Welcome back to your weekly curation of the most important stories in digital publishing. There’s a lot of interesting links in this week’s edition. Don’t worry, you can always look back and reference past issues, or find that one article you meant to send to your colleague right here 👉 ghost.org/resources/newsletter
💯 Top picks
Top read of the week comes in the form of an email newsletter, but not really. Dan Oshinsky, director of newsletters at The New Yorker is sharing all of the best email news, tips, and ideas in an accessible Google Docs format. If you want a reminder of when it has been updated, you can subscribe here.
💸 Business models
News startup WhereBy.Us have a core metric for success: Growth. They share what they’ve learned about the most efficient and effective ways they have increased subscriber numbers, with a common thread we hear so often - building human relationships is important! Find out more about how they define and analyse success metrics.
“Recently at the GEN Summit, I saw so much positive awareness about how different monetization models can complement subscriptions. Just like at INMA earlier this year, people are paying attention, listening to the arguments being made, and building their own opinions. It is incredibly gratifying to see, and it made me want to share with you my own contribution to the debate.” – Cosmin Ene
After last weeks news that Blendle, the pioneers of micropayments, were ditching micropayments, Media Voices chime in on why this isn’t proof that it will never work for news.
“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.”
Founded in 2012, Readly paved a future for digital magazine subscriptions - providing unlimited access to content from popular publishers in a single app interface. In 2019, they're one of the fastest growing companies in Sweden, and have recently raised a €15 million investment round.
✍️ Modern journalism
Watch to Editor-in-Chief of the Guardian, Katharine Viner, present her keynote speech from GEN Summit 2019. Full video right here!
Related Twitter thread: “The Guardian cut its weekly story production by *one third*… and traffic went up, said @KathViner. This is amazing on many many levels, and something we should all be paying attention to. Less is sometimes more.”
“Information is power. But decisions about how information gets discovered, shared, and used are made by those already in power. In most places, the people who are most in need of information have little say in those decisions. This is a proposal to change that.”
“My issue with newspaper consolidation is that this strategy didn’t start with the rise of Google and Facebook. It has its roots in the rise of television and radio, and while it delivered the illusion of a golden age of one-paper towns and monopoly rents, it hasn’t delivered a new durable business model.”
The BBC’s global audience has passed 300 million, with television overtaking radio as the most popular platform for international news for the first time in the corporation’s history.
German publisher Axel Springer said it would combine two of its biggest publications: millennial-focused financial news site Business Insider, and eMarketer, the marketing trends research company.
Twitter is removing precise location data on tweets — a small win for privacy and a small loss for journalists
Twitter have announced the removal of location data on tweets, stating people don't use this feature and removing it will simplify the experience. This definitely had a warm reception from privacy conscious users of the platform – but there's an impact on journalists and researchers, too!
Facebook moderators are employed as contractors and become the editors of deciding what users see on the social media platform to prevent abuse. It's a job that includes consuming and moderating upsetting content day after day. Casey Newton published this deep investigation into the disturbing conditions that contracted moderators are subjected to, including accounts from people who have broken their 14-page NDA to raise awareness.
Spotify is introducing a library redesign that’ll separate podcasts and music more clearly, reportedly for premium users only. Another step in investing more in the podcast space this year!
With smart speakers and voice technology taking off in North America, Global Editors Network explore whether there is a sustainable business model for the voice economy in this interview with CEO of Kaleida Networks, who recently published a News Assistant Report.
PhD student Barclay Bram writes an account of living in China and using We Chat: “the app that knows everything about me.”