Welcome! I'm Simon Owens and this is my media newsletter. You can subscribe by clicking on this handy little button:
Let’s jump right into it…
It’s not all doom and gloom. These 9 local news orgs are thriving
You've probably encountered lots of stories about how local news is dying. But the situation is more complicated than that; there are some real bright spots in the space. [link]
How a crop of startups are trying to make for-profit local news work
Axios's move into local newsletters is super interesting. I'm actually quite bullish on this strategy. Consumers love local news roundups delivered by email and local businesses are hungry to place native ads in these newsletters. [link]
Have you noticed there are no ads in this newsletter?
There’s a reason for that. Monetizing with ads would incentivize growth at the expense of quality. Instead of publishing longform podcasts, interviews, and analysis pieces, I’d succumb to rapid aggregation. To steer clear of these incentives, I monetize entirely through paid subscriptions. If you subscribe, you get regular case study interviews delivered directly to your inbox — interviews with some of the top practitioners in media, including both publishing entrepreneurs and mainstream media executives. Subscribe at the link below, and not only will you be supporting my independent journalism, you’ll also get a 10% discount.
BuzzFeed wants to become an authority of sexual wellness for millennials
"In the past year, BuzzFeed has had over 150 million views to content that was specifically related to sex toy products." [link]
Nielsen wants to deliver you targeted ads on your TV
I think we should remain super skeptical that ultra targeted ads are coming to your TV anytime soon. [link]
How Industry Dive soared revenue as B2B budgets migrated to digital
B2B publisher Industry Dive has "30% profit margins on $60 million in revenue, $40 million of which came its core ad business." [link]
Want to interact with me directly?
I have a secret Facebook group that’s only promoted to subscribers of this newsletter. I try to post exclusive commentary to it sometimes and have regular discussions with its members about the tech/media space. Go here to join. [link]
Apple, Sony Both Held Talks About Buying Podcaster Wondery
A Wondery acquisition would finally push Apple headfirst into the original podcast game after giving Spotify more than a year's headstart. It also would give Apple lots of IP that can be adapted into Apple TV+ shows. [link]
How Hasan Piker Took Over Twitch
Wow. The most popular streamer on Twitch right now isn't a gamer. It's a 29-year-old liberal pundit who sometime streams up to 80 hours a week. [link]
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