The Digiday Podcast

The Digiday Podcast

By Digiday

The Digiday Podcast is a weekly show on the big stories and issues that matter to brands, agencies and publishers as they transition to the digital age.

Episodes

‘A perfect time for someone like me to be in this role’: Maria Reeve is breaking barriers at the Houston Chronicle

Maria Reeve didn’t set out to become the first person of color to oversee the newsroom of a major metropolis’s flagship news organization. For much of her career, the executive editor of the Houston Chronicle didn’t even have her eyes on editor roles altogether. “I really liked the process, the work of reporting in journalism. And as I became a manager, I really liked the process of helping people do their work and discover their own goals and desires in that. And just in the last few years did I begin to think about, What would that look like for me to lead a newsroom? What would I bring to this?” Reeve said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. Among the things that Reeve is bringing to the role since being named executive editor in July 2021 is a desire to build up the Houston Chronicle’s coverage of underrepresented groups. That includes the creation of a culture desk. It also involves finding ways to support the people of color in her newsroom as well as to find ways to bring in more people who are members of underrepresented communities. “When you say, ‘Oh, we have an executive editor who’s a person of color. What does that look like? What is different about that?’ I think what’s different about that is just the recognition that I bring -- having been in this industry for 25-plus years -- what I’ve seen and what I’ve experienced and how I might like to make change around those areas,” said Reeve. This episode is the second in a four-part series for the Digiday Podcast called “The Modern Newsroom Leader,” featuring editors-in-chief as they navigate new industry challenges including staffers dealing with burnout, unsteady financial businesses and prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion in hiring practices.
21/09/2142m 12s

'Journalism can only be as good as our newsroom culture': Vox Media's new editors-in-chief are redefining the roles

The role of editor-in-chief looks a lot different than what it did 20 years ago — or even two years ago. For digital-first media companies, the nuances of what it takes to run a successful newsroom, particularly during a pandemic, are more complicated than ever before. For Vox Media, it meant having two new top editors for its brands Vox and The Cut, who have fresh perspectives on what the job means. At the beginning of this year, Swati Sharma and Lindsay Peoples Wagner took the reins of Vox and The Cut, respectively. Both are still early in their careers -- when they were appointed, Sharma was 34 and Peoples Wagner was 30 -- but they have already accomplished a goal that for many is the ultimate sign of success in the journalism career path. This is Sharma's first time leading a newsroom as the top editor Peoples Wagner previously was the editor-in-chief at Teen Vogue but is familiar with The Cut having previously been its fashion market editor from 2015 until 2018. Now both are leaning on those past experiences, and each other, to achieve success. This episode is the first in a four-part series for the Digiday Podcast called “The Modern Newsroom Leader" featuring editors-in-chief as they navigate new industry challenges including staffers dealing with burnout, unsteady financial businesses and prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion in hiring practices.
14/09/2145m 37s

Women of Color Unite’s Cheryl L. Bedford is fighting ‘exclusion by familiarity’ in entertainment

In February 2018, Cheryl L. Bedford threw a party. The invite called for women of color to unite, and the event spawned Women of Color Unite, the nonprofit organization Bedford oversees that supports women of color in the entertainment industry. “We basically built Women of Color Unite on the idea of exclusion by familiarity and ending it,” Bedford said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast In the fight against people hiring people whose identities and experiences are most similar to their own, Women of Color Unite operates two programs that are aimed to help women of color get in the door and move up the Hollywood ranks. The JTC List is a database of 4,500 women of color that not only provides a free tool for companies to find cinematographers, line producers, screenwriters and others, but also provides Women of Color Unite a means of analyzing the issues underpinning the challenges for women of color in entertainment. Then there is #StartWith8. This program originated after the murder of George Floyd in May 2020 and gets established people in Hollywood to commit to giving their time and energy to support eight women of color apiece. For example, Win Rosenfeld — a writer/producer and president of Jordan Peele’s production company Monkeypaw Productions — committed to meet with eight women of color, read their scripts and provide them with notes. “That means a lot to somebody, to understand what people want in this industry, to understand what kind of things get green-lit,” said Bedford.
07/09/2152m 28s

LinkedIn’s Imani Dunbar is helping to build more equitable workplaces across industries

The compensation gap is closing, albeit slowly and unevenly. In the effort to create balanced workplaces, LinkedIn occupies the position of potential catalyst. The Microsoft-owned business-centric social network not only provides a platform with tools through which hiring practices can be made more meritocratic but also offers an example of an equitable organization. It even has an executive charged with overseeing equity strategy. “I don’t know that any companies have started to unify all their efforts around ... a single role and actually set up a team that’s meant to focus on this,” said LinkedIn’s head of equity strategy Imani Dunbar in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. LinkedIn’s focus on equity spans inside and outside its own walls. Internally, LinkedIn has achieved a notable level of compensatory fairness among its employees. Employees of color in the U.S. earn $1 for every $1 earned by white employees, and female employees earn $0.998 for every $1 earned by male employees. But the work is far from finished. “We’ve been on our equity journey for a while. It’s also our forever work. It’s not something that’s like a six-month or couple-year project,” Dunbar said.
31/08/2143m 15s

Jubilee Media’s Jason Y. Lee and investor Mike Su want to build the ‘Disney for empathy’

Many media companies have set out to be the Disney of X. But Jubilee Media seems to have carved out a niche for itself by aiming to become the “Disney for empathy,” according to the media company’s founder and CEO Jason Y. Lee. Empathy is a pretty unusual content category, though, of which Jubilee Media is well aware. “A lot of people have trouble putting us into a particular category or box. And we see that as a tremendous whitespace that we want to kind of own and grow into,” Lee said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast.. Jubilee’s empathetic bailiwick also seems to present a timely opportunity for the media company to attract audiences in search of some positivity amid all the day-to-day gloom and doom.  “It’s no coincidence that Jubilee really starts picking up momentum because people are hungry [for empathetic content]. That’s what we need, right? We want to connect with each other,” said Mike Su, director of Snap’s accelerator program Yellow and an individual investor in Jubilee Media, who joined Lee in the episode.
24/08/2152m 20s

The delta of it all: Digiday’s top trends of 2021 so far

The media and marketing industries seem to be approaching another inflection point. The delta variant is beginning to put the brakes on the return to normal that had been underway since the start of the year. That makes mid-August — already a typically slower part of the year — an opportune time to catch up on the top trends of the ever-changing moment. In this week’s Digiday Podcast, co-hosts Kayleigh Barber and Tim Peterson talk about the delta that marketers and media companies are finding themselves in. Spring’s stability has given way to a summer of uncertainty, cracking open the question of how businesses will fare in the fall. Fortunately, the swings of the past year and a half has positioned companies well for this state of flux. The conversation spans the status of companies’ plans to return to the office and host in-person events, the advertising rebound that businesses have experienced this year, how companies continue to build up their commerce businesses, publishers’ shifting subscription strategies as retention becomes the priority and the latest wave of media consolidation.
17/08/2133m 43s

Atlas Obscura redefines ‘exploration’ after pandemic upturned coverage areas

Travel, to no surprise, was one of the largest industries impacted by the pandemic and publishers like Atlas Obscura that cover exploration, wanderlust and gastronomy had to quickly adapt and figure out both what content output and brand deals would like in this new reality. Luckily for Atlas Obscura, the concept of exploration meant more than its tourism and trip-planning business, which accounted for about half of the company’s revenue in 2019. In the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast, CEO Warren Webster talked about how his team adapted exploration to mean everything from learning about new subjects or trying out new skills from experts online in a new courses business, as well as leaning into the road trip model for discovering a new place. And while some travel-related advertisers had to pull back on spending, others in the auto and food categories filled the gaps and Atlas Obscura walked away from 2020 in a strong position, Webster said, though he did not provide exact figures. Now as travel is slowly returning, the company is bringing back some of its paused 2019 revenue streams and adding its successful 2020 innovations to build toward a successful year. Of course, some hesitations still loom around the coronavirus variants, but Webster said that both his team and advertisers are optimistic and eager to get back into in-person experiential events and programming.
10/08/2149m 2s

Hearst UK wants all of its brands to have Good Housekeeping's authority in product testing

Good Housekeeping set a standard at Hearst UK that the rest of the portfolio wants to replicate. For nearly 100 years, the homelife magazine has cultivated a following of readers who trust its product recommendations, reviews and seals of approval enough to spend their money on those tried and tested items. Now, the Good Housekeeping Institute has expanded into the Hearst Institute, enabling the rest of the UK-based titles to use the same resources, experts and testing facility that has strengthened the GH brand's trust with readers. In the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast, Laura Cohen, Hearst UK’s head of accreditation, talks about what the expansion means for both the physical operations of the Hearst Institute as well as its ability to drive revenue from working with more brands and producing more content that can be monetized through affiliate commerce.
03/08/2149m 5s

How Yahoo is experimenting with platforms and partnerships to grow its audience

Yahoo is on a mission to drive brand affinity across its portfolio by turning casual readers into fanatics who are willing to spend money with the media company. That strategy has led the company to experiment with new mediums and types of content, as well as new innovative partnerships, said Joanna Lambert, head of consumer at Yahoo. In the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast, she said she wants to reach 900 million monthly, paying users by further enticing them with shoppable videos, online sports betting partnerships, cross-brand content offerings, and more. Lambert and her team now has more to work with: in May, Verizon Media was sold to private equity firm Apollo for $5 billion, in a deal that would make the suite of brands — including the Yahoo portfolio, Techcrunch, Engadget, In The Know and others — renamed to Yahoo. This deal has yet to close, so Lambert did not speak much about it, but did say that as a remaining 10% stakeholder in the new media company, Verizon will remain a partner on 5G projects, which has been a large focus for innovation, she said.
27/07/2147m 42s

How Rich Kleiman and NBA star Kevin Durant are building The Boardroom into a media business

Many athletes have made moves into the media business, from Derek Jeter with The Players’ Tribune to LeBron James with Uninterrupted and SpringHill Entertainment to Alex Morgan, Sue Bird, Chloe Kim and Simone Manuel with TOGETHXR. That list also includes Kevin Durant. Through their company Thirty Five Ventures, the NBA star and his business partner Rich Kleiman have been building a media business that has evolved from a channel on YouTube and show on ESPN+ into a media company called The Boardroom. “Boardroom was an evolution of us wanting to have a voice, knowing we had a voice but wanting to have our take and our point of view on the sports world and on what was happening in the culture around the sports world,” Kleiman said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast.
20/07/2141m 26s

How 100-year-old Architectural Digest is becoming a brand for a younger and more diverse audience

Architectural Digest’s global editorial director Amy Astley does not want the 100-year-old magazine to feel stuck in a legacy mindset. While print subscriptions are still an increasing area of the business, she said, the brand’s digital presence and social media content have become significant ways for AD to grow a much younger and more diverse audience. Enter global digital director David Kaufman, who was brought on last year as a way to further the publication’s international expansion and global integration. Now Astley and Kaufman are working together to create a larger audience, using all of the channels in their arsenal, including YouTube and Instagram, to fill the funnel of new viewers who have the potential to become subscribers, or become online shoppers as AD continues to build out its shoppable video and content. In the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast, the pair discusses why the pandemic led to new opportunities for experimentation, like launching new content verticals and building out its commerce business and leaning further into platforms frequented by Gen Z and millennials.
13/07/2154m 14s

‘Meet the Press’ host Chuck Todd reports from the frontlines of TV news’s shift to streaming

NBC News’s “Meet the Press” is the longest-running show on TV. For the program to remain relevant in the streaming era, it needs to appeal to people who are not tuning in to traditional TV. This notion is not lost on the show’s host Chuck Todd, who also anchors “Meet the Press Reports,” a streaming-only series that debuted on NBCUniversal’s Peacock in September. However, Todd also saw an opportunity to seize streaming as a means of stretching beyond the limitations of a linear time slot and doing deeper coverage of topics like voting rights and climate change. “It’s not as if we didn’t have a desire to [cover those topics more in-depth]. We just run out of linear bandwidth,” Todd said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. “Meet the Press Reports” is part of a larger trend at NBC News — as well as other TV news organizations — to make streaming more of a centerpiece in their strategies, rather than a supplement to traditional TV. “When Peacock consolidated everything, they don’t have someone separate trying to find TV shows for the broadcast [network] and then TV shows for Peacock, right? It’s the same. We’ve got all these platforms, but it’s one entity. The news division is now moving in that direction,” Todd said.
06/07/2138m 51s

Jonah Peretti and Rich Antoniello explain why BuzzFeed is buying Complex Networks

The wave of media consolidation is cresting again. The latest example is BuzzFeed’s acquisition of Complex Networks. BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti and Complex Networks CEO Rich Antoniello joined the Digiday Podcast to talk about the deal. The conversation with Peretti and Antoniello ranged from how Complex Networks will fit inside BuzzFeed to how BuzzFeed’s brands could cross over into Complex’s properties like ComplexCon and vice versa. What came through in the interview is how the two executives see their respective companies as being in a better position together rather than going it alone in an industry dominated by giant tech platforms and other major media companies that continue to merge. “In this day and age, how difficult it is being an independent publisher, I think it’s only gotten more and more difficult and the pandemic heightened that,” Antoniello said. Becoming a media conglomerate comes with complexities, though. “You can tell in companies that merge everything together and have some chief content officer who makes every piece of content the same -- I mean, it just doesn’t work,” said Peretti. “You need editorial independence and that flows through even to the business and to the partnerships you do and brand licensing deals and native advertising and branded content.”
29/06/2145m 5s

IPG’s Arun Kumar says the time has passed for the ad industry to regulate itself

As the chief data and technology officer at IPG, Arun Kumar has plenty on his plate at the moment. Apple is limiting tracking on iPhones and iPads. In less than a year, Google’s Chrome browser is supposed to cut off third-party cookies. And both Apple and Google are threatening the advertising industry’s adoption of the IP address as a cross-platform identifier. “’Stress’ is the middle name of my title right now,” Kumar said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. What is stressing out the agency executive, in particular, is the question of how companies can connect with current and potential customers and keep a pulse on people’s interests when their traditional means of doing so are being taken off the table. In addition to the technology providers’ tracking crackdowns, government regulators and privacy advocates increasingly see the tracking that underpins much of digital advertising as a form of involuntary surveillance. And Kumar acknowledged that the advertising industry has not done enough to convince people of the trade-offs of tracking. “Is the industry doing a good enough job of explaining it? No, it’s not,” Kumar said.
22/06/2147m 10s

How the Betches founders turned a blog into a multi-platform media company for young audiences

A decade ago, Cornell students Jordana Abraham, Aleen Dreksler and Samantha Sage created a satirical blog called Betches to share their observations of student life. Now in 2021, the blog has become a multi-platform media company for millennial women that reaches a monthly audience —they tout — of 43 million. The blog grew with its audience, said Dreksler on the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast, allowing major life events for their audience to dictate new content verticals, podcast subjects and video series, including Betches Moms and Betches Brides. But above all, entertainment and humor led the company’s content strategy. As such, social media has become a key growth platform for the media company over the years. Like many media companies, Betches has had a lot to consider over the past year, including what its role would be on emerging platforms, how to continue serving its audience who was spending significantly more time online and how to create content for the ever-growing Gen Z demographic.
15/06/2140m 16s

Vox Media’s Marty Moe and Preet Bharara are building a business that extends beyond podcasting

Vox Media has been on something of a shopping spree over the past two years. After acquiring Epic to boost its TV production business, New York Media to expand its publishing portfolio and Coral to add to its publishing technology, in April the media company picked up Cafe Studios — the podcast company co-founded by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara — to round out its podcast network. However, for both Vox Media and Cafe Studios, the motivation behind the deal extends beyond the world of audio. “There’s lots of things we’re thinking about and planning on, not just continuing additional audio podcasts [including narrative series] in the future,” said Bharara, who was joined by Vox Media Studios president Marty Moe, in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. The companies are also looking to extend Cafe Studios into documentary television and live events. Meanwhile, Cafe Studios moves its new parent company further into the subscription business. Vox Media already sells subscriptions via New York Magazine and dabbles in donations via its news publication Vox. But Cafe Studios, which sells subscriptions through its Cafe Insider program, introduces it into the world of subscription-based podcasting. “One of the attractive things about Cafe is learning from [Cafe Insider] and learning how we can potentially extend that to more of our podcasting business, but frankly how we can connect it to and use learnings for other parts of our subscription business,” said Moe.
08/06/2150m 15s

NTWRK is taking NFTs into the livestream shopping model

The livestream shopping model is coming back around in the U.S. and is not limiting itself to the traditional television channels and "call-now" directives that QVC and HSN have done in past decades. NTWRK, a livestream shopping company aimed primarily at Gen Z and millennial audiences, launched in late 2018 and has accumulated 2 million consumers since then on its iOS and Android apps, which are currently the only platforms that shoppers can transact on. By 2025, the goal is to increase that number to 50 million, as well as make more than $1 billion in revenue, said Aaron Levant, CEO of NTWRK, on the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. The livestream shopping platform sells physical products like art, sneakers, and limited edition products that are created in collaboration with hand-selected artists vetted by NTWRK's merchandising team. But after seeing a surge of interest around NFTs and learning the reasons behind why people pay for digital ownership of online products, Levant said his team realized that physical collectors and digital collectors overlap quite nicely within the NTWRK consumer base. As a result, this month NTWRK we'll be launching an NFT extension on its platform to further tap into these new shopping behaviors.
01/06/2149m 35s

With a unique insight into e-commerce behavior, Klarna's marketing strategy focuses in on being a part of the cultural conversation

Klarna -- the buy now, pay later fintech company -- is trying to build its user base by becoming part of the culture conversation. The Swedish-based platform already has a significant base of 90 million global shoppers with 18 million specifically in the U.S., which Klarna CMO David Sandström said is the company's fastest growing market. With access to that many consumers, the past year has been a treasure trove of new data on online shopping behavior, given the pandemic wildly increasing the number of people transacting on the internet. That said, with more online shoppers, there has been an additional need for Klarna to put its checkout option (paying in up to four payments, versus one) in front of significantly more people, which Sandström said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast, led to his team accelerating its advertising strategy in the second half of 2020. Its marketing team has been tasked with leading that charge by getting creative on emerging social media platforms as well as working with media brands and celebrities to tap into its preexisting, trusted audiences and fanbases.
25/05/2148m 45s

Dorsey The Plug Draft

18/05/2148m 35s

Why Hearst's digital-native food brand Delish is getting into print

When Hearst created its internet-inspired food brand Delish six years ago, its product strategy was entirely digital, which was unique within the publisher's portfolio of legacy magazines. And while Delish may not be one of the "Hearst titans," its playful nature has helped grow the brand's audience and hone a group of super fans who are willing to pay to be closer to the brand in more ways than one, according to Delish editorial director Joanna Saltz on the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. Now, Hearst is bullish on building out its reader revenue lines by installing paywalls on its websites and securing more product licensing opportunities tied to its brands. Delish is not exempt from that strategy. After it successfully created cookbooks and bookazines, the brand will launch a quarterly print magazine as a way to build out its membership offering. Delish is also seeking a stronger connection to its audiences' kitchens with everything from branded ice cream to kitchen appliances, said Dan Fuchs, Delish's vp and CRO.
11/05/2145m 28s

How the Try Guys took their YouTube channel and turned it into a media company and a TV deal

The Try Guys brand was formed in 2014 by four BuzzFeed producers who wanted to be funny on their company's YouTube channel. Within four years, the group — Ned Fulmer, Keith Habersburger, Zach Kornfeld and Eugene Lee Yang — realized the brand had enough of a fanbase to buy the rights from BuzzFeed and set out on their own. Now the Try Guys' company, 2nd Try, has a staff of nearly two dozen, a YouTube channel with more than 7.5 million subscribers, numerous product lines (including hot sauces, teas and a cookbook), a movie, and an upcoming special on the Food Network, all of which have come to fruition since 2018. In the fourth and final episode of the Digiday Podcast's creator series, Fulmer, Habersberger and Kornfeld talk about how passion is key to growing their company earnestly and organically and how being independently owned allows each other the flexibility for experimentation.
04/05/2154m 55s

How Sienna Mae Gomez turned into one of TikTok’s top stars

Sienna Mae Gomez is a definitive overnight sensation. In August, she posted a video to her secondary TikTok account that attracted hundreds of thousands of views within hours and led her to become one of the platform’s biggest stars. “I gained a million [views] like every three days. It was crazy. It was just going so fast. From the span of August to maybe October-November-December, I was gaining a million [followers] like every week or two weeks,” Gomez said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. Gomez’s rapid rise has hardly slowed. If anything, its pace has picked up. In the eight months since posting that video in August, she has accrued more than 22 million followers combined across her two TikTok accounts, signed with Hollywood talent agency ICM Partners, attracted deals with brands including Maybelline and Levi’s, launched a YouTube channel, started her own bathing suit line and is set to star in a reality show on Netflix. The third guest in a four-part series on individual content creators, 17-year-old Gomez represents a generation who grew up seeing YouTube stars chart a career out of creating videos and posting them online. She also symbolizes how the business of being a creator has matured and how creators today have solidified themselves as part of the Hollywood firmament. “I think if you told someone back in the 50s, ‘Oh, there’s gonna be an app, and it’s gonna create celebrities.’ They’d be like, ‘That’s literally insane.’ But times are changing,” Gomez said.
27/04/2144m 1s

Heated founder Emily Atkin shows what it takes to make the transition from staff writer to Substacker

