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Politico’s new owner plans to grow staff, launch paywall: The Media Roundup

Politico’s new owner plans to grow staff, launch paywall

We talked about this story in this week’s podcast, contrasting Axel Springer’s approach to acquisitions to that of Alden Capital Group. The big difference, Axel Springer invests while Alden basically strip-mines the properties it buys.

Once its $1 billion acquisition of Politico closes, Axel Springer is planning to add 100 staff, fund foreign-language editions and put up a paywall. Two days after Alden bought the Chicago Tribune in May it began the process of laying off 25% of the staff.

It’s way beyond the scope of this newsletter or our podcast to critique late-stage capitalism. But from a media ownership position, it looks like the only possible way forward is to care deeply about the value you deliver to your readers and build a content-focused business that the grave robbers can’t get to.

How publishers can build user profiles to increase subscriber conversions

Few would argue that, these days, if publishers want to convert website visitors into paying customers, they’ll need to master the art of using data to create audience profiles. This piece in WNIP says that, from paid content to advertising, you need deep insight into what makes your visitors tick. That means building profiles based on online behavior, preferences and the context around site visits.

Great lengths: Optimizing video across platforms

Gen Z, born between 1998 and 2016, spends a lot of time watching videos on social media. If you want to keep the youngsters engaged, the advice from DCN is to make it short. There are tips in here for TikTok and YouTube and more generally on keeping it real to avoid Gen Z’s Bullshit Detector.

Murdoch empire’s global chief to front questions at Australian Senate inquiry

Rather than basking in it’s newly developed eco-warrior image, News Corp is facing criticism for ‘green-washing’. Big Boss Robert Thomson will be flying from New York to Canberra to take questions from Australian politicians concerned about a overly cosy relationship with the government and, after years of alleged climate denial, the real motivations behind new calls for climate action.

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