Media

Subscriptions work, especially for the NYT

Last week, The New York Times disclosed in the fourth-quarter earnings report it had broken a record of its own—its subscription numbers. The paper has added over one million digital-only subscribers in 2019, in what Mark Thompson, the Times' CEO, described as "a record-setting year for The New York Times's digital subscription business, the best…

Scroll: no ads for a self-care journalism style

Last week we saw the birth of Scroll, a new and unique online platform aiming to serve both readers and publishers. The subscription-based service provides an Internet experience free of ads and pop-ups for readers, while paying member publications a portion of their subscription revenue. For the past couple of years, the advertising model has…

Spotify, the podcasting powerhouse

Before January comes to an end, we must still say a word about the podcasting industry and its current striking player—Spotify. Distributing third party content will not get the company very far, and since in music is very hard for Spotify to develop original content, podcasts are the best alternative that match their streaming and…
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Facebook's “Supreme Court” will change very little

Back in September, Facebook announced the creation of what is now known as Facebook's Supreme Court—an oversight board to review appeals to the tech company's content policy decisions. Around forty independent experts will form the committee later this year, making decisions over the company's content policy. For Facebook, the board is the perfect 'scapegoat' to…

The verticals' chess game—how news outlets are reworking their brands

While generalist outlets fight for survival, a new type of news brand is taking over the Internet—the verticals. Before the digital era, verticals were just called news sections. It was as simple as that. With the print product, the reader would go through the whole paper—call it New York magazine, for example—before turning its attention…
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Social media decentralization reaches 2020

Just a couple weeks ago, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced that the company was setting up a team to create a decentralized standard for social media. With it, Twitter is joining the existing efforts to develop decentralized frameworks through which the platforms themselves do not hold the information or the power to act as referees.…
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Streaming wars part II: the unbundling

When streaming platforms emerged in the late-2000s, they announced they had come to unbundle the bundled linear TV programming. Viewers got ordinary TV channels to watch sports programs, news shows as well as movies. They were unable to choose a show on-demand and had to wait for it to come up on the screen. Streaming…
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El Washington Post is born

With the launch of The Washington Post's new podcast in Spanish, the Spanish language in American news outlets is, again, a front-page matter. At first, Spanish seems to be the perfect fit for Anglo-Saxon news organizations in the US—after all, it is the second most spoken language in the country and the fourth in the…
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Local news outlets need help from citizens or the state

It's no secret that local news outlets in the United States have been struggling financially for years. Internet and the abundance of subscription options made revenues for local papers scarcer. Still, there have been multiple initiatives to save them in recent years, from donations, fellowships, and grants, to public subsidies and novel revenue models. Conclusions?…
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Disney+ and the value of knowing your customer

On Nov. 12, a new streaming platform entered the market, aiming to dethrone the incumbent—Disney+ is ready to take on Netflix. Since 2015, Disney's CEO Bob Iger had been planning the launch of the company's over-the-top service. For a time, the $236 billion empire had been licensing its content to Netflix, but in the streaming…
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Quartz, what to change when the market’s changing

Quartz was launched in 2012 as a free business news publication. At the time, the news outlet was innovative, with its mobile-first strategy and its specificity targeting high-earning and highly educated readers. Advertising was its bread and butter. Seven years later, the publication can no longer live off commercials and is strengthening the relationship with…
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Facebook, a veteran media outlet

Facebook has finally rolled out a feature that will change its relationship with the media industry—Facebook News. The new section will allow users to read the main headlines of the day and access those news stories through the app. In exchange for the 'free' content, the tech company is willing to pay some publishers. News…
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Advertisers are coming to your favorite messaging app, WhatsApp

Most of our dear social media services belong to one single company, Facebook. Facebook owns its "blue" platform, Facebook, the picture app it bought for $1 billion in 2012, Instagram, and its more recent $19 billion acquisition: WhatsApp, bought in 2014. However, these social media services differ in one fundamental thing—while Instagram and Facebook present…
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Quibi, the new streaming platform for mobile devices

That smartphone usage is growing is a fact; that we want to stream 10-minute episodes anytime anywhere is a hypothesis. Quibi, a Hollywood-based streaming company, wants to prove the hypothesis is true.  With high-quality content and a hefty budget, Quibi aims to produce 10-minute episodes of film and shows for smartphones. The idea sounds very…
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The deepfake, both beauty and beast

Last May, Nancy Pelosi appeared on a video slurring her words during a speech at the Center for American Progress. Although she sounded drunk, she wasn’t—the video was distorted and had been slowed down. As with Pelosi, thousands of other videos online are the result of video editing skills. They are fake, but it is…
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The short life of the New York Times en Español

When two weeks ago, The New York Times closed its Spanish operation, journalists and readers alike tweeted their outrage. The New York Times en Español did not prove financially successful, said the paper, hence it had to be closed. With a small newsroom in Mexico City entering a market full of established Spanish-speaking papers, the…
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