News About News (And Big Tech’s Chokehold On The Media)
Last week’s change to this section didn’t get any reactions (is no news good news, then?), so I’ll give this new format another shot. Let me know if you hate it.
A Newsletter In A Newsletter
When I went to create this issue, I realized I’d collected an entire newsletter worth of articles for this category. There’s so much going on in the world of media, especially in the revenue wars.
So I’m trying a little something different today. I’ve ordered these notable headlines to capture the current state of publishing. It’s a narrative at a glance, if you will.
Let me know what you think of this approach.
Jared Newman thinks social media is going to ruin newsletters for writers and publishers.
“My fear, then, is that they’ll inevitably follow an all-too-familiar pattern: Build their own version of a promising new idea, try to crush their competitors along the way, and then proceed to ruin—willfully or by neglect—the very thing they set out to copy in the first place.
If this ends up happening, both journalists and their readers will be worse off as a result, as big tech companies reestablish the very patterns that newsletter creators have been hoping to escape.”
For the media publishers and journalists in my readership, this course, “Newsletter Strategies for Journalists: How to Create, Grow & Monetize Newsletters,” looks like it could be a great opportunity.
Click through to check out the promo video and register.
Last week a West Virginia media group decided it was time to hold big tech accountable for wrecking their revenue model.
“Owner of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette-Mail, The (Huntington) Herald-Dispatch and a half-dozen weekly newspapers, HD Media LLC filed a 42-page complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia. HD Media claims Google has monopolized the digital advertising market to such an extent that Google has been enabled to extract a supracompetitive share of HD Media’s advertising revenues, harming the company’s ability to effectively monetize its content. The complaint also alleges that Google and Facebook violated antitrust laws by conspiring to further their worldwide dominance of the digital advertising market, entering into a secret agreement codenamed ‘Jedi Blue’ to manipulate online auctions.”
The suit claims the tech companies threaten free press and democracy.
Will other newspapers join their fight?
Related: Read about Why Google Is Paying French Publishers But Fighting Australia.
Also Related: Check out Why Denmark’s Biggest News Site Cut Reliance On Google’s Tech.
An Idaho newspaper editor struggled to get Excel access for staff. After tweeting about it, she was fired.
This story goes beyond the repercussions of a single Tweet. It’s also a piece about the state of the local newspaper industry.
Related: Check out Twitter Needs A ‘Check Yourself’ Warning For Journalists.
Matt DeRienzo thinks local news publishers need to dig deeper for a better advertising model.
“If publishers can shift their mindset toward choosing the advertisers they want to work with, that they’re enthusiastic about, that they can vouch for, that they can collaborate with to serve readers, the dynamic will be powerful, and profitable, for everyone involved.”
Cheers to that!
Read about how Candace Mitchell, director of subscription strategy, and Elyse Toribio, audience and community engagement specialist, worked together to shift their team’s focus from which pages had the most views to which content triggered subscriptions and subscriber page views.
In this issue of his newsletter Medialyte, Business Insider reporter Mark Stenberg addresses the idea of editorial newsletters as the new MVP (Minimum Viable Product OR Most Valuable Piece of writing, if you subscribe to his theory) of a media launch.
Mark makes the case for starting with a newsletter as the the lowest-cost way of determining whether someone would pay to subscribe to a publication.
“Rather than having to dazzle potential readers with a website full of material, you are evaluated only by the strength of your last newsletter. This makes it a substantially easier row to hoe solo.
And while a sign-up for a free newsletter is not as compelling as a sign-up for a paid newsletter, it means more than a page view. Subscribing to a newsletter is a pretty strong indication of interest, at least compared to landing on a page, skimming it, and then jumping off. If you show an investor that you convinced several thousand people to sign up to read your material week in and week out, that’s pretty strong evidence of a market interest for your product.”
Learn why publishers are calling newsletter writers “hosts” and “anchors” now. It ties into the idea of tying a personality to publications. I’m suddenly feeling hostly (is that a word?).