In the nine months under CEO Heather Dietrick’s charge, The Daily Beast has entered the competition for Donald Trump coverage with big players like The New York Times and The Washington Post. Like with other publishers, the Beast's Trump coverage grew its audience. Yet the Beast’s growth was not contingent on Facebook, and that prevented the publisher, which Dietrick said gets less than 10 percent of its traffic from the platform, from losing audience with the recent news feed changes. Dietrick, who formerly served as president of Gawker Media, spoke about Daily Beast's business growth, figuring out video, subscriptions and more in the episode.
Imran Amed began The Business of Fashion as a blog he wrote for himself. Today, it has grown into a leading news and analysis website for the fashion industry with offices in London, New York and Shanghai. The publication has grown several revenue streams: events, online courses, a careers website and most recently, subscriptions. Amed discusses subscription strategy, events, filling a white space in the industry and more in this episode.
The media industry as a whole struggles to build a loyal audience for their brands. But theSkimm, which covers big national and global stories of the day, launched about six years ago with email newsletters. Now, with over 6.5 million subscribers, theSkimm is growing into a bigger brand with a loyal audience, and it all started when cofounders Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg aimed at becoming a part of people's routines. The cofounders joined us on this week's podcast.
Nick Thompson, editor-in-chief of Wired, recently co-authored a story on how the 2016 election shook Facebook and catapulted them into an identity crisis. As he investigated this story over two years, it refined his own digital strategy and views towards Facebook's role in the business of news. Thompson discusses the story, what it means when the world of Silicon Valley collides with Washington, why he remains optimistic about Facebook’s interests aligning with publishers’ interests, and more.
When NBA star LeBron James left the Miami Heat in 2014, 20-year-old Omar Raja searched for highlights from James' Heat career and couldn’t find relatable moments outside of traditional highlights. So Raja started House of Highlights, an Instagram account that frames moments from games as funny and relatable narratives. Today, the account, which Bleacher Report acquired in 2015, has over 8 million followers, including A-list athletes like James and soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo. House of Highlights has a fiercely loyal audience on Instagram, continuing to post on the platform even as its audience has grown. Raja discussed House of Highlights' reasons for sticking with Instagram, the account's focus, its evolution and more in the episode.
On this week’s Digiday Podcast, YouTube network AwesomenessTV president Brett Bouttier joined us to discuss programming on YouTube and the emerging post-cable world. Awesomeness TV is doing programming for YouTube Red, but Bouttier said the platform is still in experimentation phase.
It's the year of loyalty for publishers, and as reverberations from Facebook's news feed change subside, only those that have created a need for their content will remain unfazed. At a Digiday Live Podcast event on Jan. 24, Bleacher Report CRO and CMO Howard Mittman said Facebook's community is waning, and all its changes aim to protect that owned and operated platform.
Viral content site Upworthy arrived in the media industry in 2012, popularizing the famous headline formula that came to be known as clickbait. A year in, Fast Company named it the fastest-growing media site of all time. Then, a decline in traffic occurred, as Facebook cracked down on "curiosity gap" headlines that induced clicks. But Upworthy hasn't gone away. CEO Eli Pariser joined the Digiday Podcast to discuss clickbait, riding the Facebook wave for traffic, building an ad model independent of display advertising and the Donald Trump era.
Facebook sent tremors through the media industry when it announced its news feed change that would deprioritize publishers' content. For this week's Digiday Podcast, we talked to Meredith Artley, svp and editor in chief of CNN Digital Worldwide, before Facebook's announcement. Here's what Artley said about the platform:
“The media industry collectively freaks out when Facebook makes a change that impacts your business. Well, what were you expecting? It’s their platform, and they’re not in the news business. We at CNN have gotten a little perturbed with those changes, but we can’t put ourselves in a position that it impacts our business in a significant way because that’s irresponsible of us.”
Artley also discussed scale, platform strategy, Donald Trump’s feud with CNN and autoplay videos on the episode.
Last year, the big wave of pivoting to video washed over many media companies. Troy Young, global president for digital at Hearst Magazines, joined the Digiday Podcast last March and said half of Hearst Magazines' content would soon be video. This year, we invited Kate Lewis, svp and editorial director of Hearst Magazines Digital Media, on the podcast to check in with Hearst's digital operations. So far, one-third of Hearst's magazine content is video.
