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When should media shake hands with the VC devil: The Media Roundup

Thinking about Big Cabal Media’s $2.3 million raise

This one’s a fascinating read. We’ve all heard horror stories about media companies that seek VC funding, only for it to suddenly become less about the business of media and more about the business of managing expectations. As this article notes, even BuzzFeed has been hit hard by the process. But what are the implications of raising venture capital as a media business in Africa?

“BCM isn’t oblivious to the fact that VCs fundamentally expect outsized returns, as is evident in its revenue projections for the next few years. It generated over $1 million in revenue last year, growing more than 400% from the previous year. It anticipates a 600% revenue increase over the next two years. Some of this will come from advertising, but that won’t be enough.”

Thinking about Big Cabal Media’s $2.3 million raise

So Big Cabal seeks to match those outsized expectations from investors through aggressive diversification into new revenue sources. It’s a great look at the motivations into taking VC funding – and what could happen when the devil comes to collect his due.

‘Fun in the sun’ photos are a dangerous distraction from the reality of climate breakdown

It’s always good to get an opinion on the news industry from experts outside it. Given that newspapers’ role in downplaying or delaying climate action has been under close observation recently, this article from geography professor Saffron O’Neill is a great look at one of the mechanisms for how papers inadvertently downplay climate change.

Scripps, Google partner on broadcast journalism initiative

We talk a lot about how Google is intertwined with the publishing industries. The news industry’s love/hate relationship with the search giant has created this awkward situation in which we’re happy to partner with it and take its money – while also castigating it and demanding even more.

Toolkits Co-Founder Jack Marshall on what’s next for subscriptions

This week we spoke to Jack Marshall, Co-Founder of Toolkits, a business information and consulting company focused on subscription publishing. We talked about his past life as a media reporter at Digiday and the WSJ, what opportunity he and co-founder Shareen Pathak spotted in the market, and whether he thinks the subscriptions wave has crested.


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