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The Outlook for Subscriptions in 2024

The rocky digital ad market has put even more focus on the need for publishers to build direct reader revenue businesses. The Rebooting is holding a webinar on Thursday, Jan 25, to discuss the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for publishers’ subscription businesses. Join to hear Bloomberg Media Chief Digital Officer Julia Beizer and Puck Chief Strategy Officer Max Tcheyan to discuss:

  • The myth of peak subscription

  • The shift to LTV as a North Star

  • The prospects for smart bundles

Join us at 1pm on Jan 25th.

The Rebooting’s Brian Morrissey is in Vegas for CES. “Good for him,” you might be thinking. “What does that have to do with me?” Buckle up. He’s been spending that time talking to media execs, and under what he describes as cautious optimism, there’s some disquiet.

“The traffic declines big publishers have seen are hitting their revenue. The playbooks most execs have run have tied themselves to the traffic mast. There’s cheery talk of events filling the void. But the numbers are hard to make work. I was told of one legacy publisher who has seen traffic decline by nearly 80% from peak. That’s not a hole you can cocktail party your way out of. But the Current Thing is to diversify into areas under your control out of a time of unprecedented loss of control for publishers.”

I have, of course, started a community post on the topic. We’re not at all reliant on search traffic for revenue here at Media Voices (lack of resource rather than foresight). But if you are, how are you approaching this? Are declines of 80% worst case scenario, or something you’re bracing for? Let me know, if you’re feeling brave.

2023 has seen podcast strategies diverge like never before. Some major publishers have put the majority of their podcasts behind paywalls while others have cut back to the shows that perform best. Chris Sutcliffe rounds up the year in podcasts as part of our Media Moments 2023 report.

Recruitment adverts from companies like BBC, NewsUK, Telegraph Media Group or Financial Times fell by around one third. We already knew last year was particularly brutal for redundancies, with an estimated 20,000 media jobs lost. director John Thompson said it could potentially be due to an adjustment to the pandemic hiring drive, or representative of a general ‘bearish’ mood in the industry. ????

I’m equal parts admiring and insanely jealous of the start of this series from A Media Operator. Doing an ‘Armchair CEO’ series of Media Voices, where we invite guests to suggest ways to ‘fix’ media companies, has been high on our wishlist for a while but finding people willing to go on mic is a little tougher. Jacob Donnelly has managed to find some experts happy to step up, and if I was Jonah Peretti, I’d be giving this a careful read.

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