The allure of Substack has lured many journalists away from their traditional newsroom roles to a position of becoming their own editors, artists, marketers, accountants, and most importantly, bosses. Emily Atkin was one of the first to feel the draw, leaving her position as a staff writer at The New Republic in September 2019 to launch her climate change-focused newsletter, Heated, that same month. "I definitely did not have the idea beforehand. I was at the place in my job at the time where I wanted to make a move. I weighed my options [and Substack] seemed like that was what made me the most excited," said Atkin. "I was trying to trust what would be the thing that brought me the most joy and sort of sense of purpose. And that's where the idea came from." A year and a half later, Heated has more than 40,000 free subscribers and boasts a conversion rate of free to paid subscribers between 8-12%, which Atkin said is the metric she obsesses over to indicate her path to success. With that proof point, she said she is ready to add to her team to deliver more value to the paid subscribers, who represent Heated's sole source of revenue. She did not say how many paid subscribers the newsletter has. This episode is the second of a four-part series on independent content creators that includes interviews with YouTubers, TikTokers and Substackers. The aim of the series is to show how these individuals — commonly labeled bloggers and vloggers, influencers and freelancers — are essentially turning their passions and hobbies into their own media companies, as well as highlight how this segment of the media industry is becoming more mainstream and setting standards for how digital media companies should approach these platforms themselves.
20/04/2149m 23s

YouTube stars Alisha Marie and Remi Cruz show how creators have become their own class of media company

Alisha Marie and Remi Cruz have built their careers by posting videos to YouTube. But their businesses have grown beyond Google’s digital video platform. Since Marie launched her YouTube channel in 2008 and Cruz debuted hers in 2012, they have diversified to other platforms and revenue sources, including commerce and a joint podcast called “Pretty Basic” that the pair premiered in October 2018. “Being entrepreneurs or the businesswomen we are today was never the goal or the mindset. It kind of just evolved slowly,” said Marie in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. This episode kicks off a series in which Digiday Podcast co-hosts Kayleigh Barber and Tim Peterson will interview independent content creators, including a Substack writer and a TikTok star. The aim of the series is to show how these individuals — commonly labeled bloggers and vloggers, influencers and freelancers — are effectively forming their own media companies as this segment of the media industry becomes more and more mainstream.
13/04/2142m 36s

TikTok’s Khartoon Weiss wants brands to stop overthinking their platform strategy

TikTok has risen rapidly from being a new platform for marketers to kick the tires on to becoming a staple in some advertisers’ social budgets. “Curiosity, for sure, has exploded. We were a test partner, I would say, in 2020, and 2021 is the year that we want to be trusted,” said TikTok’s head of global agency & accounts Khartoon Weiss in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. The latest sign of that trust is a three-year deal that TikTok has signed with IPG Mediabrands. The deal marks the second arrangement that the ByteDance-owned company has struck with a major agency holding company this year, following a deal with WPP announced in February. The agency holding company deals signal that TikTok has reached a new crest in its relationships with advertisers and agencies — two groups that may still be figuring out how to use the platform — but are invested in that education. Through IPG Mediabrands’ deal with TikTok, the agency group and platform will hold quarter-long “creator camps” for popular TikTok users to provide feedback on brands’ TikTok strategies and campaigns as a part of a broader program called “creator collective.” “It’s a new initiative that connects brands with forward-thinking and diverse creators who will advise on strategies and best practices, which is what we honestly get asked about most,” Weiss said.
06/04/2138m 46s

How Turner Sports is using new platforms and content to widen its audience aperture

Turner Sports is using the recent return of sporting events to bolster new initiatives in both advertising and audience building. In the heat of March Madness, which has returned this year after taking a 2020 hiatus, Tina Shah, evp and general manager at Turner Sports, said her team has been integrating innovation in both production and content for the event’s ad campaigns after seeing a strong return of interest from advertisers. Beyond that, Shah said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast that these events mark the perfect time to try and engage both younger — and female-skewing audiences — after recognizing the linear coverage of live sports is not quite cutting it. Bleacher Report’s House of Highlights is leading that charge by creating new livestream competition shows while B/R is working to champion representation of women athletes across its site — something both fans and advertisers appreciate, she said. At the end of the episode, Shah also spoke about her experience as a woman building a career in sports media and how representation of women both on screen and behind scenes on the business side is important to creating a successful, impactful business.
30/03/2139m 45s

How Trusted Media Brands is using first-party data beyond advertising

A successful first-party data strategy incorporates data into every facet of the business — from advertising to affiliate to licensing. At least that’s how Trusted Media Brands’ CEO Bonnie Kintzer is approaching the company’s first-party data strategy. So far the company's notable revenue growth is proving this to be a good move. The company’s advertising revenues have been up 40% year over year, with particular growth in programmatic business since the beginning of TMB’s fiscal year July 1, Kintzer said. Meanwhile, its affiliate commerce business has seen 75% growth year over year, with January coming in at double its revenue from the same month the previous year, she added. “We may have been a little bit late to the [affiliate] party, but [we’re] making up for lost time,” Kintzer said.
23/03/2141m 53s

How The Weather Channel is using weather patterns and AI to inform ad campaigns

There is a reason why most conversations start by addressing the weather. It's a universal talking point that affects everyone, regardless of backgrounds and demographics, making it an easy icebreaker. Marketers love the topic too and publishers like The Weather Channel end up benefiting greatly because they attract large audiences that span whatever targets an advertiser is hoping to reach. In February alone, The Weather Channel's website and app reached 430 million active users, according to Sheri Bachstein, the global head of Watson Advertising and The Weather Company, owned by IBM. Bachstein discussed the ways in which The Weather Channel and IBM are making the most of its audience and first-party data, including creating an AI-based data offering and launching a subscription product on its app to diversify revenue with the help of nearly 1 million super weather fans.
16/03/2145m 52s

GroupM’s Kieley Taylor and Amanda Grant are on the lookout for the future of identity in advertising

The digital advertising industry is in the midst of an identity crisis. Between the third-party cookie’s impending demise and Apple’s mobile app tracking crackdown, advertisers and agencies are having to figure the future of identity in digital advertising. Fortunately, that future has been a long time coming. “For better or worse, the crystal ball has been decently clear that this is the direction we’re going from regulatory pressures, from a consolidation in terms of who is owning and controlling experiences through the lens of a browser, through the lens of an operating system. So we take solace in that there’s been a bit of a head start,” said GroupM global head of partnerships Kieley Taylor in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. Taylor was joined by GroupM global head of social Amanda Grant. Further helping advertising figure out the identity situation is Apple’s mobile app tracking crackdown. That change is expected to take place this spring and is “giving us really good training wheels for the cookie-based changes that are going to come about,” Taylor said. However, what that experience is showing so far is that advertisers may want to exchange the training wheels for off-road tires as they try to navigate the bumpy trails ahead. Although Apple has been fairly clear in saying that apps will need people’s permission in order to continue to track them for advertising purposes, “the platforms are all interpreting that very differently as it impacts their platforms. So it’s not like we have a single rules of the road for social activation moving forward,” said Grant.
09/03/2137m 49s

Social media ‘wild, wild west’: How Harper’s Bazaar follows digital trends to retain its authority in fashion

Harper's Bazaar is a 153-year-old legacy magazine using social media platforms to help it become a modern, digital fashion authority. The brand's digital presence not only helps amplify its print stories, but diversify revenue through e-commerce and advertising — turning fans of the magazine into digital consumers of luxury fashion and beauty. And three months ago, Nikki Ogunnaike rejoined the magazine as its new digital director to help strategize ways it can grow and monetize its audience, including staying on top of digital trends. "Now is this weird, sort of wild, wild west time" of new social media platforms that Harper's has to consider in its digital strategy, including Clubhouse and Twitch, said Ogunnaike on the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast.
02/03/2139m 43s

'We shouldn't have to go on so many first dates': How Bustle Digital Group is wooing advertisers

The ways in which publishers solved their 2020 problems vary, but Bustle Digital Group's approach included reestablishing longterm relationships with advertisers in a variety of categories and leaning on retail partners like Amazon to bring in incremental commerce revenue. During the first quarter of 2020, Bustle Digital Group was projected to be up 40% in revenue over 2019 by the end of the year, according to Jason Wagenheim, BDG's president and chief revenue officer. But by March, reality of what the year would hold had set in and that projection was thrown out the window. "We had the darkest 72 hours in our company's history where literally tens of millions of dollars just cancelled within a three day time period," said Wagenheim in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. "There was a lot of panic at the start of the pandemic." Ultimately, BDG ended the year about 5% up from 2019, thanks to its position in a myriad of advertising categories. Wagenheim did not provide exact revenue figures. "It's the importance of being able to satisfy retail as much as tech as much as auto as much as fashion," he said.
23/02/2140m 37s

CBS News Digital’s Christy Tanner doesn’t expect to see a ‘Trump Slump’ in news consumption

News outlets experienced a surge in traffic and viewership during Donald Trump’s presidency right through to when he left office in January. In fact, between the inauguration of President Joe Biden and the attack on the U.S. Capitol, CBS News Digital received more readers to its site and attracted more viewers to its video programming in January than in any previous month in its history, according to CBS News Digital evp and gm Christy Tanner. But now that Trump is out of office — and hopefully without another Capitol attack on the horizon — news outlets have been faced with the question of whether people’s interest in the news would subside. In other words, whether the Trump Bump would turn into a Trump Slump. “I do not expect to see a slump. We still have some major, major compelling stories that are not going anywhere anytime soon,” Tanner said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. The election may be over, but there remains a pandemic, a racial reckoning and a climate crisis for news organizations to cover, said Tanner. “In many ways, what I’m happy about is we can focus on these really important stories now that we have a different president in office and a different type of news cycle,” she said.
16/02/2143m 47s

'Proactive is the path': Group Nine's Geoff Schiller on his selling strategy

Last year proved to be one of the most challenging years on record for the media industry with ad revenue drying up in the second quarter, but for Group Nine, it was magnified by its entry into its first full year following the merger with PopSugar. In the first few weeks of the merger, the company’s chief revenue officer Geoff Schiller came onto the Digiday Podcast to talk about the vertical sales strategy he implemented at the beginning of 2020 that required sellers to have a deep endemic focus — a strategy carried over from his time leading sales at PopSugar. This would allow sales expertise that normally fits with a brand like PopSugar — like entertainment — transfer to a brand like Thrillist, after main sponsors in the travel and restaurant industry took a big hit and pulled back from advertising in 2020. Navigating last year helped Schiller realize the horizontal focuses all of Group Nine’s titles needed to account for as advertisers’ needs shifted throughout the year. Pivoting to include the horizontal with the vertical, Group Nine’s revenue in 2020 was flat with 2019, according to Schiller, but the fourth quarter ended up being the best on record for the company.
09/02/2137m 43s

'Urgency around the community': How Pop-Up Magazine pivoted to (even more) experimental storytelling

By March 16, theater doors around the country shut their doors. The Pop-Up Magazine touring production, which had just completed its first (and only) national tour of 2020, had to figure out where to go from there. The publisher, known for its on-stage renditions of original magazine stories that rethought the performance of storytelling, had not previously filmed its shows. But the pandemic forced the publisher to experiment with a virtual format like many others and in true Pop-Up form, it came with a twist. The publisher premiered its Spring show on YouTube Live, with performers filming themselves from home alongside animations and illustrations. And then wanting to push the experience even further, the company created a $70 issue-in-a-box and organized community groups and virtual experiences that could continue convening the show's fanbase despite not being in a shared theater space. "The silver lining for us about 2020 and the pandemic is it was an opportunity for us to be very experimental with storytelling in different formats," said Chas Edwards, the president, publisher and co-founder of Pop-Up Magazine Productions. "And most importantly 2020 gave us permission to get closer to our audience in a variety of ways."
02/02/2139m 6s

The New York Times’ Ben Smith saw the alt-right’s rise and sees a new era for social platforms

Ben Smith has an enviable view of the current media landscape. Before The New York Times announced in January 2020 that the publication had hired Smith to be its media columnist, he had eight years as the editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, a period during which the meme publisher matured into a media company that retained its social savvy while also operating a news business. And before BuzzFeed, Smith had covered politics as a reporter and blogger at Politico. That experience helped Smith to see the coming rise of alt-right media outlets using social platforms to spread misinformation coming before many others. “I think was increasingly aware of it at BuzzFeed. Because we were swimming in those waters, we were very quick to see the rise of the alt-right, and we covered the hell out of it in 2014 and 2015,” Smith said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. Lately Smith has been reflecting on media in the early days in the internet. Specifically he has been thinking about he and others learned how to use the web to get around gatekeepers like the big, traditional media companies and inadvertently “opened a kind of Pandora’s box,” he said. He continued, “It’s not that we didn’t see that it had a dark side, but I think we misunderstood the balance.”
26/01/2135m 40s

'Convince the gatekeepers': How The Week Jr. is growing its U.S. subscriber base

The Week Jr. was set to debut in the U.S. last spring but the day that the first run of the children's magazine went to the printer, much of the country went into lockdown. That threw a wrench not only in the magazine's editorial plans, but also in the marketing strategy for how the U.K.-based, Dennis Publishing-owned title was meant to enter the western hemisphere. Despite the initial hiccups, Andrea Barbalich, editor-in-chief of The Week Jr. U.S. and Kerin O'Connor, chief executive of The Week said on the most recent edition of the Digiday Podcast that the weekly news magazine for kids has already surpassed its initial run of 50,000 issues and now reaches 75,000 subscribers in the U.S. This is in part thanks to 2020 having one of the most intense news cycles on record, which Barbalich said her team was diligent about covering in a way that kids could easily digest and in a manner that parents might not be able to do on their own. Within about three or four issues we had The Week Jr. being read in every state in America," said O'Connor.
19/01/2142m 55s

‘You’ve got to earn that’: Mike Hume of The Washington Post’s Launcher on covering gaming and esports inside a mainstream publication

For years, gaming has been categorized as a niche form of entertainment. But that’s been changing over the better part of the past decade, including within the realm of gaming journalism. In addition to longstanding gaming publications like Kotaku and IGN, mainstream outlets have invested in covering gaming and esports, as The Washington Post did in debuting Launcher in October 2019. And their coverage extends beyond console reviews and game play tips. As Launcher editor Mike Hume explained on the Digiday Podcast, Launcher covers the business and culture surrounding and inside video games, from esports competitions that have formed around games to people holding their weddings within games to the legal standoff between Apple and Fortnite maker Epic Games. Rather than focus on legitimizing gaming to The Washington Post’s broader audience, Launcher has had to take care to legitimize itself to that core gaming audience.  “We’re not going to be the Kool-Aid guy breaking down the wall and being like, ‘The Washington Post has come. Gamers rejoice. Now you have a mainstream outlet.’ No, you’ve got to earn that. That’s what a lot of our focus was in year one,” Hume said.
12/01/2138m 47s

How Future PLC’s audience-first strategy grew revenue in 2020

While 2020 was a year of struggle and strife for many publishers, London-based Future PLC ended its 2020 fiscal year up 65% in total revenue from last year, bringing in a total of just under £340 million (approximately $459 million), according to the company’s 2020 annual report. As a special interest-based publisher, Future PLC has the advantage of having niche, passionate audiences that trust the publications they read. But with over 130 titles, the company also has the scale of a mass media company, with a total audience consists of upwards of 400 million monthly unique users. That extensive database of user behavior, interests and shopping habits is what the company’s CEO Zillah Byng-Thorne said helped the company grow over the past year. In the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast, Byng-Thorne discusses how Future positioned itself over the last year to grow not only its e-commerce business during the coronavirus pandemic-induced online shopping boom, but also its advertising business.
05/01/2133m 51s

Coronavirus-induced change and accelerations: Digiday’s top trends for 2021

In this week’s episode of the Digiday Podcast, our editorial team takes a look ahead at what 2021 may have in store for the publishing and marketing industries, from what Zoom fatigue means for the virtual conference to why perks aren't what they used to be.
22/12/201h 9m

'Using all parts of our business as innovation': Vox Media Publisher Melissa Bell on recent departures and future content

It's a new era for Vox Media. The company is a year into its merger with New York Magazine, and in recent weeks has seen some of its leading journalists and founders leave for such legacy companies as The New York Times as well as upstart destination Substack. "I think it's a sign of success," Vox Media publisher Melissa Bell said on the Digiday Podcast. "I see it as a benefit that folks can come to Vox and work with Vox Media or Vox and add a really big gold star to their resume." Beyond the talent chase, Bell said Vox Media has ambitious multi-platform plans. "We are going to actually produce simultaneously podcasts and TV shows when we really know the idea is super strong," Bell said. "It allows us to reach audiences in the way that they want to be reached. Some people are audio listeners, or learners and some people are visual learners." Vox's podcast audience has grown by 45% this year, Bell added. And then there are CTV and streaming plays. "We're going to be starting to look into the OTT streaming platforms for Vox," she added. "We just announced that we're doing a new deal with HBO [and] we're still heavily partnered with Netflix. So you'll see a lot of growth there."
15/12/2042m 14s

Google's Amy Adams Harding on why digital newsrooms should 'act like an e-commerce player'

As Google continues to partner with newsrooms to help boost their traffic and revenue, the company's Amy Adams Harding has one recurring piece of advice: "making sure that you're employing e-commerce-like tactics." "Even though you're a news publisher and your journalism is core to what you do, you are, at the end of the day, selling that journalism," said Adams Harding, Google's director of analytics and revenue optimization for news and publishing, on the Digiday Podcast. Those tactics include offering a low, middle and high-budget option for content (the middle is most likely to net buyers, Adams Harding says). The esthetic of the offer matters, too. Adams Harding suggests orange "squovals" (that's square ovals) has proven to drive engagement, as well as making these offers more prominent. "The number of sites that we've come across where they've got this tiny, little upper right hand side, 'subscribe to us' button — that's not going to build your reader-direct revenue strategy." Adams Harding also suggests hiring more like an e-commerce player. "I can't tell you the number of meetings I've had with CEOs of news companies, and they say 'well, I want to launch a reader direct revenue monetization strategy. Who should I hire?' And I say, 'well, for goodness' sake, don't hire anyone from the news industry, hire someone from Amazon, right?' You need to be able to act like an e-commerce player, because those are the ones that are having success online." But Google's partnerships aren't just about dispensing pat advice. The company works with thousands of news organizations in more than 100 countries via News Consumer Insights, a digital product launched this summer to help newsrooms parse the mountains of they're sitting on. "It allowed us to create our version of a user engagement funnel, specifically for news," Adams Harding said. "All it did was re-visualize the data in Google Analytics, so that it made sense to a news partner."
08/12/2044m 20s

'I believe enough in this to try to do it myself': CollegeHumor owner Sam Reich on the brand's future potential

Despite the name, CollegeHumor isn't a spring chicken anymore. Founded in 1999, the comedy site was acquired by IAC in 2006 and grew into one of the most successful video publishers on YouTube. It also went premium with shows for TV like Adam Ruins Everything, and launched a subscription streaming service called Dropout. But whereas CollegeHumor succeeded in terms content side, business has been another story. In January, IAC decided it was no longer willing to finance CollegeHumor and laid off more than 100 employees and then sold the business to Sam Reich, who had joined the company in 2006 to build out its original video business. In his estimation, there's a helpful paradox at the center of the company's content strategy. "When we began, it was with what we thought was a really mature thesis for how to run a subscription business: We're going to a have our acquisition content and our attention content," Reich said on the Digiday Podcast. The acquisition content had higher budgets and shorter run time, but in the end, the cheaper, longer-form stuff outperformed it on all fronts. "In other words, the most expensive content was less effective in getting people in or keeping them there than the less expensive content," Reich said. "And if that hadn't been the case, I don't know that we would have taken over the company."
01/12/201h 6m

'Profitability in the back half of next year': BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti (and Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan) on their big merger

Two of digital media's biggest players are merging into one, with the announcement last week that BuzzFeed will be acquiring HuffPost in an all-stock deal. This episode of the Digiday Podcast hears from both sides of the transaction. First, senior reporter Kayleigh Barber interviews BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti, who will be leading both companies as they remain separate but share resources on fronts including advertising and content syndication. Senior media editor Tim Peterson then follow with an interview with HuffPost’s seller — Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan— about the complementary audiences, products and goals he envisions for the two sites. "What I've told Jonah is, 'now it's your time to take this and grow. And we want to make sure we are syndicating and we are working with you on ads, working with you on commerce," Gowrappan said. "That's how we're going to measure success." Verizon Media will have a minority stake in BuzzFeed, though Gowrappan is keeping its size a secret. For his part, Peretti believes "there's a strong possibility of profitability in the back half of next year."
24/11/201h 15m

'People give when they're excited about good things': Grist CEO Brady Piñero Walkinshaw on what drives member support

With a Biden administration set to take over in January, one arena for policy whiplash is the environment. The president-elect has promised to rejoin the Paris Agreement against global warming on the day he's sworn in, and campaigned on the existential threat that is climate change. What does that mean for Grist, a news non-profit focused on environmental issues, and which has experienced a "Trump bump" just like many news organizations covering the White House over the past four years. "I think sometimes people give when they're excited about good things too," Grist CEO Brady Piñero Walkinshaw said on the Digiday Podcast. "And folks are excited about good things [on environmental policy], not just attacks or assaults" on it. Grist's staff of 50 depends on around 5,000 "low-dollar members," Walkinshaw said. Five percent of the company's six to seven million dollar budget comes from advertising, but the majority is via partnerships with foundations. "The climate is increasingly one of the top-of-mind issues to a growing, growing, growing number of Americans," Walkinshaw said.
17/11/2041m 39s

Shine co-founders Naomi Hirabayashi and Marah Lidey on how mental health went mainstream

Whatever else can be said about the year 2020, it has at least led to a renewed focus on issues of mental well-being for those open to discussing it. "Even in 2019 there wasn't this spotlight on mental and emotional health," said Marah Lidey, co-founder of wellness-focused company Shine, on the Digiday Podcast. "The pandemic is helping to destigmatize conversations around mental health," her co-founder Naomi Hirabayashi added. Founded in 2016, Shine offers guided exercises and community around mental wellness. "This summer, we knew it was really important to prioritize, you know, Black mental health, specifically, in response to what was happening in our country," Hirabayashi said. Their app notifies users of a daily theme and meditation exercise and is available in both free and paid tiers (at either $12 a month or $54 for a year). According to Lidey and Hirabayashi, the company reaches 4 million users.
10/11/2039m 48s

Activision Blizzard Esports' Jack Harari on how the energy and pageantry of gaming is enduring the pandemic

