The Digiday Podcast

The Digiday Podcast


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.




Mobile Nations’ Kevin Michaluk: ‘We didn’t know what to spend VC money on’

May 16, 2019 2221


Bonus: This March, the bootstrapped media company Mobile Nations, a digital publisher with a focus on consumer electronics, was acquired by Future in a deal worth $120 million. On this episode, Mobile Nations co-founder and COO Kevin Michaluk, discussed why venture capital funding never made sense for the company that last reported $8 million EBITDA over $16 million in revenue.

Morning Brew's Austin Rief: Bootstrapping a media company gives you focus

May 9, 2019 25:31


This is a special four-episode series of the Digiday Podcast, where we invite executives from bootstrapped media companies to talk about how they run a sustainable and profitable media business. Morning Brew is a daily email newsletter that delivers business stories to over a million subscribers from Monday through Saturday. The bootstrapped media company has about 18 people on the team. On this episode, co-founder and COO Austin Rief, discussed competing with small and large media organizations, being a subscriptions company, path to growth and more

The Daily Beast’s Noah Shachtman: We want to be an 'old school, scrappy and street-smart tabloid'

May 7, 2019 33:28


The Mueller Report confirmed a lot of reporting already done around the Trump administration and Russian meddling in the 2016 election. One of the many newsrooms whose reporting was vindicated in the process is The Daily Beast, a mid-sized publisher that seized the opportunity to compete with big news organizations like The New York Times and The Washington Post. Noah Shachtman, editor-in-chief at The Daily Beast, discussed how the Beast approaches scoops, the progress on its membership model and more.

Courier's Jeff Taylor: Having a lot of VC money can leave you 'punch drunk'

May 2, 2019 31:40


In this special four-episode series of the Digiday Podcast, we invite executives from bootstrapped media companies to talk about how they run a sustainable and profitable media business. Courier, a London-based, bimonthly magazine, is focused on modern business and startup culture around the world. The bootstrapped media company is about six years old and has 12 people on staff with a network of contributors globally. On this episode, Jeff Taylor, the founder of Courier magazine, talks about why he never went down the venture capital route.

Meredith's Jon Werther: Apple News+ is a growth opportunity

Apr 30, 2019 36:27


Meredith, which acquired Time Inc in 2018, is home to a stable of female-focused media brands like People and Every Day with Rachel Ray. The company's long relied on print revenue, but like everyone else, is now looking to diversify revenue streams, especially in digital. Jon Werther, president of National Media Group at Meredith, discusses their roadmap to revenue diversification, competing with platforms and more. 

Hearst’s Mike Smith explains WTF is programmatic advertising

Apr 23, 2019 42:57


Programmatic advertising is playing a larger role in the future of publishing. Recent Digiday research found that over half of publishers now generate more revenue from programmatic advertising than any other channel. On this episode of the Digiday Podcast, Mike Smith, chief data officer at Hearst, joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey in an attempt to break down the current state of programmatic advertising.

Group Nine’s Christa Carone: Consolidation has helped us be more efficient

Apr 16, 2019 40:00


The pivot to paid is not on the cards for Group Nine, the holding company founded in 2016 that houses brands including The Dodo, NowThis and Thrillist. The goal for the media company: Use advertising, including branded content and entertainment, to build a sustainable media business. At a live recording event of the Digiday Podcast, Group Nine president Christa Carone said the strategy has paid off. Sign up to subscribe to Digiday Plus for three months for only $49. Use code INTRO at checkout.

IMGN Media’s Barak Shragai: You can build media brands on Instagram

Apr 9, 2019 30:40


IMGN Media, the digital media company that owns Daquan, the meme account with 12.3 million Instagram followers, is focused on creating content for teens and young adults primarily on Instagram and Snapchat. Barak Shragai, co-founder and CEO of the company says the company isn't just a social media account but also a media brand. On this episode, Shragai makes a case for why Instagram accounts with massive audiences are not just a cultural phenomenon but also sustainable and profitable media brands. He also also talks about creating video for Snapchat and Instagram when most other publishers have cooled off on video for platforms. Get Digiday+ for three months at only $99. Enter code INTRO at checkout.

Conde Nast CRO Pamela Drucker Mann: Not all brands are worth paying for

Apr 2, 2019 34:52


2018 was a year of organizational restructuring at Condé Nast, followed by a decision to offset the decline in print business by focusing on the growth areas, including on longform video and of course, implementing a paywall at all of the publisher's properties by the end of 2019. Pamela Drucker Mann, Condé Nast CRO, discussed how the subscription plan across all Condé Nast properties in the U.S. will roll out, why Conde is putting its Snapchat efforts on pause and more. Get Digiday+ for three months for only $49. Use code INTRO to subscribe.

Columbia University's Emily Bell: Platforms need to pay for polluting the journalism environment

Mar 26, 2019 35:23


Local journalism is in crisis. Emily Bell, director of Tow Center at Columbia University, sees hope in policy and regulation to provide a solution. Sign up for the three-month Digiday+ subscription plan. Use code INTRO. Offer available for a limited time only.

Dina Srinivasan: Facebook is a monopoly, but breaking it up isn't the answer

Mar 19, 2019 26:19


Whether big tech platforms need to be broken up in order to rein them in is now a matter of public debate -- and will be a big topic during the U.S. presidential election next year. Dina Srinivasan is an academic, who went from being an ad tech entrepreneur to writing about the anti-trust case against Facebook, most recently for the Berkeley Business Law Journal. She doesn’t think breaking up big tech is the answer. Instead, she advocates for the anti-trust approach. Srinivasan discussed why antitrust is the way to deal with Facebook, how the dominance of Facebook and Google is different from the fleeting power of Myspace and Yahoo and what a likely federal regulatory remedy would look like.

NewsGuard’s Steven Brill: A journalistic approach to digital misinformation can work

Mar 12, 2019 22:00


One-year-old startup NewsGuard is trying to turn the problem of unreliable and fake news into a real business. The company, which raised $6 million in an initial funding round, creates "nutrition labels" for news organizations, rating them red if they are unreliable and green if they are trustworthy. The rating is not based on an algorithm but traditional reporting by a team of 35 journalists. Steven Brill, co-founder and co-CEO at NewsGuard, says the goal is to get a license fee from technology companies to rate all news websites. On this episode, Brill talked about the company's business model, where growth lies and being the alternative to algorithms

USA Today Network’s Michael Kuntz: In this industry, you’re either the consolidator or consolidated

Mar 6, 2019 37:59


In the era of deep connections with passionate audiences, being in the middle is rough. That's why USA Today is focused on scale. USA Today makes 75% of its revenue from digital advertising and 25% from print advertising. On this episode, COO Michael Kuntz discusses why USA Today won’t pivot to paid in the foreseeable future, the reason for mass layoffs a couple weeks ago, the next step forward and more.

New York Media's Pam Wasserstein: We have to diversify from an ad-driven model

Feb 26, 2019 37:05


Diversification is on most publishers' minds as they work to build sustainable businesses that can withstand massive shifts. Pam Wasserstein, CEO of New York Media, is intimately familiar with the process of revenue diversification, from paywalls to e-commerce and even technology licensing. Moving forward, Wasserstein is focused on achieving a balance between advertising and these new streams of revenue. On this week's episode of The Digiday Podcast, Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey, sits down with Wasserstein to discuss how New York Media is approaching revenue diversification, its vertical strategy across multiple brands and how Wasserstein plans to create a sustainable business model out of all of it.

Vox Media's Melissa Bell: The industry has given Facebook too much emphasis in the conversation

Feb 19, 2019 35:43


Digital media is going through a tumultuous period. Layoffs at publishers such as Buzzfeed, Gannett and Vice in recent weeks have become the latest example in what appears to be a coming reckoning for new media companies. At the same time, successes where publishers have created differentiated brands also proves that it's not all doom and gloom. Melissa Bell, publisher at Vox Media, and the founder of Vox.com, is cheerily optimistic about the industry. For her, Vox has outgrown the label of a digital media company, and is growing into a modern media company -- complete with diverse revenue streams, opportunistic acquisitions and a partnership with Facebook that may actually make it some money.

