Facebook’s message to media: “We are not interested in talking to you about your traffic…That is the old world and there is no going back”

The Australian — the Murdoch-owned national paper — has an interesting (and aggressively paywalled) scoop about Facebook today, based on comments Campbell Brown, the company’s global head of news partnerships, allegedly made during a meeting with Australian media executives in Sydney last week. Here are the quotes attributed to Brown in the story:
“Mark [Zuckerberg] doesn’t care about publishers but is giving me a lot of leeway and concessions to make these changes,” Ms Brown said. “We will help you revitalise journalism … in a few years the ­reverse looks like I’ll be holding your hands with your dying ­business like in a hospice.”
I should note that Brown denies making the comments (“These quotes are simply not accurate and don’t reflect the discussion we had in the meeting”); I should also note that The Australian has five people in the meeting corroborating them. Much of the attention given
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Here’s what the first Facebook-funded news shows will look like

Shep Smith, Anderson Cooper, and vertical-video lava: That’s what Facebook is bringing to its underperforming Watch tab soon in its first slate of Facebook-funded news video shows. As Facebook’s Campbell Brown put it in a post:
Earlier this year we made a commitment to show news that is trustworthy, informative, and local on Facebook. As a part of that commitment, we are creating a dedicated section within Watch for news shows produced exclusively for Facebook by news publishers. With this effort, we are testing a destination for high quality and timely news content on the platform. Today we are announcing the first slate of these funded news shows for Facebook Watch.
Here are the shows, which feature the usual mix of networks (ABC, CNN, Fox, Univision) and digital players (ATTN:, Mic) — plus the unusual addition of an Alabama-based show produced by Advance Local.
ABC News’ “On Location” is a Continue reading "Here’s what the first Facebook-funded news shows will look like"

Revenge of the desktop: These are the most important announcements Apple made for news publishers today

Today is the second most important day of the year for Apple: the start of its annual Worldwide Developers Conference, when thousands of app builders descend on San Jose to learn what the company has planned for them. And while the annual September iPhone launch might be more important for Apple, WWDC is the most important for news publishers, since it’s where the OS-level announcements that most impact them are made. The keynote ended moments ago, and there were a surprising number of updates and changes worth knowing about. Here are the big ones. Apple News comes to the Mac. Three years ago, Apple announced the latest iteration of its strategy for publishers. The old, awkward Newsstand… — app? folder? what was it again? — was dead; taking its place was a new app called Apple News that would be a shared platform for publishers — think
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The scariest chart in Mary Meeker’s slide deck for newspapers has gotten even a teeny bit scarier

It’s an annual moment of print realism here at Nieman Lab: the posting of the attention/advertising slide from Mary Meeker’s state-of-the-Internet slide deck. It’s enough of a tradition that I can now copy-and-paste from multiple versions of this post. Here’s a sentence from the 2013 version:
For those who don’t know it, Meeker — formerly of Morgan Stanley, at VC firm Kleiner Perkins since late 2010 — each year produces a curated set of data reflecting what she sees as the major trends in Internet usage and growth. It may be the only slide deck that qualifies as an event unto itself.
And a chunk from the 2014 version:
What’s useful about Meeker’s deck is that its core data serves as a punctuation mark on some big, ongoing trends. The kind of trends we all know are happening, but whose annual rate of progress can be hard to
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Continue reading "The scariest chart in Mary Meeker’s slide deck for newspapers has gotten even a teeny bit scarier"

Vox’s new Netflix series is really good, but it doesn’t get us any closer to figuring out what news on streaming platforms looks like

Vox’s new series for Netflix debuted this morning, with the simple and deeply on-brand title Explained. (At least they didn’t get comma-happy and go with “, Explained.”) I watched the first episode and bits of the next two, and they’re good! The format will be familiar to anyone who’s watched Vox’s YouTube videos; they’ve posted the first episode, “Monogamy, Explained,” to YouTube, and as a Vox producer says in the intro: “If you like our YouTube, you’re going to love this.” Watch it for yourself: A lot of YouTube commenters do indeed seem to like it. (“Next level video essays. I freaking love this”; “YESSSSS MORE KNOWLEDGE”). Well, at least the ones who aren’t arguing with the video’s implicit endorsement of polyamory. (“VERY VERY POLITICIZED KNOWLEDGE YESS”; “Ahhh even more liberal vox garbage, Netflix has gone by the way of the dodo bird”; “Vox, attempting Continue reading "Vox’s new Netflix series is really good, but it doesn’t get us any closer to figuring out what news on streaming platforms looks like"

Congratulations, sports media: You just got a big business-model subsidy from the Supreme Court

In his 1957 classic An Economic Theory of Democracy, Anthony Downs wrote that there were only four types of information: production information, consumption information, entertainment information, and political information. Production information helps you make smarter business decisions; if you’re a stockbroker, The Wall Street Journal is production information for you. Consumption information makes you a better consumer; if you’re going to a movie this weekend, Rotten Tomatoes is consumption information for you. Entertainment information is self-explanatory — anything you consume primarily to be entertained, whether high culture (a great novel) or low (a Kardashian). And political information is anything that makes you a more informed voter. (That’s the toughest one to sell, as Jay Hamilton wrote about smartly.) A key thing to remember about journalism is that the same piece of information can serve different information needs for different people. If you’re trying to decide who to vote Continue reading "Congratulations, sports media: You just got a big business-model subsidy from the Supreme Court"

Here’s how blockchain, bots, AI, and Apple News might impact the near-term future of journalism

If you’re interested in Canadian media — and who among us is not — you probably already listen to Canadaland, the flagship show of Jesse Brown’s growing podcast empire, which dives into the nation’s journalism issues. I was happy to appear on the show to talk digital news strategy in 2016, and Jesse just had me back for today’s episode, where — contrary to the doom and gloom that accompanies most discussion of the technology’s impact on the media. Well, I’m not going to say we avoided doom or gloom entirely — but we did get to have a fruitful discussion of some of the more tech-forward ways the industry is changing. In particular: — Will blockchain meaningfully change the fundamental questions about how we journalism gets funded? (I’m skeptical.) — Will AI and bots replace reporters? (Maybe on the fringes, but they’re mainly for scale and speed. Continue reading "Here’s how blockchain, bots, AI, and Apple News might impact the near-term future of journalism"