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80% of publishers saw a decline in Google related search traffic last year

Discover the reasons behind these declines and learn how publishers are addressing them in Digiday and Arc XP’s “The State of Publisher Traffic: Framing the Evolution and Impact of Search and Referral in 2024” report!

Sponsored by Arc XP, Digiday surveyed 115 publishers to explore key questions like:

  • How are publishers navigating the evolving terrain of search and referral traffic?

  • What changes have publishers witnessed in traffic patterns, and how have they adapted?

  • What strategies are leading publishers employing to tackle emerging challenges?

What the Publisher Podcast Awards finalists show about podcasting in 2024

From our work coordinating the awards, drawing up the shortlists and adjudicating in the case of a couple of very close categories, here are some of the things we’ve noticed about the state of publisher podcasts in 2024.


Podcasting has changed in the five years we’ve been running the Publisher Podcast Awards. The potential for growth in an industry desperately looking for opportunities has boosted the profile of podcasts and publishers have put real resources into developing innovative launches, daily news shows and world-class documentaries.

As Esther points out in this post, every year our judges – many who have been with us since the beginning – have said it is getting harder and harder to choose the winners. And their scores back this up – the top podcasts in each category are often separated by just a mark or two.

She’s been particularly impressed by the independent podcasts that stole the show at this year’s awards, “even if they haven’t had millions of listens or a team of thirty producers.” And if you are looking for some indie recommendations, Esther has listed three of our winners as great examples of how smaller publishers can use podcasts to make a difference right across their business.


How The Economist increased new subscriber engagement by 3.5%

Educating subscribers about their entitlements is critical for successful onboarding. One effective method is to send subscribers a a physical welcome pack.

Writing on The Audiencers, retention marketing manager Tsering Lock explains how The Economist has tested a real-world welcome pack to combat declining engagement rates with welcome emails. The booklet introduces subscriber benefits and helps readers to get started exploring The Economist’s journalism and establishing a reading habit. According to Lock, the test has shown an observed engagement uplift of 3.5% among the test group.


Quora’s chatbot platform Poe allows Users to download paywalled articles

WIRED was able to download stories from publishers like The New York Times and The Atlantic using Poe’s Assistant bot.

Another day, another story of dodgy AI dealings. This time it’s Q&A-site Quora’s chatbot Poe allegedly making the full text of gated articles available to questioners in downloadable HTML files. Wired prompted the bot with the URL and it delivered a 235-word summary and a 1-MB file containing an HTML capture of the entire article. Other publishers whose articles WIRED was able to download were furious about the situation. Defector co-owner and editor in chief Tom Ley texted: “Defector does not condone having its precious blogs stolen by a dumb chatbot backed by egghead-ass Andreessen Horowitz.”


I will fucking piledrive you if you mention AI again

A data engineer says, “the next person to talk about rolling out AI is going to receive a complimentary chiropractic adjustment.”

Exhibiting similar levels of AI-fueled frustration, the data engineer behind the Ludicity blog is done with AI hype. I’m sure he’s not entirely serious in his rant, but anger is an energy and this high-energy post is funny in a way a chatbot will never be. “I’m going to ask ChatGPT how to prepare a garotte… you will simply have to pray that I roll the 10% chance that it freaks out and tells me that a garotte should consist entirely of paper mache and malice.” ????????????

More from Media Voices


Setting the tone in podcasts and newsletters

In Charlotte Henry’s latest ‘Lessons from the creator economy’ column, she explains why publishers across the board are struggling to find the balance between professionalisation and informality.


5 years of pain ahead: publishing needs to go old-school to survive AI threats

“What’s your competitive advantage as a publishing business? It’s not the ability to churn out more articles than anybody else,” says Ian Betteridge.


No, print magazines are not like vinyl

Vinyl is a flawed substrate for music; print has never been a substandard reading substrate. But that’s not the only unhelpful comparison.

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