The Washington Post's Aram Zucker-Scharff: You can't solve transparency by adding more technology

Feb 12, 2019 40:15


For many, digital media's ills are down to the broken advertising technology that acts as the plumbing for the industry. Adam Zucker-Scharff, director of ad tech at the Washington Post, says it's more complicated than that: Advertisers are going to have to work at making ad tech transparent. “We’ve seen advertisers pulling back from the programmatic space because of these conflicts. We need them to be in this space,” said Zucker-Scharff on the Digiday Podcast. “It’s very easy to see how advertisers can lose trust in the system when there’s no transparency. It can’t be solved by adding another piece of technology. If you’re an advertiser, why do you need 12 viewability verifications? There’s a point at which you have to say you’re ready to give up a level of potential earnings in order to make our systems transparent and clear and to make sure you’re not ending up as vectors for stuff that’s to the detriment of users from a publisher’s level or an advertiser’s level.”

The Atlantic's Taylor Lorenz: Facebook is irrelevant to Gen-Z

Feb 5, 2019 34:19


Gen-Z is the latest object of marketer fascination. The teenage demographic has its own language and very different traits when it comes to the Internet and social media consumption -- just witness the Instagram egg. Taylor Lorenz, staff writer at The Atlantic, has carved out a niche for herself exploring the nuances of Gen Z internet culture, and the impact it has on media and marketing. Lorenz discusses the power of influencer marketing, why Instagram wins over Facebook, and how YouTube's algorithm still poses a problem. Plus, we get deep into what a finsta is.

Action Network’s Patrick Keane: I want to turn all sports fans into bettors

Jan 31, 2019 26:50


If you’re in sports media, you’re likely familiar with the world of sports betting. Action Network, a subscription-based media company that covers sports betting and helps bettors make informed bets, is on a mission to turn all sports fans into bettors of some degree. Patrick Keane, CEO at Action Network, discusses whether the category is niche or attracts mass participation, having more than one revenue streams and more.

Inside the Washington Post’s podcast strategy

Jan 29, 2019 30:29


Publisher interest in podcasts is at an all-time high. But figuring out exactly what kind of storytelling model is ideal for audiences, as well as metrics for success, still remains difficult. On this bonus episode of the Digiday Podcast, we took an in-the-weeds look at what makes a successful podcast strategy. Jessica Stahl, director of audio at Washington Post discusses the evolution of podcasting formats, using the available podcasting metrics and more on this episode. p.s If you want to attend the Digiday live podcast event in NYC at Vox Media headquarters on Feb 7, sign up here.

Conde Nast International’s Wolfgang Blau: 'Paywalls need scale'

Jan 24, 2019 40:22


This week, it was reported that Conde Nast is going to put all its titles behind a paywall in the U.S. by the end of the year. Internationally, however, the magazine publisher is taking smaller, more cautious steps towards reader revenue. Wolfgang Blau, president of Conde Nast International, discussed paywalls, centralization of Conde Nast International, taking a Vogue-first approach in the international market and more at a Digiday live podcast event held in London.


Bonus: Inside The Wall Street Journal's subscription strategy

Jan 22, 2019 41:39


For most publishers, the pivot to paid has meant a whole new way of working. But the Wall Street Journal has had a paywall since 1997 and they have developed and refined this muscle over years. Today, the Journal has just under 2.5 million subscribers, out of which 1.5 million are digital subscribers. On this bonus episode of the Digiday Podcast, where we invite guests to dive deep into the mechanics of products that make money, we took an in-the-weeds look at how to build a successful subscriptions business with Karl Wells, the general manager of their core subscription business.

The Hill’s Jimmy Finkelstein: Our priority is high-end video before subscriptions

Jan 17, 2019 24:33


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

Jan 15, 2019 28:46


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

Jan 10, 2019 26:40


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

Jan 8, 2019 33:11


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

Jan 2, 2019 42:26


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

Dec 25, 2018 15:21


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’

Dec 18, 2018 30:52


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

Dec 11, 2018 28:35


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

Dec 4, 2018 30:41


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

Nov 27, 2018 35:58


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

Nov 20, 2018 31:49


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

Nov 13, 2018 29:00


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

Nov 6, 2018 34:59


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, bbc.com 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

Oct 30, 2018 27:46


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

Oct 23, 2018 26:00


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

Oct 16, 2018 37:37


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 still room to grow in events.

Skift’s Rafat Ali: 'B2B has always been about diversifying revenue streams'

Oct 9, 2018 34:06


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 recipe for success in media today.

CoinDesk's Kevin Worth: In the GDPR era, crypto may help publishers rethink audience and revenue

Oct 2, 2018 35:29


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

Sep 25, 2018 46:11


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

Sep 18, 2018 29:04


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.

Martha Stewart Living's Elizabeth Graves: 'The brand will always be relevant with any demographic'

Sep 11, 2018 28:15


Martha Stewart was an influencer before social media influencers existed. Elizabeth Graves, the editor in chief of Martha Stewart Living, says modernizing brand is work in progress but doesn’t need too much effort. In our latest podcast, Graves reveals how she retains the audience who has stuck with the brand over the years while onboarding the younger demographic, taking a brand beyond personality and more.

Insider Inc.’s Nicholas Carlson: Subscriptions make narrower, deeper journalism possible

Sep 4, 2018 33:37


Business Insider launched BI Prime in January 2018, and chief content officer Nicholas Carlson said it has a business as well as editorial incentive. Carlson also talked about their recent editorial reorganization between the BI and Insider brands, and measuring reporters’ performances.

Brit+Co’s Brit Morin: Modern media brands are human brands

Aug 28, 2018 37:09


Publishers are coming up with a variety of ways to support content and encourage direct reader revenue. But it all starts with building a brand that people want to pay for. Brit Morin, founder of Brit+Co and a former Google employee, has been working on that for about seven years now. But every brand’s sustainability and elasticity has to go beyond a founder’s career span. Morin discusses revenue, differentiating content and more on this episode.

Homebrew’s Hunter Walk: Brand safety concerns can be overblown

Aug 21, 2018 41:30


Hunter Walk, a partner at early stage venture firm Homebrew, says reactions around brand safety are overblown. He talks advertising, investing and the problem of platforms in this show.

Hodinkee’s Ben Clymer: “Making the flip from 100 percent ads to a majority in commerce is difficult”

Aug 14, 2018 28:35


Hodinkee has built a media brand around those passionate about watches. It started as a Tumblr page by Ben Clymer, who was working on Wall Street at the time. Clymer turned Hodinkee into a leading source of content related to watches and the business model has evolved from entirely depending on ad dollars to making 65 percent of its revenue from e-commerce.

The Information’s Jessica Lessin on five years of subscription journalism

Aug 7, 2018 31:51


When Jessica Lessin founded The Information in 2013 with subscriptions as its only revenue stream, people called the idea absurd. But fast-forward five years, and the model appears to be working. Over 90 percent of The Information’s revenue is now from subscriptions. It just had its most successful Q2 yet, expanded its team to 23 reporters and has pushed its coverage beyond tech.

Architectural Digest’s Amy Astley: Architectural Digest isn't for 'old, rich people'

Jul 31, 2018 32:59


The mission for many legacy publishers is to reinvent and engage a younger demographic, including the Conde Nast title Architectural Digest, according to its editor-in-chief Amy Astley. She discusses reinventing the brand for a younger set, building a digital presence, and dealing with shrinking editorial teams.

Mindbodygreen’s Jason and Colleen Wachob on the business of wellness

Jul 24, 2018 35:13


Wellness is an exploding industry, with some estimates putting it at $3.7 trillion in annual spending. On this week's episode of the Digiday Podcast, Mindbodygreen cofounders Jason and Colleen Wachob want to put what they call an accidental media brand in the middle of the growing cultural shift to putting a premium on health, mindfulness and sustainable living.


Google’s Richard Gingras: Platforms didn't destroy journalism's business model

Jul 17, 2018 44:47


Richard Gingras, vp of news at Google, discusses working with publishers, local news, advertising, and more on this episode.

BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti: ‘We’ve proven we can be profitable’

Jul 10, 2018 36:43


Buzzfeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti talks about profitability versus growth, his company's relationship with Facebook, and more.

