The headline on 31 Mar 2020
As part of the company’s “Stay in & SLING” initiative, Sling TV launched a new integration with Amazon Fire TV’s “Live” experience. Source: SLING TV delivers free news on Amazon Fire TV’s ‘Live’ experience
Qumu said use of its cloud-based enterprise video solution is up over 30x from normal levels during peak business hours. Source: Use of Qumu Cloud Spikes as Enterprises Transition to Video Communication in Response to COVID-19 Restrictions
The headline on 30 Mar 2020
The Walt Disney Co. said on Monday that executive chairman Robert Iger will forgo his entire salary and recently named CEO Bob Chapek will take a 50 percent pay cut amid the coronavirus pandemic. Source: Hollywood Reporter > Bob Iger to Forgo Disney Salary, Top Execs to Take Pay Cuts Amid Virus Crisis
The headline on 27 Mar 2020
On-demand video streaming service Hooq said on Friday it has filed for liquidation after it failed to grow rapidly and cover its increasing operating costs. Source: TechCrunch > Streaming service Hooq files for liquidation
The Movies Anywhere app is coming to LG smart TVs. Source: Movies Anywhere App Comes To LG Smart TVs
The headline on 26 Mar 2020
ViacomCBS and Meredith reached a multi-year deal to renew affiliation agreements for all seven of its CBS Affiliates. Source: ViacomCBS and Meredith Corporation Announce Multi-Year Affiliation Renewals
Cord Cutters News was bought by Red Ventures. Source: Cord Cutters News > An Important Update on the Future of Cord Cutters News
Communication in the age of COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic looks to be with us for an extended period of time, meaning brands need to rethink their communication strategies. As well as solid internal comms businesses need to take into consideration customers, partners, stakeholders and suppliers — what’s the message they need to hear?
Essentially, it comes down to using communication as a tool to combat anxiety. It’s not about pushing a product or service but sharing stories and experiences – it’s about connecting with your audience, whatever their role in your business operations.
Look beyond content marketing and you’ll see some fantastic examples of connecting with an audience digitally. Musicians across the globe — including Neil Young, Pink, Charli XCX and Coldplay’s Chris Martin — performed shows on Instagram Live alongside the hashtag, #TogetherAtHome.
Zoom has become a popular platform in the shutdown. Its stock price has jumped 30% as comedians, theatres, artists and performers utilise the platform’s free version to host 40-minute performances. As they say, the show must go on.
Chefs are also embracing online content. As Italians live through some of the world’s harshest lockdown laws, Michelin-starred chef, Massimo Bottura, hosts nightly cooking tutorials on Instagram.
Some content efforts have been labelled tone deaf. Gal Gadot assembling a crew of privileged actors to sing John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’ completely missed the mark. On the upside, it did inspire a comedic re-interpretation.
Brands and the power of purpose
Brands are walking a tightrope in the current pandemic. They don’t want to be seen to be profiting from the disaster but they don’t want to go out of business either. In light of this, some brands are exploring their purpose and the role that they can play in lessening the impact of the pandemic both on society, and the economy.
How can brands do this?
In the UK, brands like Subway and Nandos are offering medical staff discounts on food while in the US, Uber Eats is delivering free food to healthcare workers. Across the globe, the big supermarkets’ chains are offering designated shopping hours for the elderly and disabled. Meanwhile, in tech, Facebook and Google are developing ways to use location data to track the virus.
Responsible marketing during a crisis
The above showcases how big business can help in a crisis. But, how do you go about crafting a mindful message? Marketing responsibly involves re-evaluating your content strategy, especially timelines, imagery and language. The goal is to be positive, but also aware of the situation while also bringing something helpful to your audience.
The headline on 25 Mar 2020
Blackbird said A+E Networks will double the volume edited through the Blackbird platform to both enable a expansion of remote video production capability, while ensuring the overall safety of its editors who are working remotely. Source: A+E Networks® Doubles Video Edited Through Blackbird – Remote Production Expanded
Sinclair has established a multimillion-dollar emergency fund to offer financial support to nearly 1,000 eligible freelancers who work across its Fox regional sports networks. Source: Sinclair Broadcast Group Establishes Multimillion-Dollar Fund to Provide Support to Regional Sports Networks Freelancers
Verizon Media has joined the National Association of Broadcasters NAB PILOT project coalition. Source: Broadcasting & Cable > Verizon Media Joins NAB PILOT Program
Pablo Stanley has added nurses and doctors to Open Peeps — and face masks. The irrepressible designer-illustrator has just added Covid-19 functionality to his open source people generator, and it’s perfect.
