Welcome! I'm Simon Owens and this is my media newsletter. You can subscribe by clicking on this handy little button:
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Meet Decision Desk, the First to Call the Election for Joe Biden
A profile of an interesting startup that specializes in aggregating election data and licensing it to media companies. [link]
Text-to-speech is the audio opportunity no one’s talking about
This is a trend I've been following for a while now. For some reason, huge swaths of internet users prefer to have articles read to them in audio form. [link]
This agency helps B2B tech companies develop their own podcasts
Tech companies collectively spend a lot of money each year producing content. They hire writers to craft blog posts, articles, white papers, and even ebooks. They enlist videographers to produce video for their YouTube channel. They employ designers who throw together infographics for their Instagram accounts. And of course there’s no shortage of webinars.
And in recent years, more and more tech firms have devoted at least a portion of their marketing budgets toward podcasts. To develop their shows, they turn to people like Tristan Pelligrino, the co-founder of a creative agency called Motion. The agency started out with a focus on helping B2B tech companies with their video needs, but over the last year it’s pivoted to podcast production.
I recently interviewed Tristan on why he made the podcast pivot, how he approaches the development of a new show, and whether he plans to leverage the success of his own podcast into a scalable network.
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Can Spotify be the one to convince people to pay for podcasts?
I doubt Spotify would see success selling a podcast add-on subscription, but I do think its exclusive podcasts will increase conversions for paying subscribers. It could maybe even eventually raise the prices for its main bundle. [link]
Medium allows for the exporting of email lists
Here's some big news that flew under the radar: not only can you build an email newsletter on Medium, but you can now actually export your list. This is definitely Medium's response to Substack. [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]
Spotify is acquiring podcast hosting company Megaphone for $235 million
Why is this acquisition so significant? Because it signals that Spotify wants to dominate podcast advertising both on AND off its platform. It's going to have tons of data on how users consume podcasts on Apple, Overcast, and other apps. [link]
I provide a little more analysis of the deal in a Twitter thread here. [link]
The Trump Presidency Is Ending. So Is Maggie Haberman’s Wild Ride.
Love her or hate her (I've done my fair share of both!), Maggie Haberman was one of the most influential journalists of the Trump era. [link]
How to Build a Successful Patreon Group
The anatomy of a successful Patreon account that generates $12,000 per month. [link]
Did you know you can hire me?
Content strategy. Audience development strategy. Monetization strategy. If you benefit from the insights I give in my newsletter and podcast, chances are you'd benefit even more by hiring me for one-on-one consulting. [link]
Quartz becomes an independent media company
This is pretty big news in media land. Quartz is going private. [link]
Here's the exact 9-page media kit a YouTube and Instagram nano influencer uses to get brand sponsorships
An interesting look at how a "nano" influencer pitches herself to advertisers. [link]
How advertisers are evaluating YouTube’s rising connected TV viewership
YouTube is going to be a big beneficiary of advertisers' shift to connected TV. Hulu will probably be the other big beneficiary. [link]
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