#43 — The week when Apple announced new subscription services

Welcome back to your weekly roundup of publishing news. This past week was pretty exciting, after an Apple announcement with a twist on Monday left us with plenty of articles circulating about their big push into subscription business models. We’ve included a roundup of those stories, as well as the latest in modern journalism & tech.

💯 Top picks

The long, complicated, and extremely frustrating history of Medium, 2012–present

“Less than a year after Medium abruptly canceled the membership programs of its remaining publishing partners, the company is coming back around like an ex promising you they’ve changed […] It’s not the first time, of course. Medium is nearly seven years old. It’s raised $132 million in venture funding, and it is not profitable.”

💸 Business models

We usually expect Apple to be announcing new phones, laptops, watches and other tech in their keynote events. But the event that took place this past Monday was quite a different story, with almost two hours spent announcing new subscription based services for TV, games and news!There are a lot of hot takes doing the rounds on the internet about whether these services are useful, and whether it’s a good thing for the TV and publishing industries.

It seems like Apple has a lot to prove, but one thing for sure is that subscription models are capturing the attention of businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Here’s a collection of the top stories and opinion pieces:

✍️ Modern journalism

Do technology companies care about journalism?

“On Tuesday, Google announced it would partner with McClatchy to fund three, new local news entities in communities of less than 500,000 people. This marks a change in how quickly the news business is being absorbed into the fringes of large technology businesses.”

Most Americans think that local news is doing well financially, and not many pay for it

Only 14 percent have paid for or given money to local news of any kind — print, digital, public radio pledge drive, anything — in the past year.

This 24-year old gave up city life for a job at his local paper, and then bought it five years later

In this Patreon backed series from J-Source, Angela Long shares a story about local journalism in rural Canada.

👩‍💻 Technology

How Google are using your Analytics data to fuel their News Initiative

A year ago Google announced a $300 million News Initiative to fund and support independent journalism. One of their products, News Consumer Insights, uses data collected through Analytics to allow publishers like BuzzFeed and Conde Nast to understand audience segments and figure out who is likely to become a subscriber.

The BBC and Google are fighting over who gets to control the podcast experience

"Which is more important for a public broadcaster: distributing its content as widely as possible or putting its own interests above a tech company’s?”

🤷 WTF?

Is the internet splitting into three parts?

A new EU Copyright Directive could change our understanding of the web, and have an impact on independent publishers and creators!

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