Mar. 26, 2014

Newspaper executives talk about their experience with digital subscriptions

The top executives of print industries such as The New York Times and the Toronto Star described their experience with online subscriptions at NAA mediaXchange. The session, moderated by Matt Lindsay, president of Mather Economics, covered the different ways in which these companies dealt with pricing options, growth projections and other aspects of digital subscriptions in the past three years. “We do a pretty good job with the meter [subscription model], but we need to get better at it,” said Jeff Hartley, vice president of consumer revenue at Morris Publishing Group.More

House Committee reviews Copyright Notice and Takedown

Continuing with its months-long review of copyright law, the House Judiciary Committee on March 13 held a hearing on Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The DMCA grants Internet companies immunity from liability for the copyright infringement of their users if the companies take down infringing content in response to notices sent by copyright holders. The hearing focused on whether the notice-and-takedown system is working as intended or if the statute needs to be amended. More

8 easy ways for journalists to boost engagement on Twitter

Twitter’s first Head of News, Vivian Schiller, reiterated to journalists and publishers an appeal the social media giant began making to news organizations last summer — that their relationship is mutually beneficial. Schiller suggested newsrooms turn away from the idea of social media editors and instead have all journalists take advantage of the platform’s tools for their reporting. This prompted responses from AP’s social media editor Eric Carvin and others about the role of a social media team. More

With quotas and incentive pay, The Oregonian is again reshaping its experience for readers
Williamette Week
Close readers of The Oregonian have borne witness to dramatic changes in the past several months. In October, the newspaper became a “digital first” media company, with news stories posted first to its website,, then dropped into a print edition that was reduced to home delivery four days a week. At the same time — coming after widespread newsroom layoffs — the journalism has often been less deeply reported, with more posts that rely on press releases, links to stories from other media outlets, or reader comments.More

LA news site launches print edition
The Los Angeles-based news site made its debut in print, launching as a 50,000-circulation biweekly. Publisher T.J. Montemer, who purchased the site in October 2013 along with Brentwood News and Century City News, says Westside Today’s print edition will be available for free to readers and 100 percent supported by advertising. “It may sound very counterintuitive, but I believe that it’s essential for news to have a strong print product,” Montemer says. More

Tribune Co. launches audio news app
News & Tech
Tribune Co. launched Newsbeat, a smartphone app that will read aloud a personalized list of news articles chosen from more than 7,000 stories from a variety of newspapers and websites including its Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun. The app is available for free on iOS and Android devices. Listeners can customize their experience by setting topics of interest and can choose their preferred sections and favorite publications. Users can also specify unique topics to follow such as favorite sports teams, TV shows and celebrities. More

Study: Consumers find branded content less valuable than other types
Consumers trust “articles from credible journalists” more than branded content and user reviews when making purchase decisions, a recent study says. Nielsen conducted the study, which was commissioned by a company called inPowered. It’s important to stipulate up front that inPowered is a business that “distributes content like an ad,” as Robb Henshaw, inPowered’s head of communications, explained. As David Taintor described inPowered’s ads last year, the company places “a snapshot of an article about that product — and it links to an actual story, not ad copy.”More

Native advertising can actually boost display-ad sales, report says
Ad Age
There's a school of thought that native advertising is going to kill the banner ad, but a new report from eMarketer suggests that native sales are spurring display ad sales at the same time. That's because publishers are using their native ad products to lure marketers into a conversation and then packaging those native ads with a variety of other ad products including display, video and live-event sponsorships.More

Mobile ad spending to hit $31.5 billion this year
The Associated Press via The Columbus Dispatch
Worldwide spending on mobile advertising is expected to reach $31.5 billion this year, a 75 percent increase from 2013, thanks largely to Facebook and Google, according to a new report by the research firm eMarketer. By the end of this year, eMarketer expects mobile marketing to account for nearly a quarter of total digital-ad spending, which is estimated to reach $137.5 billion. That’s up from 15 percent of the $119.8 billion digital-ad spending total in 2013.More

'Robot' to write 1 billion stories in 2014 — but will you know it when you see it?
If you’re a human reporter quaking in your boots over news of a Los Angeles Times algorithm that wrote the newspaper’s initial story about an earthquake, you might want to cover your ears for this fact: Software from Automated Insights will generate about 1 billion stories this year — up from 350 million last year, CEO and founder Robbie Allen told Poynter via phone. “Don’t we have enough content in the world?” Allen asked. “We do have too much content, but it’s of the generic and unpersonalized variety.” So should journalists worry? More

Medium finally hits mobile with iPhone blog-reading app
Since its launch in August 2012, Medium has become an increasingly visible place for people to publish their observations and musings on a variety of subjects. The platform was initially invite-only, but opened up to everyone last October. Now, users will be able to engage with that content on the go, as the company released its first mobile app for iPhone.More

Newspaper executives talk about their experience with digital subscriptions
The top executives of print industries such as The New York Times and the Toronto Star described their experience with online subscriptions at NAA mediaXchange. The session was moderated by Matt Lindsay.More

Media companies need to be more flexible for advertisers
Newspapers are still a viable option for ad placement, but publishers need to put more effort into flexibility, creativity and building personal relationships with advertisers, said a panel of experts at NAA mediaXchange 2014.More

AP White House photographer shares what it's really like to cover the President
During NAA mediaXchange 2014, Associated Press correspondent Julie Pace and staff photographer Charles Dharapak shared some of the difficulties they’ve discovered while covering The Obama Administration.More

Slate to introduce a membership plan
The New York Times
In the hunt for revenue in the digital era, news publications have tried everything from putting up paywalls to soliciting donations. The digital magazine Slate, nearly two decades old, plans to experiment with a strategy somewhere in between. It recently began to market a new membership program called Slate Plus. The initiative, said David Plotz, Slate’s editor in chief, will try to coax revenue from its most committed readers and devoted listeners of its popular podcasts. A membership — costing $5 a month or $50 a year — will allow special access to Slate’s writers and live events.More

How USA Today reinvents for the digital world
USA Today is in the midst of rethinking what it’s all about. Gone is the mindset of being a national newspaper; in is the goal of establishing itself as a national news brand on several platforms — and yes, that includes print. USA Today president and publisher Larry Kramer explained the strategy at the Digiday Publishing Summit.More

WSJ launches digital CMO Today
Media Post
Don’t call it native, but Adobe is committing significant resources to establish an ongoing editorial-like presence on As part of the multi-year ad pact, The Wall Street Journal has created a new digital section, CMO Today, which caters to the same marketing professionals that Adobe hopes to call clients. “It’s native-esque,” Trevor Fellows, head of global ad sales at The Wall Street Journal, said on March 24. More

In defense of 'vanity' metrics: Why page views are still important
Only those who don’t have a successful growing digital advertising revenue stream — along with vendors, media critics and pundits that don’t need to fund newsroom P&Ls — seem to think of page views (the audience articulation of ad impressions) as “vanity” or outmoded metrics. While it is critical that our industry evolves and adapts, and new ideas around better metrics are a key part of that journey, wishful thinking on new fangled metrics don’t necessarily mean we can simply abandon what works.More