LinkedIn’s Dan Roth: 'We don’t want to burn newsrooms'

Jul 4, 2018 33:13


The news industry has a love-hate relationship with platforms, but for LinkedIn, that doesn't need to be the case. Roth, a former editor at Fortune, discusses LinkedIn’s relationship with publishers, its differentiation from other social platforms, video and more in the episode.

NYT's head of ads Sebastian Tomich: The role of the publisher is to sell ideas

Jun 27, 2018 37:48


In which NYT's global head of advertising Sebastian Tomich argues that publishers will change direction on their agency businesses. Native is not going to save publishers. Instead, agency services are sitting alongside subscriptions, display, commerce, licensing and other business lines. 

Complex's Rich Antoniello: Media is a game of musical chairs with too many players and too few chairs

Jun 22, 2018 33:00


For Complex Networks CEO Rich Antoniello, the pivot to reality in digital media couldn't come soon enough. He joined Digiday for a live podcast at the Cannes Lions festival.

FT’s Jon Slade: We stopped advertising on Facebook over political ads policy

Jun 21, 2018 28:27


Facebook has rankled publishers with its political ads policy, which lumps promoted publisher content in with political advertising. For Jon Slade, the global chief commercial officer at the Financial Times, the policy was enough for the FT to pull advertising from Facebook in the U.S.

CBS’ Christy Tanner: 'Platforms are absolutely not a synonym for Facebook'

Jun 20, 2018 19:55


The media industry’s struggle with Facebook is increasingly looking like a "Game of Thrones" episode to Christy Tanner, evp and gm of CBS News Digital. The focus is on the wall while other armies are amassing behind you. CBS works with various other platforms, and it's seeing positive results, Tanner said.

Reddit’s Jen Wong: Ads will be a big business for us

Jun 19, 2018 23:22


Reddit has 330 million monthly users on its platform but still struggles to woo advertisers. That’s why Jen Wong, its newly minted chief operating officer, is at Cannes. She talks about Reddit's advertising ambitions.

The New York Post’s Jesse Angelo: Facebook is a national security threat

Jun 18, 2018 29:58


Publishers are more vocal than ever about the threat of Facebook to their industry, but Facebook is also a looming national security threat, according to New York Post CEO and publisher Jesse Angelo. Facebook will have to create better artificial intelligence than that of bad actors, which is also thorny, Angelo said in this Cannes edition of the Digiday Podcast.

USA Today’s Nicole Carroll: 'We can’t be all things to all people'

Jun 13, 2018 32:23


USA Today is for “the entire United States,” but that does not mean it can be “all things to all people,” said Nicole Carroll, the publisher's new editor-in-chief, on this week’s Digiday Podcast. As local news publishers struggle to establish sustainable business models, Carroll is finding solutions in audience, editorial focus and leveraging synergy between USA Today's local and national newsrooms. Carroll discusses USA Today's editorial approach, pushing for innovation and more in the episode.

Glamour’s Samantha Barry: Building habit trumps social hits

Jun 6, 2018 30:57


When Glamour tapped social and digital media aficionado Samantha Barry as its new editor-in-chief, she steered the team effort toward making Glamour a habit for readers online. She is building habit for Glamour among readers through differentiated reporting. Barry discusses the challenge of resuscitating a struggling print legacy brand in the digital sphere, advertising challenges with political coverage, reshaping editorial focus and more.

‘People who suck at media use the duopoly as an excuse’: Highlights from the Digiday+ member event with Dotdash and Bustle

May 30, 2018 45:07


Digiday+ held an exclusive member event on May 23 featuring a rapid-fire discussion between Dotdash CEO Neil Vogel, Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg and Digiday Editor-in-Chief Brian Morrissey. 

Genius’ Ilan Zechory: YouTube, not Facebook, is our focus for video

May 23, 2018 50:39


Genius has spent the past two years expanding beyond being an annotations site to adding original video content, with series like "Verified" and "Deconstructed." But Genius is not betting on Facebook, once the go-to for publishers new to video. Instead, Genius has centered its strategy on YouTube, where it adds 150,000 subscribers a month and has 2.6 million total, according to Genius co-founder and president Ilan Zechory, this week's guest on the Digiday Podcast. Zechory discusses advertising, Genius' focus on music, its platform strategy, building a business model and more on the episode.

The Telegraph's Robert Bridge on pivoting to a freemium model

May 16, 2018 34:23


In the pivot to subscriptions, a variety of paywall and subscription models are emerging. The Telegraph chose a freemium model to make sure visitors to the site power its advertising business, and subscribers keep coming in for distinct content. That paved the way for a freemium model that puts 15 to 20 percent of The Telegraph’s content behind a paywall, with the rest free to access. The publisher’s goal for 2018 is to register at least 3 million users. On this episode, Bridge discusses The Telegraph’s subscription model, its relationships with the platforms and its approach to turning site users into subscribers.

Cheddar’s Jon Steinberg is betting big on OTT bundles

May 9, 2018 37:56


Hayley Romer: Advertisers must choose between publishers and platforms

May 2, 2018 40:13


It’s been about nine months since Emerson Collective, a philanthropic organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, acquired a majority stake in The Atlantic. On this week’s Digiday Podcast, The Atlantic’s svp Hayley Romer talks about the publication’s ambitions in the wake of the acquisition, growing reader revenue and the challenges of advertising.

Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall on making subscriptions half of revenue

Apr 25, 2018 48:42


Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall started the website as a personal blog in 2000. Today, TPM is a 25-person independent publisher that's moving from an ad-dependent model to over half of revenue coming from 26,000 subscribers. Marshall discusses advertising challenges for a small publisher, downsides of venture capital, not pivoting to video and more on the episode.

HuffPost’s Jared Grusd: Subscriptions won't work for most publishers

Apr 18, 2018 28:40


The New York Times has proved to be a success story for publishers contemplating a pivot to subscriptions. But HuffPost CEO Jared Grusd says a subscription business is not for everyone, particularly digital-first news media organizations. Grusd discusses broadening focus beyond the Trump news cycle, the importance of scale, HuffPost's plan for video and more in the episode.

Mic’s Chris Altchek: Facebook’s news feed is not the place to build a loyal audience

Apr 11, 2018 44:06


This week's guest is Chris Altchek, the CEO and co-founder of Mic, a news publisher focused on young people. Mic has raised nearly $60 million -- and it was one of the first publishers to talk about the pivot to video. Chris discusses whether the pivot was a mistake, figuring out Facebook, and how Mic’s vertical expansion is going.

Time Out CEO Julio Bruno on making commerce core to a media model

Apr 4, 2018 36:48


When CEO Julio Bruno joined Time Out three years ago, it was a publishing guide for cities. Today, the company has diversified into commerce, events and operating branded food markets. Last year, the group drove 700,000 transactions, from restaurant reservations to tour bookings, and put on 250 live events. Bruno discussed Time Out’s revenue streams, the publisher’s plan to reach profitability, the case for continuing print editions and more in the episode.

‘You’re constantly building the plane while flying’: Digiday’s Nick Friese on the company’s first 10 years

Apr 3, 2018 26:09


For Digiday’s 10th anniversary, founder and CEO Nick Friese joined the Digiday Podcast to talk about the company's first 10 years and its diverse revenue streams.

Recode’s Kara Swisher: Facebook only pretends to care about the media

Mar 28, 2018 38:19


On this week’s Digiday Podcast, Recode executive editor Kara Swisher said Facebook’s relationship with the media has long been based on lip service. Swisher discusses the need for Facebook to clean up its act, whether platforms will ever pay media organizations, Recode’s venture into TV and more in the episode. 

Axios’ Jim VandeHei: 'Don’t ever tether your business to the benevolence of another company'

Mar 21, 2018 36:48


In the year since Axios launched, the company has raised $30 million in two rounds of funding and is already a touted news source, especially for Washington heavyweights. We checked in with Jim VandeHei, CEO and co-founder of Axios, on this week’s Digiday Podcast about what has worked for the publisher and if its approach has changed since VandeHei last joined the show in April

The Daily Beast’s Heather Dietrick: 'Trust in platforms is down significantly'

Mar 14, 2018 26:06


In the nine months under CEO Heather Dietrick’s charge, The Daily Beast has entered the competition for Donald Trump coverage with big players like The New York Times and The Washington Post. Like with other publishers, the Beast's Trump coverage grew its audience. Yet the Beast’s growth was not contingent on Facebook, and that prevented the publisher, which Dietrick said gets less than 10 percent of its traffic from the platform, from losing audience with the recent news feed changes. Dietrick, who formerly served as president of Gawker Media, spoke about Daily Beast's business growth, figuring out video, subscriptions and more in the episode.

