Good morning! Today’s newsletter is brought to you by Chris.
We’re excited to be heading to the PPA Festival next Tuesday where we’ll be doing some special episodes on what publishers are doing to drive innovation and deliver success in their businesses. The Festival is showcasing content across four stages with best-in-class speakers who are defining our industry. More on the agenda and tickets here.
‘Maximum PC’ is potentially the most 90’s sounding title I’ve ever heard – appropriate since it launched in 1996. Its final issue has rolled off the presses, however, and along with its sister title MacLife is no more. It’s another example of a brand outliving its print origins, but this writeup by Harry McCracken isn’t a eulogy as much as a celebration of the two titles.
He notes that, as a vector for news and information about tech, print was always inadequate: “But as timely and efficient a means of communication as online media is, the entire computer publishing industry failed to figure out how to turn it into a business that was remotely as vibrant as print had been. And those vast quantities of full-page ads paid for some amazingly ambitious service journalism.”
And isn’t that just the most succinct explanation of what’s happening with journalism imaginable. Print magazines are beautiful, but when we speak about them we’re also talking with nostalgia about an age where print delivered enough revenue to fund outrageous nonsense and in-depth explorations. The digital ecosystem isn’t there – yet – but hopefully we’ll soon have it again. Fingers crossed. Maybe.
In this exact newsletter spot yesterday, Peter shared that Spotify is closing down Heardle, the Wordle-inspired music guessing game it acquired last July for an undisclosed sum. Now, as part of an ongoing reinvention, it seems like Spotify is reconsidering exactly what value podcasts add to its ecosystem. And only a few days after it made a big pitch to turn radio broadcasters’ shows into podcasts, too… Hm…
A few weeks back I said in this newsletter that I wouldn’t be holding my breath for Fox and the Murdochs to face any real repercussions for knowingly misleading the public. Now it looks as though they might – but only in the form of a big ol’ settlement payment. It’s not the complete censuring you’d like to see when a purported news organisation is shown to have lied to the public, but it’s something.
In the wake of NPR, PBS and a handful of other publishers choosing to leave the blue bird site, the NYT has restated its reasons for remaining on there. There are good arguments to be made either way for remaining or leaving the now-denigrated social network, but for now at least it seems like the NYT’s presence will continue to add value to Musk’s Twitter. But it won’t pay for the privilege…
More from Media Voices
Our special Practical AI podcast documentary explores how local media organisations have got started with AI projects, the benefits they’re seeing, the challenges they’ve faced and what advice they would give to other publishers looking to get into AI. This episode and our corresponding report have been made possible with the support of United Robots.
Our Practical AI report sidesteps the myths and misconceptions surrounding AI to find out what practical applications there really are for publishers. It spotlights use cases from publishers using AI to turn massive structured datasets into local news reports, updates on local sports teams and the insights inside property listings.