This week we hear from Theodora Louloudis, Podcast Editor for the Telegraph. With a growing podcast portfolio, we spoke about her job in an expanding team, growth in the Telegraph’s podcast offering and how she commissions shows with the paper’s journalists. She also explains how they use podcasts to enhance their subscription offerings.

In the news roundup we discuss Firefox’s new subscription tool with Scroll, Slate launching a metered paywall, and Esquire trimming its print editions to 6 per year. Peter pitches multiple new theme tunes.

See the full transcript here.

We’re doing a special live episode on Thursday 9th April at 2pm (BST) on publishers innovating in a pandemic – see here for more details.

News in brief:

  • Esquire has trimmed its print edition to 6 issues per year – down from 8 last year and 10 the year before as advertising revenue continues to slump. Hearst president Troy Young said the reduction is not coronavirus-related, and that he plans to put more money into the digital side of the publication
  • ‘The message from the data is clear: Membership works’, says Patreon, as they’ve revealed that despite the rest of the creative economy struggling, people are willing to support creators with memberships, as average new patron growth is up 36.2% compared to February
  • Buzzfeed is cutting pay for its employees as the publisher attempts to weather the pandemic. Staffers in the lowest pay bracket will get a 5% reduction, while execs at the top would take up to a 25% pay cut (doesn’t seem like much?)
  • Lots of places are making donations to support publishers, with Twitter being the latest to give $1 million to the Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Women’s Media Foundation to support newsrooms while covering coronavirus
  • Coronavirus is causing a dip in podcast listening because everyone just wants the news, on TV and online, not a true crime podcast
  • Prepare to be inundated with thinkpieces on what publishers can learn from the success of Houseparty, the social video app that combines all the fun of having to get dressed with the joy of a home invasion
  • Pain continues for local titles across Europe – reportedly some local papers in Germany have seen an 80% fall in adspend as a result of coronavirus, a situation echoed across much of the continent
  • Colin Morrison argues that all media – not just event based ones – need to reset as a result of COVID-19. “The future is being decided right now, and media companies which opt for hibernation are choosing the wrong time to sleep,” he says
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