This week Sarah Orme, digital editor of Immediate Media’s In The Moment magazine explains how the magazine has grown with the rising interest in mindfulness, its position as a women’s lifestyle title, print production values, and an expanding podcast portfolio.

In the world’s busiest news roundup the team discusses Q4 results, some high profile hirings (and rumoured firings), multiple examples of M&A and product launches, and controversies around the BBC and political journalism. The team nominates each other to take over Apple News Plus.

See the full transcript here.

All this week’s news ‘in brief’:

Q4 results:

  • Twitter has beaten Q4 revenue expectations, topping $1bn for the first time. Shares rose more than 8% on the news
  • Talking of Q4 results, The New York Times hit a key milestone, passing $800 million in annual digital revenue, with more coming from readers than advertisers. They’ve also topped 5 million subscriptions
  • Instagram, which was acquired by Facebook for $715 million in 2012, generated more than a quarter of the company’s revenue last year: $20 billion in ad revenue
  • But Facebook’s overall growth in net income has slowed to 7% year-on-year reaching ‘just $7.3bn’ – ‘just’ because they had 61% growth in 2018. Expenses have ballooned 51% according to the Drum as they try to tackle privacy issues
  • Snap grew its daily active users to 218 million, up from 210 million the previous quarter. But it narrowly missed revenue expectations, with shares dropping 9%
  • YouTube advertising revenues have topped $1bn a month in 2019. It’s the first time Alphabet has revealed just how much money the site brings in
  • Vox Media’s Podcast Network generated over $10 million last year from more than 200 shows across Vox’s 14 brands
  • Joe Media’s future looks to be in doubt after it reported a loss of £1.7m in 2018, compared to a £1.6m loss the previous year

M&A:

  • Spotify has acquired The Ringer – their fourth podcast deal this year – to boost its podcast capabilities. The Ringer is a podcast-centric media company run and owned by Bill Simmons
  • Cards Against Humanity LLC, creators of the popular adult humour-oriented party game Cards Against Humanity, has bought the satire site ClickHole (an Onion spinoff) from G/O Media in an all-cash deal. A great example of a company investing in a publisher with which it shares many values (and a sense of humour).

Significant people moves:

  • George Osborne’s future as editor of the Evening Standard seems to be in doubt. The Guardian reports that incoming chief executive Mike Soutar is set to change the freesheet’s direction after multi-million pound losses at the title, and The Times has reported that the former chancellor had a bust-up with the paper’s owner Evgeny Lebedev after an unflattering photo was printed of the latter
  • Apple’s News Service Business Chief Liz Schimel, who joined in mid-2018 from Conde Nast, has stepped down as their News+ subscription product has got off to a slow start. Apple is looking for a ‘notable name from the publishing world’ to replace her 
  • Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner is stepping down after 11 years, with deputy Ryan Roslansky replacing him

Launches:

  • Verizon Media is launching a new personal finance vertical for Gen Z and millennials called ‘Cashay’
  • The BBC has launched a new weekly podcast featuring Emily Maitlis which will focus on the US Presidential election. It’s called ‘Americast’, presumably echoing Brexitcast’s success
  • Group Nine Media brand Thrillist has partnered with educational travel provider Academic Travel Abroad Inc to curate immersive trips for their readers
  • Bauer is trying a new approach to magazine apps with ‘Bikes Unlimited’, a paid app that includes all 6 of Bauer UK’s motorcycle titles for one monthly price (£7.99 a month)
  • News UK’s new ‘objective’ news aggregator Knewz is online, and it is hideous
  • Disney Plus has announced very solid early results – the service has reached 28.6 million paying subscribers already, and has yet to launch in many major territories
  • Google is taking aim at TikTok, and has launched an ‘experimental social video sharing app’ called Tangi, which has short, 60-second tutorials
  • Two ex-Texas Tribune staffers, Emily Ramshaw and Amanda Zamora, have announced the soft launch of The 19th, which is a national news nonprofit covering the ‘intersection of gender, politics and policy’

Media ethics

  • There was a completely bizarre BBC/Netflix comparison floating around this week, complete with the BBC finally taking an active role in promoting the value for money it provides
  • Lobby journalists all walked out this week after Number 10 attempted to exclude newspapers they felt have been unflattering to the current regime

And finally…

  • Google’s recent ad shakeup is extending into video, where Chrome browsers will soon start blocking mid-roll and other hated ad formats for short-form videos. Google says the decision complies with the new standard from the Coalition for Better Ads

 


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