Tag Archives: journalism

Social platforms aren’t producing meaningful revenue for publishers

Facebook. YouTube. Snapchat. Apple News. All are platforms that have entered into revenue sharing partnerships with publishers. Here’s the thing though: those partnerships aren’t actually producing much money for the publishers. Were they wrong to sign a deal with the devil? I explore the topic in this video.

Facebook is a victim of its own scale

There have been a number of disturbing reports coming out of Facebook recently, from its allowing Russian trolls to spend $100k on influencing our elections to the recent ProPublica investigation that revealed it allows advertisers to target anti-semites. As I explain in this video, almost all of these controversies can be traced back to one source: Facebook’s quest to operate at massive scale.

Web traffic growth no longer matters

During a recent podcast interview, Business Insider’s Henry Blodget admitted something astonishing: Business Insider is no longer seeking audience growth. Instead it’s now focused on wringing more engagement and revenue out of its already-existing audience. This is part of a larger trend in media in which news orgs are no longer pursuing traffic growth for the sake of traffic growth. In this video I explore why scaling your traffic doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll also be able to scale you revenue.

I spent several weeks using chatbots for news and they suck

With the growth chat apps like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, and Snapchat, we started to hear a lot of buzz last year about the rise of chatbots, which are accounts you can subscribe to within Facebook Messenger and chat with an AI that’s geared toward a specific task. Several news organizations launched their own chatbots, so a few weeks ago I subscribed to bots from the Wall Street Journal, TechCrunch, and Complex Magazine. They all sucked. I explain why in the video below.

 

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.