Since Jeff Bezos’ $250 million buyout of the Washington Post in 2013, the publisher’s fortunes have turned around. In recent years it has been seen – alongside the New York Times – as a poster child for a successful digital transformation of a legacy brand.
Three years into Bezos’ ownership, the Post had doubled its web traffic and gone from losing as much as $40m a year to reportedly being profitable. By 2019, it had added 200 journalists to its newsroom, bringing the total to 900. Its ‘turbocharged turnaround’ was showing promise.
But as the New York Times sets ever loftier subscriber goals, The Washington Post seems to be slowing down. It has seen traffic decline 28% to 66 million a month, with total subscribers falling last year from 3 million to 2.7 million.
The European podcast landscape is still years behind the US, although it might never catch up the way you expect it
We won’t see Rogan-like podcast deals here in Europe, but if you watch closely, a new generation of news startups are relying on podcasts. David Tvrdon’s conclusion seems slightly pessimistic at first glance. But reading more closely, just because we may never reach the dizzy heights of the US podcast market doesn’t mean there’s not real value and opportunity in podcasts for publishers.
Talking of opportunities in podcasts, the Mail+ has relaunched its paid digital edition, offering podcasts and puzzles as well as two ways to read the content; a page-turning edition or a website-style interactive format. The Mail Online and Mail+ teams are also being more closely integrated.
This instalment from Peter of publishing ideas to pilfer includes bundling back issues at a discount, reviving long-dead brands to capitalise on nostalgia, and plugging your articles into an AI reader for a quick and easy audio product.
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