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If you didn’t manage to come along to our Publisher Podcast Summit last week, Chris’s interview with Katie Vanneck-Smith was one of my highlights. The Press Gazette’s Charlotte Tobitt has written up the interview, focusing on how slow-news outfit Tortoise made podcasts profitable.
Unashamedly admitting to a pivot to podcasting, Vanneck-Smith explained how research had shown the Tortoise audience was spending just four or five minutes on the site, while articles were typically taking 20 or 30 minutes to read.
Tortoise’s audio team now has more than 12 full-time staff and, according to Press Gazette, has grown its podcast audience more than three-fold over the past year. While Tortoise is still not in the black, the podcast operation was profitable within 12 months.
LadBible, one of the UK’s biggest online media success stories, is sacking 10% of its staff following a slump in its share price and a warning about tough trading conditions. Last month, the Manchester-based company announced a half-year pre-tax loss of £1.9 million, attributed mainly to the cost of hiring more staff. This recent expansion has made the sudden redundancies even more surprising.
Hearst UK has launched a new experiential division, HearstX, to oversee platforms and campaigns across the physical, VR, AR, and mixed experience spaces. Writing for FIPP, Jamie Gavin was particularly impressed by the VirtuELLE Reality room… an experience that began with the scanning of a QR code tucked inside the latest print version of the magazine, and ended in an all-out immersive behind-the-scenes fashion shoot.
Your regular reminder of the ‘Faustian bargains’ that publishers continue to strike with our ‘fair-weather friends’ in Big Tech. Acknowledging that the platforms aren’t going anywhere soon, this piece on Poynter offers some advice on how to manage the eventual downsides by using their reach to build your own products and relationships.
For this next season of the Media Voices Podcast, kindly sponsored by Poool, we’ll be publishing ten episodes exploring the biggest trends of 2022 and how they affect publishers. For this episode, we’re joined by by Chris Jansen, Head of Local News, Global Partnerships at Google to talk about the state of local news in 2022 and beyond.
Our annual Media Moments report brings together the key events which have shaped the media and publishing industry this year, from the boom and bust cycles of the advertising market to news fatigue, the increasing prominence of climate coverage, and the impact of shifting trust. Media Moments 2022 will be launching on November 30th, but you can pre-register here to get it sent straight to you as soon as it goes live.