Business of Fashion’s Imran Amed: Subscriptions work if you know your audience

Mar 7, 2018 47:10


Imran Amed began The Business of Fashion as a blog he wrote for himself. Today, it has grown into a leading news and analysis website for the fashion industry with offices in London, New York and Shanghai. The publication has grown several revenue streams: events, online courses, a careers website and most recently, subscriptions. Amed discusses subscription strategy, events, filling a white space in the industry and more in this episode.


TheSkimm founders: We want to be a routine like morning TV

Feb 28, 2018 37:35


The media industry as a whole struggles to build a loyal audience for their brands. But theSkimm, which covers big national and global stories of the day, launched about six years ago with email newsletters. Now, with over 6.5 million subscribers, theSkimm is growing into a bigger brand with a loyal audience, and it all started when cofounders Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg aimed at becoming a part of people's routines. The cofounders joined us on this week's podcast.

Wired's Nick Thompson: Facebook needs to pivot news feed to quality

Feb 21, 2018 40:51


Nick Thompson, editor-in-chief of Wired, recently co-authored a story on how the 2016 election shook Facebook and catapulted them into an identity crisis. As he investigated this story over two years, it refined his own digital strategy and views towards Facebook's role in the business of news. Thompson discusses the story, what it means when the world of Silicon Valley collides with Washington, why he remains optimistic about Facebook’s interests aligning with publishers’ interests, and more.

House of Highlights’ Omar Raja: 'Instagram is the young person’s television'

Feb 14, 2018 34:03


When NBA star LeBron James left the Miami Heat in 2014, 20-year-old Omar Raja searched for highlights from James' Heat career and couldn’t find relatable moments outside of traditional highlights. So Raja started House of Highlights, an Instagram account that frames moments from games as funny and relatable narratives. Today, the account, which Bleacher Report acquired in 2015, has over 8 million followers, including A-list athletes like James and soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo. House of Highlights has a fiercely loyal audience on Instagram, continuing to post on the platform even as its audience has grown. Raja discussed House of Highlights' reasons for sticking with Instagram, the account's focus, its evolution and more in the episode.

AwesomenessTV’s Brett Bouttier: YouTube Red is a data exercise for YouTube

Feb 7, 2018 34:30


On this week’s Digiday Podcast, YouTube network AwesomenessTV president Brett Bouttier joined us to discuss programming on YouTube and the emerging post-cable world. Awesomeness TV is doing programming for YouTube Red, but Bouttier said the platform is still in experimentation phase.

Bleacher Report’s Howard Mittman: Better to be a 'need' publisher vs 'feed'

Jan 31, 2018 56:03


It's the year of loyalty for publishers, and as reverberations from Facebook's news feed change subside, only those that have created a need for their content will remain unfazed. At a Digiday Live Podcast event on Jan. 24, Bleacher Report CRO and CMO Howard Mittman said Facebook's community is waning, and all its changes aim to protect that owned and operated platform.

Upworthy’s Eli Pariser: Facebook is like gravity

Jan 24, 2018 39:28


Viral content site Upworthy arrived in the media industry in 2012, popularizing the famous headline formula that came to be known as clickbait. A year in, Fast Company named it the fastest-growing media site of all time. Then, a decline in traffic occurred, as Facebook cracked down on "curiosity gap" headlines that induced clicks. But Upworthy hasn't gone away. CEO Eli Pariser joined the Digiday Podcast to discuss clickbait, riding the Facebook wave for traffic, building an ad model independent of display advertising and the Donald Trump era.

CNN’s Meredith Artley: ‘We don’t put all of our eggs in the Facebook basket’

Jan 17, 2018 42:43


Facebook sent tremors through the media industry when it announced its news feed change that would deprioritize publishers' content. For this week's Digiday Podcast, we talked to Meredith Artley, svp and editor in chief of CNN Digital Worldwide, before Facebook's announcement. Here's what Artley said about the platform:

“The media industry collectively freaks out when Facebook makes a change that impacts your business. Well, what were you expecting? It’s their platform, and they’re not in the news business. We at CNN have gotten a little perturbed with those changes, but we can’t put ourselves in a position that it impacts our business in a significant way because that’s irresponsible of us.”

Artley also discussed scale, platform strategy, Donald Trump’s feud with CNN and autoplay videos on the episode.

Hearst’s Kate Lewis: One-third of Hearst’s magazine content is video

Jan 10, 2018 32:50


Last year, the big wave of pivoting to video washed over many media companies. Troy Young, global president for digital at Hearst Magazines, joined the Digiday Podcast last March and said half of Hearst Magazines' content would soon be video. This year, we invited Kate Lewis, svp and editorial director of Hearst Magazines Digital Media, on the podcast to check in with Hearst's digital operations. So far, one-third of Hearst's magazine content is video.

Columbia University's Emily Bell: Facebook is reshaping newsrooms

Jan 3, 2018 41:08


Facebook and Google wrecked the media landscape in 2017, and while publishers might retrench slowly in 2018, the collateral damage has been massive. The platforms have been the breeding ground for fake news and newsroom restructurings, leading to newsroom layoffs. On this week’s episode of the Digiday Podcast, Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, said Facebook is already a publisher and the need to work forward from that point of understanding.

Best of 2017: Facebook, subscriptions and commerce were the big themes for publishers this year

Dec 27, 2017 33:47


On this episode of The Digiday Podcast, we recap the big themes that emerged for publishers this year, from Facebook to the pivot to video to the focus on subscriptions. We bring you clips from top publishers like Bloomberg's Justin Smith, Axios' Jim VandeHei and New York Times' Meredith Levien.

HuffPost's Lydia Polgreen: Trump is not 'topic A' for most Americans

Dec 20, 2017 34:27


HuffPost editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen recently wrapped up a listening bus tour that made stops in various cities across inland America. On this week's Digiday Podcast, she said that in her many interviews, Donald Trump's name didn't come up. Polgreen talked about how the tour will evolve HuffPost's editorial focus, the results of HuffPost's rebranding and more.

Live Podcast with Vox Media’s Lindsay Nelson: ‘Digital media was drunk on scale’

Dec 13, 2017 34:28


As the new year approaches, media companies are evaluating their misses in 2017 and goals for 2018. It was a tough year for digital media, with Mashable selling for one-fifth of its one-time valuation, BuzzFeed missing its revenue targets and frequent layoffs. At a Digiday Live Podcast event exclusively for Digiday+ members, editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey chatted with Vox Media CMO Lindsay Nelson about where the industry fell short.

Bustle’s Bryan Goldberg on digital media in 2018: ‘Consolidation has to happen’

Dec 6, 2017 33:08


There are many blaming digital media woes on ill-thought pivots to video and an addition to venture capital. Nonsense, according to Bustle Digital Group CEO Bryan Goldberg. The fundamental issue is there are too many digital publishers competing for what's left over from Google and Facebook. Goldberg discusses consolidation, investing in digital media businesses, the duopoly and more in this episode.

News industry analyst Ken Doctor 'People will pay for quality content'

Nov 29, 2017 29:17


This has been yet another turbulent year in the media industry, and publishers have pivoted to wherever they found potential for ad dollars or an alternative revenue model. Some are experiencing success with subscription models, particularly those with a legacy of trust and quality associated with their names, like The New York Times. Ken Doctor, a news industry analyst joins us on this week's Digiday Podcast to discuss subscriptions for local news publishers, FCC decisions, the problem with digital-only models, Tronc and more in the episode.

Al Jazeera's Yaser Bishr: Publishers are platform 'sweatshops'

Nov 22, 2017 32:44


"Social media platforms are very bad to retain the audience."