Facebook and Google wrecked the media landscape in 2017, and while publishers might retrench slowly in 2018, the collateral damage has been massive. The platforms have been the breeding ground for fake news and newsroom restructurings, leading to newsroom layoffs. On this week’s episode of the Digiday Podcast, Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, said Facebook is already a publisher and the need to work forward from that point of understanding.
On this episode of The Digiday Podcast, we recap the big themes that emerged for publishers this year, from Facebook to the pivot to video to the focus on subscriptions. We bring you clips from top publishers like Bloomberg's Justin Smith, Axios' Jim VandeHei and New York Times' Meredith Levien.
HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen recently wrapped up a listening bus tour that made stops in various cities across inland America. On this week's Digiday Podcast, she said that in her many interviews, Donald Trump's name didn't come up. Polgreen talked about how the tour will evolve HuffPost's editorial focus, the results of HuffPost's rebranding and more.
As the new year approaches, media companies are evaluating their misses in 2017 and goals for 2018. It was a tough year for digital media, with Mashable selling for one-fifth of its one-time valuation, BuzzFeed missing its revenue targets and frequent layoffs. At a Digiday Live Podcast event exclusively for Digiday+ members, editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey chatted with Vox Media CMO Lindsay Nelson about where the industry fell short.
There are many blaming digital media woes on ill-thought pivots to video and an addition to venture capital. Nonsense, according to Bustle Digital Group CEO Bryan Goldberg. The fundamental issue is there are too many digital publishers competing for what's left over from Google and Facebook. Goldberg discusses consolidation, investing in digital media businesses, the duopoly and more in this episode.
This has been yet another turbulent year in the media industry, and publishers have pivoted to wherever they found potential for ad dollars or an alternative revenue model. Some are experiencing success with subscription models, particularly those with a legacy of trust and quality associated with their names, like The New York Times. Ken Doctor, a news industry analyst joins us on this week's Digiday Podcast to discuss subscriptions for local news publishers, FCC decisions, the problem with digital-only models, Tronc and more in the episode.
"Social media platforms are very bad to retain the audience."
"Just putting all of our eggs in one basket because it’s the right short-term thing to do is not where we want to be."
Attn, the 3-year-old media brand that distributes video stories through social platforms, built itself into a short-form video giant by taking a Facebook-first approach. The publisher has tried to align its content with Facebook’s interests. On this week's Digiday podcast Attn CEO and founder said that directing audience away from Facebook to owned and operated properties is a losing strategy. Segal discussed building a brand on a social feed, Facebook’s new products for publishers and more on the podcast.
BuzzFeed food brand Tasty has reached 1.8 billion views monthly on its Facebook videos, but it's looking increasingly beyond views to driving real-world action. Besides making food videos for social feeds, the brand is also selling merchandise like customized cookbooks. Ashley McCollum, general manager of Tasty, joins us on the Digiday Podcast.
While Google and Facebook hamper publishers' efforts to grow digital ad dollars, The Washington Post CRO Jed Hartman said on this week’s Digiday Podcast that publishers need to figure out their unique value and stop "whining about the platforms."
The Food Innovation Group is home to legacy brands like Bon Appétit, but in the shift to digital, the magazine has become a complement to Bon Appétit's digital and social offerings. With the majority of the group's revenue now also coming from digital, it's embracing programmatic advertising.
“Programmatic is an activation method versus a buying strategy. If display [advertising] is a function of getting more programmatic, there’s a huge opportunity to streamline and create less friction [in transactions]," said Craig Kostelic, chief business officer of Food Innovation Group and Condé Nast’s Lifestyle Collection, on this week’s Digiday Podcast.
The New York Times is one of a few privileged publishers that have transitioned into a subscription business, and to do this, it started behaving like a consumer brand, according to the Times’ evp and COO Meredith Kopit Levien. She talks about subscriptions, advertising, differentiating from free alternatives and more on this week’s Digiday Podcast.
Politico has successfully steered its business model from advertising to subscriptions. Today, with 25,000 Politico Pro subscribers and a 90 percent renewal rate, Politico gets over 50 percent of its revenue from its high-priced subscription services. The key lies in focusing on the coverage that has been pivotal for Politico, according to Politico President Poppy MacDonald. The publisher has not wavered from its original brand of policy and politics journalism, so it’s managed churn and avoided the impact of the Trump bump. Macdonald discusses subscriptions, Trump bump and more on this week's podcast.
On this week’s Digiday Podcast, Spirited Media’s Jim Brady talks about building a local news media business that's sustainable. The key to economic success for Spirited Media lies in a scaled events business rather than the display advertising relied on by most publishers in local news markets.