Adobe has a few resources they’re making available. They’re making Adobe Portfolio free through May 15. They are also making Adobe Talent free through May 15, which means that companies can post jobs for creatives at no charge.
We love Notion. And now we love them more because they just released features that make working from home even more exciting. Have an idea about building a thing for media startups? “Let’s Notion it.” Notion this, people.
Slack is getting a massive new redesign. This will hopefully make everything simpler with some new sidebar action. It’s rolling out over the next few weeks, and you can see some of that action here.
I’ve been living in the redesigned Slack for months, and I’m excited the whole world gets it now, too. Especially these past few weeks as we shifted to Remote, the simplified design and the sidebar collections have been invaluable.
3 of my favorite changes + tips in thread… pic.twitter.com/YMxadnizwp
— Noah Weiss (@noah_weiss) March 18, 2020
Great. You’ve designed your new news website. Now you need feedback. “Awesome!!!! My comments are below in red. Pls make changes. Thx!” Thanks to Markup, where you can “add any URL to enable real-time commenting directly on a website”, you can ignore all those comments in red and ask them to leave feedback directly on the website. It’s also a great tool to feature case studies.
How do you design an Economist cover? By thinking of it as a poster. “It must grab you. It must be striking to the eye and intriguing to the mind. There are no rules, but simple tends to be better than complicated, we prefer funny to earnest, a few short words are better than several long ones. A good cover sells what we are writing about, a great one stands completely and magnificently alone.” Damn straight.
The headline on 24 Mar 2020
ViacomCBS and Nexstar reached a multi-year agreement to renew nine CBS network affiliations for Nexstar stations. Source: ViacomCBS and Nexstar Media Group Renew Affiliation Agreements
CuriosityStream is temporarily cutting its price to just $12 for a full year’s subscription. Source: CuriosityStream Invites Families to ‘Stay in, Stay Curious’ with Enhanced Kids Programming Feature and Special Pricing
WWE is offering free access to WWE Network. Source: WWE offers free access to WWE Network, including every past WrestleMania
Netflix, Roku and Hulu have all discontinued or scaled back phone customer service support. Source: Variety > Netflix Suspends Phone Customer Support Worldwide During Coronavirus Crisis
The headline on 23 Mar 2020
Amazon is opening up free streaming access to more than 40 children’s shows — including its original series — to all customers worldwide. Source: Variety > Amazon Unlocks Batch of Kids’ Shows Free to Stream for All Customers
The headline on 20 Mar 2020
Cable One said a 15 Mbps internet plan for $10 per month is available for the next 60 days. Source: Cable One Offers Low Cost Internet to Assist Families in Need During Coronavirus (COVID-19) Crisis
A new, free streaming service to enable churches to continue reaching their congregations during the COVID-19 restrictions has been developed by Church Web Works. Source: Free Streaming Service to Help Churches With COVID-19 Restrictions Launched by Church Web Works
Facebook inadvertently blocked several legitimate sites from posting or commenting on the coronavirus, marking them as spam. This affected publishers like BuzzFeed, Dallas Morning News, and USA Today. Alex Stamos, FB’s former security chief, speculated that machine learning at FB is “going nuts with less human oversight” as content moderators were sent home. Facebook said it was a “bug in an anti-spam system.”
YouTube says it’s going to rely more on machines to moderate videos as most of its employees are now working from home. It’s warning creators that some of their videos may inadvertently be removed, including some “that may not violate policies.”
The machines are now in charge as humans stay home. Casey Newton at The Verge, who’s been doing some amazing reporting on outsourced content moderators over the past year, wrote a solid contextual piece on this emergency shift to AI moderation. It’s a risky bet in a time when we all need to be guarding against mis/dis-info. And the machines just aren’t ready to do it properly.
Some Google employees are reportedly appealing to the company’s leadership to take better care of contract staff, who are often treated as second-class citizens in tech companies. Googlers have been told to work from home — but that policy doesn’t necessarily cover contractors who still have to go into the office. There’s also no paid time-off for contractors who are under self-quarantine measures.