Bloomberg Media's Keith Grossman on platforms: 'Be very wary'

Nov 15, 2017 35:09


"Just putting all of our eggs in one basket because it’s the right short-term thing to do is not where we want to be."

Attn’s Matthew Segal: Directing audience to your own properties from Facebook is ‘a losing strategy’

Nov 8, 2017 41:27


Attn, the 3-year-old media brand that distributes video stories through social platforms, built itself into a short-form video giant by taking a Facebook-first approach. The publisher has tried to align its content with Facebook’s interests. On this week's Digiday podcast Attn CEO and founder said that directing audience away from Facebook to owned and operated properties is a losing strategy. Segal discussed building a brand on a social feed, Facebook’s new products for publishers and more on the podcast.

Tasty’s Ashley McCollum: Big video view counts aren’t everything

Nov 1, 2017 36:16


BuzzFeed food brand Tasty has reached 1.8 billion views  monthly on its Facebook videos, but it's looking increasingly beyond views to driving real-world action. Besides making food videos for social feeds, the brand is also selling merchandise like customized cookbooks. Ashley McCollum, general manager of Tasty, joins us on the Digiday Podcast.


Washington Post’s Jed Hartman: The industry needs to stop whining about the duopoly

Oct 25, 2017 27:15


While Google and Facebook hamper publishers' efforts to grow digital ad dollars, The Washington Post CRO Jed Hartman said on this week’s Digiday Podcast that publishers need to figure out their unique value and stop "whining about the platforms."

Conde Nast's Craig Kostelic: 'We’re completely embracing programmatic'

Oct 18, 2017 38:06


The Food Innovation Group is home to legacy brands like Bon Appétit, but in the shift to digital, the magazine has become a complement to Bon Appétit's digital and social offerings. With the majority of the group's revenue now also coming from digital, it's embracing programmatic advertising.

“Programmatic is an activation method versus a buying strategy. If display [advertising] is a function of getting more programmatic, there’s a huge opportunity to streamline and create less friction [in transactions]," said Craig Kostelic, chief business officer of Food Innovation Group and Condé Nast’s Lifestyle Collection, on this week’s Digiday Podcast.

The New York Times’ Meredith Kopit Levien on driving subs and the NYT as a lifestyle brand

Oct 11, 2017 42:08


The New York Times is one of a few privileged publishers that have transitioned into a subscription business, and to do this, it started behaving like a consumer brand, according to the Times’ evp and COO Meredith Kopit Levien. She talks about subscriptions, advertising, differentiating from free alternatives and more on this week’s Digiday Podcast.

Politico’s Poppy MacDonald: We’re not worried about the waning Trump bump

Oct 4, 2017 28:02


Politico has successfully steered its business model from advertising to subscriptions. Today, with 25,000 Politico Pro subscribers and a 90 percent renewal rate, Politico gets over 50 percent of its revenue from its high-priced subscription services. The key lies in focusing on the coverage that has been pivotal for Politico, according to Politico President Poppy MacDonald. The publisher has not wavered from its original brand of policy and politics journalism, so it’s managed churn and avoided the impact of the Trump bump. Macdonald discusses subscriptions, Trump bump and more on this week's podcast.

Spirited Media’s Jim Brady: Growing audience through display advertising is ‘not natural’

Sep 27, 2017 28:28


On this week’s Digiday Podcast, Spirited Media’s Jim Brady talks about building a local news media business that's sustainable. The key to economic success for Spirited Media lies in a scaled events business rather than the display advertising relied on by most publishers in local news markets.


Quartz’s Kevin Delaney: Advertising is still a great business model for news

Sep 20, 2017 36:05


On this week’s Digiday Podcast, Quartz’s co-president and editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney defended the advertising business model and discussed the pivot to video, venturing into lifestyle and more.

Turner’s Howard Shimmel: Facebook’s not competing with TV

Sep 13, 2017 30:12


As TV media networks continue to get pulled into the digital and social ecosystems, Facebook's growing video demands and efforts to become a giant video platform seem like a threat to TV's ad dollars. On this week's Digiday podcast, Howard Shimmel, chief research officer at Turner, argued that Facebook and TV exist in different spaces and Facebook can't compete with TV on ad viewability, impressions and other metrics.

Business Insider’s Henry Blodget: ‘We don’t want to aim for reach growth anymore’

Sep 6, 2017 41:48


On this week's Digiday Podcast, CEO and co-founder of Business Insider Henry Blodget said the publisher, which has over 10 million followers across social media platforms, is not trying to grow reach anymore. As the publisher's focus shifts to deepened engagement and frequency, it faces questions: whether an ad-driven model is better than a subscription model, how to monetize social and web video and how to approach the ever-growing need for video on platforms. Blodget answers these questions and more in the episode.

ABC’s Colby Smith: Follow the audience to grow digital, social reach

Aug 30, 2017 31:17


The answer to digital and social audience growth challenges for Colby Smith, vp of ABC News Digital, is to follow the audience. Since adopting this approach two years ago, the news network's digital division has produced content across all major social and digital platforms and seen convincing results. Smith discusses that and more on this week's Digiday Podcast.

The Onion’s Mike McAvoy: ‘There’s no money in news feed video’

Aug 23, 2017 32:27


Last year, Univision acquired The Onion under its Fusion Media Group division. Since then, The Onion and Gizmodo Media Group combined their sales operations. On this week’s Digiday Podcast, The Onion’s president and CEO Mike McAvoy said the consolidation has grown its reach, allowing it to sell more branded content.

NBCUniversal’s Allison Tarrant: ‘The value proposition model has changed’

Aug 16, 2017 36:22


Two years ago, NBCUniversal restructured its sales team. Allison Tarrant, executive vp of client partnerships at NBCUniversal said the change affected cross-divisional business approach for client partnerships. Tarrant joins the Digiday podcast to talk about what has changed in the approach and the results.

Conde Nast’s Croi McNamara: “We’re big YouTube believers”

Aug 10, 2017 29:14


While Conde Nast publishes on Facebook, Snapchat and other platforms, YouTube remains an important platform to them for their premium content. Croi Mcnamara discusses this and more on the Digiday Podcast.

​Tastemade's Oren Katzeff on moving beyond food and into lifestyle

Aug 3, 2017 32:54


Tastemade now boasts 2 billion video views a month, across platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram. While the company made its name in food -- think hands assembling dishes -- Tastemade plans to expand the brand further into lifestyle, including travel.

Tribeca Enterprises CEO Andrew Essex: Brands want more than ‘passive sponsorship’

Jul 26, 2017 31:37


Former Droga5 president Andrew Essex believes the old model of putting logos in places and hoped they get noticed is over. Instead brands will need to be woven into experiences and content, a model he's applying in growing Tribeca beyond a standard film festival.

Luma's Terence Kawaja: The duopoly won't kill (all) ad tech

Jul 19, 2017 23:54


Luma Partners founder Terence Kawaja sees the duopoly as real, but that doesn't mean there's no opportunities in digital media outside Google and Facebook. By his math, Google and Facebook will take two-thirds of a $100 billion market, leaving plenty behind for newcomers to fight over.

Group Nine and Thrillist CEO Ben Lerer in Cannes

Jun 24, 2017 24:45


Ben Lerer discusses the state of media from the Riviera on this edition of the Digiday Podcast.

News UK's David Dinsmore in Cannes

Jun 23, 2017 15:03


News UK's chief operating office David Dinsmore discusses the state of media on this edition of the Digiday Podcast.

Vox's Jim Bankoff in Cannes

Jun 22, 2017 26:46


Too often digital media brands are overly reliant on a programmatic ad system that allows bad ads to slow down their sites, Vox CEO Jim Bankoff said on the Digiday Podcast.

Reddit's Alexis Ohanian in Cannes

Jun 21, 2017 25:11


Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian still believes in empathy on the web.

Disney's Andrew Sugarman in Cannes

Jun 21, 2017 22:09


Disney has a market capitalization of $163 billion, but it still doesn’t feel the need to be on every platform, Disney digital media head Andrew Sugerman said on an issue of the Digiday Podcast Cannes Edition.