If there was one mode of international competition that wasn't to be disrupted much by the global coronavirus pandemic, it's esports. "One of the unique things about gaming is that our players don't have to be in the same place," Activision Blizzard Esports VP Jack Harari said on the Digiday Podcast. Still, elite video game competition benefits from the same trappings that established league sports do, from pre-game pageantry to fan cams and a real sense that competitors are squaring off against one another even as they sit at their computers. "It adds more energy, creates some really unique production opportunities," Harari said. He joined Activison Blizzard — the creator of esport staples like Call of Duty, Overwatch and StarCraft — after five years with the NBA. Like most media businesses, the company hopes to resume physical events next year, the company, Harari said, hopes to resume physical events next year, but has proved highly engaging in a media economy forced to be remote. One clear differentiator between the company's Overwatch League and a traditional sports league is that Activision Blizzard owns the game from top to bottom. Avid fans of the sci-fi shooting game can go from watching the world's best to playing the exact same game themselves, albeit with different stakes. In a week, the average fan watches four to five hours of professional esports while playing the company's games for more than 20 hours, according to Harari. Activision Blizzard is hoping to monetize that high level of engagement in a way other sports can't. Last year, the category brought in more than $1 billion globally for the first time.
04/11/2037m 28s

The 74’s publisher Jim Roberts on bridging equality divides in education and making trust bonds with audiences

For the 74's publisher, nothing has been hit as hard by the pandemic as education: "Overnight, kids were basically told 'everything changes," said Jim Roberts, publisher of The 74, on this week's edition of the Digiday Podcast. Launched in 2015, The 74 — short for the estimated 74 million children in the United States — is a nonprofit covering education and now, the extent it has been disrupted and transformed by the coronavirus crisis. One of The 74's central focuses before the pandemic was the achievement gap — along socio-economic and racial inequalities —and other entrenched problems in America's education system. "That crisis to me just exploded exponentially as a result of the pandemic," Roberts said. "If you were poor and disadvantaged before the pandemic and you were struggling to get a quality education, I can imagine that it is just exponentially more difficult now." Roberts is new to the nonprofit game — he joined The 74 earlier this month. But he sees one common goal for any publication looking to survive — get people to click, make them feel rewarded for doing so and get them to come back for more. The 74 is supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the Walton Family Foundation and other groups.
27/10/2037m 22s

'Retention has been one of our best stories of the year': Bob Cohn on steering The Economist through the crisis

Bob Cohn joined The Economist Group in February after more than a decade at The Atlantic, where he served on both sides of the fence -- as its digital editor and later as its president. As president and managing director, his stated remit was to grow The Economist's global readership and open up new commercial opportunities in North America. Of course, merely six weeks into the job, the coronavirus pandemic hit. With it came a surge of subscribers as readers looked to the Economist to unpick the impact on the economy, politics, culture and more. "We did see, for a few months back in the spring, new subscribers coming [in] at about twice the rate that we expected," said Cohn on the Digiday podcast. Subscriptions and circulation made up around two-thirds (£204 million;$265 million) of the £326 million ($423 million) The Economist Group generated in revenue in the year to Mar. 31 2020. In recent months, pre-pandemic, the company had already shifted its subscription strategy from focusing on acquisition to more of a retention push. The surge in subscribers during the coronavirus crisis created "a kind of urgency" to keep the newly acquired users. "We were an acquisition machine; we were not focused as diligently as we could on retention," prior to Cohn's arrival, he said. "We came into this year with a determination to be better at that and embrace best practice and go beyond best practice." Some of the new efforts have involved the creation of subscriber-only digital events (some 27,000 subscribers tuned in to watch a Bill Gates interview,) increasing the price of its introductory offers and exclusive subscriber newsletters. The number of subscribers in The Economist's "highly engaged" category increased 21% last year, Cohn said Looking ahead, The Economist plans to roll out a new customer experience platform and create more products at a wider price range to tap a more diversified user base. "Retention has been one of our best stories of the year," Cohn said.
20/10/2040m 49s

Diversity 'is a commercial imperative now': Brand Advance CEO Chris Kenna

Brand Advance, the three-year-old media network that helps marketers reach diverse audiences, has marked a sharp uptick in business in 2020, according to its CEO and cofounder Chris Kenna. Advertisers spending through Brand Advance's network increased 400% between mid-March through June. "If Brand Advance was to be formed now everybody would say 'that is the most timely company,'" Kenna said. "The need wouldn't be questioned. Back then, it was questioned. It took a global pandemic for people to actually realize that diversity [should be] a main staple of every media plan." Kenna has unique bona fides on this front, telling Digiday he was the first Black person born on the U.K.'s the Isle of Man. "I got a certificate for that. I don't remember getting it, obviously," Kenna said. Diversity has grown into a "commercial imperative" in the last 10 to 15 years, Kenna said. To meet it, he advises companies to create their products and campaigns with diverse consumers in mind from the start, not as an afterthought. He also said that so-called test campaigns for companies to know whether this or that segment is worth reaching often miss the mark. "I'm not testing being Black, I was born it. And LGBTQ+ people aren't testing being LGBTQ+, they just are. We don't understand why you have to test if we're a good consumer," Kenna said.
13/10/2036m 11s

'Scale for scale's sake is almost meaningless': Axios CEO Jim VandeHei

For Axios CEO Jim VandeHei, the unquenchable firehose of outrageous news from the Trump White House — and the 2020 presidential election in general — is a distraction. "My hope is we do very little coverage or analysis after the next debate if there's nothing substantive to say," VandeHei said on the Digiday Podcast (a few days before the president's coronavirus diagnosis would put future debates into question). He added that Axios won't be "made or broken by whether Trump wins or loses" in November. For him, the major stories of the 21st century include artificial intelligence, climate change and China's actions on those issues — and in the world at large. And Axios seems to be proving there is in fact a market for the concise coverage it provides on those issues and more. The company will make a small profit for the third year in a row, VandeHei said. For 2020, he forecasts revenue above the Wall Street Journal's recent estimate of $58 million. That has made an optimistic CEO out of VandeHei, which is new. "I've been a pessimist about a lot of media for a long time," he said. "What we are seeing are a couple of trends that are really positive for high quality media companies." For one, her said, Google and Facebook have gone from threat to being "a net asset" for companies like Axios as they can bring big audiences and are themselves big sources of a specific kind of advertising. "Call it corporate image or corporate social responsibility type advertising, which is ads from companies about something other than selling a product," VandeHei said. "It's 'what do we stand for? what are we trying to do as a company as a corporate citizen?' That's a boom market. That market has turned out to be a lot bigger than we had anticipated."
06/10/2045m 29s

'All taking a chance on each other': Jasper Wang on Defector Media's collective ownership structure

In recent years, unionizing newsrooms has given journalism-focused media companies a bit more say over how their workplaces are run. But Defector Media is something else entirely. The group of 18 former Deadspin employees — who quit the company after a bitter clash with management last year — have launched the company with a much more collective ownership structure. Like its predecessor, Defector Media focuses on sports and culture. With a two thirds majority, they have the power to vote out the site's editor-in-chief — or this week's guest on the Digiday Podcast, Defector's vp of revenue and operations, Jasper Wang. "Is it a little bit more stressful? Sure. But they're all taking a chance on each other, and they're taking a chance on me. So I gotta bet on myself, too," Wang said on the podcast. "I think probably more executives should feel on their toes and beholden to the experiences that their employees are having." For now, employees and shareholders are one and the same. Anyone who joins the company will have the same voting rights. Defector also provides full transparency on how much everyone is making, which "has driven some awkward conversations. But you're just getting that out at the beginning rather than along the way," Wang said. Beyond its unique housekeeping model, the site is betting on subscriptions. Defector, which launched just this month, had a "dare to dream" target of 30,000 paying members by the end of the year, Wang said, for which they're ahead of schedule. Part of Wang's calculus is that Deadspin's brand resided not just in the Gawker umbrella that owned it, but in the names of its writers, most of whom are now at Defector. By the same token that Substack is proving highly remunerative for certain journalists on staff and the Deadspin pedigree should attract subscribers who miss the old site's irreverence and coverage of both sports and politics. "It was clear that the dedicated following would be there," Wang said.
29/09/2037m 22s

'One beat in an ongoing movement': BET+ general manager Devin Griffin on the streamer's evolution

BET+ launched a year ago this week, making Black Entertainment Television a competitor in the increasingly crowded video streaming race. "I think what BET means now to the younger generation is different than what it meant to me 25 years ago," Devin Griffin, the OTT service's general manager, said on the Digiday Podcast. "At the time I was plugged into BET, there were very few images of Black people on television outside of what was happening Thursday night on NBC, and besides sports," he said. BET helped change that when it was founded in 1980. Fast forward 40 years and market research conducted in the lead up to launching BET+ found that there's still a lot of unmet demand for stories centering on Black experiences and characters. "Black consumers watch more long-form video content than anybody else across American society. There's a really big appetite there," Griffin, who previously worked at Netflix, said. That isn't to say that Black viewers are the only target audience. Griffin said that non-Black viewers are tuning in, too. BET+ is a standalone offering separate from the BET channel, though both are owned by ViacomCBS. It costs $10 a month and carries more than 2,000 hours of programming, including original programming such as "things that come from the BET 'legacy library,' things that come from VH1, TV Land, Comedy Central, other brands across the ViacomCBS family," Griffin said.
22/09/2033m 41s

Fortune CEO Alan Murray on taking the conference business to a larger audience (and with a higher price tag)

There is a finite number of CEOs who can tune into Fortune’s CEO Initiative virtual conference. And there are only 50 leaders who can be on Fortune’s World’s 50 Greatest Leaders list. Those communities are limited. But communities drive revenue. And there is an entire untapped grouping of emerging and aspirational leaders that Fortune has identified who can benefit from the information it has cultivated over years of conferences and coverage — and would be willing to pay to gain access. "In the Time Inc. era, we only had the extremes of the funnel," said Fortune CEO Alan Murray. "We had all the free content, and then we had these very expensive, $15,000 executive conferences, and we had nothing in between. One year later, we have a paywall and subscription level," he said on the Digiday Podcast. On October 5, Fortune is launching an online learning platform and community called Fortune Connect that will target mid-tier, vp and senior manager executives in a highly monetized way. The membership to Connect is priced at $2,500 per year per person, with an option for companies with 50 or more approved employees to have an enterprise discount.
15/09/2037m 9s

Wonder Media Network CMO Shira Atkins on making (and selling) branded podcasts

Scroll through Apple's list of top podcasts and you'll see a lot of big names (including actual Hollywood celebrities). Within that landscape, Wonder Media Network has managed to make critically acclaimed podcasts without the A-listers. "That's kind of a silly media strategy, honestly. How are you supposed to build an audience with non-celebrity?" said company CMO Shira Atkins on the Digiday Podcast. "But we're just testing to see if this is viable." One way its managing that is by dedicating a lot of resources to branded podcasts, which offer the possibility of scale. "The ideal scenario is, 'let's get Microsoft to sponsor a podcast and also promote the podcast.' Because they look good being attached to the show; we get the audience and we get the money so that we can create the good content and it's a beautiful cycle," said Atkins. One recent example: Fiverr, a freelancers' platform, paid for a month-long takeover of the company's Encyclopedia Womannica podcast, a five-minute daily that tells stories of notable women in history. For weekend episodes, they switched up the formula to focus on women involved with Fiverr instead (including the company's CMO). Fiverr also got post-rolls ads on every episode, and in addition, "we did some PR with them, and they promoted nearly every day on all of their social media," Atkins said. Overall, Wonder Media Network, which was founded in 2018, is a purpose-driven media brand that performs a balancing act between activism and non-partisan story-telling. "Our full mission is to amplify under-represented voices and to inspire action and promote empathy," Atkins said.
08/09/2035m 8s

Daily Maverick founder Branko Brkic on the hard-hitting journalism that sells memberships in South AfricaBranko Brkic

Paywalls and digital subscriptions may be on the rise at digital media companies around the U.S., but South Africa presents a different case. "Our competitors went behind paywalls, and they didn't have a good experience," said Branko Brkic, founder of the South African online news site Daily Maverick, which covers politics and business from their newsroom in Johannesburg. "You can't debate the issue that you need income from your readers to be part of your stream of income. But we really do not believe that the paywall is a way to go," Brkic said on the Digiday Podcast. The site instead relies on a model akin to the Guardian's — make the content free, but ask your readers for support at every turn. "What we say with Maverick Insider is 'help us actually make this possible for people who cannot pay. Be part of something bigger, be part of something really beautiful,'" he said. "It's an emotional decision." And in Brkic's telling, it's worked. Over last two years, the company has gained 13,000 paying members, each paying at least 75 South African Rand (or about $4.50) per month. The site drew 4,500,000 this past May, its highest monthly figure. Brkic founded the Daily Maverick in 2009, the year after the financial crisis decimated the digital advertising market and taking his previous publication — a magazine simply named Maverick —out of commission in December 2008. The day it was announced that they were going out of business, Brkic said he began designing Daily Maverick. Employees of the defunct Maverick joined the enterprise. The magazine's online successor delivers shoe leather reporting in a country with insular news organizations and reporters who failed to go beyond stenography. "What South African media for many, many years got used to is basically going to press conferences," Brkic said. Brkic's bolder take on journalism included an award-winning investigation into the police killing of 34 striking miners in 2012. "South African people need to know the truth," Brkic said. "And as matter of principle, I really don't think we should let only people that have a checkbook be able to know what the truth is."
01/09/2037m 15s

'We have to grow this responsibly': Tenderfoot TV co-founder Donald Albright on the podcasting's bright (but consolidated) future

Podcast's ad dollars may be growing, but Tenderfoot TV founder Donald Albright knows how cagey buyers can be. "Even though the numbers are steady, the advertisers are thinking: 'people aren't spending money, so I'm not going to spend money advertising to them," Albright said on the Digiday Podcast. Albright co-founded Tenderfoot TV —named before its pivot to audio — with filmmaker Payne Lindsey in 2016. The production company is behind true crime hits like Atlanta Monster and Up and Vanished. "For us, a company with 500 million downloads and six number one podcasts... they don't always just jump right in," Albright said about advertisers. The company's listenership hasn't suffered much from the disappearance of the commute — prime podcast listening minute— that many stakeholders feared. "When I look at our data, most of our podcasts are consumed on desktop or laptop, not in cars," Albright said. And he's optimistic about the industry's ability to create more jobs and attract the kind of top talent that in a previous era would have opted to work for Netflix or other giants in video storytelling. Albright himself hadn't listened to a podcast until Tenderfoot's own Up and Vanished — podcasting is his second career, after one marketing and producing music (Lindsey comes from the world of video too). Tenderfoot counts 10 employees, including its two founders. And As podcast companies get acquired left and right, Albright emphasizes the need to preserve the creative independence that podcasts nurtured well so far. "My fear is that now everything that you do is going to be through the lens of a corporate entity," Albright said. "Not just them having legal control of what you can and can't say, which in some cases I understand, but creative control. That's something we'll always push back on no matter who our partners are." Tenderfoot TV itself has teamed up with the iHeartPodcast Network on a slate of nine podcasts.
25/08/2044m 1s

'People want to take back their mind': Substack CEO Chris Best on the growing appetite for paid newsletters

Substack is the newest savior for independent publishing, powering an array of subscription newsletters that give hope to the rise of a new class of journalist entrepreneurs. "On Substack there are people paying more for one individual newsletter than they pay for all of Netflix," CEO Chris Best said on the Digiday Podcast. "And it doesn't really make sense if you think about it just in terms of dollars per hour of entertainment or dollars per word that I read or something like that. There has to be something else going on there." People "want to take back their mind" from the social media platforms that have dominated digital ad dollars, Best added. The service launched in 2017 with just one newsletter: Sinocism, a newsletter on China by Bill Bishop that brought in over $100,000 on its first day (Substack takes a 10% cut of subscriber revenue). "We think that we can make the writers much more money, and much more reliable money, by the way," Best said. "A lot of publications have seen their advertising revenue just tank over the course of the crisis, but people who have a subscriber base -- you know, it's much more steady as you continue to provide value." To help them do that, the company has also been piloting Substack Defender, a resource for journalists who have been threatened by a "scary-looking letter on official-looking letterhead from a lawyer saying a bunch of blustery stuff," in Best's description. Often these letters do the trick, intimidating writers who might not have the knowledge to know a legitimate case from a bogus one.
18/08/2040m 8s

Craigslist founder Craig Newmark on why he's donating millions to journalism

There's a cliche that tech industry founders are bent on reckless growth all because their aggressive entrepreneurial tendencies weren't tempered by any college coursework in the humanities. But Craig Newmark, who founded the eponymous Craigslist in 1995, learned some useful lessons in sociology even before he got to college. "In the 1970s, my high school U.S. history and civics teacher taught us about the importance of a free press," Newmark said on the Digiday Podcast. "A trustworthy press is the immune system of democracy." Newmark has gone on to donate millions to journalistic programs and schools via Craig Newmark Philanthropies. His beneficiaries include the Poynter Institute, NPR, Consumer Reports and two journalism schools in New York City — those at Columbia and the City University of New York (the latter of which changed its name to The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York its name in his honor). Dollars go a long way, but Newmark says he also helps generate conversations within his network, especially among "frenemies" working against the same big issues like cybersecurity or the online harassment of women (especially journalists). Or, for that matter, disinformation (it's no coincidence that he created his philanthropic foundation in 2016 when Russia tampered with the U.S. Presidential election). Beyond supporting high quality news, Newmark has taken an active role against bogus political information, "particularly disinformation regarding voting by mail," Newmark said. "And so I'm working with people in journalism, people who are the experts in voting, I'm helping them fight back and to take the battle to the enemy." Social media giants are partly to blame, according to Newmark, even as they've tightened their speech regulations and political policies in recent months. "The social media platform[s] know who the bad actors are. They know who the foreign adversaries are, they know who their domestic allies are," Newmark said. "They should take action against all of them." But what about Newmark's own career, as the IBM programmer who went on to create a free digital version of the classifieds that ate into a traditional (and lucrative) preserve of local newspapers? "Newspaper revenue [declined] starting in the early ’50s. It went down precipitously in 2008 and 2009 when the big guys started getting things done. And that's about it. I asked [economists] to show me what blip I could see due to Craigslist, and they couldn't show me one. I mean, my instincts tell me Craigslist must have had some effect, but the economists have not been able to show me one," Newmark said.
11/08/2034m 3s

TikTok's Blake Chandlee on surviving a post-techlash world (and White House)

TikTok is coming of age in a post-techlash world. But unlike Facebook and Google, it has the added challenge of doubling as a political football in the Trump administration's clashes with China. Last Friday President Trump told reporters he was considering a ban on the video app, which is owned by ByteDance, a Chinese company. Over the weekend Reuters reported the company may be looking to divest from its U.S. operations completely — perhaps in a sale to Microsoft — in order to avoid such a ban. Like other tech giants, ByteDance has also hired lobbyists in Washington in an effort to keep its access to a massive U.S. market — and its 100 million existing American users, according to the company. The Trump administration's nominal concern is TikTok's possible ties to Beijing — last fall leaked documents revealed how the app had censored topics that the Chinese Communist Party deems unacceptable, like Tiananmen Square or Tibetan independence. In some cases, TikTok has apologized. Blake Chandlee, TikTok's vp of global business solutions in Europe and the US, downplays any compromising ties between the company and its country of origin. "TikTok is clearly an independent company and we've given people lots of reassurances," Chandlee said in an interview recorded last Thursday, a day before Trump's remarks. "We built the whole company outside of China. Data sits outside of China, it sits in the U.S. and then it's got redundancy in Singapore," he added. Chandlee argued that the company is more concerned with data privacy than its established rivals. "We've watched what's happened and we can kind of see where the world's going," Chandlee said. "People are becoming increasingly aware and educated. How to manage data and privacy is something that we've certainly learned from." Last summer Chandlee was hired away from Facebook, where data collection practices have drawn scrutiny from the press, Capitol Hill and even some users, after 12 years at the company. With Chandlee, TikTok is hoping to prove indispensable for brands eager to market to the app's massive and young set of users. "Brands get it," he said in reference to their willingness to work with the company despite the political scrutiny. "There aren't many brands that have stepped back, stepped away from TikTok because of it," he said, adding "most of these big brands have a presence inside of China. They understand, once we give them reassurances. We explain the corporate structure and how decision-making takes place." TikTok's new "Creator Marketplace" connects advertisers with influencers, a transaction the app sometimes participates in. Last week, before Trump ratcheted up tensions, the company announced it would spend $1 billion on a fund for creators in the U.S. over the next three years — and more than twice that around the world. Beyond that, Chandlee was coy on the upcoming ways TikTok will help brands spend money (and creators make it) in a way that breaks with the precedent of its big tech competitors. "Stay tuned on that one," he said.
04/08/2053m 16s

Hot Pod creator Nick Quah on the 'massive gap' between podcast monetization and engagement

The question of whether podcasts have hit the American mainstream is kind of like asking the same about Major League Soccer. Both have grown for more than 20 years, but remain smaller than their counterparts in media or sports. In the case of podcasts, advertising revenues grew by nearly 50% last year, to $708 million, according to an IAB/PwC report published this month. The figure is expected to grow by another 15% in 2020, despite the coronavirus crisis that temporarily put a dent in listenership numbers. That remains much smaller than traditional TV's shrinking but still massive $61 billion for 2020, according to a recent estimate by GroupM. Plus, "there remains this massive gap between monetization and the actual engagement of it," said Nick Quah, creator of the industry-tracking newsletter Hot Pod and host of LAist Studios' "Servant of Pod." Still, the industry has proven attractive enough for traditional players to make significant investments. "The past six years has largely been the story of capital coming in and different legacy institutions finding their positions in it," Quah said. Those six years cover the time since "Serial," the true crime podcast, captured enough mainstream attention to merit a spoof on Saturday Night Live. The team behind it, Serial Productions, will be acquired by The New York Times Company, it was announced last week. Quah joined the Digiday Podcast to talk about that acquisition, Spotify's recent spree of purchases (including a massive $100 million deal with Joe Rogan) and whether there's a place for paid subscription podcasts.
28/07/2041m 36s