Facebook’s CrowdTangle launched a dashboard showing covid-related streams of posts from news outlets, elected officials, and health ministries around the world. These are public so you can use them even if you don’t have full CrowdTangle access. An important resource for everyone trying to keep up with the news flow.
Facebook Journalism Project set aside $1 million in grants to support U.S. and Canadian local news organizations covering the pandemic. Up to $5K will be given to individual news orgs to “cover unexpected costs associated with coronavirus reporting.” These could include areas such as remote-working tools and increased coverage of community news.
Australian Associated Press postponed its June closure after receiving “a number of unexpected offers” to buy the entire operation. The company wouldn’t name the interested parties, citing confidentiality agreements. The newswire was scheduled for shutdown after its major shareholders Nine Entertainment and News Corp Australia said the business was unsustainable. AAP told the staff not to get their hopes up. “We all should be cautious: nothing may come of these discussions and the interested parties may not be qualified to run a news organization.”
Australia’s ABC is delaying job cuts to focus on reporting on the coronavirus. The job reductions were to be announced at the end of this month, as part of the organization’s five-year strategic plan.
News teams are burning out with the relentless coverage of the coronavirus. Read this powerful thread by a newsroom manager.
Yesterday morning, a young colleague told me he was worried about our staff — especially the folks on our breaking news team who are at the tip of the spear of our coronavirus coverage.
— Tom Huang (@tomthuang) March 15, 2020
Kirsten Han is stepping down as editor-in-chief at New Naratif. She says she wants to return to reporting on Singapore (especially important as we’re heading into an election this year), as well as finishing a book project. Aisyah Llewellyn has been appointed Interim Editor-in-Chief.
If you’re a podcaster, how do you practice safe recording? This might just be the most comprehensive list of resources and tips available on recording interviews in a time of covid. Good ideas here on how to clean the spit off those mics.
Vox is building a local advertising network with Google. “Concert Local” will pool together ad inventories from local news publishers and make those available to large advertisers. “What we have experienced is that brand budgets typically don’t find their way to local media news sites on orders of the magnitude that are making a difference to local communities and newsrooms.”
Despite the apparent rivalry for the same audience segment, TikTok is reportedly the single biggest advertiser on Snapchat. “The two platforms offer young people different experiences on their phones. And, at the end of the day, they’re competing for the same screen time and advertising dollars.”
The Pulitzer Center launched the Coronavirus News Collaboration Challenge. The grant is meant to “encourage innovative journalist and newsroom collaboration” across the U.S. and other countries.
Slack is offering “free upgrades to paid plans” for teams working on coronavirus research, response, or mitigation. “Even socially distant, we’re all in this together.”
If you’re working on #COVID19 research, response, or mitigation and @slackhq can help in any way, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Free upgrades to paid plans, setting up a consultation for remote collaboration best practices: we got you. Even socially distant, we’re all in this together.
— Stewart Butterfield (@stewart) March 16, 2020
Btw, Slack is getting a massive new redesign. This will (hopefully) make everything simpler with a new sidebar section. Rolling out over the next few weeks.
I’ve been living in the redesigned Slack for months, and I’m excited the whole world gets it now, too. Especially these past few weeks as we shifted to Remote, the simplified design and the sidebar collections have been invaluable.
3 of my favorite changes + tips in thread… pic.twitter.com/YMxadnizwp
— Noah Weiss (@noah_weiss) March 18, 2020
So much for, ahem, working from home. Online gaming services like Xbox Live, Nintendo Online, and Discord crashed because of a gaming surge.
Amazon has stopped selling most editions of Hitler’s Mein Kampf and other Nazi propaganda books after years of campaigning by Holocaust charities. Hitler’s Amazon author page, which you can follow for updates, has also been removed.