Refinery 29's Amy Emmerich in Cannes

Jun 20, 2017 20:27


Cannes is no longer a festival of creativity. Tech companies, media companies, consulting firms, telecom operators, venture capitalists, you name it — they’re here. For Amy Emmerich, chief content officer at Refinery29, this is a sign of the times in the business, as these worlds converge. Herself a TV veteran, Emmerich is now leading Refinery29’s transition from a text-based publisher to a multiplatform media company, including TV programming and feature films. She joined us on The Digiday Podcast for this week's special Cannes edition.

USA Today Network’s Kevin Gentzel: Advertisers have duopoly ‘fatigue’

Jun 14, 2017 40:38


USA Today Network's Chief Revenue Officer Kevin Gentzel says he has found a duopoly fatigue among advertisers and realized that media companies can differentiate and offer what Google and Facebook can't. Gentzel joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey on the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast to discuss the opportunities that come with being a national and local publisher, leading efforts in VR and developing an agency model for being an advertising partner for businesses across the country.

Defy Media's Matt Diamond on monetizing platforms

Jun 7, 2017 32:19


Defy Media's CEO Matt Diamond says a bullish monetization strategy in the digital era has yet to emerge. He joined senior reporter Sahil Patel on the Digiday Podcast to discuss the monetization opportunities available on platforms and the next best opportunity for media companies in an OTT world.


How we picked the Digiday Changemakers

May 31, 2017 24:42


This week, we are proud to introduce the Digiday Changemakers, 50 people who are making media and marketing more modern. Editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey speaks to co-executive editors Shareen Pathak and Lucia Moses about how the team selected the fifty, and they discuss some of the people who made the list.

The Dodo’s YuJung Kim on diversifying reach beyond Facebook

May 24, 2017 33:07


The Dodo, a digital media brand for animal lovers, emerged during the onset of the Facebook wave. In April, it garnered over a billion video views across social media platforms. Naturally, says the company’s president YuJung Kim, social media is in The Dodo's DNA. Kim joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey on the Digiday Podcast for an on-the-road episode from New Orleans. They discussed staying away from content commoditization on social media platforms, expanding The Dodo's video arm and finding a white space as a brand.

Complex Networks CEO Rich Antoniello: To build a real media business, you need a brand and a business

May 17, 2017 46:18


Complex Networks has been in the business of verticals for a long time. The company has gone through major shifts in medium, ad revenue streams and products. The brand's credibility has pulled them through it all, and ahead of the curve sometimes. Now, media companies are trying to expand into verticals that include lifestyle. CEO Rich Antoniello joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to talk about what it took to develop these verticals, being independent of social and video platforms, and loopholes in the video and vertical expansion strategies of new media brands.

Highsnobiety’s David Fischer: Subculture is the new pop culture

May 10, 2017 34:56


Streetwear publisher Highsnobiety began in 2005, when founder David Fischer started blogging about limited-edition sneakers out of his room at his parents’ house in Geneva, Switzerland. As the brand grows, it now staffs just under 80 people split between their offices in Berlin and New York. Fischer joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to discuss Highsnobiety’s social media strategy, revenue streams and the path to building scale.


'Let's clean the pipes up': The Guardian’s Hamish Nicklin on making the programmatic ecosystem more transparent

May 3, 2017 27:59


Even as programmatic advertising grows in prominence, issues with the the technology remain. The Guardian knows this well. According to its CRO Hamish Nicklin, programmatic ads were about 60 percent of its display advertising last year. But Hamish is taking on the ad industry to claim the publisher’s share of ad dollars. Nicklin joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey on the Digiday Podcast to discuss his goals for programmatic and creating diversified revenue streams for publishing.

Post-Arianna, The Huffington Post is rebranding as HuffPost

Apr 25, 2017 42:58


The Huffington Post is now HuffPost, as the 12-year-old publication rebrands to reflect the departure of its namesake founder Arianna Huffington. CEO Jared Grusd stressed that the rebranding isn't a sharp departure from its past. He joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to talk about the new HuffPost and how it's staying relevant for its audience across platforms.

Digiday Deep Dive: Google’s ad blocker move smacks of hypocrisy

Apr 22, 2017 09:36


After the Wall Street Journal reported that Google is building an ad blocker for Chrome, Digiday found that while publishers are publicly cheering, they’re reacting with great skepticism to the move in private.

On this week’s edition of Deep Dive, where we go deep into the biggest story of the week, Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey spoke to media editor Lucia Moses about Google’s latest move and what this means for online advertising.

New York Media’s Pam Wasserstein on Instant Articles: 'We’re not seeing a big audience lift or a big revenue lift.'

Apr 19, 2017 32:22


Publishers in the current media landscape may be trying to get Facebook right, but CEO of New York Media Pam Wasserstein is keeping her traffic diversified and dealing with platforms with caution. She joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to talk about the ways to build and diversify audience, and the next best digital areas to invest into.

Mic’s Cory Haik: ‘Our audience is not a monolith that just wants news’

Apr 12, 2017 36:44


Last week, Mic announced that it had raised $21 million in venture capital funding from investors including Time Warner, bringing its total funding to $52 million. The millennial-focused publisher is using the funding to launch nine new verticals to cover pop culture, women and finance. This is a broadening of its original mandate as a news site. On this week's Digiday Podcast, Haik joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to talk about Mic’s strategy to embrace platforms and the challenges of branding.

Axios' Jim VandeHei: 'The jig's up' for publishers worshipping scale

Apr 5, 2017 36:45


Digital publishing the past several years has been something of a shell game. Figure out what Facebook wants, optimize to that, bank pageviews and keep your costs below what you pay to create the same content your competitors are making. That era is coming to a close, according to Jim VandeHei, founder of Axios, a four-month-old media company focused on politics, tech and business. VandeHei, the former CEO of Politico, joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to discuss Axios, his new news brand initiative, and his ideas on how to build a successful company from scratch.

Slate’s Julia Turner: ‘Every publisher of smart content is shifting to loyalty’

Mar 29, 2017 25:10


Slate’s editor-in-chief Julia Turner believes that, even 20 years in, the company still occupies a unique space in digital news media. The news and culture publisher has had recent success with its two-year-old premium tier Slate Plus, through which Slate opted to keep its site free while giving members perks like ad-free podcasts, members-only stories and discounts to live events. She joins Digiday’s editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey to talk about the focus and goals of the mid-scale publisher in the midst of changing digital and social media trends.

Gizmodo’s Raju Narisetti: 25 percent of revenue is from commerce

Mar 22, 2017 32:28


Gizmodo Media Group, now operating under Univision, has eight media brands, with six comprising the former Gawker Media properties left after that company’s bankruptcy and sale. Raju Narisetti, CEO of the company, speaks to Digiday's editor-in-chief, Brian Morrissey, about Gizmodo's choice choice to use commerce as a revenue model instead of relying heavily on social media platforms.

Hearst’s Troy Young: Half our content will be video soon

Mar 16, 2017 33:51


Hearst Magazines has some of the most storied brands in the magazine business, from Cosmopolitan to Esquire. Right now, video is a sidelight, accounting for about 10-15 percent of its content. But in a few years time, video should be half of output, said Troy Young, global president for digital at Hearst Magazines.

Mashable’s Pete Cashmore on narrowing focus

Mar 8, 2017 39:07


Mashable's Pete Cashmore talks about the company's move to refocus in mission away from hard news and an emphasis on video across platforms.


Purch’s Greg Mason: Performance marketing is taking over media

Mar 1, 2017 32:57


Purch is the big digital media company you haven’t heard of. The company has 25 digital media brands, $100 million in revenue, and is profitable. The company has done this by focusing on content that is near a purchase decision -- think review sites like Tom's Guide and Top Ten Reviews -- allowing Purch to mostly make money off performance marketing as opposed to brand advertising. “We’ve gone through a couple generations where brand is over-weighted in the marketing mix,” said Greg Mason, CEO of Purch, on the Digiday Podcast.

Cheddar's Jon Steinberg: Media should beware of Facebook

Feb 22, 2017 35:02


When he launched digital video company Cheddar last year, former BuzzFeed executive Jon Steinberg said he wasn’t interested in advertising. He saw Google and Facebook running away with the market, and instead would focus Cheddar on nabbing carriage fees from new digital video aggregators like Sling and Pluto. That didn’t work out, Steinberg said on this week’s episode of the Digiday Podcast.

