBriefing’s podcast, Virtual Umbrella co-founder Samantha Kingston explains the business case for VR marketing, takes us through what is required before the technology is mainstream, and describes the kinds of experiences that are best for convincing people of the medium’s potential. Chris tries and fails to not mention the VR mode of Resident Evil 7.

In the news roundup Chris and Peter discuss the duopoly’s latest moves in terms of ad-blocking and cloning Snapchat, Reed Hastings saying Netflix’s biggest competitor is ‘sleep’, and launch a new feature called ‘Who Hath Blighted The Consumer This Week?’

Podcasts

Bauer’s head of ePublishing Jim Foster on native app strategy

In the latest episode of TheMediaBriefing, Bauer’s head of ePublishing Jim Foster takes us through the publisher’s app and distributed publishing strategies and provides a look back at how the company went from having no apps to considering one for each publication. Chris and Esther try not to sound too incredulous when he describes a time in magazine publishing when the market could support multiple magazines about carp.

In the news round-up Chris and Esther discuss a £300m bad week for Johnston Press, the News Integrity Initiative and De Correspondent’s attempt to crack the states.

Podcasts

Trinity Mirror’s digital innovation editor Alison Gow on the opportunities of Live

In the March 28th episode of TheMediaBriefing, we talk to Trinity Mirror’s digital innovation editor Alison Gow on the opportunities afforded by live video for national and regional media, in addition to talking AR and best practice for engaging with communities on social platforms.

In the news round-up Chris and Esther discuss the ongoing YouTube ad blackout, why reddit is introducing profile pages, Twitter’s new premium offering and more success for The Times’ subscription model.

Podcasts

NewsThump’s Richard Smith on how satirical humour sites are being hit by ‘fake news’ filters

The definition of Fake News went from ‘specific term for misinformation spread via social networks’ to ‘objective fact I disagree with’ within a week of its conception. In the same way you can physically watch bamboo grow, you could watch the the term ‘fake news’ become meaningless with your bare eyes.

While the term itself is nebulous and ill-defined now, the responses to it have been very real and concrete. Facebook, a vector for the spread of misinformation, has now implemented its response, making it much harder for users to spread ‘fake news’. But there are other efforts underway behind the scenes, and attempts to curb the spread of misinformation is hitting satirical humour sites too. In this episode of TheMediaBriefing’s podcast, NewsThump’s founder Richard Smith explains how his site has been caught in the crossfire.

In the news round-up, Chris and Esther discuss TMB favourite Quartz becoming profitable after four years, George Osborne’s ascension to editorship of the London Evening Standard and how the Hustle email newsletter raised $300k from its readers in 55 hours.

Podcasts

Media analyst Kevin Anderson on going beyond the article

In this episode of TheMediaBriefing’s podcast we talk to Kevin Anderson, author of the Beyond the Article: Frontiers of Editorial and Commercial Innovation report for the Reuters Institute. We discuss platform plurality, the need for good project managers and why editorial and commercial innovation need to be wed.

In the news round-up Chris and Esther discuss the Metro’s circulation ‘success’, Vimeo’s 360 video project and Instant Article disappointment.

Podcasts

The Ethical Journalism Network’s director Aidan White on publishers, platforms and fake news

In this episode of TheMediaBriefing, we speak to the director of the Ethical Journalism Network Aidan White about publishers, platforms and fake news, before hearing about the ongoing problems for self-regulation in China and the pressures on journalists and publishers outside of the UK.

In the news round-up, Chris and Esther discuss YouTube TV, Oculus Rift’s latest price drop, NRK’s latest experiment in saving the comments section and try not to talk about the new Zelda for at least five minutes to no avail.

Podcasts

Editorial cartoonist Andy Davey on why publishers should readjust their priorities

In this episode of TheMediaBriefing podcast, we speak to editorial cartoonist Andy Davey to discuss his work for the Guardian; The Sun; Private Eye; Punch and more, and discuss how the homogenisation of digital news brands can be stopped.

In the news roundup, Chris and Esther debate the pros and cons of Google AMP for publishers, reported declines in the number of editorial staff at the FT, Slate, Thrillist and other, and Esther fails to prevent Chris evangelising about virtual reality and its use at publishers.

Podcasts

Facebook’s head of news partnerships Nick Wrenn on fake news, journalism and live video

Facebook dominates any conversation about media in 2017. Whether it’s an examination of its role in disseminating journalism, its status as a vector for ‘fake news’ or its position as one of the digital advertising duopoly, it’s an unmissable feature of the media landscape. In this episode of TheMediaBriefing we speak to Facebook’s head of news partnerships EMEA Nick Wrenn to discuss those issues and how they affect the publisher-platform relationship.

In the news roundup, Chris and Esther discuss the NYT-Spotify bundle, magazine circulations and try in vain not to enjoy the Daily Mail vs. Wikipedia grudge match. Sign up to our podcast on iTunes here.

Podcasts

News UK’s Helen Philpot on managing change at a large media company

In this week’s episode of TheMediaBriefing, News UK’s director of business change Helen Philpot takes us through the challenges and opportunities of change for a large media business, with a focus on where News UK looks for inspiration and sets goals for new endeavours. In the news round-up, Chris and Esther discuss the Guardian’s membership growth, the strengths and weaknesses of Snap ahead of its IPO, and Medium’s new subscription model.

Podcasts

Glamour’s Jo Elvin on a modern magazine’s role in society

In the latest, entirely Trump-free podcast, we hear from Glamour UK’s editor in chief Jo Elvin on its recent format change and price drop, its enduring place in the minds of its readers and how the magazine and society are reciprocal reflections of one another. In the news round-up, Chris and Esther talk Guardian rumours, print closures (we don’t seek these out, we swear!) and the latest skirmish in the Facebook-Snapchat war.

Podcasts

The Times’ Joseph Stashko on building a great newsletter strategy

In this second edition of TheMediaBriefing’s 2017 podcast series, we hear from The Times’ and Sunday Times’ newsletters editor Joseph Stashko about the past, present and future of publishers’ newsletter strategies and how they can support a commercial proposition. Also, Chris and Esther hesitantly try to pronounce a lot of names of European companies and segue into a discussion about comment sections.

Podcasts

The Drum’s Diane Young on when a magazine company is no longer a magazine company

In this episode of TheMediaBriefing podcast, we chat to The Drum’s Diane Young to ask when a magazine company is no longer a magazine company. We also provide a news round-up discussing a bad week for (most) print products and publishers, Facebook finally overtaking some traditional media organisations in terms of ad revenue, and a discussion about whether we’re already living in an advertising dystopia.