'We need to be ready to help': Lion Publishers head Chris Krewson on assisting the local news industry

The coronavirus recession hit the local news industry hard at a time when it hadn't even recovered from the previous crisis in 2008. "We're certainly coming up on or in the middle of something even bigger," Lion Publishers executive director Chris Krewson said on the Digiday Podcast. "So I don't see much hope of them recovering from this one either." Krewson obviously isn't rooting for a slow recovery, even as he predicts one. "That's what we've identified as the trend that we need to be ready to help on," he said. Lion — which stands for local independent online news and has staffers outside Philadelphia and in Vermont, Washington State and Kansas — is aimed at helping small news organizations, whether for or not-for-profit, reach sustainability. To that end, it encourages experimentation and a break with the staid business models that lost out to the ad dollar dominance of Google and Facebook. "There's a lot of ways that the future of news is going to look, and we just have to be more forgiving and open and able to see more of these experiments so that we can see which of them are worth continuing and adding fuel to," Krewson said. In Memphis, for instance, two Lion members are adopting different approaches. The Daily Memphian has set up a traditional shop, betting on a subscription model and hiring a few dozen reporters to challenge the Gannett-owned incumbent with broad coverage of metropolitan news, from education to the NBA's Memphis Grizzlies. In a nutshell, "the overhead is high," Krewson said. Not so with MLK50, a smaller team focused on covering "poverty, power and public policy," in its own words. It recently teamed up with ProPublica for high-impact reporting that led to large-scale debt forgiveness in the city. "I'm not saying either approach is better than the other. I'm just saying there's a lot of ways to slice the ways that local news can have an impact," Krewson said. "And it doesn't necessarily have to be with 30 plus people replacing what the newspaper used to do, just without print."
21/07/2037m 37s

South China Morning Post CEO Gary Liu on navigating a perilous time for Hong Kong

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post has covered the territory's role as a unique link between China and the rest of the world since the newspaper's founding in 1903. But that link has grown fraught as China continues to crack down on dissent and pro-democracy protests via the national security law it drafted and passed late last month. Gary Liu, the English-language newspaper's CEO since 2017, worries that its independence depends on that of the territory. "If the laws of this city and the judiciary that protects those laws change to the point where there is no longer press freedoms in this city, the South China Morning Post will change," Liu said. "And I think that would be a very, very sad day for this city, it would be a very sad day of course for the Post, and it would be an unfortunate day for the world." The coronavirus pandemic presents an additional challenge. Though Hong Kong was hardened by its experience with the SARS outbreak in 2003, the virus has combined with the protests that began last year to shut down the industries, including tourism -- Hong Kong has been the world's most visited city for years, according to Euromonitor -- that the SCMP depended on for advertising revenue. These obstacles follow years of readership growth for the South China Morning Post. Alibaba bought the paper in 2015, and brought its paywall down shortly after. Liu said this allowed the media property to have "far exceeded" the scale it had set out to meet. The English-language paper went from 4 million monthly active users, when the paywall came down, to more than 50 million in recent months, according to Liu. Now, said Liu, "it's about when do we believe we have the right product for us to ask some audiences around the world to start paying for the South China Morning Post again?" For him, financial success is "the only way long-term to ensure and protect editorial independence." A third of its readers are in the United States, he added. The pandemic has accelerated initiatives to grow reader revenue, with SCMP aiming to organize 40 virtual events this year as opposed to the 10 in-person ones they'd been planning on. The Post is also launching SCMP Research, a paid vertical. "China is unique because it's so important and yet it is still a closed information ecosystem. And there are not a lot of people who can properly extract and can properly parse and can properly distribute the information within China to the rest of the world. And we happen to be able to do that," Liu said.
14/07/2040m 8s

'I don't ever get the benefit of the doubt': Blavity founder Morgan DeBaun on running a Black media business in 2020

These should be banner days for a Black media site that has long covered social injustice for a young audience. But Blavity CEO and founder Morgan DeBaun describes challenges that start at the initial difficulty of raising investment as a Black company. "For me, the systemic racism comes in the fact that I don't ever get the benefit of the doubt," DeBaun said at the Digiday Publishing Summit. As DeBaun sought funds in Silicon Valley, she recalls how investors didn't believe her site's strong organic growth, achieved without investing in Facebook ads. "They're like 'well, we need access to your Google Analytics,'" DeBaun said. "It's all of this diligence that certainly is the process, but the question is, would you run the exact same media company through this process if they weren't Black?" Blavity was founded in 2014 and raised a $6.5 million Series A round in 2018. As for 2020, DeBaun said that advertisers have obviously cut their spending. They're also wary of having their ads presented alongside coverage of racial injustice or social unrest. "We have 'Black' and 'African American' and 'police' and 'brutality' on all of our news articles. So we can't run ads on them," DeBaun said. "I'm taking so many financial hits for doing what's right and covering what's right — and what's true, most importantly." Fortunately for DeBaun, Blavity doesn't depend on display advertising beyond covering its editorial and freelance budget ("our real bread and butter comes with the experiential, 360 deals," she said). "I'm grateful that we have a diversified business where we can kind of float it. But it is a weird moment where I want to ramp up and hire more, but it's not always the best business decision," DeBaun said.
07/07/2038m 20s

'Significant growth': Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin Smith on the accelerated shift to subscriptions

Subscriptions are gaining ground as a major source of revenue for Bloomberg. "We're seeing significant, significant growth and gains," Bloomberg Media Group CEO Justin Smith said at the Digiday Publishing Summit. And that growth in the first and second quarter has proven sticky, according to Smith. "Some of the churn rates are consistent with previous churn rates. This is not just a short-term thing," he said. His forecast is that subscriptions will make up a rising and significant part of Bloomberg's revenue, especially as income from advertising diminishes. Bloomberg started its subscription business in May 2018, and Smith credits its "first phase" growth to the long brand-building that preceded it. "The introduction of our paywall benefited from 25-30 years of Bloomberg LP growing out one of the largest newsrooms in the world, creating amazing content," Smith said. His outlook for future revenue also lies in live events, and he's confident that the events business "will come back very, very strongly" once it's safe to convene in big groups again. "There's a big opportunity to capture more market share as we go through this lost year in events -- to come back with a much more aggressive slate of event programming and also a whole new range of opportunities tied to virtual events, which will become much more of a complement to the live event experience."
30/06/2035m 16s

The audience 'can make up their own mind': Fox News Digital editor-in-chief Porter Berry wants 'voices from all sides'

With overlapping crises stretching across health, the economy and society, Fox News Digital editor-in-chief Porter Berry sees Fox bringing "the marketplace of ideas" to its audience. "You give them the news. You give them analysis from multiple perspectives, and they can make up their own mind. I mean, that's what freedom's all about," the Fox News Digital editor-in-chief said on the Digiday Podcast. According to Comscore, Fox News Digital had its best ever year in 2019, garnering 19.5 billion page views. This year, the site boasted more than 100 million "multiplatform" unique visitors for a sixth consecutive month, according to another one of Fox's recaps of Comscore data. Berry claims not to follow the coverage of competitors like CNN and The New York Times or criticism over how Fox News operates. "If I spent my time worrying about what critics are saying about Fox New then I'd have less time to do my job," Berry said. Regarding the wave of protests over racism and injustice, and the fourth estate's overdue look at its own lack of diversity, Berry said "that's never been something that we sat down with a pen and paper and looked at numbers, per se. But we definitely have people of all backgrounds, and that's important."
23/06/2044m 13s

'We don't need your clicks': The Dispatch co-founder Steve Hayes on bucking the attention economy

The attention economy hasn't just proven to be a losing proposition for media businesses financially. It also encourages quick, outrage-based political coverage that thrives off of (and feeds) poor governance, according to Steve Hayes, CEO and co-founder of the Dispatch. "Everything we're seeing in our politics has an emphasis on performance," Hayes said on the Digiday Podcast. "The economic incentives and business models that everyone has pursued in this space in the past 10-15 years have contributed pretty significantly to that." With the Dispatch -- a newsletter-first media company that leans conservative -- Hayes is aiming for subscribing members who aren't monetized by the minutes they spend reading the company's coverage. "We don't need your clicks. Come, learn and then go. Live your life," Hayes said. The Dispatch put up a paywall in February, and now has 12,000 paying members — around 450 of them paid $1,500 for lifetime memberships when the company launched in October, according to Hayes. "It's growing faster than we had anticipated." The membership model has also helped the Dispatch forgo venture capital or billionaire ownership, the risks of which Hayes learned first hand as the last editor-in-chief of the Weekly Standard, a conservative institution that billionaire owner Philip Anschutz shut it down in 2018. The Dispatch and its staff of 12 aim for the same conservative readership. Despite concrete evidence of growing polarization, Hayes also gestures toward a middle ground in U.S. politics representing perhaps 70% to 75% of the U.S. population.
16/06/2034m 17s

Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner on 'long, sustainable change'

Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Lindsay Peoples Wagner believes the time is now for change in media and fashion. "I want to see brands, publications, everyone in the industry commit to a long, sustainable change," Peoples Wagner said on this week's episode of the Digiday Podcast. Peoples Wagner is a rarity in glossy media: A 29-year-old black woman from a small university in the Midwest, without connections or a rich family bankrolling her initial career. Instead, she worked her way up, moonlighting dressing mannequins and working as a waitress. In October 2018, she was named the top editor of Teen Vogue, which has made a name for itself by melding fashion with social issues. She recognizes her path isn't for everyone -- and media and creative professions need to adapt in order to expand opportunities to underrepresented groups. "You have to be willing to hire different kinds of people who will challenge you," Peoples Wagner said.
09/06/2033m 50s

TheScore CEO John Levy on why sports betting is going mainstream

Sports media and betting are on their way to being inextricably intertwined. "If you look at the traditional way sports betting has been launched in Europe and even in North America -- in the offshore and black markets -- how people bet is through betting apps," said to John Levy, CEO of theScore, a Canadian sports media company. Those apps aren't where betters get their actual score lines and injury updates; they're where gamblers turn to once they've watched the game or read about it elsewhere. "They're nothing more than a transactional app," Levy said on the Digiday Podcast. Close to half of U.S. states (and Washington, D.C.) have legalized sports betting to some degree in the two years since the Supreme Court struck down the law that banned it nationwide. Sports betting may be on hold right now, but publishers like Barstool Sports -- purchased by gambling operator Penn National Gaming in a deal that valued the company at $450 million -- have been betting on the category growing once sports come back later this year. Like theScore, the acquisition will allow one company to facilitate wagers while also providing betters with the sports news they base their risk-taking on. The industry is estimated to be worth $8 billion by 2025. Levy thinks legalization will be accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic's effect on public funds at a state level. "That's trillions of dollars that they're now trying to recover, and I don't care what side of the political fence you're on, the reality is the governments are going to have to start to figure out how to replenish those coffers," Levy said. A majority of theScore's users bet on sports instead of just reading about them, Levy said, citing third party (and the company's own) data. Nearly half of the bets happen while the relevant game is in play, and despite being a Canadian company, 70% of theScore's users are in the U.S.
02/06/2046m 33s

Telemundo's Romina Rosado on why the Hispanic network is betting on streaming

For Telemundo, shifting to streaming platforms -- everything from parent company Comcast's Peacock to Quibi -- is an obvious choice based on a simple fact: The median age for Latinos in the U.S. is 28, much lower than that of the country as a whole. For Telemundo SVP of Digital Romina Rosado, that means the network needs to be on every new platform it can be to reach the 60 million Hispanics in the U.S. "Hispanics actually over-index on a lot of social and digital platforms," Rosado said on the Digiday Podcast. "So for Telemundo, even before covid-19, it was a big part of our mission to make sure we were available on all the platforms." Telemundo has about 3,000 hours of programming on NBCU's Peacock and two programs on Quibi, which Rosado believes will take off once coronavirus ends "There's a tremendous amount of schadenfreude here at play, which seems to be a bit of a way that media reacts to media lately," she said. "People are making very quick judgments, and I think we might all be surprised."
26/05/2035m 58s

McClatchy CEO Craig Forman on local publishing's 'paradox': Audience up, ads down

McClatchy CEO Craig Forman describes the local news company as more relevant than ever. "The coronavirus crisis has been a reminder to all of us in our communities of just how important it is that our communities be strong and vital," Forman said on the Digiday Podcast. "We've never seen digital traffic or even demand of the scale that we've seen for McClatchy." McClatchy -- home to local papers like the Miami Herald, The Kansas City Star and The Sacramento Bee -- has seen digital traffic increase by nearly two-thirds to reach 100 million users in March, according to Forman. “If you talk to our local customers, they’ll say that their need for local news is not met by any of the national news publications," Forman said. “The kind of coverage that you get in Kansas City -- the award-winning investigations into secrecy in the Kansas state government that force political change there, or even the national series that results in Pulitzers -- we have 54 of them over the years -- that’s not provided by the national media, and that is the core to local essentialness, and that’s where the strength is for local brands.” But despite this boost, Forman acknowledges "a real paradox." McClatchy doesn't see that "essentialness" translating as much (yet) on the advertising side. That is why Forman is making a case that advertisers must again re-focus on the context in which their advertising appears. “What often you can’t find in the world of digital advertising is the adjacency and the renown brand construct that makes your advertising important in context," he said. "And at this time where local is the success story of the emergence, McClatchy and others are doing everything we can to partner with local brands to show them that the trusted environment of local news is where they need to be.”
19/05/2034m 50s

'Diversify your revenue streams, period': IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg thinks relying on solely on advertising is 'wrong'

The news publishing industry may be getting squeezed by the pandemic economy, but for Interactive Advertising Bureau CEO Randall Rothenberg, it set itself up for failure long ago, by leaning too heavily on advertiser revenue. "When the United States became a national marketplace in the mid to late 19th century, that marketplace was so big, so vast and laden with opportunity that it just made much more economic sense to premise your revenues and growth as a publisher on advertising," Rothenberg said on the Digiday Podcast. Even the New York Times, which is riding a high of more than 6 million subscribers, is foreseeing a drop in ad revenue of up to 55% in the second quarter, leading its head of advertising to say layoffs are likely. Rothenberg said that historically, that shortsightedness extended to magazines and even television -- media products for which, in Europe, consumers paid premiums. His big takeaway: " You need to diversify your revenue streams. Period, full stop." One bright spot for Rothenberg is the growth of central authority in the industry. "I'm really hopeful now, more than I have been ever in the past 15 years," Rothenberg said. "It has been extraordinarily difficult to get the various segments, players, companies and executives across the vast and unruly marketing and media supply chain to agree on the basic best practices and technical standards that must undergird any industry supply chain."
12/05/2045m 24s

Verizon Media CEO Guru Gowrappan: 'The ad market is not going away'

Verizon Media's value to Verizon itself isn't just as a media arm that can send user data or benefits back to the conglomerate. Rather, its base of 900 million monthly active users is significant enough to bring value just across Verizon Media's properties, including Yahoo, TechCrunch, AOL and HuffPost, according to CEO Guru Gowrappan. On the Digiday Podcast, Gowrappan set up the example of an article about meditation on the newly launched Yahoo Life. "You can start not just having content but taking content and saying 'Oh, you read about something, you may want to do a meditation session,' and bringing that entire closed loop ecoysystem in the same wall," Gowrappan said. Gowrappan talked about what we can learn from consumer behavior in China, what the pandemic's effect on internet infrastructures will be and how he cut his teeth at Overture.
05/05/2036m 28s

'It toughens you': Digital Trends' Ian Bell on the 'grittier' path of bootstrapped media

Growing a web publishing business from a small starter loan and your own profits "toughens you" in ways that are different than venture-backed media according to Digital Trends CEO Ian Bell. The bootstrapped tech publication has grown the old-fashioned way -- that is taking in more money than you spend -- since 2006. This year, Digital Trends expects $50 million in revenue. It has not laid off or furloughed any workers despite feeling the pain of the downturn. Digital Trends also will be profitable again this year, Bell said. "Running the old fashioned way, off of profits, creates a grittier leader," Bell said on the Digiday Podcast. "You get forced to have those tough conversations with the bank, with your team. You have to meet covenants. You have to make sure that you survive at all costs. In a lot of ways it toughens you." "We'll be profitable again this year," Bell said on the Digiday Podcast. "The momentum's there." Widespread lockdowns have led people to lean more than ever on their electronics, whether to connect with loved ones or stay busy and entertained. Bell sees that as an opportunity. "You're going to find that people got that technology dopamine drip, and they're going to continue to rely on it more than they did prior," Bell said. . We're uniquely poised to be right there for them."
28/04/2036m 53s

Guardian US CEO Evelyn Webster forecasts profit 'even in the most dire scenario'

The Guardian's pivot to paid has a unique twist: There's no paywall. Instead, The Guardian relies on reader contributions -- a model gaining believers in news organizations caught between making their coronavirus coverage free of charge and facing ad shortfalls at the same time. "There's absolutely no doubt that we're going to see a boost to our reader revenue during this period," said Guardian U.S. and Australia CEO Evelyn Webster on this week's episode of the Digiday Podcast. "We are going to see our advertising hit hard. I do not know how hard and how deep. I don't think any of us do. [But] even in the most dire scenario that I have looked at, the Guardian would still be a profitable business in America. So are we well positioned to continue our journey to grow? Yes. And I feel very confident about that." Reader contributions from American readers at about 40-45% of the US operation's income. Thanks to this evolving revenue scheme and a serious cost-cutting effort, in 2019 the Guardian as a whole made its first operating profit in 20 years. The Guardian recorded its best month ever in terms of web traffic. "There is absolutely no doubt that that is what's driving the current trend," Webster said in reference to the pandemic. "We hit 114 million browsers in March, and that was an increase [of] 80 to 90% on the prior month and about 160% on the prior year." Webster talked about the difference between British and American contributor behavior, why the U.S. can use the perspective of a British newspaper and how the Guardian's ownership structure (it's owned by a trust) keeps its coverage impartial.
21/04/2042m 18s

How MIT Technology Review shifted its largest event to streaming

About a third of the MIT Technology Review's revenue comes from events, according to CEO Elizabeth Bramson-Boudreau. That piece of the pie is obviously under threat as activity in the United States remains frozen by the coronavirus pandemic. "We had to make a call on our largest event, called EmTech Digital, entirely on AI," Bramson-Boudreau said. "Our highest-yielding event." "What were we going to do? Were we going to reschedule it? Or were we going to move it to a virtual event?" A few weeks before the event -- scheduled for March 25th -- they decided on the latter route, streaming 20 hours of content over three days. As a result, they were able to save "about 50%" of their sponsorship revenue for the event, according to Bramson-Boudreau. "We then rolled the remaining 50% into other digital products," she said. Dropoff among online viewers, too, was lower than expected. She credited that relative success on a quick focus on recreating the event's interactivity. "It's the interaction that we can provide that's a value. We needed to find a platform that allowed for that kind of interaction, and the programming team really leaned into thinking about interactivity and community and how to foster that digitally," Bramson-Boudreau said. Bramson-Boudreau talked about the benefits to being owned by MIT, how she thinks live-streamed events can be improved and how an economic downturn is a good time to spend.
14/04/2038m 46s

Mel Magazine co-founder Josh Schollmeyer on how the site's 'never been there to push razors'

Mel Magazine, a men's interest publication born from Dollar Shave Club, wants to be more than a case study in brand content. "The way we went around building the publication, it drew from a lot of the same DNA. But it's never been there just to push razors," founding editor Josh Schollmeyer said on the Digiday Podcast. "It's been there to be a thought leader on modern masculinity." As Mel Magazine launched in 2015, Schollmeyer recalled, "the core edict was 'go out there and try to do great work, and we'll figure out how this can work back toward the brand.'" Schollmeyer talked about the myth that was the archetypical men's magazine reader, providing counter-programming to all the coronavirus coverage and why his peers thought he was crazy to take this job.
07/04/2031m 11s

Complex's Rich Antoniello's recipe for media in crisis: 'Brand plus brains plus balance sheet'

For publishing companies to survive a global crisis like the one we're in, Complex Networks CEO Rich Antoniello's formula is "brand plus brain plus balance sheet." Antoniello is no stranger to tough times in media. He stewarded Complex through the 2008 financial crisis as CEO, the role he still holds now. But compared to that, the downturn brought about by the coronavirus pandemic is "infinitely more difficult," Antoniello said on the Digiday Podcast. "We have no idea when the virus is going to slow down in the United States," Antoniello said. "And we have no idea what the financial impact is going to be."
31/03/2039m 26s

GroupM’s Brian Wieser: 'Every brand should figure out how to be useful'

The coronavirus pandemic brings uncertainty to the advertising business as much as anywhere else, but GroupM's Brian Wieser sees it as a chance for marketers to take action versus relying on slogans. "Every brand should be trying to figure out how they could be helpful," Wieser said on the Digiday Podcast. He pointed to GM's exploration of its capacity to build much-needed medical equipment and luxury brand LVMH's pivot to manufacturing hand sanitizer for hospitals. Or think back to the financial crisis, when Hyundai rolled out the "Hyundai Assurance" program that delayed car payments for those in a tight spot. If companies act uprightly and "want to talk about it and publicize it, they're going to benefit from it from a goodwill perspective, from governments, from society, from consumers -- whether they're in the market or not," Wieser added. Wieser, the global president of business intelligence at GroupM, also sees in China a potential bellwether for the advertising industry's looming challenges around the world -- and the best case scenario for how this unfolds in Western economies. Fourth quarter earnings -- and guidance about expectations for 2020's first quarter -- by Chinese giants like Alibaba, Baidu and Weibo help with the math. The upshot from those companies was a "20 to 30% decline in the relevant advertising-related line," Wieser said. And because January was a mostly normal month, one can attribute that expected slide to just the two following months. That said, China is showing signs of getting its economy back on track after its remarkable success in combatting the virus. Wieser joined the Digiday Podcast to discuss the three representative countries to model expectations on, why television will probably do better ("or at least less bad") than other media and the big opportunity for businesses of all types to generate goodwill in the midst of crisis.
24/03/2022m 57s

Attention Capital's Joe Marchese on the crisis -- and opportunity -- in how we measure eyeballs on the internet

