Digital Innovation Digital Publishing
3 mins read

The must-read publishing stories you may have missed this week

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


How Complex Media became one of the most innovative digital publishers

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.


TikTok could dethrone Instagram, says Snap founder, as 2020 heralds “a significant shake-up in the social media pecking order”

Instagram and TikTok appear to be neck and neck in terms of monthly active users, with both sitting at around 1 billion.


Business Insider’s fascinating approach to paywalls and free content

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.


Enhanced privacy, advanced publisher friendly features and steady growth make Telegram the messaging app to watch out for

An important reason behind the increase in the use of messaging apps for sharing news is that they offer better privacy.


Welcoming the calm after the storm in multimedia investment from publishers

After years of hyperbole and overinflation, 2019 was a year of course correction for publishers looking to move into audio and video.


As Instagram growth stalls, Pinterest surges to become the 3rd biggest social media platform in the US

US user growth for Instagram fell to single-digits, for the first time ever, in 2019.


The Economist launches US election newsletter and podcast to combat “high news fatigue and a decline in media trust”

Both the new podcast and newsletter will be accompanied by a comprehensive marketing campaign aimed at increasing readership and subscribers.


Backed by Hollywood A-listers and top news publishers, Quibi aims to transform mobile storytelling

A new subscription-based mobile video streaming service is rolling out, with exclusive shows from Hollywood A-listers.


Revenue diversification for media and publishing businesses

Media brands need to develop more revenue streams, but the challenge is working out new business models above and beyond simply charging for content.


Telegraph’s new tactic: will offering a Fitbit be enough to attract new readers?

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.


Singapore’s Rice Media expands into Thailand, “because it has some of the best creative talent in the region”

Rice Media has built its reputation on searingly intimate profile pieces, and incisive, provocative and delightfully whimsical commentaries.


The role of video & audio in publishing: Insights from the Evening Standard

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.


The death of the cookie signals a new golden age for publishers

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.


“We are in the midst of a massive reinvention”: Fortune Media launches new premium offerings

Fortune Media has launched its premium offerings, including a redesigned website, a video hub, multiple new newsletters, and an upgraded print magazine.