The headline on 19 Mar 2020
Comscore has launched an Epidemic brand safety segment aimed specifically at protecting brands from having their advertising appear in Coronavirus and epidemic-related content. Source: Comscore Launches Brand Suitability Protections for Coronavirus Content
The Cable Center said it has decided to reschedule its 23rd annual Cable Hall of Fame celebration to the fall, due to the ongoing spread of the coronavirus. Source: Multichannel News > Cable Center Reschedules Hall of Fame to Fall
Brightcove said due to the global COVID-19 pandemic and to protect the health and safety of its customers, employees, and broader community, its PLAY 2020 event will not have a physical component in Boston this year. Source: Brightcove to Evolve the PLAY 2020 Event and Launch PLAY TV, an Innovative Streaming Experience Featuring the Most, Must-Watch Content Focused on Video
Fake news & COVID-19. Silicon Valley’s big guns — Google, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — are working together to reduce fake news associated with the global coronavirus outbreak. The move came after a warning from the UK’s NHS that fake news risked lives. In February, Facebook blocked Singapore users from accessing the State Times’ Review after the government accused it of spreading misinformation pursuant to the new Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Act (POFMA).
Can tech companies be trusted? Should we rely on big tech platforms to determine what we can and can’t see? Internal moderation documents for Chinese video-sharing app TikTok called for the suppression of posts by users who were too ugly, poor or disabled. Unsurprisingly, videos discouraging political dissent were also included.
We have to ask ourselves, what are the motivations behind suppressing certain materials by the tech giants? And it’s not just motivations we need to question. Yesterday, a software bug on Facebook meant all legitimate coronavirus stories were marked as spam.
Is the answer chatbots? In the Philippines, chatbots could be the answer to fake news. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) have developed a Facebook chatbot that checks authenticity based on bylines, photo credits and publishing dates. Users just need to submit a link.
The headline on 18 Mar 2020
The Najafi Companies and Trinity Broadcasting Network are jointly bidding to acquire Tegna. Source: The Najafi Companies and Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) Align to Offer to Acquire Tegna Inc.
Simpli.fi launched its new online attribution capability. Source: Simpli.fi Launches Online Attribution for OTT/CTV Advertising
Some dude called Vlad, who is the co-founder and CEO of Webflow, possibly the hottest no-code website builder out there, has offered “all of [their] services (including unlimited hosting+traffic)… free of charge” for anybody building informational websites around COVID-19. Other folks in the thread have offered their design and dev services for free. This is your chance to prototype the media product your audiences might have been waiting for.
Any countries/municipalities/organizations rallying to create informational websites to slow the spread of COVID-19 and needing to use @webflow – please DM me.
We’ll make all of our services (including unlimited hosting+traffic) available free of charge.
— Vlad Magdalin (@callmevlad) March 15, 2020
The recent Washington Post redesign happened because they wanted to fight subscriber churn. The logic? People will usually visit your website because they found it through search or social. Of those, people who visit your homepage “are more likely to become subscribers, and that subscribers who visit the homepage are less likely to churn. “[P]eople are just really overwhelmed by the amount of information that’s out there. It’s about making sure the journalism we produce is easy to consume.” Your homepage is still a big deal: ““It’s the best page where you can merchandise your content and your value proposition. The homepage is probably still the most-viewed individual page in any given month [for a typical news website].”
Google Fonts just did a little redesign for their tenth anniversary. What’s a variable font? So usually fonts come in different weights: your average font family — say Gotham — could have different weights like Hairline, Thin, Light, Book, Medium, Semi-Bold, Bold, Extra Bold, and Black. But each one of these is a separate font file, and the more font files you have on your website, the slower your site gets. With a variable font, you can get all the weights with one single file. Boom. Typenology.
Who has 💯’s of fonts and just turned 10? That’s right, it’s us! 🥳 To celebrate we’ve launched a new site and updated catalog. Come by to see our new look & stay for the #variablefonts 🎉🎉🎉 https://t.co/afFMTLBs3d pic.twitter.com/ZEGbreDhUo
— Google Fonts (@googlefonts) March 3, 2020
SEO is design, innit? Here’s the situation: you’ve designed your news or media or e-gaming or podcast website. Now you’ve got to make sure it loads really quickly, that your specific core user can find it really quickly, that it converts visitors to whatever the call to action is (Sign up? Subscribe? Be a member? Buy a ticket?),that it keeps your users’ information secure, that you can track usage funnels, that users can access it on whatever device they want, and that they’re finding useful and relevant information simply and intuitively without having to struggle through it. SEO is design. If you’re in charge of designing a user’s experience through your media product, make sure you own this process. I love that this article comes with a checklist. Make friends with it. Source: Where Does SEO Belong In Your Web Design Process?
How you design a website has a great deal to do with the culture of its intended user. There are low-context cultures and there are high-context cultures. China, for example, is a high-context culture, which means that non-verbal and visual clues are vital for effective communication. “If you’re designing a product for users from a different culture, it is always important to learn about cultural differences and how they can potentially change users’ expectations.”
The headline on 17 Mar 2020
Samba TV and The Trade Desk are expanding their U.S. partnership to international markets beginning in Australia. Source: Samba TV and The Trade Desk Expand Partnership Globally
AMC Networks wants to sell the ads that accompany “Walking Dead” on its flagship cable outlet and wherever the series’ zombies might march. Source: Variety > AMC Networks Plans Ad Packages on Streaming Outlets it Doesn’t Own
Disney added “Frozen 2” to Disney+ three months ahead of schedule. Source: The Walt Disney Company Will Make “Frozen 2” Available on Disney+ Three Months Early, Beginning Sunday, March 15
The headline on 13 Mar 2020
OpenAP has assembled an advertiser advisory board. Source: OpenAP Appoints Advertiser Advisory Board
- Have you seen AP’s coronavirus style guide? It’s “COVID-19”
- Google followed Facebook in banning ads for medical face masks. “We’re seeing a rise in ads that may not mention coronavirus but are clearly trying to capitalise on it.”
- CNN started calling the coronavirus crisis a pandemic, preceding the WHO’s own classification that followed days later. It says it did so because there was clear evidence of “sustained person-to-person transmission” and wanted to force the U.S. authorities to better plan for a bigger crisis. “Shifting the dialogue toward pandemic preparedness means we should more directly and completely address these shortfalls.”
- VC firm Sequoia is calling this coronavirus crisis the black swan event of the year. They wrote an important note to their founders and CEOs with guidance on how to survive the year. “We suggest you question every assumption about your business,” including cash runway, fundraising, sales, marketing efforts, and capex. It wasn’t all cautious — Sequoia notes that Google, PayPal, Airbnb, Square, and Stripe were all products of difficult times. It left me with a lot to think about in terms of taking new risks and launching new experiments (Splice Low-Res, for one). If there’s a crazy idea out there, this could be an equally crazy year to give it a shot. A black swan is an opportunity too important to waste.
Coconuts Media is hiring Associate Editors in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore. Plenty of positions to check out.
Meet Mailbrew. Pick the topics that you care about, and boom, a beautiful email newsletter appears in your inbox. “Create automated newsletters from multiple sources, and cure your feeds addiction.”
The Ken finally launched its Southeast Asia service, pricing it at $120 a year. Check out their pricing structure. Curiously, there’s no monthly option, which seems like a deliberate strategy to avoid the distractions of a monthly subscription churn.
There are two very important sets of numbers in a Reuters Institute survey of gender balance across 10 different countries. First, 40% of journalists in the top markets are women. Second, only 23% of them are in top editorial positions in newsrooms. That’s shocking. Here’s a third: There are zero women in top editorial jobs in Japan.
ByteDance’s Jinri Toutiao, China’s popular news app, is a superapp. You get your news on it. And now you can also order food on it.
Jack Dorsey gets to keep his job as Twitter CEO... for now. As part of a negotiated ceasefire with Elliott Management Corp and private equity firm Silver Lake, Twitter will appoint 3 new directors to its board. It’ll also create a committee to review its leadership and governance. Silver Lake will make a $1 billion investment in the company, which Twitter will use to fund part of its first share buyback. But Dorsey now has some big KPIs to hit: Grow its ad-served user base by at least 20% this year, accelerate revenue growth, and gain market share as a digital advertiser.
TikTok opened a content moderation center in the U.S. to boost transparency into its inner workings. They’ll bring in external experts to observe how content moderators work. TikTok is facing scrutiny from U.S. lawmakers who’ve called the app a cybersecurity threat that allegedly allows China to snoop on American kids.
People are watching people sleep on TikTok. And these sleep streamers are making money from that. “I scrolled and scrolled and saw more and more. I was like, OK this is a thing now. I saw videos with over 1 million likes.” Time to get some nice PJs.
The headline on 11 Mar 2020
Understanding reactive marketing. Reactive marketing content taps into trending topics and conversations in real-time. Just like responding with relevant articles when a news story breaks. Why this matters. The results for brands that participate in this form of marketing often pay off, yielding increased interaction on social (especially if it’s funny). Responding quickly can make a brand appear more relevant and boost their credibility. The best example of this is in 2018 when KFC ran out the chicken and responded by rearranging its letters to simply say, FCK. When is it risky? Not all news events are appropriate vehicles to attach your brand to. Most brands are staying away from the current COVID-19 crisis despite it being global news. Brands don’t want to be seen as profiting from a crisis. At the end of the day, marketers need to ask themselves, does this event relate to my brand in any way?
The year of the webinar? Speaking of COVID-19, could its global spread and associated travel bans see a spike in webinars and live video streaming? LinkedIn Live streaming is a cost effective solution for content marketers who can no longer hold live events. The feature is whitelisted so your business page needs to be approved by the product team to go live. According to LinkedIn, the streaming tool receives 24 more times engagement than simply posting a video.
Have a look at gaming streaming platforms. Microsoft Teams is free for six months in response to the virus work-from-home demand. Video conferencing platform Zoom has seen its shares rocket. But some smart cookies are looking at a few emerging streaming platforms and those in the gaming industry. The cool gamers are on Xsplit which has a useful product called Vcam that enables it to be used as a video source in Hangouts. OBS is another one popular with gamers.
E-learning seeing huge growth. Education is embracing video streaming, especially in China where the spread of the virus means students are unable to attend classes domestically or overseas. In fact, the leading Chinese e-learning platforms have seen their revenue surge by US$3.2 billion as students opt for online learning.
Online censorship issues. While video streaming appears to be the easiest way to stay connected to the Chinese market, censorship still remains an issue. Recently, medical students had their live stream lecture interrupted when an image of the female reproductive organ was shared by the lecturer. Apparently it was mistaken for pornography. Earlier this year, the Chinese government relaxed internet restrictions so students studying in Australia were able to access course material during the travel ban. It’s still not clear how relaxed Chinese censors can be.
Former IMAX president and Walt Disney Studios executive Jason Brenek announced the launch of MetaMedia. Source: Former Disney, IMAX Exec Brenek Introduces MetaMedia Entertainment Network™ and Assembles Executive Team from Top Cinema, Studio and Tech Companies
LiveXLive will produce a slate of original programming for a new music channel set to launch on STIRR later this month. Source: LiveXLive to Produce Exclusive Original Content for New Music Channel on Streaming Service, STIRR, Launching This Spring
The headline on 06 Mar 2020
Gray Television has reportedly made an offer to acquire Tegna for approximately $8.5 billion. Source: Reuters > Exclusive: Gray Television in $8.5 billion bid to acquire Tegna – sources
ViacomCBS said Kelly Day has been appointed chief operating officer of ViacomCBS Networks International. Source: ViacomCBS Names Kelly Day Chief Operating Officer ViacomCBS Networks International
- Researchers say at least 516 coronavirus-related keyword combinations are censored on WeChat.
- Facebook says it will remove “false claims and conspiracy theories that have been flagged by leading global health organizations”.
- Facebook is giving unlimited free ad credits to the World Health Organization to promote accurate information about the crisis.
- WHO launched a TikTok account to fight coronavirus misinformation.
- On Twitter, if you’re searching for COVID-19, you’ll see a page featuring recent stories from public health organizations and credible media.
- Twitter vowed to take a “zero-tolerance approach to platform manipulation”.
- YouTube is also linking to the WHO in search results.
- Google is giving free access to its top, paid features on Hangouts Meet so that people can host meetings with up to 250 participants, and live stream to up to 100,000 viewers.
- Microsoft is offering a free 6-month trial on its Slack-competitor Teams.
- Covid-19 newsletters are popping up everywhere.
- The International Journalism Festival, my favorite annual media conference in Perugia, is cancelled.
- Society of News Design postponed its annual workshop.
Australian Associated Press is closing, resulting in the loss of 180 journalism jobs. This also creates an even bigger gap in the country’s already polarized media space. The wire has been the backbone of impartial public interest news in the country, providing much-needed content for traditional media companies though its network of regional and international journalists. But like many wire services, it’s seen a decline in revenue as newsroom subscribers cut costs. Source: The Guardian > Why AAP’s closure is a brutal hit to Australia’s concentrated media market
Twitter is testing its own Stories format. Fleets, as its name suggests, is ephemeral — they disappear in 24 hours. You can’t get Likes, Replies, or Retweets. Sadly, as much as I’d like to try this out right now, Fleets is only available in Brazil as part of this test. Source: TechCrunch > Twitter starts testing its own version of Stories, called ‘Fleets,’ which disappear after 24 hours
But Fleets is a distraction from a bigger story brewing at Twitter. Jack Dorsey is in a fight to hold onto his CEO seat after an activist hedge fund reportedly took an almost 5% stake in the company. Elliott Management wants Dorsey out and has nominated four members to Twitter’s board. It’s easy to point an accusing finger at Dorsey. Twitter, for most of his tenure, has been unprofitable despite its outsized importance in the world. Dorsey is also the CEO of Square, which some say distracts him. And to make things worse, he’s also planning to move to Africa this year — for an unspecified length of time. If he gets pushed out, well, it wouldn’t be his first time. Dorsey was the first CEO of the company, but was forced out apparently because he spent too much time doing yoga and attending fashion design classes. Source: Yahoo Finance > Why Elliott Management wants to remove Jack Dorsey as Twitter CEO
ByteDance launched Resso, a “social music streaming app” in India. Users are encouraged to share lyrics and comments with each other. No mention of the number of tracks available, but the company has signed big names like Sony and Warner. ByteDance has also been testing this app in Indonesia. Source: TechCrunch > Resso, ByteDance’s music streaming app, officially launches in India, sans Tencent-backed Universal Music
Here’s what a roomful of newsletter writers looks like. Newsletter platform Substack hosted its first newsletter writer gathering in New York. Here’s what they learned. Source: Substack Blog > What we learned from the Substack writers gathering in New York
Under pressure from regulators, Facebook is reportedly changing its plans for its Libra coin. It now wants to create a system with digital versions of major currencies such as the dollar and euro. Source: BBC > Facebook ‘rethinks’ plans for Libra cryptocurrency
Two schools of thought about the success of the New York Times’s transformation into a global digital media company: It lifts the overall industry, or it creates a new monopoly. The former editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed News, Ben Smith is now the media columnist at NYT. This is his first op-ed. “The Times so dominates the news business that it has absorbed many of the people who once threatened it.” My advice to media entrepreneurs — don’t compete against NYT in mass-audience segments; the future of digital media is niche. Find a specific category. Dominate the hell out of it.
NYT is making a big push in India with a massive discount. At 60 rupees ($0.80) a month, this is a steal.
— Tarun Shukla (@shukla_tarun) March 5, 2020
India’s The Ken got a big redesign that does away with Rishad’s pet peeve: Categories in navigation bars. From his Frames newsletter: “Nobody reads stories based on categories, and yet we continue to see them faithfully perpetuated on news surfaces everywhere.
MDIF invested in Indian social tech startup Josh Talks in a pre-Series A funding round. The company creates career and education services for young people in low-income households in India through 8 vernacular languages. It reaches 45 million people each month. Source: MDIF invests in Indian social tech startup Josh Talks
Mailchimp acquired Courier Media, a niche London-based media startup that publishes a magazine and newspaper for entrepreneurs and small businesses. “Since 2013, Courier has empowered the next generation of entrepreneurs with practical and authentic stories that inspire people who want to live and work on their own terms — and we think this perfectly aligns with our own values.” No mention of deal terms. Source: Mailchimp Acquires Courier Media
SETI@home is shutting down after two decades. They crowdsourced efforts to search for aliens using internet-connected computers (a very new thing back then) to mine data for signals from galactic civilizations.
Dark mode is finally available on WhatsApp. Source: The Verge > WhatsApp dark mode now available for iOS and Android
Make your own hand sanitizer. Why not? Source: The Verge > How to make your own hand sanitizer
How’s this for solutions journalism? As people raid shelves for toilet paper, Australian newspaper NT News printed extra pages that you can fold and wipe yourself with. News you can use. Source: The Guardian > Coronavirus: Australian newspaper prints extra pages to help out in toilet paper shortage
The headline on 05 Mar 2020
ACA Connects has decided to postpone its 27th Annual Summit on March 17-19 in Washington due to concerns over the spread of coronavirus. Source: TV News Check > ACA Connects Postpones Its D.C. Summit
WOW! reported fourth-quarter results. Source: businesswire > WOW! Reports Fourth Quarter and Year End 2019 Results
Technology and Content Marketing
It seems like people have been talking about it for ages, but it’s clear 5G will have a huge impact on technology when it becomes the norm. What will its effects on content marketing be, especially with Singapore rolling out the technology this year?
Why this matters
The future of content marketing is video. And the adaptation of 5G tech will offer faster speeds, allowing for more immersive and interactive video. 5G will also allow for VR and AR to flourish, as well as provide for better streaming capabilities. While the consumer experience is one thing, 5G also promises better quality data and real-time location-based targeting.
How should brands use video?
If the future is video, brands need to create content that maximizes engagement. It’s not about expensive, professionally-shot videos either. Social media is a great space for brands to post ‘behind-the-scenes’ or organically engage their customers with Instagram live.
It’s all about the story
Slick video production aside, the primary focus needs to be storytelling. According to Kelly Engstrom from English telco, EE: “Storytelling is the thing I would advise anyone getting into this area to focus on… because you have to come up with scenarios or stories that tell them [consumers] why it’s a good thing to have.”
The headline on 04 Mar 2020
Tubi has entered a deal with Enseo to launch its library on Enseo’s in-room entertainment platform accessible in more than 30,000 hotel rooms. Source: businesswire > Tubi Now Available in Over 30,000 Hotel Rooms Nationwide via Deal With Enseo
Wurl is providing streaming video distribution and advertising services for Waypoint TV. Source: Waypoint TV Taps Wurl’s Video Distribution and Monetization Services to Deliver its Network to New Platforms
The Ken website got a redesign. Rohin, their CEO, sent out an email detailing the thinking behind the changes, and it all converges beautifully in one direction: their user. So they’ve restructured the “entire site as a giant “reading list”, added “visible reading progress indicators for all stories”, added a bunch of “options to save stories for later reading”, and included “intelligent recommendations on what stories to read next”. Source: The Ken
Welcome to the dark underbelly of the world of Cmd+B. Toggling to a bold state is as old as 1973, when you could press Ctrl+B on a Xerox Alto and make a letter bold. Marcin Wichary is the design manager at Figma, one of the most revolutionary tools for interface design ever. His presentation here is intriguing, then funny, then shocking, and then really touching — what a beautiful ride. If you’re a type nerd, watch. If you’re not a type nerd, this will turn you into one.
This is my talk from Config, @figmadesign’s first conference. It’s 20 minutes on typography, keyboards, weird bugs, and complexities of building anything that deals with fonts.
I’m happy with how this turned out, and I think you’ll like it:https://t.co/jaUOrpXbqN
— Marcin Wichary (@mwichary) February 28, 2020
Color Oracle is an open source colour blindness simulator for the web. It does one very simple thing: it shows you in real-time “what people with common color vision impairments will see.”
A New York pizza shop is using prime real estate to advertise adoptable dogs — its pizza delivery boxes. There was even an extra bonus: “Anyone who adopts a dog featured on a pizza box flyer will receive a $50 gift certificate to the pizza shop.” It seems to be working — a 6-month-old puppy named Larry was adopted after just one day of the flyers going out. It’s also working out for the pizza shop, which is getting “a lot more business”, and now other pizza places are following suit.
From Simon Kearney’s excellent Content Confidential newsletter: What’s a CTA? A call to action, usually on a website or newsletter (think ‘Buy now’ or ‘Sign up’). What’s a good CTA? A call to action that is specific, achievable, easy, and that makes you feel like you’re part of a larger cause or community. This quick read is specific to how NGOs can use behavioural science to get better conversions with their communication strategy.
The headline on 03 Mar 2020
Fox completed the previously announced $350 million purchase of Seattle stations KCPQ (Fox) and KZJO (MNT) as well as Milwaukee station WITI from Nexstar Media Group. Source: TV News Check > Fox And Nexstar Complete Station Sales
The headline on 02 Mar 2020
YouTube TV agreed to a contract extension with Sinclair as the companies try to reach a distribution deal. Source: Variety > YouTube TV Keeps Fox Regional Sports Networks in Lineup as Sinclair Talks Continue
TVSquared said former chief revenue officer and executive vice president, Jo Kinsella, has been appointed as president. Source: businesswire > TVSquared Names Jo Kinsella President