Much of the ad industry's ways of measuring eyeballs on the internet is flat-out wrong, according to Joe Marchese, co-founder and CEO of Attention Capital. "Every Q4, there's more ad impressions in the digital world," Marchese said on the Digiday Podcast. "Do you think more people are watching more ads in Q4, or do you think we're just trying to shove them in there?" Attention Capital sees an opportunity in all that bloat and fabrication. It's a holding company with a portfolio that so far includes Girlboss and Tribeca Enterprises -- organizer of the Tribeca Film Festival -- which it invested in alongside James Murdoch. Those may seem like unrelated assets, but they fit Marchese's standard as companies that have built confidence in their ability to "curate some aspect of the world," he said. "In this world where trust is eroding, the curator brands kind of become king." Marchese joined the Digiday Podcast to discuss his other criteria for brands worth investing in, why Wirecutter is the model to beat and the attention you get when the word "capital" is part of your company name.
17/03/2035m 12s

BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti: 'We've transformed how BuzzFeed makes money'

BuzzFeed is in the midst of change. A few years ago most of the company's revenue came from native advertising -- in 2020 that category will bring in just 20%. Other parts of the revenue pie -- commission on purchases driven by BuzzFeed content, as well as BuzzFeed's own branded products -- have grown enough for the company to bring in $320 million in 2019, and for BuzzFeed to forecast profitability. "Over the last three years we've really transformed the way BuzzFeed makes money," BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said on the Digiday Podcast. Peretti joined the Digiday Podcast to discuss the growing transparency coming to attribution, affiliate revenue and BuzzFeed News' intangible benefits.
10/03/2041m 24s

Bleacher Report's Sam Toles on building franchises that last

On a live edition of the Digiday Podcast, CCO Sam Toles said the company tested 67 concepts to find the next House of Highlights, its massively popular Instagram account focused on the NBA. Toles oversees B/R's animated web shows “Game of Zones” and “The Champions,” as well as longer video content including a documentary for CBS's Showtime. Being owned by Turner (and thus AT&T) "gives us that enormous ceiling of opportunity," Toles said. "The way in which B/R can grow is boundless." In this week's episode, Toles talks about B/R's various partnerships, the value of TikTok and why the company is all in on sports betting.
03/03/2037m 45s

Time's Keith Grossman on building the brand after '10 years of neglect'

Keith Grossman, seven months into the job as president of Time, doesn't mince words when it comes to Time's recent history. "It's gone through, I would say, 10 years of neglect, through mismanagement, through transition of owners," Grossman said on the Digiday Podcast. Meredith Corporation completed its purchase of Time, Inc. in early 2018. It sold the group's flagship magazine -- which had suffered a years-long decline in advertising, circulation and profits -- to Marc and Lynne Benioff for $190 million later that year. But with that new ownership, Grossman is optimistic. "Now that it has dedicated, focused resources, I think we're in a really strong position to evolve the Time brand to really capture the attention of the next generation of consumers," Grossman said. Grossman sees the main challenge as getting consumers to recognize Time as a standalone brand that goes beyond the red-bordered weekly. The publication recently recreated Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I have a dream" speech using virtual reality. It also partnered with Nickelodeon to bring Time for Kids' "Kid of the Year" franchise to TV. Grossman put the company's second challenge in the form of a question: "Is it relevant to the next generation of consumers?" Some of Time's internal audience statistics are already promising: 44% of the "Time total community" is under the age of 35. More than half of that community is female, and a third is "non-Caucasian," Grossman added.
25/02/2041m 21s

Vox Media CRO Ryan Pauley on acquiring NY Mag: There is no trade-off between scale and quality

Vox Media CRO Ryan Pauley sees the company's acquisition of New York Magazine, last year, as pairing up complementary parts -- and he figures advertisers will see it that way too. "Less than 35% of customers spent significant advertising budgets with both companies," Pauley said on the Digiday Podcast. Vox's typical ad categories included tech, auto, financial services and food and beverage. New York Media, on the other hand, leaned toward luxury, fashion and beauty. "Where there was overlap was media and entertainment," Pauley said. But even there, Pauley said, the merged companies could very well attract advertisers more effectively. "All clients are looking for fewer, bigger, better partnerships." Pauley joined the Digiday Podcast to discuss Vox's "hyper-growth areas," its new marketing platform and the death of the third-party cookie.
18/02/2027m 58s

Protocol president Tammy Wincup on applying the Politico playbook to tech coverage

Protocol president Tammy Wincup is quick to remind people that her just-launched tech publication isn't a subsidiary of Politico but a standalone news site. Still, Protocol, also funded by Politico owner Robert Allbritton, will be applying the Politico playbook -- offering a morning newsletter (Source Code) and seeking a wide audience for a set of premium, insider products of the sort found in a trade publication. With a staff of more than 30, Protocol will be able to "begin thinking much earlier about what our audience needs from the services and tools perspective," Wincup said. She added that Protocol is a business-to-business publication more than a business-to-consumer one -- although it blurs the lines between the two genres. "Your business audience is also your subscription audience [and] is also your, in many cases, sources." Wincup joined the Digiday Podcast to discuss the infiltration of tech into every industry, the Source Code newsletter and Protocol's plan to credit tech companies where credit is due.
11/02/2032m 37s

Josh Topolsky on why Bustle Digital Group and The Outline make strange (but good) bedfellows

Bustle Digital Group might not seem like a natural home for The Outline, the website once described as "a New Yorker for millennials." And that's the point, said Josh Topolsky, founder of The Outline. After its acquisition by Bustle, he now serves as the parent company's editor-in-chief of culture and innovation, overseeing The Outline, Mic and Inverse. "The opposites thing is actually part of the attraction and why it makes sense," said Topolsky. "We had this conversation about should media businesses exist where everything isn't trying to get to 40 million uniques. Let's figure out what those different brands are and build them to the right size, and find the right brands that want to advertise on them, find the right audiences that want to come and visit them. And the collection of those things makes the overall business stronger." This week on the Digiday Podcast, Topolsky discussed Bustle Digital Group's newly launched tech news site, Input; his previous declaration on the Digiday Podcast that "everything about digital media is insanely boring" and how history is repeating itself as publishers rely heavily on traffic from Google's open source Accelerated Mobile Pages.
04/02/2042m 41s

Goop's Elise Loehnen on the benefits (and challenges) of a 'polarizing' brand

Goop's got its share of haters, who pillory the Gwyneth Paltrow site for peddling wacky wellness products, including the infamous jade egg. "People like to say it's pseudoscience," said Elise Loehnen, Goop's chief content officer, on the Digiday Podcast. "But pseudoscience is when you present something and say, 'The science shows that this can cure cancer,' which we would never do," she added. "We're never saying, 'Oh there's all this conclusive evidence.'" Paltrow started Goop in 2008 as a free weekly email newsletter. Now Goop offers a website, a podcast (hosted by Loehnen) and a Netflix show (as of last week). Goop also sells its own clothing line and consumer packaged goods online and from a brick-and-mortar store. It is, in many ways, the model of a modern media brand, with a sharp differentiation and diversified business model that includes commerce. On the Digiday Podcast, Loehnen discussed the merits of sharing information without necessarily critiquing it, various publishing and e-commerce trends as well as her personal experience of consuming psychedelic mushrooms in Jamaica (where they are unregulated).
28/01/2030m 14s

Flighthouse CEO Jacob Pace on building a media company on TikTok

A large portion of the world's TikTok videos have been created by individuals (and many are quite young) on a mission to say something funny. But Flighthouse has made the crafting of TikTok videos into a company business, relying on a content studio with all trappings of a Gen Z-styled television production set. "Flighthouse is basically the largest entertainment brand on TikTok right now," said the company's CEO Jacob Pace on this week's episode of the Digiday Podcast. "We're really the only ones producing original content." If TikTok becomes a stalwart media channel as opposed to being a mere flash in the pan, content production companies like Flighthouse will have something to do with it, Pace said. On the podcast, Pace shared his insights about TikTok's similarities with YouTube, the advent of Quibi and what kind of content works best on TikTok.
21/01/2029m 0s

Group Nine's Geoff Schiller: Legacy media organizations have caught up

Geoff Schiller served as chief revenue officer of PopSugar until stepping into a similar role for Group Nine, the company that acquired it late last year. And some aspects of the two companies' strategies remain much the same. The PopSugar playbook was all about its verticals: "pets, finance, food, all the way through," Schiller said on this week's episode of the Digiday Podcast. "With how that scales across Group Nine, it works even better because now you have five brands to play with," he said, referring to Thrillist, NowThis, PopSugar, Seeker and The Dodo. Group Nine's editorial emphasis on a young demographic and optimism seems to have rubbed off on Schiller as he goes about his work trying to diversify his company's revenue streams, with advertising remaining a big piece of the pie. Young readers "spend more time with us than anyone else in the entire competitive set," Schiller boasted, referring to estimates the company has made based on Comscore research. Schiller discussed how his media group is capitalizing on its name recognition to stage events and the way his company is diversifying its revenue sources beyond advertising, as well as competition between legacy media companies and young digital challengers.
14/01/2028m 40s

Gear Patrol founder Eric Yang: 'You've got to pick a lane' between media and e-commerce

Eric Yang started Gear Patrol as a side hustle to his job at CBS because the publications he knew we missing the mark when it came to product coverage. "The men's magazines out there -- GQ, Esquire -- they were increasingly unrelatable to me," Yang said on this week's episode of the Digiday Podcast. "For me it wasn't about a Brioni suit and living your best lifestyle in New York. I had my own personal interests, and that for me crossed over between automotive and tech, and you had magazines that were just really focused on bro culture in men." That was in 2007. A few years later as Gear Patrol took off, Yang and his colleague Ben Bowers quit their jobs at CBS to dedicate themselves to the site full-time. They've since announced a minority stake investment from Hearst (last April), launched a print magazine and e-commerce efforts and landed about 5.5 million unique visitors in what was recently their "best month ever," in Yang's estimation. "We've been profitable every single year at Gear Patrol except for the year we took investment because we were growing," Yang said. He adds that about 40 to 50% of their traffic comes from SEO, not social media or other sources. "It's a lot of direct traffic, and the direct traffic is actually growing, for us." Yang talked about when he decided to leave CBS and make growing Gear Patrol his full-time job, the thin line between media and commerce companies and how the website's reluctance to depend on social media turned out to be a smart move.
07/01/2032m 4s

Digiday's reporters on what 2020 holds for the publishing industry, from the streaming wars to the end of the cookie

This week's episode of the Digiday Podcast is a look ahead at what 2020 may have in store for the publishing industry. The site's reporters weigh in on the beats they know so well: Tim Peterson breaks down the streaming wars that have only just begun, the UK-based Lara O’Reilly makes predictions on a future that goes "beyond the cookie," and Max Willens explains how publishers' revenue streams may change in the New Year.
24/12/1930m 27s

Axios media reporter Sara Fischer on what 2020 holds for local news, big tech and the streaming wars

Sara Fischer, media reporter at Axios, joined the Digiday Podcast for the first of two year-end wrap-up episodes looking ahead to 2020. On this week's episode, Fischer weighs in on why the flurry of digital media acquisitions in 2019 will continue into 2020 and why next year regulation will be in the spotlight. (Next week, Digiday media reporters Tim Peterson, Lara O'Reilly and Max Willens will add their own outlooks for the year ahead in media.)
17/12/1929m 56s

FaZe Clan CEO Lee Trink: 'There's nothing a young male cares about more than gaming'

Gaming is often thought of as a subculture, but it’s just as dominant a part of youth culture today as music. For gaming companies, that means growth opportunities on par with MTV. “Music might have been at its core, or might have been its origin, but at some point the majority of content that they made had nothing to do with music,” said Lee Trink, CEO of FaZe Clan, a gaming collective that’s part professional eSports teams and part creator network. “What [MTV] had was a relationship with the audience and they understood what that audience wanted.” FaZe Clan boasts over 7 million subscribers to its YouTube channel, where its videos regularly top over 1 million views. It created branded content and also operates a merchandise store. “We reach enough people that we are tantamount to a cable network,” he said. Trink joined the Digiday Podcast to talk about FaZe Clan’s revenue streams, the brand’s signing its first (and for now, only) female member and what work is like in the Hollywood mansions these content creators all live in together.
10/12/1942m 10s

New York Times Style editor Choire Sicha

If you've been upset by something you read in The New York Times' Style section, that was by design. "[The] Style desk covers change, it covers generational change, it covers change in how we talk about gender, it covers young people," says the section's editor, Choire Sicha. "It covers technology, and it covers love, marriage and how we look. Those are all things that are incredibly fraught at this time, and they're supposed to upset people." Inter-generational conflict is a hot topic (even before the paper of record revealed the collective Gen Z eyeroll that is "OK boomer"). So is the massive cross-industry known as wellness. But how do you cover that responsibly? "We're not talking about people's parents or people from the outside, we're talking to people and for people who actually do this stuff," Sicha said. "The Times historically will have been one step removed from that, which sounds funny to call out, but that is what we did: 'Hey, what are those kids doing in their bedrooms?' And it's like, 'We need to go in the bedrooms.' That sounds weird, but you know what I mean." Sicha joined the Digiday Podcast to talk about the freedom that comes with being funded by 4.9 million subscribers, his own take on Gen Z and how he feels about the end of Deadspin.
03/12/1931m 17s

Washington Post CRO Joy Robins on working directly with ad agencies

The Washington Post's CRO Joy Robins thinks ad agencies deserve a little more sympathy. "We need to better understand their business, better understand how they make money," Robins said on this week's episode of the Digiday Podcast. "You start to see more and more that the agencies represent their own business model, they are facing their own challenges," she said. "So how do we stop looking at these ad agencies as essentially the purveyors of the RFP?" Part of her answer is to borrow what she sees as the successful methods social media platforms have used in working with the same agencies. Since October, some of the Post's sales teams are directed at "really working with the senior-level executives at holding companies and ad agencies, to understand what are their pain points, what are the things their clients are tasking them with, and how can we ultimately partner to create something that adds value to their businesses?" On the Digiday Podcast, Robins also spoke about brands' skittishness when it comes to displaying ads next to news about the impeachment inquiry, the broken model that is the RFP and how often she sits down with Jeff Bezos.
26/11/1930m 43s

Conde Nast Entertainment's Oren Katzeff on Conde's pivot to IP

Condé Nast is on a journey to remake itself from a magazine company -- home to Vogue, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair and more titles -- and into what new CEO Roger Lynch calls "a 21st century media company." The exact contours of what that looks like remain a work in progress. One aspect that isn't in doubt: video and the establishment of franchises is absolutely part of that vision. Condé Nast Entertainment now creates more than 4,000 videos a year, garnering on average more than 1 billion views a month (mostly from YouTube, Katzeff said). Now, the challenge is turning those views into franchises. "We haven't done a great job yet in taking that IP and giving it legs beyond print," said Condé Nast Entertainment president Oren Katzeff on this week's episode of the Digiday Podcast. "And that's no big surprise and that's no knock on anybody. For so long the magazine was the be all end all for IP. A lot of consolidation in the media space, it's about a lot of things but one of them is the opportunity to garner IP and monetize IP in long-form content. You look at Disney, HBO Max and Netflix who are spending $100 billion this year on long-form content, and we've only scratched the surface of that."
19/11/1926m 41s

Food52's Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs on their community media model

Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs worked together for five years before cofounding Food52 in 2009. That was enough time for them to recognize a gap in the online landscape. Americans were getting more serious about food and cooking as rewarding pursuits and social opportunities but the internet had yet to reflect that movement. "We felt that aside from food blogs, which were really exploding, there was no platform for real people to have a say, to share their knowledge and expertise, to have a social experience with one another," said Stubbs on this week's episode of the Digiday Podcast. Their answer was a website that serves as a content publisher, a forum and a good place to shop for pots and pans. And people do turn to the site for kitchenware: Food52's revenue comes roughly 75% from commerce and 25% from ads, Hesser said. The Chernin Group recently paid $83 million for a majority stake in Food52. In our latest podcast, Hesser and Stubbs discussed the 19th-century antecedent to crowdsourced recipes, the majority stake acquisition taken up in Food52 by the Chernin Group and a few straightforward recipes that everyone should know.
12/11/1936m 7s

HuffPost's Lydia Polgreen on the risk the pivot to paid could create an 'unequal news ecosystem'

As many publishers zero in on consumer revenue strategies and hardened paywalls, HuffPost is taking a different tack. "Look, I spent 15 years working at The New York Times, which is a fantastic news organization, and I'm thrilled to see them thriving with a subscription model that restricts access to their product," HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen said on this week's episode of the Digiday Podcast. "But I think what we're ending up with is a highly unequal news ecosystem in which the wealthiest, most educated, most spoiled-for-choice news consumer are the best served. I would be very worried about a world in which advertiser-supported, free-to-consumer news just went away. I think that would be a tragic loss." Polgreen discussed the diminishing returns of news aggregation, alternative sources of revenue for HuffPost and why news publishers need to think beyond the Trump administration.
05/11/1932m 40s

Hearst Magazines' Zuri Rice on how to get 1 billion video views a month: 'It always comes back to our audience'

Hearst Magazines' properties garner 1 billion video views per month. For its head of video, Zuri Rice, that number (and the more granular "watch time") is almost incidental: "Total watch time is something that we think about, but total watch time, of course, is really tied to volume," she said on this week's episode of the Digiday Podcast. "So I think for us it's thinking about, as we're growing, how are people connecting with our video?" As the company's senior vice president of video development and content strategy, Rice also wants to make sure they're publishing everywhere. "Platforms are parts of our audience and parts of the pie," she said. "One might be a place where we are getting more revenue, another might be a place where we're really connecting to the audience. Of course, it's always great when we have places that do both." On YouTube, Hearst counts 20 million subscribers on YouTube across their properties -- which include Seventeen, Cosmopolitan, and Men's Health. Rice joined the podcast to discuss how Facebook's potential for video is down but not out, how the company thinks about its content and the merits of short-form versus long-form video.
29/10/1930m 51s

Dow Jones CRO Josh Stinchcomb: Platforms are finally valuing (and paying) newsrooms

The prickly relationship between news publishers and tech platforms appears to be improving. Look no further than recent moves by both Apple and Facebook to pay publishers directly. "We are seeing better commercial opportunity coming from the [social media] platforms than we ever have," said Josh Stinchcomb, CRO of The Wall Street Journal and Barron's Group. "We've done a couple of big deals this year with platforms and I think the general environment is one where they are valuing -- or they're being forced to value -- quality journalism and recognize they have to pay for it in some way." Stinchcomb joined the Digiday Podcast to discuss the company's digital ads business as a whole ("growing, absolutely growing"), the importance of its events division and how to convince advertisers that news and brand safety go together.
22/10/1931m 6s

The Athletic co-founder Adam Hansmann: 'We believe there is a $1b company to build here'

With over $100 million in outside funding, The Athletic is quickly racking up subscribers, recently crossing the 600,000 mark. Hitting 1 million paying subscribers would put The Athletic in rarefied company: "You're talking about companies like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, and a couple of others," said Adam Hansmann, the site's co-founder, on this week's Digiday Podcast. "Being in that kind of rarefied air, we'd feel at that point incredibly secure in the foundation we built. We see 90% engagement weekly during busy sports times. We see 80% of our subscribers renew. Getting to that point, we feel good about the platform's permanence. Long term, valuations concerns in the short term aside, we believe there is a $1 billion company to build here, which might sound crazy. But if you look at The New York Times, with their 4 million digital subscribers, they're a $1 billion publicly traded company." "We have a one of a kind business that we've started," he said. "We're going against every instinct that the industry has had." The Athletic, which now has 500 employees, has its share of detractors, who note the company's path to profitability will be perilous with its penchant for paying top salaries for writers. "I think there are 50 million sports fans in the US at least," he said. "The segment of sports fans we're targeting are people that really care. That know the difference between just a headline about a story, 'who won the game,' and the true insight about the teams that you really care about."
15/10/1933m 49s

The New York Times' Sam Dolnick on why FX, not Netflix, was the right place for The Weekly

Sam Dolnick became the New York Times' mobile editor back when the handheld revolution was only just beginning. "And from there, it kind of shifted to trying to think about how our journalism needs to change." Days after president Trump's inauguration, the paper of record launched The Daily, the blockbuster news podcast that inspired challengers at news organizations including the Guardian, the Washington Post, the Economist, Slate, ABC, and even NPR. The Daily's success also led to The Weekly, a video series that launched on FX and Hulu in June, and is averaging 1.3 million viewers per episode, according to FX. Why FX? Dolnick answers that, and talks about the differences between audio and visual journalism.
08/10/1932m 53s

Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith: Media is 'going through a process of slimming down'

For all the hand-wringing about the digital media business, there are several bright spots, ranging from successes in consumer revenue products and wringing licensing fees from tech platforms. That being said, publishers must face the reality that the digital media businesses are likely to be smaller than once imagined, according to Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith, speaking at last week's Digiday Publishing Summit in Key Biscayne, Florida. "The reality is that the industry is not dying, it's not going extinct, but it's actually just going through a process of slimming down."
01/10/1936m 41s

Slate president Charlie Kammerer on podcast ad revenue climbing to half of revenue

Podcasts are trendy now for publishers, but Slate has been doing them for 14 years. Slate now has 25 podcasts that drew 180 million downloads in 2018 and expects to top 200 million downloads this year. Podcasting was 28 percent of Slate's overall business last year, and this year will be half of revenue -- eight figures. "The hardest thing to do is to make something that is big," said Slate president Charlie Kammerer at the Digiday Publishing Summit. "There are 100-150 podcasts out that there that are big and then there are hundreds of thousands of podcasts that 8,000 people listen to." Slate makes money from its podcast beyond advertising, using members-only episodes to drive consumer revenue in its Slate Plus program, which boasts 60,000 members. One major challenge ahead for the podcasting world? Discoverability. It turns out that making a stellar podcast doesn't automatically get you listeners.
24/09/1923m 47s

