Category Archives: Uncategorized

Has Medium lost its way?

If you’re a longtime Medium user like I am, you’ve likely noticed a number of drastic changes to the platform in recent years. At first, the site put significant resources toward producing original journalism on the platform. Then it spun off its homegrown publications and started focusing on luring established media companies to adopt its CMS. It also launched a native advertising program, only to abruptly shutter it and lay off a third of the company’s workforce. Just recently it launched a paid subscription service and drastically revamped its homepage feed. So what is with all these changes? Has the company figured out where it fits in the marketplace, or is it flailing about, still looking for a sustainable business model? To answer this question, I interviewed Renan Borelli, director of audience development at MTV News. Enjoy.

Was the iPad doomed from the start?

As many tech analysts have pointed out, the iPhone is possibly the most successful product in the history of consumer products. But then that leaves us wondering what Apple has planned for when iPhone sales plateau and then fall — something we’ve seen happening recently. The iPad, when it launched in 2010, was supposed to be that next big thing, but after some blockbuster sales right of the gate, the device has experienced steady declines. Why? Was it a product doomed from the start? Or was it never supposed to be the next iPhone, but rather just another product in Apple’s arsenal? To discuss this topic I brought on Beutler Ink president and Apple fanboy Bill Beutler. Check out our video below.

Say Media is proving not every publisher needs to become the next Buzzfeed

Ben Cohen, founder of The Daily Banter

Ben Cohen, founder of The Daily Banter

Ben Cohen just couldn’t seem to catch a break.

It was 2015 and The Daily Banter, the political commentary site Cohen runs, kept crashing. “Bill Maher was sharing quite a bit of our stuff on Facebook,” he told me as we sat together on the rooftop of a Washington, DC office building. “And we’d get huge amounts of traffic when he’d share stuff, because it would then go viral.” The Daily Banter ran on WordPress, an open source content management system that relies on various plugins created by its developer community, and huge traffic spikes would cause the plugins to break if they weren’t maintained properly. “We were freaking out because we’re getting millions of readers on one article, and the site’s gone down, and that’s potentially thousands of dollars of ad revenue that’s disappeared. That happened several times, so we probably lost, I would say, tens of thousands of dollars in advertising revenue because the site would keep breaking.” Continue reading

How Patreon became a major source of revenue for podcasters

Jamie Golden and Knox McCoy, hosts of Popcast.

Jamie Golden and Knox McCoy, hosts of Popcast.

Two years after Jamie Golden and Knox McCoy launched Popcast, a pop culture podcast they host once a week, they still couldn’t attract high quality advertisers despite the show’s loyal and growing audience. “We found the advertisers who were approaching us weren’t quantifying our value in any kind of tangible way,” said Golden in an interview. “And yet we had these fans who would just go to bat for us. Whatever we asked of them, they would do, and they were supportive and stayed consistent. We never saw a decrease in downloads, not one month we’ve been in existence. It’s been growth, growth, growth.”

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How book publisher Macmillan built a thriving podcast network

Mignon Fogarty

Mignon Fogarty

In November 2006, Mignon Fogarty’s phone rang. She didn’t recognize the number, but rather than letting it go to voicemail, as many of us do with unknown callers, she picked up. On the other end of the line was John Sterling, the president and publisher of Henry Holt, an imprint of Macmillan. He’d seen a recent item in the Wall Street Journal about Grammar Girl, a hit podcast Fogarty had launched a few months prior that was already receiving nearly a hundred thousand downloads per episode. “He originally called me to talk about doing a book deal,” she told me. But she had already set her sights much higher.

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