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Ad revenue is a lagging indicator of performance: The Media Roundup

Monday’s roundup is brought to you by Peter.

Ad revenue is a lagging indicator of performance

Esther sent me this piece by Jacob Donnelly on Friday, separate from any newsletter recommendations. She thought it was ‘well worth a read’ because of the focus on developing repeat business, something we do OK on, but always want to do better.

Donnelly writes that, too often, publishers think about selling more ads to grow revenue when they should first be thinking about improving partner performance. “We should always think about how we can drive more success to our advertising partners. But I don’t believe this is a conversation that comes up at so many media companies.”

Donnelly cites success at Dotdash Meredith as proof that less can be more. It publishes fewer ads on the page than most consumer media companies, making the ads easier to see. And by making ads contextually related to the content, advertisers know the audience is more likely to be interested. Performance in this model is not clicks but doing things that make the advertiser look good.

Sky News exceeds 1 million Tiktok followers

Sky News has more than one million followers on Tiktok, growing its audience on the platform by a factor of 10 in just two months on the back of its “distinct, eyewitness reporting” from Ukraine. Sky News director of content Cristina Nicolotti Squires said: “This quashes the idea that younger generations aren’t interested in engaging with news.”

There’s no such thing as ‘Twitter’ for journalists

Elon Musk and that NYT memo have really fired up the Twitter discourse among journalists. The post is a good catchup on the NYT’s position, but ends by pointing out, debates about how journalists should use Twitter often come to nothing because they treat “Twitter” as a single thing. And whether Twitter is good for journalism depends, ultimately, on how you use it.

How big audience numbers can mislead you

Measuring the wrong thing or using the wrong scale is a formula for failure, says James Briener. “ Numbers don’t lie, but people do.” The worst part according to Briener, is that people lie to themselves about what numbers mean. This piece unpacks the lie of calling monthly page views or unique visitors an “audience”, a bit like counting people walking past a newsstand and glancing at the headlines.


This content originally appeared in The Media Roundup, a daily newsletter from Media Voices. Subscribe here: