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The Digiday Podcast

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

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




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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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, 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.


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.


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.


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...


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...


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.


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.


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.