Media

The death of Quibi, a six-month-old app

After a six-month run, the streaming service Quibi is shutting down. Its plans thwarted by the pandemic, its numbers in decline, and its shows lacking a loyal following, Quibi—short for Quick Bites—is closed for business. The streaming wars and the pandemic are partly to blame for Quibi's failure, as is the rise of the social…
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Tech companies under the microscope

Last week, the US House Judiciary Committee published the report on tech companies' monopoly in the digital space that we had been expecting since the summer. The report argues in favor of reducing tech companies' power and reexamining the way antitrust laws are understood. However, it does not show a way forward on how to…
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How news outlets impact polarization

Since 2016, one of the main buzzwords in political media has been polarization. Voters have been polarized over various topics, the last one being the Supreme Court nomination, which is palpable when reading the news. But media outlets are not just a reflection of today's polarization; they have played a fundamental role in creating that…
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How the post-truth world led to QAnon

In the last few months, QAnon proponents have gained momentum on social media, with President Donald Trump recently offering encouragement to the theory advocates. QAnon is a far-right conspiracy theory concocted in 2017, which argues that there's a deep state working against Trump and his administration. Their statements have no grounding in reality, but they…
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Antitrust measures for the 21st century

On Wednesday July 29, the CEOs of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google were summoned to a hearing with the House antitrust committee. It turned out to be one of the most critical antitrust events since the 90s Microsoft case. One thing is clear—U.S. politics are finally waking up on the antitrust front after three decades…
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Where did Quibi go wrong?

Three months ago, the streaming service Quibi was launched with some fanfare and we devoted one of our posts to it (read Quibi, the new streaming platform for mobile devices). Its success so far has been quite limited. Its founders have blamed the pandemic for the app’s flop, but its problems may not stop here.…
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The limits of freedom of speech on social media

Amid the pandemic, the police violence, and the riots, President Trump's executive order (EO) against social media companies may have gone unnoticed. On May 28, Trump introduced a rule to limit social media platforms' editorial power after Twitter tagged some of its tweets as "potentially misleading." Although the order will likely be challenged in court,…
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Noa, where curation is content

The birth of online news has made information overload a problem for consumers. With news updates popping up every second, it is hard to keep up with the current events while understanding the context for those events. For that reason, the audio company News over Audio (Noa) was launched three years ago to curate the…
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The rise of the healthcare influencer

The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown light to a trend that had gone largely unnoticed until now—a lack of medical experts on social media. Since the virus hit Western countries, citizens have turned to the Internet for solutions. But, with the rise of misinformation, most of them decided to put their trust in the few medical…
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Local outlets struggle during COVID-19

As we settle in our quarantines, we have more time in our hands to read the news—and sometimes obsessively. Thus, it’s not surprising that since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the Western hemisphere, news readership has surged dramatically. But what has also drastically changed is newspaper revenue. With businesses closing, the number of ads has plunged,…
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Entertainment in times of quarantine

As quarantines are implemented throughout the world, users are spending more time on the Internet looking for entertainment options. This makes it, without doubt, the golden age of streaming services and online gaming outlets. But it is also an exciting time for grassroots initiatives, which are flooding the Internet.  As the competition for the audience's…
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How Covid-19 is feeding into the fake news problem

Since early February, fake news content surrounding Covid-19 has flooded the Internet. Citizens all over the world, trying to figure out how to face the crisis and protect their families, are turning to WhatsApp, Facebook, and videos/audios shared by friends with information on healthcare. While social media giants and news outlets try to tackle the…
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Fleets will change Twitter’s fate

On March 4, Twitter made its most significant announcement since its inception, much more consequential than the 280-character extension. The tech company started to test Fleets in Brazil last week, a version of the Stories' feature already present in the other social media platforms. Fleets will consist of temporary posts that will appear on the…
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Subscriptions Flood Movie Theater Chains

We’ve heard it a thousand times—movie theaters, very much like books, are done. With their humongous fixed costs and their conservative outlook, they are just not ready to survive the online streaming era. That general assertion is true—streaming platforms, available for anyone with a laptop or a TV set, are releasing world-class pictures. But, although…
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Digital reading platforms: publishers' friend or foe?

By Giulia Surace, Carmen Arroyo Last week the Swedish Publishers' Association and the Swedish Booksellers' Association released their annual Book Sales Statistics report for 2019, which covers 80% of the Swedish trade book consumer sales. The findings, in line with the previous years, are nonetheless astounding. Although the book market grew 1.1% in value, sales…
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TikTok, Facebook’s worst nightmare

More than a year has passed since Facebook launched its Tik Tok-like platform Lasso, with mild success.  CNBC reported that during its first three months of existence—from November 2018 to January 2019,—the short-video sharing app was downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play by 70,000 users in the United States. The numbers sound…
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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…
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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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