Sunday, May 31, 2015

BuzzFeed's news is growing, but still a small part of its traffic

digiday reporting:
... In short, don’t tell Smith BuzzFeed is fluff: “Our mission’s to do great journalism and tell people about the world,” Smith proclaimed in an interview last year. Out of some 300 editorial staffers, 140 are devoted to news.
...But if the viral perception still sticks, it’s not without reason. BuzzFeed drew 76.7 million multiplatform unique visitors in April, according to comScore. The publisher historically hasn’t broken out its content by vertical to comScore, like other top news sites including CNN, Yahoo and The Huffington Post do. But it started to on a limited basis as of last month, when it began breaking out its Entertainment and Life coverage, which stand at 43.7 million and 20.1 million uniques, respectively. BuzzFeed doesn’t break out its news traffic, suggesting it’s still relatively low.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Content overload on the web is a turn-off: here's how to manage it

theguardian reporting:
41% of people (and 33% of millennials, those aged roughly 18- to 34-years-old) claim to feel overwhelmed by the sheer wealth of choice on the internet, preferring friends’ recommendations on social media rather than searching for content and products themselves.
This trend has huge implications for both publishers, especially for those relying solely on advertising revenues and trying to build audiences at scale, and advertisers heavily investing in native advertising, looking for a deeper connection with consumers.
The recent push towards branded content has plainly contributed to this sense of content overload too.
However, better curated content, creative distribution strategies supported by smart data that leverage the opportunities offered by media convergence, can stop content overload from hindering the overall value of native advertising.

1. Listen and learn

Knowing your audience is a must for brands as much as it is for publishers. It is therefore important to audit your audience’s conversations comprehensively – social listening can be a particularly effective tool for this. This provides clear insight into people’s content consumption habits, for example, what they are interested in, what formats of content they like, who their influencers are, when and where they read and how they feel about that content.

2. Capitalise on context...

How Millennials Get News: Inside the habits of America’s first digital generation

API reporting:
Millennials consume news and information in strikingly different ways than previous generations, and their paths to discovery are more nuanced and varied than some may have imagined, according to the new study by the Media Insight Project, a collaboration of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

How Millennials get news

Percent of Millennials who…
Say keeping up with the news is at least somewhat important to them85%
Get news daily69%
Regularly follow five or more "hard news" topics45%
Usually see diverse opinions through social media86%
Pay for at least one news-specific service, app, or digital subscription40%
The data also suggest that social networks are exposing Millennials to more news than they were initially seeking. Overall, just 47 percent who use Facebook say that getting news is a main motivation for visiting, but it has become one of the significant activities they engage in once they are there. Fully 88 percent of Millennials get news from Facebook regularly, for instance, and more than half of them do so daily...

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

CJR reporting:
TEN MONTHS AGO, the Chicago Tribune simultaneously launched two accounts on Instagram, the photo-sharing social media platform: one showcasing the work of the paper’s staff photographers and another highlighting old photos from the basement archives.
In less than a year, the staff photography account has attracted a respectable 4,496 followers. But it is the vintage account—the brainchild of Robin Daughtridge, the paper’s director of photography—that has been the surprise hit, with nearly 25,000 followers.Daughtridge and photo editor Marianne Mather post up to eight photos a day, little black-and-white flashbacks from the massive archives of the Tribune Tower. Recent photos show morning commuters on an express bus in 1981, two women at North Avenue Beach in 1960, and a late-career Babe Ruth in his Boston Braves uniform, sitting in the Wrigley Field dugout in 1935...

Monday, May 4, 2015

The New York Times Will Hit One Million Digital Subscribers Soon. But Does It Matter?

re/code reporting:
...The paper finally went ahead with a paywall in 2011 and turned digital subscriptions into a growing business that generated nearly $170 million last year, up 13.5 percent from the year before. (The number of Times digital subscribers, interestingly, is growing at a rate of about 20 percent a year, which suggests the publisher is also counting free-trial members.)
The problem, however, is that despite those gains, the Times’ digital revenues — both circulation and advertising — account for little more than a fifth of the paper’s total sales and won’t in any way come close to making up for its once fat print profits. Even at 1 million paying online readers, that’s a $190 million to $200 million business. Include digital ads in that mix and it’s optimistically a $400 million digital newsroom. Still not enough to make up for print.
Print, of course, is still a billion-dollar machine for the Times, but it is, inevitably, an anachronism. The Times’ average weekday print circulation now stands at 625,951, about half the 1.18 million it garnered in 1994 when the paper of record reached its daily print peak. And it’s only getting smaller.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

What’s the next mobile (huge opportunity news media can’t afford to squander)?

