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How to fix the internet

If we want online discourse to improve, we need to move beyond the big platforms.


This long read by Katie Notopoulos puts a finger on something I too have felt with my time online over the past year: something is shifting. “For the first time in years, it feels as though something truly new and different might be happening with the way we communicate online,” she opens. “The stranglehold that the big social platforms have had on us for the last decade is weakening.”

Notopoulos takes us through the history of communities and behaviour online, from the anticommercial early culture to the commodification of attention. My favourite excerpt is in her conclusion, where she talks about what could come next. There’s a really valuable lesson in here for publishers or anyone who really values their audiences:

“We, the internet users, also need to learn to recalibrate our expectations and our behavior online. We need to learn to appreciate areas of the internet that are small, like a new Mastodon server or Discord or blog. We need to trust in the power of “1,000 true fans” over cheaply amassed millions.”


Apple tweaked automatic podcast downloads in its latest iOS update

That could impact download numbers moving forward

Apple’s latest iOS release has included an adjustment to how automatic downloads work on podcasts. It’s a little change which could have a big impact on download numbers. Could is a key word here – nothing is confirmed yet. But if you’ve got half an eye on podcast stats, this is one worth looking out for. Generally, anything which gives a better idea of people who are actively listening to podcasts is a good thing, but there may be a short-term jolt.

How to source meaningful podcast stats has been a contentious topic for the past few years. Is it time the industry developed clear guidelines so podcast publishers can produce meaningful and trustworthy stats? Join the discussion on our community forum here, or log in/register here first as topic content is restricted to logged in users only.


Ladbible owner acquires US women’s brand Betches for $24m

Ladbible Group owner LBG Media has acquired US-based women’s media brand Betches for an initial cash consideration of $24m.

Ladbible has acquired US women’s media brand Betches for $24m, with up to a further $30m dependent on revenue and profitability targets. Given Ladbible’s audience skews male, the acquisition of Betches, whose audience is reportedly 86% women, will give LBG Media a nicely-rounded portfolio.


X, formerly Twitter, rolls out US$1 annual fee for new users in New Zealand and the Philippines

Platform owned by Elon Musk says subscription trial is aimed at combating bots on the service

I hate including stories about X as it seems to be a regular drumbeat of terrible ideas badly implemented. If this rolls out further, I’m curious how many of you (if you’re still on it) would actually pay up as it’s less about the amount of money at the moment, and more how utterly ridiculous the whole situation has become. Not to mention bad actors will be fine coughing up enough to keep the chaos rolling.

More from Media Voices


The New Statesman’s Chris Stone on podcast and platform experiments

Chris Stone takes us through some of his boldest experiments with podcasts at the New Statesman, from consolidation to YouTube publishing.


Four big themes from the Magazine Street conference

Four of the big themes from the presentations and workshops held throughout the day at the Magazine Street conference in Edinburgh.


Report: Practical AI for Local Media

Find out how AI can help publishers take care of work that humans can’t so they can use the time saved to creating valuable commentary and analysis.

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