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Where did Facebook’s funding for journalism really go?

Where did Facebook’s funding for journalism really go?

“People want more local news, and local newsrooms are looking for more support,” Campbell Brown wrote in 2019 when Meta (then Facebook) announced its three-year, $300 million…


Yesterday in this newsletter Peter provided an update on our lead story in the podcast this week – that Google is trialling a news blackout in Canada rather than agree to a direct payments to publishers scheme. You can hear our thoughts on those sorts of deals in the episode (tl;dl they’re based on wilful misunderstandings of where value is derived online, and are at best a plaster over the widening gyre of publishers’ revenue troubles) but here’s an interesting corollary point.

One of the key arguments of proponents of those schemes is that those payments will benefit smaller publishers who are in desperate need of revenue. I seriously doubt anyone genuinely believes those small publishers will be the main beneficiary of those schemes – but this study from the Tow Centre suggests they may even be hurt by them.

For one thing, as the report demonstrates, the sum paid to smaller publishers is dwarfed by the amount that’s going to the larger, more influential companies. C’est la vie. It’s still chicken feed to the platforms. But as the author Gabby Miller states, by pursuing direct payments for links to pay up, the industry may in fact be hastening the withdrawal of funds from those same platforms’ news initiative schemes – which will also disproportionately hit smaller publishers.

Politico nearly doubles size of London bureau

Politico ‘nearly doubles’ size of London bureau in a month with plans to triple it

Politico says it has almost doubled the size of its London bureau over the past month, and aims to have tripled it within a year and a half.


Politico’s had big ambitions for years now – I swear every time we talk about it on the podcast it’s announcing some new hire or new product. This article from Bron Maher examines how the politics-focused news and analysis site is growing its footprint in London, with plans to expand it still further.

Digital audio ad spend hits $221.2 million in Australia

Digital audio ad spend hits $221.2m in Australia as slowdown hits digital market

Australian advertisers spent $221.2m on podcasts, digital radio and music streaming in 2022, according to figures from IAB Australia.


The report found digital streaming attracted $138.7 million or 63% of spend, while podcasting accounted for $82.5 million or 37% of total digital audio spend. Overall, digital audio accounted for 4% of the total digital display market in Australia. As Peter said on this week’s episode, while overall digital ad spend growth is down, it is growing. And digital audio and podcasting are eating well.

Twitter Blue head (and many more) out at Twitter

Twitter Blue head Esther Crawford is out at Twitter

The company’s team is getting smaller.


As is probably clear from our discussion of the chaos at Twitter on this week’s podcast, there’s plenty of schadenfreude to be had from watching Musk make a hash of reinventing Twitter. But as a serious question – how are publishers and marketers supposed to be planning for the long-term on the platform when there is absolutely no continuity in terms of staff? This will be a brilliant cautionary tale in a few years’ time.

NEW EPISODE: Trusted Media Brands CEO Bonnie Kintzer on future-proofing a legacy publisher

This week we hear from Bonnie Kintzer, CEO of Trusted Media Brands – which includes brands like FailArmy, Family Handyman, and Reader’s Digest. She tells us about the opportunities she saw to turn around the company when it was facing bankruptcy in 2013, how the business has weathered some of the storms of the past decade, and why she thinks it’s vital to focus on where the audiences are regardless of platform algorithms. She also explains why a ‘re-start-up’ mentality helped TMB get ahead.

In the news roundup the team debates why it’s so difficult to find common ground on discussions of platforms paying publishers directly, and asks if Google not serving news to Canadian consumers will shift the dial on those arguments. Did you know Elon Musk has a Brummie accent?

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