Good morning! Welcome to Tuesday. This newsletter was put together by Chris.


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Are news outlets using the wrong metrics to assess sites’ success?

Are news outlets using the wrong metrics to assess sites’ success?

News organizations seeking to measure their websites’ success typically have focused on two metrics: page views and time spent on the site. But data collected and analyzed from …

 

YES.

It’s been a bugbear of mine for years at this point that news outlets will acknowledge they’ve been hooked on vanity metrics – and then do nothing about it. It’s worse because I know that I’m a huge hypocrite: I still get a journalistic thrill from pageviews, even though nowhere I write for materially benefits from pageviews alone. It’s genuinely very difficult to wean yourself off Big Numbers, even when you know you should be.

So this article from the Local News Initiative strikes a chord with me, because it examines the appeal of pageviews and time spent metrics – and where they fall down: “What this means is that it’s preferable for subscribers to be in the habit of visiting your news source regularly as opposed to reading long articles occasionally and staying away for significant periods in between. ‘Binging is bad for subscriber health,’ states a summary of the Subscriber Engagement Index data.”

Effectively, this is confirmation of everything we’ve always known. Your most valuable consumers will be a smaller cohort, but they’re exponentially more important to the long-term health of your business. It’s one thing to know that intellectually, but quite another to know how to deal with the switch from Big Numbers to Important Numbers on an emotional level. Journalists and media decision-makers are people too.


Membership models at media companies hit subscription model barriers

Membership models at media companies hit subscription model barriers

News publishers with membership revenue models, like German site Krautreporter and Denmark’s Zetland, are struggling with some of the same obstacles as those with subscription m…

 

This is an interesting article, if only because it exposes an interesting definitional argument at the heart of the media industry. What counts as a ‘membership’ versus a ‘subscription’? I’ve always thought of a ‘membership’ in the Guardian sense – you pay to support open access, but get a few perks on top. Meanwhile, per some of the organisations in this article, ‘membership’ seems to simply be synonymous. There are other interesting points in here, but that seems to be at the heart of it all.


A global decline in ad revenues is hurting Indian media firms

A global decline in ad revenues is hurting Indian media firms

BSE’s Nifty Media index has slipped nearly 14% this year so far

 

To be completely honest we don’t feature enough news about media industries outside Europe and the US. This is a good snapshot of how the Indian media landscape is being hit by a global slowdown – particularly how its digital media sector is struggling to make ends meet. And if the media industry in one of the fastest-growing economies is having a hard time…


A guide to digital transformation in the media industry

A guide to digital transformation: Lucy Küng talks about models for managing organisational chang…

As digital disruption continues to reinvent publishing’s future, media companies need to make good use of its two greatest strengths – its powerful brands and the calibre of the…

 

There are endless – I mean endless – considerations that go into reshaping a company. Lucy Küng has done an exhaustive – I mean exhaustive – look at how the most vital media businesses are grappling with the challenge of staying relevant. There’s a ton of really good advice in this interview, including how CEOs should take the self-actualisation needs of its younger employees into account.


More from Media Voices

Read: AI in media: myths and misconceptions

AI in media: myths and misconceptions

Is AI a magic tech that will make our jobs obsolete? Or will it be the silver bullet that saves publishing? We look at some of the biggest AI myths.

 

Is AI a magic technology that will make all our jobs obsolete? Or will it be the silver bullet that ‘saves’ publishing? There are plenty of myths, misconceptions and exaggerations around the use of AI technology in media. I take a look at some of the biggest in this extract from our new report, Practical AI for Local Media.

Listen: Practical AI – Lessons from local media

Practical AI Podcast Special: Lessons from local media

How local media organisations have got started with AI projects, the benefits they’re seeing, the challenges they’ve faced and more.

 

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.

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