The Business of Content
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How the iTunes podcast rankings work
If you want to subscribe and listen to podcasts, there are dozens of apps to choose from, including podcast-specific apps like Stitcher and even music streaming apps like Spotify. But anyone who works in the industry knows that Apple is the king of podcasts; its podcast app, which it spun off from iTunes a few years ago, accounts for more than 50 percent of all podcast use. This is why Apple’s podcast rankings can be so important for driving discovery and downloads. There’s one master list...
Meet the guy who wants to slow down the internet
This week I interviewed a guy named Ernie Smith. Why do I think Smith is so fascinating? Because over the past decade he’s created two successful media properties, each with the absolute opposite goal of the other. The first was a Tumblr account called ShortFormBlog. It amassed over 140,000 followers and was one of the hyperreactive news aggregators that thrived in the aughts. Every single day Smith logged in and plucked the most interesting quotes and stats from news stories and served...
Inside Macmillan’s 2018 podcast strategy
If you run a hit podcast, you might have a couple avenues open to your for monetization. You could host live events and charge admissions, like what we’ve seen with Slate’s Political Gabfest and Pod Save America. You could, like Gimlet Media, launch a membership program and charge $60 a year for free tshirts, exclusive bonus content, and access to a private slack channel. Or you might turn to running sponsored ads within your podcasts, an approach that generated $220 million for podcasts...
While Facebook stumbles, Twitter’s making a comeback
For the past several years, Twitter’s been a punching bag, both for tech writers and Wall Street analysts. It remained unprofitable, was a magnet for trolls, and, worst of all, its user growth came to a halt. But in just the past few months we’ve seen some meaningful signs of life at the embattled social network. For one, it had its first profitable quarter in, well, forever. But it also saw growth in other areas. For one, though monthly active user growth is flat, it saw a sharp increase...
This former lawyer launched a thriving local news network in New Jersey
The last decade hasn’t been kind to local news. While the entire news industry has experienced hardship, local newspapers have been hit particularly hard. A recent article in the American Prospect detailed how newspaper chains have been bought up by private equity firms and then were systematically cut to the bone, the private equity firms wringing out every last cent of profit before closing the newspapers for good. Even tech companies have struggled to make local news profitable. AOL...
Want to create your own Wikipedia page? Call this guy
According to Alexa, Wikipedia is the sixth most visited website in the U.S. and the fifth most visited in the world. When you Google famous people, places, or companies, their Wikipedia pages usually come up as the first or second result. If you’re a company that already has a Wikipedia page, then monitoring what’s written on it is vital to your reputation management strategy. If you don’t have your own Wikipedia page, then you may aspire to create one for yourself. But this is where...
What it takes to run a podcast consulting company
Branded podcasts are on the rise. With one out of every four Americans saying they listen to at least one podcast a month, companies are increasingly incorporating the medium into their content marketing strategies, and in some cases these branded podcasts are really taking off with listeners. The first major success of a branded podcast was The Message, a joint venture between the Panoply Network and GE. The science fiction serial has generated over 8 million downloads and, during its...
What kind of content should you put behind your paywall?
For more than a decade, publishers attempted to grow ad-supported businesses that depended on massive scale and distribution of free content, but in recent years, many have acknowledged that purely advertising-based business models simply don’t work in a world in which Facebook and Google are vacuuming up nearly all ad dollars that migrate online. So they’ve begun asking their readers to pony up, launching various forms of paywalls that require paid subscriptions for those wanting to...