How Complex Media became one of the most innovative digital publishers, TikTok on track to dethrone Instagram, and more
Not all content is created equal
Another week, another paywall, with Fortune now the latest publisher introducing one as part of its premium offering. Paywalls are now so commonplace that it’s hard to contemplate how radical it seemed when the first publishers adopted them in the early 2010’s.
Since then, we’ve seen a number of iterations, the most popular being the metered paywall which has dominated publisher strategies. However, as conditions change around metered paywalls – the most significant being changes to Chrome to block detection of Incognito mode – publishers are once again reinventing their approaches.
This week, Simon Owens looks at Business Insider’s approach to paid content. Instead of debuting a metered paywall, the team developed a system for differentiating the paywalled content from the articles that remained free.
The editorial team now play a key role in differentiating between what content remains free, and what goes behind a paywall. “Over time, they get an understanding of what kind of story is a subscriber story, versus which story is a broader, general interest story,” said BI’s Claudius Senst.
If the 2010’s were about convincing people to pay for content, then the 2020’s will be spent differentiating paid content from free.
What’s new this week
For the past few years, the media industry has looked to companies like Vice, BuzzFeed, and Vox as leaders in digital innovation. But Complex, though it gets a fraction of the coverage of those other three companies, deserves credit for its versatility and business acumen.
Instagram and TikTok appear to be neck and neck in terms of monthly active users, with both sitting at around 1 billion.
Instead of debuting a metered paywall, Senst and the BI editors developed a system for differentiating the paywalled content from the articles that remained free.
An important reason behind the increase in the use of messaging apps for sharing news is that they offer better privacy.
After years of hyperbole and overinflation, 2019 was a year of course correction for publishers looking to move into audio and video.
US user growth for Instagram fell to single-digits, for the first time ever, in 2019.
Both the new podcast and newsletter will be accompanied by a comprehensive marketing campaign aimed at increasing readership and subscribers.
A new subscription-based mobile video streaming service is rolling out, with exclusive shows from Hollywood A-listers.
Media brands need to develop more revenue streams, but the challenge is working out new business models above and beyond simply charging for content.
While The Telegraph’s aim is 10m registrations and 1m paying subscribers by 2023, transforming digital eyeballs into long-term paying subscribers won’t be easy.
Rice Media has built its reputation on searingly intimate profile pieces, and incisive, provocative and delightfully whimsical commentaries.
Chris Stone, the Executive Producer of Video & Audio at the Evening Standard, talks about the role video plays in their journalism, their podcast launches, and more.
With the death of third-party data, publishers will be in prime position as one of the only holders of the first-party data on consumers advertisers are clamouring for.
Fortune Media has launched its premium offerings, including a redesigned website, a video hub, multiple new newsletters, and an upgraded print magazine.