Insider's Pete Spande on balancing subscriptions and advertising

Chances are you've heard of Business Insider. But how about Insider, full stop? In this week's episode, Insider, Inc. CRO Pete Spande talks about growing the Insider brand that complements Business Insider, balancing subscription revenue with that coming from advertising, and Insider's reasoning behind their recent merger with eMarketer.
17/09/1934m 20s

USA Today’s Kris Barton on building publishing products that also make money

Building publishing products is fraught with challenges, as product leaders have to balance various constituencies -- editorial, sales, marketing -- that sometimes have competing goals -- all while keeping users top of mind. “It serves its purpose,” Barton said on this week’s Digiday Podcast. “It allows both sides of the business to be represented. It allows the newsroom to be represented, and for the newsroom to be funded. There are times we want to minimize that, but there are times to say it’s delivering our goal of delivering quality journalism to our consumers and be able to pay for it.”
12/09/1933m 11s

The Fader’s Andy Cohn: Being multiplatform is ‘the only way to stay alive’

Two decades ago, The Fader launches as a magazine for up-and-coming music, entering a crowded space with the likes of Rolling Stone, Spin, Vibe, The Source and XXL. Times have changed. Taking a multiplatform approach, joked Fader president and publisher Andy Cohn on this week’s Digiday Podcast, is “that’s the only way for us to stay alive.”
04/09/1933m 18s

Barron's Group's Almar Latour: Building community is key to subscriptions

For Dow Jones, Barron's Group -- home to Barrons, MarketWatch, Mansion Global, Financial News and Penta -- is home to its more niche publications focused on financial decision-making. Digiday's Brian Morrissey spoke to Barron's Group publisher Almar LaTour on this week's episode.
27/08/1919m 21s

Time Out's Julio Bruno: What readers want is community

In 2014, Time Out opened its first marketplace in Lisbon, Portugal. The idea was a food hall with restaurants, bars, a cooking school and an event venue, a  curated celebration of the best the city has to offer. Since its opening, Time Out has seen massive success with this market. Just last year, nearly 4 million visitors passed through its doors, and it is largely considered to be one of the best attractions in all of Portugal. Now, Time Out has expanded its marketplace strategy, with open locations in New York, Miami and Boston, and more on the way in Chicago, Montreal, London, Dubai and Prague. Although each location will have slight variations from one another in size and experience, Julio Bruno, Time Out CEO, says the at heart of each will be the Time Out brand: a curation of the best a city has to offer, that feels authentic and fosters a sense of community. On this week's episode of The Digiday Podcast, Brian Morrissey sits down with Bruno to discuss turning a brand into an experience, why print still works and the importance of brand control in licensing deals.
13/08/1934m 0s

The Atlantic's Taylor Lorenz: People like TikTok because it's free of toxicity

Since short-form video app TikTok, formerly known as Music.ly, burst onto the scene in 2018, it has captivated young audiences with its endless challenges, memes and lip syncs. The app even helped launch rapper Lil Nas X, and propel his hit "Old Town Road" to a record-holding 17 weeks on top of the Billboard charts. To outsiders, the app has a reputation for "cringey" content and comedic music videos produced by and for teenagers. But for Taylor Lorenz, a tech and internet reporter for The Atlantic, TikTok's unusual approach to social media is game-changing. On this week's episode of The Digiday Podcast, Brian Morrissey welcomes Lorenz back into the studio for a deep dive on the app that everyone is talking about, but not many understand. Here they discuss what TikTok is, what sets it apart from other platforms, and why it still has some growing up to do.
06/08/1934m 24s

National Public Media's Gina Garrubbo: The golden age of audio is here

National Public Radio is no stranger to the world of audio, which is why embracing the rise of podcasts was a natural move for the company. NPR is a nonprofit media organization that creates content to distribute to its network of affiliate stations throughout the country. For a long time, that content was meant for traditional broadcast radio, but in recent years the company has begun testing out podcast-only content to expand its offering, and supplement its broadcast coverage. For Gina Garrubbo, the CEO of National Public Media, NPR's sponsorship arm, the increasing demand for podcasts has created a richly competitive landscape and an exciting era for the company. On this week's episode of The Digiday Podcast, Brian Morrissey sits down with Garrubbo for a podcast about podcasts. The two discuss whether or not we've reached the golden age of audio, trends in monetization and sponsorship, and why smart speakers are falling short of expectations.
30/07/1927m 10s

USAFacts' Poppy MacDonald: We need to bring facts back into the discussion

In 2018, After a long career in media, former Politico USA president Poppy MacDonald decided to make the jump to a non-partisan, not-for-profit, data reporting publication: USAFacts. USAFacts was founded in 2017 by former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, with the mission to "help inform active citizenship and fact-based debate, and advocate for transparency of and ease-of-access to public data," according to its website. For MacDonald, the organization was an opportunity to bring accurate, unbiased data back into the political conversation. In this week's episode of The Digiday Podcast, Brian Morrissey welcomes MacDonald back into the studio to discuss her new role as president of USAFacts, how staying away from projections translates to staying away from partisanship, and why the positive feedback she's received from lawmakers gives her hope for the future.
23/07/1929m 58s

Great Big Story's Courtney Coupe: 'It's not about bulk and driving as many eyeballs as possible'

In 2015, CNN launched Great Big Story -- a video-first media company that produces inspirational micro-documentaries. For its first four years, that meant building an audience on platforms. Now, as Coupe looks towards the future, she wants to see GBS continue to grow, not just in views, but also in audience impact. On this week's episode of The Digiday Podcast, Brian Morrissey sits down with Coupe to discuss the importance of strategy in diversifying platforms, knowing when to say no and why she wants to make GBS's website their premier online destination.
16/07/1929m 13s

GQ's Will Welch: 'This culture really thrives on niche'

When Will Welch took the helm as editor-in-chief of GQ in January, he announced that a new era of GQ had officially begun. And this new GQ is not for everyone. In the latest iteration of the men's fashion and lifestyle magazine, Welch intends to home in on the strengths of the GQ brand through a more focused content and an evolving social media strategy. In this week's episode of The Digiday Podcast, editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey sits down with Welch to discuss the new GQ, the evolving role of a magazine editor and the cultural shift taking place in men's fashion.
09/07/1936m 4s

Newsy's Blake Sabatinelli: Consolidation is coming to streaming video

What was once a digital-first news brand has now become its own full fledged news network. Newsy, which got its start as a syndicator of short-form video, now is a news channel that claims to reach nearly 40 million viewers. The decision to move away from its roots, according to Newsy CEO Blake Sabatinelli, was a result of a shifting digital space. Just last year, the E.W. Scripps-owned brand took over Retirement Living Television's cable carriage agreement, to launch its own, fully-programmed network. Newsy is now on all major connected TV platforms such as Roku, Chromecast and Apple TV, with plans to push their streaming business even further. On this episode of the Digiday Podcast, editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey sits down with Sabatinelli to discuss the transition from digital to TV, what it means to be "anti-partisan" and why he believes that consolidation is inevitable in the growing world of streaming platforms.
02/07/1933m 58s

Recode’s Peter Kafka: 'Netflix is winning'

There are many video streaming services hoping to be the next big player in the future of TV. Peter Kafka, a reporter at Recode Media and host of the Recode Media podcast by Vox, thinks Netflix has remained ahead of the curve and will retain the top spot for as long as streaming services keep positioning themselves as the answer to Netflix.
25/06/1932m 2s

New York Times’ Sebastian Tomich: Subscriptions are becoming like a TV rating model

Subscriptions and advertising businesses may stand in conflict with each other, but The New York Times has been bullish on this strategy. While remaining a shining example of a successful subscription business, last year, it also had its first growth year overall in advertising since 2005. Sebastian Tomich, head of advertising at The Times discusses the advertisers’ aversion to news, how audio has become a meaningful business for the Times and more.
21/06/1924m 32s

Twitter’s Sarah Parsonette: We want to contribute to publishers' bottom lines

In the last year, Twitter and Facebook have been scrutinized for the lack of brand-safe environments for advertisers. At Cannes this year, Twitter is spending much of its time addressing those issues. Sarah Parsonette, vp of global client solutions at Twitter, discusses how the platform can contribute to brands’ bottom line, why it is open to regulation and more.
20/06/1924m 42s

Pinterest’s Andréa Mallard: We want credit for the full-funnel experience on Pinterest

On this episode from Cannes, we talk to Andréa Mallard, the newly minted CMO at Pinterest. The platform has about 300 million active monthly users on its platform and Mallard’s pitch to advertisers and publishers includes a brand-safe environment and access to new audiences.
19/06/1922m 41s

Hearst's Troy Young: Access to data drives organizational change

Despite the ever-changing methods of delivering content, Hearst, first and foremost, remains a magazine company. In the latest episode of the Cannes edition of the Digiday Podcast, Troy Young, president of Hearst Magazines, talks about culture changes at Hearst, his ambition to integrate data in every part of the organization and more.
18/06/1924m 34s

Vice’s Dominique Delport: The new Vice has gone ‘beyond cultural change to fix what was wrong’

Once known for its brash ways, Vice under new CEO Nancy Dubuc is presenting a different, more streamlined appearance for the market. Part of that is presenting a simplified structure and recent moves to bring in new leadership across the company. CRO Dominique Delport kicked off the week’s episodes of the Digiday Podcast by detailing how the company has gotten its house in order.
17/06/1921m 15s

New York Times' Millie Tran: Platforms have become more about private sharing

Millie Tran is the deputy off-platform editor at the New York Times, where she manages how The Times handles coverage and distribution of its content on social media channels and everything else that is not their owned and operated platform. In this episode, Tran talks about platform behaviors, how she approaches organizational differences, how women are over-mentored but under-sponsored and more.
11/06/1934m 6s

Financial Times’ John Ridding: Publishers need to have a reader revenue component for a viable strategy

The Financial Times has long charged readers for access to its content. While other publishers are pivoting to paid today, the FT is much farther along in this journey. It recently reached 1 million subscribers. CEO John Ridding cautions that the road is much tougher in execution than it looks in understanding. In this episode, Ridding talks about the biggest growth areas for the FT going forward, why the publisher's relationship with Facebook has been consistently difficult and more.
04/06/1927m 6s

Awesomness' Rebecca Glashow: Go90 didn't have as clear an identity as Quibi

Last year, Viacom acquired Awesomeness, a youth-focused media company that is behind the Netflix success To All The Boys I’ve Ever Loved. Rebecca Glashow, co-head at Awesomeness, shares how things have changed internally for the company.
28/05/1931m 56s

PinkNews’ Benjamin Cohen: We'll never be dependent on one platform

PinkNews is a U.K.-based digital publication that covers news and entertainment for the LGBT community around the world. Founded in 2005, the bootstrapped media company employs 24 people and has established a sizable audience in the U.S., India and other countries. To keep this business alive and growing, founder Benjamin Cohen has tried every trick in the trade -- and every revenue stream. On this episode of the Digiday Podcast, Cohen discussed how he manages to avoid over-reliance on any one platform or revenue stream for growth.
23/05/1925m 10s

Forbes’ Mark Howard: Advertising is still a double digit growth business

Many publishers are trying to diversify their revenue streams instead of relying solely on advertising for revenue growth. But for Forbes, the digital ad business is still seeing double-digit growth. In the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast, Forbes CRO Mark Howard discusses revenue diversification, why a paywall isn’t right for the publisher and more.
21/05/1935m 44s

Mobile Nations’ Kevin Michaluk: ‘We didn’t know what to spend VC money on’

Bonus: This March, the bootstrapped media company Mobile Nations, a digital publisher with a focus on consumer electronics, was acquired by Future in a deal worth $120 million. On this episode, Mobile Nations co-founder and COO Kevin Michaluk, discussed why venture capital funding never made sense for the company that last reported $8 million EBITDA over $16 million in revenue.
16/05/1937m 2s

Mobile Nations’ Kevin Michaluk: ‘We didn’t know what to spend VC money on’

Bonus: This March, the bootstrapped media company Mobile Nations, a digital publisher with a focus on consumer electronics, was acquired by Future in a deal worth $120 million. On this episode, Mobile Nations co-founder and COO Kevin Michaluk, discussed why venture capital funding never made sense for the company that last reported $8 million EBITDA over $16 million in revenue.
16/05/1937m 1s

Barstool Sports’ Erika Nardini: Barstool aims to hit $100m in revenue in 2020

Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini believes Barstool can be a $100 million revenue company "within the next year and a half." That will have to come from growing channels of revenue and not depending on any one of them, especially advertising. Nardini discussed how Barstool is building out these revenue streams, why personalities matter, how podcast revenue is lucrative for Barstool and more.
14/05/1937m 14s

Barstool Sports’ Erika Nardini: Barstool aims to hit $100m in revenue in 2020

Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini believes Barstool can be a $100 million revenue company "within the next year and a half." That will have to come from growing channels of revenue and not depending on any one of them, especially advertising. Nardini discussed how Barstool is building out these revenue streams, why personalities matter, how podcast revenue is lucrative for Barstool and more.
14/05/1937m 13s

Morning Brew's Austin Rief: Bootstrapping a media company gives you focus

This is a special four-episode series of the Digiday Podcast, where we invite executives from bootstrapped media companies to talk about how they run a sustainable and profitable media business. Morning Brew is a daily email newsletter that delivers business stories to over a million subscribers from Monday through Saturday. The bootstrapped media company has about 18 people on the team. On this episode, co-founder and COO Austin Rief, discussed competing with small and large media organizations, being a subscriptions company, path to growth and more
09/05/1925m 31s

The Daily Beast’s Noah Shachtman: We want to be an 'old school, scrappy and street-smart tabloid'

The Mueller Report confirmed a lot of reporting already done around the Trump administration and Russian meddling in the 2016 election. One of the many newsrooms whose reporting was vindicated in the process is The Daily Beast, a mid-sized publisher that seized the opportunity to compete with big news organizations like The New York Times and The Washington Post. Noah Shachtman, editor-in-chief at The Daily Beast, discussed how the Beast approaches scoops, the progress on its membership model and more.
07/05/1933m 27s

Courier's Jeff Taylor: Having a lot of VC money can leave you 'punch drunk'

In this special four-episode series of the Digiday Podcast, we invite executives from bootstrapped media companies to talk about how they run a sustainable and profitable media business. Courier, a London-based, bimonthly magazine, is focused on modern business and startup culture around the world. The bootstrapped media company is about six years old and has 12 people on staff with a network of contributors globally. On this episode, Jeff Taylor, the founder of Courier magazine, talks about why he never went down the venture capital route.
02/05/1931m 42s

Meredith's Jon Werther: Apple News+ is a growth opportunity

Meredith, which acquired Time Inc in 2018, is home to a stable of female-focused media brands like People and Every Day with Rachel Ray. The company's long relied on print revenue, but like everyone else, is now looking to diversify revenue streams, especially in digital. Jon Werther, president of National Media Group at Meredith, discusses their roadmap to revenue diversification, competing with platforms and more.
30/04/1936m 26s

Hearst’s Mike Smith explains WTF is programmatic advertising

Programmatic advertising is playing a larger role in the future of publishing. Recent Digiday research found that over half of publishers now generate more revenue from programmatic advertising than any other channel. On this episode of the Digiday Podcast, Mike Smith, chief data officer at Hearst, joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey in an attempt to break down the current state of programmatic advertising.
23/04/1942m 56s

Group Nine’s Christa Carone: Consolidation has helped us be more efficient

The pivot to paid is not on the cards for Group Nine, the holding company founded in 2016 that houses brands including The Dodo, NowThis and Thrillist. The goal for the media company: Use advertising, including branded content and entertainment, to build a sustainable media business. At a live recording event of the Digiday Podcast, Group Nine president Christa Carone said the strategy has paid off. Sign up to subscribe to Digiday Plus for three months for only $49. Use code INTRO at checkout.
16/04/1939m 59s

IMGN Media’s Barak Shragai: You can build media brands on Instagram

IMGN Media, the digital media company that owns Daquan, the meme account with 12.3 million Instagram followers, is focused on creating content for teens and young adults primarily on Instagram and Snapchat. Barak Shragai, co-founder and CEO of the company says the company isn't just a social media account but also a media brand. On this episode, Shragai makes a case for why Instagram accounts with massive audiences are not just a cultural phenomenon but also sustainable and profitable media brands. He also also talks about creating video for Snapchat and Instagram when most other publishers have cooled off on video for platforms. Get Digiday+ for three months at only $99. Enter code INTRO at checkout.
09/04/1930m 42s

Conde Nast CRO Pamela Drucker Mann: Not all brands are worth paying for

2018 was a year of organizational restructuring at Condé Nast, followed by a decision to offset the decline in print business by focusing on the growth areas, including on longform video and of course, implementing a paywall at all of the publisher's properties by the end of 2019. Pamela Drucker Mann, Condé Nast CRO, discussed how the subscription plan across all Condé Nast properties in the U.S. will roll out, why Conde is putting its Snapchat efforts on pause and more. Get Digiday+ for three months for only $49. Use code INTRO to subscribe.
02/04/1934m 55s

Columbia University's Emily Bell: Platforms need to pay for polluting the journalism environment

Local journalism is in crisis. Emily Bell, director of Tow Center at Columbia University, sees hope in policy and regulation to provide a solution. Sign up for the three-month Digiday+ subscription plan. Use code INTRO. Offer available for a limited time only.
26/03/1935m 25s

Dina Srinivasan: Facebook is a monopoly, but breaking it up isn't the answer

Whether big tech platforms need to be broken up in order to rein them in is now a matter of public debate -- and will be a big topic during the U.S. presidential election next year. Dina Srinivasan is an academic, who went from being an ad tech entrepreneur to writing about the anti-trust case against Facebook, most recently for the Berkeley Business Law Journal. She doesn’t think breaking up big tech is the answer. Instead, she advocates for the anti-trust approach. Srinivasan discussed why antitrust is the way to deal with Facebook, how the dominance of Facebook and Google is different from the fleeting power of Myspace and Yahoo and what a likely federal regulatory remedy would look like. Sign up for the three-month Digiday+ subscription plan. Use code INTRO. Offer available for a limited time only.
19/03/1926m 20s

NewsGuard’s Steven Brill: A journalistic approach to digital misinformation can work

One-year-old startup NewsGuard is trying to turn the problem of unreliable and fake news into a real business. The company, which raised $6 million in an initial funding round, creates "nutrition labels" for news organizations, rating them red if they are unreliable and green if they are trustworthy. The rating is not based on an algorithm but traditional reporting by a team of 35 journalists. Steven Brill, co-founder and co-CEO at NewsGuard, says the goal is to get a license fee from technology companies to rate all news websites. On this episode, Brill talked about the company's business model, where growth lies and being the alternative to algorithms
12/03/1922m 1s

USA Today Network’s Michael Kuntz: In this industry, you’re either the consolidator or consolidated

In the era of deep connections with passionate audiences, being in the middle is rough. That's why USA Today is focused on scale. USA Today makes 75% of its revenue from digital advertising and 25% from print advertising. On this episode, COO Michael Kuntz discusses why USA Today won’t pivot to paid in the foreseeable future, the reason for mass layoffs a couple weeks ago, the next step forward and more.
06/03/1938m 2s

New York Media's Pam Wasserstein: We have to diversify from an ad-driven model

Diversification is on most publishers' minds as they work to build sustainable businesses that can withstand massive shifts. Pam Wasserstein, CEO of New York Media, is intimately familiar with the process of revenue diversification, from paywalls to e-commerce and even technology licensing. Moving forward, Wasserstein is focused on achieving a balance between advertising and these new streams of revenue. On this week's episode of The Digiday Podcast, Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey, sits down with Wasserstein to discuss how New York Media is approaching revenue diversification, its vertical strategy across multiple brands and how Wasserstein plans to create a sustainable business model out of all of it.
26/02/1937m 4s

Vox Media's Melissa Bell: The industry has given Facebook too much emphasis in the conversation

Digital media is going through a tumultuous period. Layoffs at publishers such as Buzzfeed, Gannett and Vice in recent weeks have become the latest example in what appears to be a coming reckoning for new media companies. At the same time, successes where publishers have created differentiated brands also proves that it's not all doom and gloom. Melissa Bell, publisher at Vox Media, and the founder of Vox.com, is cheerily optimistic about the industry. For her, Vox has outgrown the label of a digital media company, and is growing into a modern media company -- complete with diverse revenue streams, opportunistic acquisitions and a partnership with Facebook that may actually make it some money.
19/02/1935m 45s

The Washington Post's Aram Zucker-Scharff: You can't solve transparency by adding more technology

For many, digital media's ills are down to the broken advertising technology that acts as the plumbing for the industry. Adam Zucker-Scharff, director of ad tech at the Washington Post, says it's more complicated than that: Advertisers are going to have to work at making ad tech transparent. “We’ve seen advertisers pulling back from the programmatic space because of these conflicts. We need them to be in this space,” said Zucker-Scharff on the Digiday Podcast. “It’s very easy to see how advertisers can lose trust in the system when there’s no transparency. It can’t be solved by adding another piece of technology. If you’re an advertiser, why do you need 12 viewability verifications? There’s a point at which you have to say you’re ready to give up a level of potential earnings in order to make our systems transparent and clear and to make sure you’re not ending up as vectors for stuff that’s to the detriment of users from a publisher’s level or an advertiser’s level.”
12/02/1940m 17s

The Atlantic's Taylor Lorenz: Facebook is irrelevant to Gen-Z

Gen-Z is the latest object of marketer fascination. The teenage demographic has its own language and very different traits when it comes to the Internet and social media consumption -- just witness the Instagram egg. Taylor Lorenz, staff writer at The Atlantic, has carved out a niche for herself exploring the nuances of Gen Z internet culture, and the impact it has on media and marketing. Lorenz discusses the power of influencer marketing, why Instagram wins over Facebook, and how YouTube's algorithm still poses a problem. Plus, we get deep into what a finsta is.
05/02/1934m 21s

Action Network’s Patrick Keane: I want to turn all sports fans into bettors

If you’re in sports media, you’re likely familiar with the world of sports betting. Action Network, a subscription-based media company that covers sports betting and helps bettors make informed bets, is on a mission to turn all sports fans into bettors of some degree. Patrick Keane, CEO at Action Network, discusses whether the category is niche or attracts mass participation, having more than one revenue streams and more.
31/01/1926m 52s