The Outline’s Josh Topolsky: There’s too much sameness in digital media

Feb 15, 2017 43:44


The Outline was founded by Josh Topolsky to be a reaction to the sameness of digital media on the on hunt for scale. Instead, the publication is taking its cue more from magazines like The New Yorker in attempting to create a culturally resonant brand but with its roots in digital media. Topolsky believes that while packaging is important, particularly in developing new storytelling techniques native to digital media, the true test of publications remains in cultivating a distinctive voice that means something to a particular audience.

Barstool Sports CEO Erika Nardini: ‘I don’t think you survive on an ad model’

Feb 8, 2017 35:38


Barstool Sports, to put it mildly, is not for everyone. It’s content veers decidedly in the frat-house direction, features a section devoted to scantily clad girls, venerates all things Boston and holds that anything and everything can be a source of amusement. But it is also a media brand with something more valuable than ever: loyalty. CEO Erika Nardini joined the Digiday Podcast to explain why the company’s close ties to its users allows it to have a diverse business model that relies on advertising for just half its revenue. "Advertising will be about 50 percent of our revenue, maybe less. It’s a great thing," she said. 

Truffle Pig's Paul Marcum: Snapchat can break Google-Facebook duopoly

Feb 1, 2017 32:57


If the first month of 2017 is any indication, all eyes will be on Snap Inc. to prove that it’s worth the hype.


Time Inc.’s Jen Wong: We want to be (digital) extroverts

Jan 25, 2017 26:50


Time Inc. is the poster child for a legacy publication in the throes of a tumultuous digital transition. And Jen Wong is at the center of it.

Bleacher Report's Dave Finocchio on making it as a publisher in the age of duopoly

Jan 18, 2017 31:51


This week we are joined by Bleacher Report's Dave Finocchio, who talks about making it as a content publisher in the age of duopoly, how Bleacher Report plans to make money off its massive distributed audience and whether it is going to be focused on TV.

The Information’s Jessica Lessin: Facebook-media relations will worsen

Jan 12, 2017 33:31


The Information's founder and CEO Jessica Lessin joined the Digiday Podcast to discuss why Facebook and media companies will continue to squabble, mostly because media companies are being badly beaten by Facebook in the battle for people’s attention and advertisers’ dollars.


IJR’s Alex Skatell: Media is now about loyalists

Jan 4, 2017 29:51


In under five years, Independent Journal Review has risen to a new type of politics news site with a 40-person editorial team, a White House correspondent and the designation of the most-shared publisher on social channels on election night.

Digiday podcast holiday special: Major trends in media and marketing

Dec 21, 2016 32:24


What started as a magazine is becoming something more. In this episode editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey discusses the major trends of the year in media and marketing with Digiday managing editor Shareen Pathak and senior reporter Sahil Patel in a special holiday edition of the Digiday Podcast.

Atlantic Media’s Michael Finnegan on competing with Google and Facebook

Dec 14, 2016 37:55


A decade ago, Atlantic Media relied on print for 85 percent of its revenue. That figure is now 10 percent. And now 70 percent of its digital ad revenue is rooted in some kind of content-based campaign, according to Michael Finnegan, president of Atlantic Media, this week’s guest on the Digiday Podcast.

NBC News exec Nick Ascheim: Facebook has a ‘civic responsibility’ to act on fake news

Dec 7, 2016 34:24


The use of Facebook to spread propaganda, distortions and disinformation should serve as a wake-up call to the platform, NBC News svp of digital Nick Ascheim said on this week’s episode of the Digiday Podcast.

EA’s David Tinson: Marketers need to create less content, not more

Nov 30, 2016 29:42


Brands nowadays have any number of places to push out content, possibly too many, according to David Tinson, who heads up communications at video game giant Electronic Arts.

‘The biggest story of our time’: Columnist Michael Wolff on why the media blew it on Trump

Nov 23, 2016 33:07


Longtime media watcher and columnist Michael Wolff discusses how the media got Trump so wrong. “I can’t think of another instance in which the media was so off in its predictions," he said.

On The Digiday Podcast: Nieman Journalism Lab Director Joshua Benton

Nov 16, 2016 23:13


Bustle’s Bryan Goldberg: ‘There’s still so many dollars trapped in print’

Nov 8, 2016 51:24


Bustle CEO Bryan Goldberg sees magazine publishers as hostage to high costs — all that car service costs and those gleaming office towers cost big money — and not a lot of competition advertisers looking to reach women. He aims to change that. Bustle is trying to appeal to the “everywoman” and skip falling into the trap of focusing only on urban lifestyles. “We want to be for women who love themselves but weren’t at the popular kids table at the cafeteria,” he said on the Digiday Podcast.

How Stuff Works’ Jason Hoch: There is no podcasting bubble

Nov 1, 2016 39:52


Get ready for a podcast about podcasting. This episode of the Digiday Podcast features Jason Hoch, the chief content officer of How Stuff Works, a digital publisher that attracts nearly 30 million downloads every month. How Stuff Works grew into one of the largest podcast publishers in the U.S. primarily through word of mouth, but now it has to compete with A-list publishers like Time Inc., Gannett and The New York Times, which are all flexing their content distribution muscles to quickly scale up. Hoch talks about how HSW plans to build on its position of strength, where he sees the industry going, and the pitfalls it has to avoid.

Weather Channel's Neil Katz: Platforms 'have the power' -- for now

Oct 25, 2016 37:40


The Weather Company, which owns The Weather Channel brand, is on pace to get 2.5 billion video views on Facebook this year, said the publisher’s editor-in-chief Neil Katz. And yet there is still very little revenue being made by publishers on Facebook, which holds the power in its relationship with publishers. That might change in a few years, just as the power struggle has seesawed between cable companies and TV networks over the years.

Sharethrough’s Patrick Keane: Publishers without video strategies ‘will die’

Oct 18, 2016 28:02


The shift to mobile and video is profound for publishers. According to Sharethrough president Pat Keane, publishers that treat both as a side project risk seeing their businesses evaporate. As an investor in Refinery29, he sees how video has risen quickly to become 30 percent of its $100 million-plus in revenue.

Thought Catalog CRO Alex Magnin on growing a profitable media business in 2016

Oct 11, 2016 47:21


Thought Catalog has seen its audience chopped in half thanks to the whims of the Facebook algorithm. But that’s to a disciplined operating plan, the company has managed to remain profitable. The “new reality,” according to Thought Catalog CRO Alex Magnin, is publishers need to operate far more efficiently in a world where available supply of ad impressions dwarfs the amount of demand.

Fatherly’s Mike Rothman wants to bust the ‘doofus dad’ myth

Oct 4, 2016 34:11


18-month-old Fatherly is building a media company based on the premise that the “doofus dad” stereotype needs to be retired. Co-founder Mike Rothman sees an opening for a nimble media property that talks to millennial parents.

New School’s David Carroll: Tech’s made advertising worse

Sep 27, 2016 32:42


David Carroll, associate professor of media design at the New School, doesn’t think technology has made advertising better. It’s made it more easy to track, but outside of that, ad targeting has led to worse advertising. Just witness the rise in ad blocking, which is a way for consumers to directly express their unhappiness with the state of advertising in digital media.

Huge CEO Aaron Shapiro on how to become a big agency without sucking

Sep 20, 2016 32:51


A decade ago, Huge was a bootstrapped startup agency in a 200-square foot room in Brooklyn with about 10 employees. Now, it’s 1,400 people with offices around the globe growing 30 percent a year.

Panoply's chief content officer Andy Bowers: 'Podcasting is survival of the fittest'

Sep 13, 2016 37:50


Podcasts are having a moment. But with Apple providing limited data on their audiences, big brands are reluctant to throw a lot of money at the medium.

Radio and podcast veteran Andy Bowers is the chief content officer at Panoply, Slate's 1-year-old podcast network. When he started at Slate, the publisher's podcasting operations amounted to him reading Slate articles into a mic. Today, Panoply is a Slate platform that partners with publishers including The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair and Sports Illustrated.