The Buttry Diary reporting:
But, as I read the State of the Media 2015 report by the Pew Research Center, I am struck by the growth in mobile advertising, from $416 million (with an m) in 2009 to $19 billion (with a b) in 2014. In five years, that’s an increase of 4,500 percent, and mobile advertising has surpassed print newspaper advertising, which is just under $17 billion....
...In this year’s report, the lead is: “Call it a mobile majority.” The report focuses heavily on mobile media and notes that 39 of the 50 leading digital news sites get most of their traffic from mobile devices. And the report tells who’s dominating mobile advertising: Facebook, Google, Twitter, Pandora and Apple combine for 64 percent of mobile display advertising. Not a news organization in the group.

Periscope Could Make Twitter an Even More Powerful News Source

SocialTimes reporting:
Through partnerships with companies like Dataminr, Twitter has been informing the mainstream news cycle directly. Twitter has also informed the cycle indirectly by positioning itself as a place to see the news before it’s news, as was the case with the death of Osama Bin Laden.
Periscope has the potential to add live video content to Twitter, which could radically change breaking news. Mainstream sources already rely on Twitter for breaking news, and now they could begin to rely on what The Next Web calls “Next level Twitter.” Next Web reporter Owen Williams watched the aftermath of an explosion in New York City on Periscope:
It’s unprecedented to get this kind of footage seconds after an event occurs, even before first responders arrived. As I watched the drama unfold in New York, streamers were replying to questions about what they could see and were experiencing.
He notes that Periscope removes the friction associated with live video...

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Guardian: A 200-year old startup?

EJO reporting:
The Guardian’s London newsroom was reorganised in January, into four identifiable operational sectors covering the entire range of the newspaper’s activities: the “news desk” manages business, national and international news; “live desk” covers breaking news and live events; “visuals” deals with data projects, infographics and anything with a visual angle, while “audience” works to engage the readers and to manage social activities and interaction with the public – including data analysis. Paper and digital work closely together.
“It’s like launching a 200-year old startup”
“We wanted a vertical structure which could also enable multidisciplinary approaches,” Pilhofer told an audience at this month’s International Journalism Festival in Perugia, Italy. In a talk, entitled, ‘It’s like launching a 200-year old start-up’ Philhofer said: “The idea of this reorganisation is to deliver every possible journalistic ambition we have.” He described multimedia and interactive projects, such as “Guantanamo Diary” or the motion graphic explanatory guide to Scotland’s independence referendum as examples.
...“To put content on the homepage and pray for the best doesn’t work anymore,” Pilhofer said. Instead the newspaper studies the metrics of how readers move through content, to understand their behavior. Such data has helped the newspaper build a picture about what readers want to read, and what they ignore.
The newspaper uses Ophan, a software which enables journalists to receive information about traffic data for each story published on its site. Pilhofer said that these figures have not meant an endless diet of kitten stories at the paper, instead such data can spark “interesting conversations in your newsroom.”
“The future of journalism is a team sport”

Quartz’s Kevin Delaney: Time to kill the 800-word article

digiday reporting: The tyranny of the 800-word article must end.
Most newspaper articles fall around 800 words. Oddly enough, that’s the same length of many online news pieces. Delaney, who wrote hundreds of 800-word articles during his 12-plus years at The Wall Street Journal, sees that as a problem, particularly as news goes mobile.
“What people read online, when you look at the data, is shorter stuff that’s focused, creative and social with a really good headline. It doesn’t mean it’s unsubstantial. It just means it’s really clear about what’s interesting and focuses on that. A lot of the 800-word stories have been padded out with the B matter. It’s called B matter because it’s B grade, not A matter, which is the focal point of the story.”
Many journalism practices are antiquated.
Like the 800-word article, journalism conventions need updating. Everything from the headline writing process, to using topic-area sections and even reporter beats are relics. Rather than strict beats, for instance, Quartz leans on “obsessions,” a rotating group of focus areas that take deep dives into subjects, such as “the future of finance” and “space business.”