Inside the Washington Post’s podcast strategy

Publisher interest in podcasts is at an all-time high. But figuring out exactly what kind of storytelling model is ideal for audiences, as well as metrics for success, still remains difficult. On this bonus episode of the Digiday Podcast, we took an in-the-weeds look at what makes a successful podcast strategy. Jessica Stahl, director of audio at Washington Post discusses the evolution of podcasting formats, using the available podcasting metrics and more on this episode. p.s If you want to attend the Digiday live podcast event in NYC at Vox Media headquarters on Feb 7, sign up here.
29/01/1930m 31s

Conde Nast International’s Wolfgang Blau: 'Paywalls need scale'

This week, it was reported that Conde Nast is going to put all its titles behind a paywall in the U.S. by the end of the year. Internationally, however, the magazine publisher is taking smaller, more cautious steps towards reader revenue. Wolfgang Blau, president of Conde Nast International, discussed paywalls, centralization of Conde Nast International, taking a Vogue-first approach in the international market and more at a Digiday live podcast event held in London.
24/01/1940m 24s

Bonus: Inside The Wall Street Journal's subscription strategy

For most publishers, the pivot to paid has meant a whole new way of working. But the Wall Street Journal has had a paywall since 1997 and they have developed and refined this muscle over years. Today, the Journal has just under 2.5 million subscribers, out of which 1.5 million are digital subscribers. On this bonus episode of the Digiday Podcast, where we invite guests to dive deep into the mechanics of products that make money, we took an in-the-weeds look at how to build a successful subscriptions business with Karl Wells, the general manager of their core subscription business.
22/01/1941m 41s

The Hill’s Jimmy Finkelstein: Our priority is high-end video before subscriptions

At a time when subscriptions are the big topic in the media industry, The Hill is going big on video. Jimmy Finkelstein, chairman of The Hill, discusses the publication's non-partisan coverage, its video ambitions and diversifying its traffic sources.
17/01/1924m 34s

Bonus: How to build great digital products

As publishers focus on digital products -- from their sites to apps to newsletters to podcasts -- it's getting hard to operationalize the process. They face everything from broken workflows, a lack of a seamless functionality and a lack of efficiency. For Paul Ford, CEO of Postlight, publishers need to stop waiting for an innovation that will fix these issues -- and just focus on efficiency instead.
15/01/1928m 48s

New York Times' David Rubin: Marketing has to win over the newsroom

With The New York Times's shift to focus on audience revenue, it's also put more of an emphasis on brand building. David Rubin, the first-ever chief marketing officer for the Times, is leading that charge. Rubin discusses the role of marketing in a newsroom, how the Times sees its brand around truth and the challenge of not being pigeonholed as an anti-Trump brand.
10/01/1926m 42s

Bonus: How The Atlantic built its events business

On this episode of the Digiday Podcast, as part of five-episode series where we invite guests to dive deep into the mechanics of making products that make money, we took an in-the-weeds look at what makes a successful events business. We talk to Margaret Low, president of Atlantic Live, the events arm at The Atlantic to see how publisher built its events business, which now stands at 100 events a year.
08/01/1933m 13s

Bonus episode: Inside Quartz's email newsletter strategy

With publishers refocusing on direct connections with their audience, email newsletters are critical. Quartz has bet on email from its earliest days. On this limited edition episode of the Digiday Podcast, where we invite guests to dive deep into the mechanics of making products that make money, Quartz’s chief product officer and executive editor Zack Seward, gave us an in-the-weeds look at what makes a great email.
02/01/1942m 29s

Pivoting from platforms to paid: The best of the Digiday Podcast in 2019

On this episode of the Digiday Podcast, we recap the big themes that emerged for publishers this year, from pivoting to a reader revenue strategy to a new approach to relationships with platforms.
25/12/1815m 21s

Vertical Networks’ Jesus Chavez on Snapchat: ‘It’s a great place for Gen Z’

Most publishers see Snapchat as a nice-to-have but not a must-have platform. But Vertical Networks, a digital content company founded by Elisabeth Murdoch, is betting on Snapchat as showing the way to the future of mobile programming. Jesus Chavez, CEO of Vertical Networks, joins us in this episode.
18/12/1830m 53s

Quartz's Jay Lauf: Being completely ad-dependent was never good for anybody

Quartz is onto its next big move to diversify reader revenue. The publisher, which originally launched as an ad-supported model, launched a membership program in November. Lauf discusses the subscriptions business, why Quartz remained valuable as a company in the time of fire sales and more.
11/12/1828m 37s

CNN's Andrew Morse: A paywall isn't the answer for us

The pivot to paid models is on. Next up: CNN, who is focusing its strategy on creating a variety of paid products for specific subsets of the CNN audience. Andrew Morse, evp at CNN U.S. and general manager of CNN Digital Worldwide, also discussed rebranding CNN Money as CNN Business, competing with platforms on technology and tools and working with advertisers who don’t want to be next to news.
04/12/1830m 43s

BuzzFeed’s Craig Silverman: Digital advertising's infrastructure has been weaponized

Craig Silverman’s stories have it all: lies, fraud and billions of stolen dollars. But they’re far from a true crime podcast. The Toronto-based BuzzFeed media editor writes about fake news, the spread of misinformation on platforms and ad fraud, where every participant in the supply chain is a culprit passing on the blame. Silverman discusses the lack of incentive for marketers to speak up against ad fraud, Facebook’s scale problem and more.
27/11/1836m 0s

CBS Interactive’s Jim Lanzone: VC-funded digital media companies were sexy because they were new

Digital-only media brands with millions of dollars in venture capital funding have gotten a lot of attention. However, slowly but surely, they’re hitting a wall. And CBS is capitalizing. Jim Lanzone, CEO and President of CBS Interactive, discusses the opportunity in OTT, original programs, reducing reliance on advertising and more on this episode.
20/11/1831m 51s

Bauer Media Group's Steven Kotok: If we’re gonna make a big bet, it should be in women’s service

As the end of 2018 approaches, we're also coming to the end of an era of VC-funded media companies, perhaps because the industry was not conducive for the growth demanded by venture capitalists. Steven Kotok, CEO and President of Bauer Media Group USA, says that was never the ideal model anyway. Kotok discusses focusing on the reader, the business from the newsstands, big bets in 2019 and more on this episode.
13/11/1829m 2s

BBC’s Jim Egan: Ad-supported news operation is sustainable but not future-proof

This year the buzz has been around subscriptions. At the most recent live podcast event for Digiday Plus members, BBC Global News CEO Jim Egan said that they're thinking about a reader revenue strategy but for now, bbc.com is an entirely ad-supported property. Egan explores the ins and outs of relying on an ad model, relationships with social media platforms, the advertiser reluctance to appear next to news content and more.
06/11/1835m 1s

Industry Dive's Sean Griffey on building a $22 million media business with no venture capital

Industry Dive, an online-only B2B company based in Washington D.C., is a good proof point that the sky is not falling for all "ad-dependent" media. Founder & CEO Sean Griffey discussed the reasons why he wants to stick to the ad model for Industry Dive, stretching brands across the several industries they cover and their ability to make measured bets in their business.
30/10/1827m 45s

PopSugar’s Brian Sugar on getting profitable and focusing on staying profitable

For female media brand PopSugar, the name of the game now is profits. The 12-year-old company has finally gotten into the black, and it intends to stay there, CEO Brian Sugar said on this week's episode of the Digiday Podcast.
23/10/1825m 59s

Bloomberg’s Justin Smith: We’re projecting 15-20 percent growth

Bloomberg is not immune to the pressures of old business models, but it does have a plan. It launched a subscription offering, struck a partnership with Twitter for TicToc by Bloomberg and created a new event platform to offset the decline in digital advertising. This year, revenue growth is in the double digits. In our latest podcast, Smith discussed how TicToc by Bloomberg achieved profitability in its first year, the misnomer around the industry-wide pivot to subscriptions and why there's still room to grow in events.
16/10/1837m 36s

Skift’s Rafat Ali: 'B2B has always been about diversifying revenue streams'

Skift CEO Rafat Ali is vocal about his beliefs about building sustainable media businesses -- and the advantages of focusing on more narrow niches than broad, general audiences. Skift is now six years old, with 60 people and revenue that’s set to cross $10 million this year, Ali said. As the company grows, Ali said he focuses more on the long term. He talks about the media trends he loves and especially the ones, he hates, going into the wellness space, why he’s making an acquisition and the recipe for success in media today.
09/10/1834m 5s

CoinDesk's Kevin Worth: In the GDPR era, crypto may help publishers rethink audience and revenue

CoinDesk CEO Kevin Worth discusses how they approach the coverage of crypto and where the road lies ahead.
02/10/1835m 28s

The Guardian's David Pemsel: We can't be complacent

The Guardian has stuck to its “open” mantra by asking readers for donations instead of putting up a paywall. They have 800,000 paying members, putting The Guardian on the path to profitability. The Guardian CEO David Pemsel says while this model is working at the moment, they can’t get complacent and assume that this will be recurring reader revenue.
25/09/1846m 10s

Roku’s Scott Rosenberg: Cable operators have to innovate

TV is changing in front of our eyes. From cord-cutters to cord-nevers, people are increasingly are getting their TV through streaming services like Apple TV or Roku. The future of cable TV has been in flux but Roku’s gm of Roku’s platform business says the cable operators are here to stay.
18/09/1829m 3s

Martha Stewart Living's Elizabeth Graves: 'The brand will always be relevant with any demographic'

Martha Stewart was an influencer before social media influencers existed. Elizabeth Graves, the editor in chief of Martha Stewart Living, says modernizing brand is work in progress but doesn’t need too much effort. In our latest podcast, Graves reveals how she retains the audience who has stuck with the brand over the years while onboarding the younger demographic, taking a brand beyond personality and more.
11/09/1828m 14s

Insider Inc.’s Nicholas Carlson: Subscriptions make narrower, deeper journalism possible

Business Insider launched BI Prime in January 2018, and chief content officer Nicholas Carlson said it has a business as well as editorial incentive. Carlson also talked about their recent editorial reorganization between the BI and Insider brands, and measuring reporters’ performances.
04/09/1833m 36s

Brit+Co’s Brit Morin: Modern media brands are human brands

Publishers are coming up with a variety of ways to support content and encourage direct reader revenue. But it all starts with building a brand that people want to pay for. Brit Morin, founder of Brit+Co and a former Google employee, has been working on that for about seven years now. But every brand’s sustainability and elasticity has to go beyond a founder’s career span. Morin discusses revenue, differentiating content and more on this episode.
28/08/1837m 8s

Homebrew’s Hunter Walk: Brand safety concerns can be overblown

Hunter Walk, a partner at early stage venture firm Homebrew, says reactions around brand safety are overblown. He talks advertising, investing and the problem of platforms in this show.
21/08/1841m 29s

Hodinkee’s Ben Clymer: “Making the flip from 100 percent ads to a majority in commerce is difficult”

Hodinkee has built a media brand around those passionate about watches. It started as a Tumblr page by Ben Clymer, who was working on Wall Street at the time. Clymer turned Hodinkee into a leading source of content related to watches and the business model has evolved from entirely depending on ad dollars to making 65 percent of its revenue from e-commerce.
14/08/1828m 34s

The Information’s Jessica Lessin on five years of subscription journalism

When Jessica Lessin founded The Information in 2013 with subscriptions as its only revenue stream, people called the idea absurd. But fast-forward five years, and the model appears to be working. Over 90 percent of The Information’s revenue is now from subscriptions. It just had its most successful Q2 yet, expanded its team to 23 reporters and has pushed its coverage beyond tech.
07/08/1831m 50s

Architectural Digest’s Amy Astley: Architectural Digest isn't for 'old, rich people'

The mission for many legacy publishers is to reinvent and engage a younger demographic, including the Conde Nast title Architectural Digest, according to its editor-in-chief Amy Astley. She discusses reinventing the brand for a younger set, building a digital presence, and dealing with shrinking editorial teams.
31/07/1832m 58s

Mindbodygreen’s Jason and Colleen Wachob on the business of wellness

Wellness is an exploding industry, with some estimates putting it at $3.7 trillion in annual spending. On this week's episode of the Digiday Podcast, Mindbodygreen cofounders Jason and Colleen Wachob want to put what they call an accidental media brand in the middle of the growing cultural shift to putting a premium on health, mindfulness and sustainable living.
24/07/1835m 12s

Google’s Richard Gingras: Platforms didn't destroy journalism's business model

Richard Gingras, vp of news at Google, discusses working with publishers, local news, advertising, and more on this episode.
17/07/1844m 46s

BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti: ‘We’ve proven we can be profitable’

Buzzfeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti talks about profitability versus growth, his company's relationship with Facebook, and more.
10/07/1836m 42s

LinkedIn’s Dan Roth: 'We don’t want to burn newsrooms'

The news industry has a love-hate relationship with platforms, but for LinkedIn, that doesn't need to be the case. Roth, a former editor at Fortune, discusses LinkedIn’s relationship with publishers, its differentiation from other social platforms, video and more in the episode.
04/07/1833m 12s

NYT's head of ads Sebastian Tomich: The role of the publisher is to sell ideas

In which NYT's global head of advertising Sebastian Tomich argues that publishers will change direction on their agency businesses. Native is not going to save publishers. Instead, agency services are sitting alongside subscriptions, display, commerce, licensing and other business lines.
27/06/1837m 47s

Complex's Rich Antoniello: Media is a game of musical chairs with too many players and too few chairs

For Complex Networks CEO Rich Antoniello, the pivot to reality in digital media couldn't come soon enough. He joined Digiday for a live podcast at the Cannes Lions festival.
22/06/1832m 59s

FT’s Jon Slade: We stopped advertising on Facebook over political ads policy

Facebook has rankled publishers with its political ads policy, which lumps promoted publisher content in with political advertising. For Jon Slade, the global chief commercial officer at the Financial Times, the policy was enough for the FT to pull advertising from Facebook in the U.S.
21/06/1828m 26s

CBS’ Christy Tanner: 'Platforms are absolutely not a synonym for Facebook'

The media industry’s struggle with Facebook is increasingly looking like a "Game of Thrones" episode to Christy Tanner, evp and gm of CBS News Digital. The focus is on the wall while other armies are amassing behind you. CBS works with various other platforms, and it's seeing positive results, Tanner said.
20/06/1819m 54s

Reddit’s Jen Wong: Ads will be a big business for us

Reddit has 330 million monthly users on its platform but still struggles to woo advertisers. That’s why Jen Wong, its newly minted chief operating officer, is at Cannes. She talks about Reddit's advertising ambitions.
19/06/1823m 21s

The New York Post’s Jesse Angelo: Facebook is a national security threat

Publishers are more vocal than ever about the threat of Facebook to their industry, but Facebook is also a looming national security threat, according to New York Post CEO and publisher Jesse Angelo. Facebook will have to create better artificial intelligence than that of bad actors, which is also thorny, Angelo said in this Cannes edition of the Digiday Podcast.
18/06/1829m 57s

USA Today’s Nicole Carroll: 'We can’t be all things to all people'

USA Today is for “the entire United States,” but that does not mean it can be “all things to all people,” said Nicole Carroll, the publisher's new editor-in-chief, on this week’s Digiday Podcast. As local news publishers struggle to establish sustainable business models, Carroll is finding solutions in audience, editorial focus and leveraging synergy between USA Today's local and national newsrooms. Carroll discusses USA Today's editorial approach, pushing for innovation and more in the episode.
13/06/1832m 22s

Glamour’s Samantha Barry: Building habit trumps social hits

When Glamour tapped social and digital media aficionado Samantha Barry as its new editor-in-chief, she steered the team effort toward making Glamour a habit for readers online. She is building habit for Glamour among readers through differentiated reporting. Barry discusses the challenge of resuscitating a struggling print legacy brand in the digital sphere, advertising challenges with political coverage, reshaping editorial focus and more.
06/06/1830m 56s

‘People who suck at media use the duopoly as an excuse’: Highlights from the Digiday+ member event with Dotdash and Bustle

Digiday+ held an exclusive member event on May 23 featuring a rapid-fire discussion between Dotdash CEO Neil Vogel, Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg and Digiday Editor-in-Chief Brian Morrissey.
30/05/1845m 6s

Genius’ Ilan Zechory: YouTube, not Facebook, is our focus for video

Genius has spent the past two years expanding beyond being an annotations site to adding original video content, with series like "Verified" and "Deconstructed." But Genius is not betting on Facebook, once the go-to for publishers new to video. Instead, Genius has centered its strategy on YouTube, where it adds 150,000 subscribers a month and has 2.6 million total, according to Genius co-founder and president Ilan Zechory, this week's guest on the Digiday Podcast. Zechory discusses advertising, Genius' focus on music, its platform strategy, building a business model and more on the episode.
23/05/1850m 38s

The Telegraph's Robert Bridge on pivoting to a freemium model

In the pivot to subscriptions, a variety of paywall and subscription models are emerging. The Telegraph chose a freemium model to make sure visitors to the site power its advertising business, and subscribers keep coming in for distinct content. That paved the way for a freemium model that puts 15 to 20 percent of The Telegraph’s content behind a paywall, with the rest free to access. The publisher’s goal for 2018 is to register at least 3 million users. On this episode, Bridge discusses The Telegraph’s subscription model, its relationships with the platforms and its approach to turning site users into subscribers.
16/05/1834m 22s

Hayley Romer: Advertisers must choose between publishers and platforms

It’s been about nine months since Emerson Collective, a philanthropic organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, acquired a majority stake in The Atlantic. On this week’s Digiday Podcast, The Atlantic’s svp Hayley Romer talks about the publication’s ambitions in the wake of the acquisition, growing reader revenue and the challenges of advertising.
02/05/1840m 12s

Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall on making subscriptions half of revenue

Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall started the website as a personal blog in 2000. Today, TPM is a 25-person independent publisher that's moving from an ad-dependent model to over half of revenue coming from 26,000 subscribers. Marshall discusses advertising challenges for a small publisher, downsides of venture capital, not pivoting to video and more on the episode.
25/04/1848m 41s

HuffPost’s Jared Grusd: Subscriptions won't work for most publishers

The New York Times has proved to be a success story for publishers contemplating a pivot to subscriptions. But HuffPost CEO Jared Grusd says a subscription business is not for everyone, particularly digital-first news media organizations. Grusd discusses broadening focus beyond the Trump news cycle, the importance of scale, HuffPost's plan for video and more in the episode.
18/04/1828m 39s

Mic’s Chris Altchek: Facebook’s news feed is not the place to build a loyal audience

This week's guest is Chris Altchek, the CEO and co-founder of Mic, a news publisher focused on young people. Mic has raised nearly $60 million -- and it was one of the first publishers to talk about the pivot to video. Chris discusses whether the pivot was a mistake, figuring out Facebook, and how Mic’s vertical expansion is going.
11/04/1844m 5s

Time Out CEO Julio Bruno on making commerce core to a media model

When CEO Julio Bruno joined Time Out three years ago, it was a publishing guide for cities. Today, the company has diversified into commerce, events and operating branded food markets. Last year, the group drove 700,000 transactions, from restaurant reservations to tour bookings, and put on 250 live events. Bruno discussed Time Out’s revenue streams, the publisher’s plan to reach profitability, the case for continuing print editions and more in the episode.
04/04/1836m 47s

‘You’re constantly building the plane while flying’: Digiday’s Nick Friese on the company’s first 10 years

For Digiday’s 10th anniversary, founder and CEO Nick Friese joined the Digiday Podcast to talk about the company's first 10 years and its diverse revenue streams.
03/04/1826m 8s

Recode’s Kara Swisher: Facebook only pretends to care about the media

On this week’s Digiday Podcast, Recode executive editor Kara Swisher said Facebook’s relationship with the media has long been based on lip service. Swisher discusses the need for Facebook to clean up its act, whether platforms will ever pay media organizations, Recode’s venture into TV and more in the episode.
28/03/1838m 18s

Axios’ Jim VandeHei: 'Don’t ever tether your business to the benevolence of another company'

In the year since Axios launched, the company has raised $30 million in two rounds of funding and is already a touted news source, especially for Washington heavyweights. We checked in with Jim VandeHei, CEO and co-founder of Axios, on this week’s Digiday Podcast about what has worked for the publisher and if its approach has changed since VandeHei last joined the show in April.
21/03/1836m 47s

The Daily Beast’s Heather Dietrick: 'Trust in platforms is down significantly'

In the nine months under CEO Heather Dietrick’s charge, The Daily Beast has entered the competition for Donald Trump coverage with big players like The New York Times and The Washington Post. Like with other publishers, the Beast's Trump coverage grew its audience. Yet the Beast’s growth was not contingent on Facebook, and that prevented the publisher, which Dietrick said gets less than 10 percent of its traffic from the platform, from losing audience with the recent news feed changes. Dietrick, who formerly served as president of Gawker Media, spoke about Daily Beast's business growth, figuring out video, subscriptions and more in the episode.
14/03/1826m 5s

Business of Fashion’s Imran Amed: Subscriptions work if you know your audience

Imran Amed began The Business of Fashion as a blog he wrote for himself. Today, it has grown into a leading news and analysis website for the fashion industry with offices in London, New York and Shanghai. The publication has grown several revenue streams: events, online courses, a careers website and most recently, subscriptions. Amed discusses subscription strategy, events, filling a white space in the industry and more in this episode.
07/03/1847m 9s

TheSkimm founders: We want to be a routine like morning TV

The media industry as a whole struggles to build a loyal audience for their brands. But theSkimm, which covers big national and global stories of the day, launched about six years ago with email newsletters. Now, with over 6.5 million subscribers, theSkimm is growing into a bigger brand with a loyal audience, and it all started when cofounders Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg aimed at becoming a part of people's routines. The cofounders joined us on this week's podcast.
28/02/1837m 34s