The NY Times' Sebastian Tomich: T Brand can compete as an agency

Sep 6, 2016 32:58


Most publishers today see native advertising as the path to a sustainable online business. While each publisher's approach to this model differs, T Brand Studio, The New York Times’ brand marketing unit, describes itself as an agency rather than an in-house creative unit.

T Brand pulled in $35 million in revenue in 2015, up from $13 million in 2013. It's on track to create 100 ad campaigns this year, said Sebastian Tomich, the Times' svp of advertising and innovation.

Refinery29 Co-CEO Philippe von Borries: Digital news is in for a rough time

Aug 30, 2016 35:34


It’s still hard to make money off news content. The problem, according to Refinery29 Co-CEO Philippe von Borries, is news isn’t advertiser-friendly — but it is critical for credibility. The tumult in the ad market will more likely to affect media brands mostly dependent on news content, he said.

DCN’s Jason Kint: Ad blocking can benefit publishers

Aug 23, 2016 25:20


Jason Kint, head of publisher group Digital Content Next, believes the ad blocking crisis is a terrible opportunity to waste. This is a chance for publishers, leaning on their direct relationship with their audience, to take back power from the array of tech intermediaries and platforms that have siphoned off most of ad revenue.

360i’s Bryan Wiener: Publishers should focus on doing what Google and Facebook don’t do

Aug 16, 2016 37:26


IAB chief Randall Rothenberg on the Digiday Podcast

Aug 5, 2016 52:48


The Association of National Advertisers long-awaited report on lack of transparency in the media industry cast much of its blame on the convoluted way the industry is structured, giving cover to bad practices.

But for Interactive Advertising Bureau CEO Randall Rothenberg, clients themselves need to shoulder a good part of the blame for problems in the system. It is their responsibility, in his view, to be more technologically adept and to manage all of their partners, from agencies to ad tech providers.

Insider’s Nicholas Carlson on how to get 1.5 billion video views in a month

Jul 29, 2016 37:39


The autoplay video in feeds era is a little like baseball in the 1990s: You can get numb (and skeptical) of the giant numbers media properties are putting up, some in the matter of months of those sites going live.

Business Insider’s distributed media arm, known simply as Insider, is one of those fast growth publishers that have mastered the art of getting videos in front of people on platforms, mostly Faceook. In just 11 months of existence and with a team of 30, Insider now boasts a whopping 1.5 billion -- yes, with a B -- video views in a single month.

Quartz’s Jay Lauf: “Some resource constraint is good’

Jul 22, 2016 33:00


The Atlantic Media’s global business media brand Quartz is now three-and-a-half years old. In that time, it’s won kudos for its willingness to experiment and carve out a niche in a crowded space. Publisher Jay Lauf joined the Digiday Podcast and discussed why having resource constraints is a good thing sometimes and what scale means to a focused publication like Quartz.

Thrillist CEO Ben Lerer: We’ll be on TV soon

Jul 15, 2016 43:35


Digital media publishers, from BuzzFeed to Vox, are looking to TV as the next platform to master, hoping their strong online brands, built mostly in text, can be translated to TV-like video delivered through traditional broadcast and over-the-top platforms.

Digital lifestyle media company Thrillist is no different. It expects to make the leap to “TV” -- whether that’s Netflix, Go90 or other over-the-top options -- within the next year, Thrillist Media Group CEO Ben Lerer said on this week’s episode of the Digiday Podcast. All digital media companies are looking at how their brands can live in other distribution channels, TV included, he said. Thrillist is now building a TV group to manage deals with outside production companies and its own internal video group to find ideas for bringing the Thrillist brand to life in TV.

Washington Post's Jarrod Dicker wants to make advertising faster

Jul 8, 2016 37:57


Jarrod Dicker, head of ad product at the Washington Post, joins this week’s podcast. He talks about how ad blocking can be an opportunity for publishers to re-think the environment they have created. That means putting resources to figure out ad products, not just content. Dicker’s group is focused on this, creating products like Fuse (Instant Articles, basically, but for ads.) “…the opportunity to be at the forefront of this change is great.”

Why the Daily Beast went big on content marketing

Jul 1, 2016 34:38


As a mid-sized publisher, the Daily Beast's president is more focused on building direct relationships with readers, rather than driving scale, which gives it focus, Mike Dyer said. It's also focused on marketing campaigns, as opposed to traditional adverts, because its in house data capabilities allow it to better understand audience trends.

Vox’s president Marty Moe on going beyond the website

Jun 24, 2016 50:25


The roots of Vox Media -- home to digital media brands like SB Nation, The Verge and Eater -- has its roots in an era when the website was the disruptive force in publishing.

It’s a different time now compared to when SportsBlogs came into existence in 2005. These days publishers like BuzzFeed and Vox itself reach far more people on platforms than on their own sites. That presents a company like Vox, which long prided itself on a proprietary tech platform for managing multiple large properties.

Percolate’s Noah Brier on marketing as a systems problem

Jun 18, 2016 29:36


In 2010, Noah Brier was director of strategy at digital agency The Barbarian Group. He noticed something fundamental happening: Clients were in need of far more assets but didn’t have increased budgets.

That insight became the seeds of what became Percolate, a software platform for marketers to streamline and manage the creation of marketing assets, which Brier and co-founder James Gross started. Today, Percolate has 240 employees and has raised $75 million in venture backing.

Forbes sales chief: Ad blocking is an ‘existential’ threat

Jun 10, 2016 38:22


Forbes Media CRO Mark Howard said the publisher is seeing success in its fight against ad blocking, convincing 8 million people to turn off their ad blockers or whitelist the site. Still, he views ad blocking as an “existential threat” to publishers. The answer isn’t as simple as shifting to subscriptions, either.

‘It’s about raising the floor’: Why NowThis doesn’t focus on viral hits

Jun 3, 2016 40:01


Now This does 1.6 billion video views a month across social platforms. The four-year-old distributed media company got rid of its website in early 2015 and went all in on platforms. Despite the big numbers, NowThis doesn’t focus on viral hits, according to president Athan Stephanopoulos. Instead it tries to “raise the floor” for the median set of the 60 videos it produces a day.

SoFi’s Joanne Bradford: ‘Money is the last taboo subject’

May 27, 2016 37:51


SoFi wants to build a financial services lifestyle brand for promising people. To do so, it’s brought in digital media veteran Joanne Bradford as its chief operating officer. Bradford said community is now the cornerstone of any brand, which is why SoFi runs over 250 member events a year.

Visa’s Shiv Singh: ‘Digital is not that accountable’

May 20, 2016 39:56


Visa’s Shiv Singh believes digital media isn’t as measurable and accountable as it presents itself. Much of this arises from a lack of standardization of measurement — and a lack of transparency. “It’s hard to know the truth,” Singh said on this week’s episode of the Digiday Podcast.

Facebook is everything to us’: How Little Things grew to 50 million users in under three years

May 13, 2016 39:36


Feel-good publisher Little Things has built an audience of 50 million users a month thanks to Facebook — and it’s profitable. CEO Joe Speiser joined the Digiday Podcast to discuss how the publisher grew out of its roots as a pet-food retailer, why he’s not too worried about being overly reliant on Facebook and the advantages of not being reliant on venture capital.

BuzzFeed’s Dao Nguyen: ‘We don’t think of ourselves as an island’

May 6, 2016 44:27


BuzzFeed publisher Dao Nguyen believes publishers are dependent on platforms no matter what their strategy. The BuzzFeed approach is to embrace the network and rely on “the process” which is its approach of continually learning and adapting its content based on feedback from the audience.

On The Glossy Podcast: Spring CEO Alan Tisch

May 4, 2016 32:55


Glossy is a new publication from Digiday Media that will chart the seismic activity tearing through the fashion and luxury space, and this is the inaugural episode from the Glossy Podcast which features the people making change happen in the fashion and luxury industries. Spring is a hip hit, one of the bigger success stories in the space, having raised $32.5 million in VC funding from two rounds. An interface similar to Instagram offers both high-end and low-end shopping options. And it only takes a tap to purchase. “The future is direct to consumer,” said Tisch, who formerly worked at Fab.