Wired's Nick Thompson: Facebook needs to pivot news feed to quality

Nick Thompson, editor-in-chief of Wired, recently co-authored a story on how the 2016 election shook Facebook and catapulted them into an identity crisis. As he investigated this story over two years, it refined his own digital strategy and views towards Facebook's role in the business of news. Thompson discusses the story, what it means when the world of Silicon Valley collides with Washington, why he remains optimistic about Facebook’s interests aligning with publishers’ interests, and more.
21/02/1840m 50s

AwesomenessTV’s Brett Bouttier: YouTube Red is a data exercise for YouTube

On this week’s Digiday Podcast, YouTube network AwesomenessTV president Brett Bouttier joined us to discuss programming on YouTube and the emerging post-cable world. Awesomeness TV is doing programming for YouTube Red, but Bouttier said the platform is still in experimentation phase.
07/02/1834m 30s

Bleacher Report’s Howard Mittman: Better to be a 'need' publisher vs 'feed'

It's the year of loyalty for publishers, and as reverberations from Facebook's news feed change subside, only those that have created a need for their content will remain unfazed. At a Digiday Live Podcast event on Jan. 24, Bleacher Report CRO and CMO Howard Mittman said Facebook's community is waning, and all its changes aim to protect that owned and operated platform.
31/01/1856m 2s

Upworthy’s Eli Pariser: Facebook is like gravity

Viral content site Upworthy arrived in the media industry in 2012, popularizing the famous headline formula that came to be known as clickbait. A year in, Fast Company named it the fastest-growing media site of all time. Then, a decline in traffic occurred, as Facebook cracked down on "curiosity gap" headlines that induced clicks. But Upworthy hasn't gone away. CEO Eli Pariser joined the Digiday Podcast to discuss clickbait, riding the Facebook wave for traffic, building an ad model independent of display advertising and the Donald Trump era.
24/01/1839m 27s

CNN’s Meredith Artley: ‘We don’t put all of our eggs in the Facebook basket’

Facebook sent tremors through the media industry when it announced its news feed change that would deprioritize publishers' content. For this week's Digiday Podcast, we talked to Meredith Artley, svp and editor in chief of CNN Digital Worldwide, before Facebook's announcement. Here's what Artley said about the platform: “The media industry collectively freaks out when Facebook makes a change that impacts your business. Well, what were you expecting? It’s their platform, and they’re not in the news business. We at CNN have gotten a little perturbed with those changes, but we can’t put ourselves in a position that it impacts our business in a significant way because that’s irresponsible of us.” Artley also discussed scale, platform strategy, Donald Trump’s feud with CNN and autoplay videos on the episode.
17/01/1842m 42s

Hearst’s Kate Lewis: One-third of Hearst’s magazine content is video

Last year, the big wave of pivoting to video washed over many media companies. Troy Young, global president for digital at Hearst Magazines, joined the Digiday Podcast last March and said half of Hearst Magazines' content would soon be video. This year, we invited Kate Lewis, svp and editorial director of Hearst Magazines Digital Media, on the podcast to check in with Hearst's digital operations. So far, one-third of Hearst's magazine content is video.
10/01/1832m 49s

Columbia University's Emily Bell: Facebook is reshaping newsrooms

Facebook and Google wrecked the media landscape in 2017, and while publishers might retrench slowly in 2018, the collateral damage has been massive. The platforms have been the breeding ground for fake news and newsroom restructurings, leading to newsroom layoffs. On this week’s episode of the Digiday Podcast, Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, said Facebook is already a publisher and the need to work forward from that point of understanding.
03/01/1841m 7s

Best of 2017: Facebook, subscriptions and commerce were the big themes for publishers this year

On this episode of The Digiday Podcast, we recap the big themes that emerged for publishers this year, from Facebook to the pivot to video to the focus on subscriptions. We bring you clips from top publishers like Bloomberg's Justin Smith, Axios' Jim VandeHei and New York Times' Meredith Levien.
27/12/1733m 46s

HuffPost's Lydia Polgreen: Trump is not 'topic A' for most Americans

HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen recently wrapped up a listening bus tour that made stops in various cities across inland America. On this week's Digiday Podcast, she said that in her many interviews, Donald Trump's name didn't come up. Polgreen talked about how the tour will evolve HuffPost's editorial focus, the results of HuffPost's rebranding and more.
20/12/1734m 27s

Live Podcast with Vox Media’s Lindsay Nelson: ‘Digital media was drunk on scale’

As the new year approaches, media companies are evaluating their misses in 2017 and goals for 2018. It was a tough year for digital media, with Mashable selling for one-fifth of its one-time valuation, BuzzFeed missing its revenue targets and frequent layoffs. At a Digiday Live Podcast event exclusively for Digiday+ members, editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey chatted with Vox Media CMO Lindsay Nelson about where the industry fell short.
13/12/1734m 27s

Bustle’s Bryan Goldberg on digital media in 2018: ‘Consolidation has to happen’

There are many blaming digital media woes on ill-thought pivots to video and an addition to venture capital. Nonsense, according to Bustle Digital Group CEO Bryan Goldberg. The fundamental issue is there are too many digital publishers competing for what's left over from Google and Facebook. Goldberg discusses consolidation, investing in digital media businesses, the duopoly and more in this episode.
06/12/1733m 7s

News industry analyst Ken Doctor 'People will pay for quality content'

This has been yet another turbulent year in the media industry, and publishers have pivoted to wherever they found potential for ad dollars or an alternative revenue model. Some are experiencing success with subscription models, particularly those with a legacy of trust and quality associated with their names, like The New York Times. Ken Doctor, a news industry analyst joins us on this week's Digiday Podcast to discuss subscriptions for local news publishers, FCC decisions, the problem with digital-only models, Tronc and more in the episode.
29/11/1729m 16s

Al Jazeera's Yaser Bishr: Publishers are platform 'sweatshops'

"Social media platforms are very bad to retain the audience."
22/11/1732m 46s

Bloomberg Media's Keith Grossman on platforms: 'Be very wary'

"Just putting all of our eggs in one basket because it’s the right short-term thing to do is not where we want to be."
15/11/1735m 8s

Attn’s Matthew Segal: Directing audience to your own properties from Facebook is ‘a losing strategy’

Attn, the 3-year-old media brand that distributes video stories through social platforms, built itself into a short-form video giant by taking a Facebook-first approach. The publisher has tried to align its content with Facebook’s interests. On this week's Digiday podcast Attn CEO and founder said that directing audience away from Facebook to owned and operated properties is a losing strategy. Segal discussed building a brand on a social feed, Facebook’s new products for publishers and more on the podcast.
08/11/1741m 30s

Tasty’s Ashley McCollum: Big video view counts aren’t everything

BuzzFeed food brand Tasty has reached 1.8 billion views  monthly on its Facebook videos, but it's looking increasingly beyond views to driving real-world action. Besides making food videos for social feeds, the brand is also selling merchandise like customized cookbooks. Ashley McCollum, general manager of Tasty, joins us on the Digiday Podcast.
01/11/1736m 18s

Washington Post’s Jed Hartman: The industry needs to stop whining about the duopoly

While Google and Facebook hamper publishers' efforts to grow digital ad dollars, The Washington Post CRO Jed Hartman said on this week’s Digiday Podcast that publishers need to figure out their unique value and stop "whining about the platforms."
25/10/1727m 17s

Conde Nast's Craig Kostelic: 'We’re completely embracing programmatic'

The Food Innovation Group is home to legacy brands like Bon Appétit, but in the shift to digital, the magazine has become a complement to Bon Appétit's digital and social offerings. With the majority of the group's revenue now also coming from digital, it's embracing programmatic advertising. “Programmatic is an activation method versus a buying strategy. If display [advertising] is a function of getting more programmatic, there’s a huge opportunity to streamline and create less friction [in transactions]," said Craig Kostelic, chief business officer of Food Innovation Group and Condé Nast’s Lifestyle Collection, on this week’s Digiday Podcast.
18/10/1738m 8s

The New York Times’ Meredith Kopit Levien on driving subs and the NYT as a lifestyle brand

The New York Times is one of a few privileged publishers that have transitioned into a subscription business, and to do this, it started behaving like a consumer brand, according to the Times’ evp and COO Meredith Kopit Levien. She talks about subscriptions, advertising, differentiating from free alternatives and more on this week’s Digiday Podcast.
11/10/1742m 10s

Politico’s Poppy MacDonald: We’re not worried about the waning Trump bump

Politico has successfully steered its business model from advertising to subscriptions. Today, with 25,000 Politico Pro subscribers and a 90 percent renewal rate, Politico gets over 50 percent of its revenue from its high-priced subscription services. The key lies in focusing on the coverage that has been pivotal for Politico, according to Politico President Poppy MacDonald. The publisher has not wavered from its original brand of policy and politics journalism, so it’s managed churn and avoided the impact of the Trump bump. Macdonald discusses subscriptions, Trump bump and more on this week's podcast.
04/10/1728m 3s

Spirited Media’s Jim Brady: Growing audience through display advertising is ‘not natural’

On this week’s Digiday Podcast, Spirited Media’s Jim Brady talks about building a local news media business that's sustainable. The key to economic success for Spirited Media lies in a scaled events business rather than the display advertising relied on by most publishers in local news markets.
27/09/1728m 30s

Quartz’s Kevin Delaney: Advertising is still a great business model for news

On this week’s Digiday Podcast, Quartz’s co-president and editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney defended the advertising business model and discussed the pivot to video, venturing into lifestyle and more.
20/09/1736m 7s

Turner’s Howard Shimmel: Facebook’s not competing with TV

As TV media networks continue to get pulled into the digital and social ecosystems, Facebook's growing video demands and efforts to become a giant video platform seem like a threat to TV's ad dollars. On this week's Digiday podcast, Howard Shimmel, chief research officer at Turner, argued that Facebook and TV exist in different spaces and Facebook can't compete with TV on ad viewability, impressions and other metrics.
13/09/1730m 13s

Business Insider’s Henry Blodget: ‘We don’t want to aim for reach growth anymore’

On this week's Digiday Podcast, CEO and co-founder of Business Insider Henry Blodget said the publisher, which has over 10 million followers across social media platforms, is not trying to grow reach anymore. As the publisher's focus shifts to deepened engagement and frequency, it faces questions: whether an ad-driven model is better than a subscription model, how to monetize social and web video and how to approach the ever-growing need for video on platforms. Blodget answers these questions and more in the episode.
06/09/1741m 51s

ABC’s Colby Smith: Follow the audience to grow digital, social reach

The answer to digital and social audience growth challenges for Colby Smith, vp of ABC News Digital, is to follow the audience. Since adopting this approach two years ago, the news network's digital division has produced content across all major social and digital platforms and seen convincing results. Smith discusses that and more on this week's Digiday Podcast.
30/08/1731m 19s

The Onion’s Mike McAvoy: ‘There’s no money in news feed video’

Last year, Univision acquired The Onion under its Fusion Media Group division. Since then, The Onion and Gizmodo Media Group combined their sales operations. On this week’s Digiday Podcast, The Onion’s president and CEO Mike McAvoy said the consolidation has grown its reach, allowing it to sell more branded content.
23/08/1732m 29s

NBCUniversal’s Allison Tarrant: ‘The value proposition model has changed’

Two years ago, NBCUniversal restructured its sales team. Allison Tarrant, executive vp of client partnerships at NBCUniversal said the change affected cross-divisional business approach for client partnerships. Tarrant joins the Digiday podcast to talk about what has changed in the approach and the results.
16/08/1736m 22s

Conde Nast’s Croi McNamara: “We’re big YouTube believers”

While Conde Nast publishes on Facebook, Snapchat and other platforms, YouTube remains an important platform to them for their premium content. Croi Mcnamara discusses this and more on the Digiday Podcast.
09/08/1729m 14s

​Tastemade's Oren Katzeff on moving beyond food and into lifestyle

Tastemade now boasts 2 billion video views a month, across platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. While the company made its name in food -- think hands assembling dishes -- Tastemade plans to expand the brand further into lifestyle, including travel.
03/08/1732m 54s

Tribeca Enterprises CEO Andrew Essex: Brands want more than ‘passive sponsorship’

Former Droga5 president Andrew Essex believes the old model of putting logos in places and hoped they get noticed is over. Instead brands will need to be woven into experiences and content, a model he's applying in growing Tribeca beyond a standard film festival.
25/07/1731m 37s

Luma's Terence Kawaja: The duopoly won't kill (all) ad tech

Luma Partners founder Terence Kawaja sees the duopoly as real, but that doesn't mean there's no opportunities in digital media outside Google and Facebook. By his math, Google and Facebook will take two-thirds of a $100 billion market, leaving plenty behind for newcomers to fight over.
19/07/1723m 54s

Group Nine and Thrillist CEO Ben Lerer in Cannes

Ben Lerer discusses the state of media from the Riviera on this edition of the Digiday Podcast.
23/06/1724m 45s

News UK's David Dinsmore in Cannes

News UK's chief operating office David Dinsmore discusses the state of media on this edition of the Digiday Podcast.
22/06/1715m 3s

Vox's Jim Bankoff in Cannes

Too often digital media brands are overly reliant on a programmatic ad system that allows bad ads to slow down their sites, Vox CEO Jim Bankoff said on the Digiday Podcast.
21/06/1726m 46s

Reddit's Alexis Ohanian in Cannes

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian still believes in empathy on the web.
20/06/1725m 11s

Disney's Andrew Sugarman in Cannes

Disney has a market capitalization of $163 billion, but it still doesn’t feel the need to be on every platform, Disney digital media head Andrew Sugerman said on an issue of the Digiday Podcast Cannes Edition.
20/06/1722m 9s

Refinery 29's Amy Emmerich in Cannes

Cannes is no longer a festival of creativity. Tech companies, media companies, consulting firms, telecom operators, venture capitalists, you name it — they’re here. For Amy Emmerich, chief content officer at Refinery29, this is a sign of the times in the business, as these worlds converge. Herself a TV veteran, Emmerich is now leading Refinery29’s transition from a text-based publisher to a multiplatform media company, including TV programming and feature films. She joined us on The Digiday Podcast for this week's special Cannes edition.
19/06/1720m 27s

USA Today Network’s Kevin Gentzel: Advertisers have duopoly ‘fatigue’

USA Today Network's Chief Revenue Officer Kevin Gentzel says he has found a duopoly fatigue among advertisers and realized that media companies can differentiate and offer what Google and Facebook can't. Gentzel joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey on the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast to discuss the opportunities that come with being a national and local publisher, leading efforts in VR and developing an agency model for being an advertising partner for businesses across the country.
14/06/1740m 38s

Defy Media's Matt Diamond on monetizing platforms

Defy Media's CEO Matt Diamond says a bullish monetization strategy in the digital era has yet to emerge. He joined senior reporter Sahil Patel on the Digiday Podcast to discuss the monetization opportunities available on platforms and the next best opportunity for media companies in an OTT world.  
07/06/1732m 19s

How we picked the Digiday Changemakers

This week, we are proud to introduce the Digiday Changemakers, 50 people who are making media and marketing more modern. Editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey speaks to co-executive editors Shareen Pathak and Lucia Moses about how the team selected the fifty, and they discuss some of the people who made the list.
31/05/1724m 42s

The Dodo’s YuJung Kim on diversifying reach beyond Facebook

The Dodo, a digital media brand for animal lovers, emerged during the onset of the Facebook wave. In April, it garnered over a billion video views across social media platforms. Naturally, says the company’s president YuJung Kim, social media is in The Dodo's DNA. Kim joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey on the Digiday Podcast for an on-the-road episode from New Orleans. They discussed staying away from content commoditization on social media platforms, expanding The Dodo's video arm and finding a white space as a brand.
24/05/1733m 7s

Complex Networks CEO Rich Antoniello: To build a real media business, you need a brand and a business

Complex Networks has been in the business of verticals for a long time. The company has gone through major shifts in medium, ad revenue streams and products. The brand's credibility has pulled them through it all, and ahead of the curve sometimes. Now, media companies are trying to expand into verticals that include lifestyle. CEO Rich Antoniello joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to talk about what it took to develop these verticals, being independent of social and video platforms, and loopholes in the video and vertical expansion strategies of new media brands.
17/05/1746m 18s

Highsnobiety’s David Fischer: Subculture is the new pop culture

Streetwear publisher Highsnobiety began in 2005, when founder David Fischer started blogging about limited-edition sneakers out of his room at his parents’ house in Geneva, Switzerland. As the brand grows, it now staffs just under 80 people split between their offices in Berlin and New York. Fischer joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to discuss Highsnobiety’s social media strategy, revenue streams and the path to building scale.  
10/05/1734m 56s

'Let's clean the pipes up': The Guardian’s Hamish Nicklin on making the programmatic ecosystem more transparent

Even as programmatic advertising grows in prominence, issues with the the technology remain. The Guardian knows this well. According to its CRO Hamish Nicklin, programmatic ads were about 60 percent of its display advertising last year. But Hamish is taking on the ad industry to claim the publisher’s share of ad dollars. Nicklin joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey on the Digiday Podcast to discuss his goals for programmatic and creating diversified revenue streams for publishing.
03/05/1727m 59s

Post-Arianna, The Huffington Post is rebranding as HuffPost

The Huffington Post is now HuffPost, as the 12-year-old publication rebrands to reflect the departure of its namesake founder Arianna Huffington. CEO Jared Grusd stressed that the rebranding isn't a sharp departure from its past. He joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to talk about the new HuffPost and how it's staying relevant for its audience across platforms.
25/04/1742m 58s

Digiday Deep Dive: Google’s ad blocker move smacks of hypocrisy

After the Wall Street Journal reported that Google is building an ad blocker for Chrome, Digiday found that while publishers are publicly cheering, they’re reacting with great skepticism to the move in private. On this week’s edition of Deep Dive, where we go deep into the biggest story of the week, Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey spoke to media editor Lucia Moses about Google’s latest move and what this means for online advertising.
21/04/179m 36s

New York Media’s Pam Wasserstein on Instant Articles: 'We’re not seeing a big audience lift or a big revenue lift.'

Publishers in the current media landscape may be trying to get Facebook right, but CEO of New York Media Pam Wasserstein is keeping her traffic diversified and dealing with platforms with caution. She joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to talk about the ways to build and diversify audience, and the next best digital areas to invest into.
19/04/1732m 22s

Mic’s Cory Haik: ‘Our audience is not a monolith that just wants news’

Last week, Mic announced that it had raised $21 million in venture capital funding from investors including Time Warner, bringing its total funding to $52 million. The millennial-focused publisher is using the funding to launch nine new verticals to cover pop culture, women and finance. This is a broadening of its original mandate as a news site. On this week's Digiday Podcast, Haik joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to talk about Mic’s strategy to embrace platforms and the challenges of branding.
12/04/1736m 44s

Axios' Jim VandeHei: 'The jig's up' for publishers worshipping scale

Digital publishing the past several years has been something of a shell game. Figure out what Facebook wants, optimize to that, bank pageviews and keep your costs below what you pay to create the same content your competitors are making. That era is coming to a close, according to Jim VandeHei, founder of Axios, a four-month-old media company focused on politics, tech and business. VandeHei, the former CEO of Politico, joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to discuss Axios, his new news brand initiative, and his ideas on how to build a successful company from scratch.
05/04/1736m 45s

Slate’s Julia Turner: ‘Every publisher of smart content is shifting to loyalty’

Slate’s editor-in-chief Julia Turner believes that, even 20 years in, the company still occupies a unique space in digital news media. The news and culture publisher has had recent success with its two-year-old premium tier Slate Plus, through which Slate opted to keep its site free while giving members perks like ad-free podcasts, members-only stories and discounts to live events. She joins Digiday’s editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to talk about the focus and goals of the mid-scale publisher in the midst of changing digital and social media trends.
29/03/1725m 10s

Gizmodo’s Raju Narisetti: 25 percent of revenue is from commerce

Gizmodo Media Group, now operating under Univision, has eight media brands, with six comprising the former Gawker Media properties left after that company’s bankruptcy and sale. Raju Narisetti, CEO of the company, speaks to Digiday's editor-in-chief, Brian Morrissey, about Gizmodo's choice choice to use commerce as a revenue model instead of relying heavily on social media platforms.
22/03/1732m 28s

Hearst’s Troy Young: Half our content will be video soon

Hearst Magazines has some of the most storied brands in the magazine business, from Cosmopolitan to Esquire. Right now, video is a sidelight, accounting for about 10-15 percent of its content. But in a few years time, video should be half of output, said Troy Young, global president for digital at Hearst Magazines.
15/03/1733m 51s

Mashable’s Pete Cashmore on narrowing focus

Mashable's Pete Cashmore talks about the company's move to refocus in mission away from hard news and an emphasis on video across platforms.  
08/03/1739m 7s

Purch’s Greg Mason: Performance marketing is taking over media

Purch is the big digital media company you haven’t heard of. The company has 25 digital media brands, $100 million in revenue, and is profitable. The company has done this by focusing on content that is near a purchase decision -- think review sites like Tom's Guide and Top Ten Reviews -- allowing Purch to mostly make money off performance marketing as opposed to brand advertising. “We’ve gone through a couple generations where brand is over-weighted in the marketing mix,” said Greg Mason, CEO of Purch, on the Digiday Podcast.
01/03/1732m 57s

Cheddar's Jon Steinberg: Media should beware of Facebook

When he launched digital video company Cheddar last year, former BuzzFeed executive Jon Steinberg said he wasn’t interested in advertising. He saw Google and Facebook running away with the market, and instead would focus Cheddar on nabbing carriage fees from new digital video aggregators like Sling and Pluto. That didn’t work out, Steinberg said on this week’s episode of the Digiday Podcast.
22/02/1735m 2s

The Outline’s Josh Topolsky: There’s too much sameness in digital media

The Outline was founded by Josh Topolsky to be a reaction to the sameness of digital media on the on hunt for scale. Instead, the publication is taking its cue more from magazines like The New Yorker in attempting to create a culturally resonant brand but with its roots in digital media. Topolsky believes that while packaging is important, particularly in developing new storytelling techniques native to digital media, the true test of publications remains in cultivating a distinctive voice that means something to a particular audience.
15/02/1743m 44s
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