Publishers are seeing real performance gains from Google AMP and Facebook Instant Articles (but $$$ remains a question mark)

For publishers, Google’s AMP and Facebook’s Instant Articles are two different efforts with the same goal: creating a faster, cleaner mobile experience that can better attract and hold onto mobile readers. But a question since the inception of both products (February 2016 and May 2015, respectively) has been how much of the performance and engagement gains that Google and Facebook promised have publishers actually seen — and whether those gains have helped with revenue or overall reader retention. Some new data from Chartbeat suggests the affirmative, on at least the performance and engagement fronts. Analyzing the mobile traffic data and reader behavior across the sites in its network, Chartbeat found that AMP pages load 4 times faster than standard mobile sites (1.4 seconds vs. 5.3 seconds). The performance of Instant Articles was even more impressive. According to Chartbeat, nearly 90 percent of Instant Articles load too quickly for
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Social video giant NowThis gets a “Newsroom,” working out its real-time reporting in public

Reported.ly is back — in a way. The real-time social reporting outlet, whose global staff was spread across different time zones and covered breaking news in shifts primarily through monitoring Twitter and other social media platforms, shut down on August 31 of last year after its host company, Pierre Omidyar’s First Look Media, ended financial support. Now it’s bringing its real-time reporting methods to the social video publisher NowThis. Reported.ly DNA, for instance, is plainly visible in Newsroom, which is starting as a Twitter-based reporting vehicle that’s part of NowThis. (It debuted at a chaotic time: earthquake in Mexico, Hurricane Maria, protests in the U.S.) Former editor-in-chief and founder Andy Carvin and deputy managing Continue reading "Social video giant NowThis gets a “Newsroom,” working out its real-time reporting in public"

Self-driving cars are coming faster than you think. What will that mean for public radio?

Picture this: Your car is driving you to work. What do you do? Pull out your phone and start checking emails? Get a novel and start reading? Do you bother to turn on the radio and listen to Morning Edition? When you tell your grandkids one day that back in the day, in the twenty-oughts, you used to listen to the radio on the work, will it seem as archaic to them as the idea of a family gathering around a radio to listen at night does now? Why would you listen to a radio in the car if you could have a screen instead? If these don’t seem like questions we need to worry about yet, they should, according to Umbreen Bhatti and Kristen Muller. Bhatti, the manager of KQED Public Media for Northern California’s innovation lab, and Muller, the chief content officer at KPCC Southern California Public Radio Continue reading "Self-driving cars are coming faster than you think. What will that mean for public radio?"

Newsonomics: Our Peggy Lee moment: Is that all there is to reader revenue?

It’s an age of ready-to-binge whodunits, exported from the Nordic cold onto our heat-seeking laptops and living room screens. So will anyone take up this mystery: Who killed the news subscriber? As print subscriptions have plummeted, digital subscriptions have slowly emerged. It’s really a six-year-old phenomenon, as daily publishers followed The New York Times’ 2011 lead with paywalls, and digital subscriptions are still, at best, a work in progress. Today, they offer a tale of two worlds. The national/globals — The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and the Financial Times — build their new and increasingly digital businesses on digital subscriptions, greatly aided this year by the Trump bump. But regional dailies, both in North America and in Europe, continue to struggle with them. One ratio highlights the gap. While The New York Times today has twice as many digital-only subscribers as Sunday print subscribers Continue reading "Newsonomics: Our Peggy Lee moment: Is that all there is to reader revenue?"

Newsonomics: Tony Haile wants to build the TSA Pre✓ for how we consume news

Tony Haile learned a lot of things about news during his seven years building Chartbeat, the analytics platform used in newsrooms worldwide. One of them: “Attempts to get this industry to work together have been slow at best.” Amen to that, one of the biggest hurdles to innovation over the last two decades. Talk to people in the news industry about what they think of his new startup Scroll, and they hesitate. They may stumble describing its model. They’ll say it’s something they’re watching. And then they’ll tell you if Tony Haile is behind it, they expect to see something impressive. News Corp, The New York Times, and Axel Springer have all made small investment bets on Scroll, part of its $3 million seed round that now supports a staff of seven getting ready for its beta launch. (It’s one of a number of new attempts to Continue reading "Newsonomics: Tony Haile wants to build the TSA Pre✓ for how we consume news"

Don’t try too hard to look cool (and other lessons from European newsrooms’ digital experiments)

A report out Tuesday from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism looks at how and why legacy news organizations in six European countries (Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the U.K.) are experimenting with new digital news products. Alessio Cornia, Annika Sehl, and Rasmus Kleis Nielsen looked at 12 projects across the countries, speaking to a total of 41 editors and managers from the various publications. Here are a few tidbits: — New ways to push premium content. Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat added “diamond stories,” which are only available to paying subscribers or those who register for a two-week free trial. Helsingin Sanomat already had a metered paywall, but it was relatively weak — five articles per week per device. “The ‘diamond wall’ is [a sort of] hard paywall that you cannot bypass by changing browsers or deleting cookies, or by coming from Facebook Continue reading "Don’t try too hard to look cool (and other lessons from European newsrooms’ digital experiments)"

Most Americans are annoyed by online ads — but many would rather just endure them than pay up, according to a new survey

It’s no surprise that people don’t like to be interrupted by ads while they’re reading a news article or watching TV or listening to music. Despite a strong dislike of advertising — from ads on websites to ads on social media to TV commercials to ads on music streaming platforms — Americans also appear to be reluctant to pay for an ad-free experience, according to a survey conducted by digital research firm Morning Consult. Seventy-five percent of the U.S. adults surveyed by Morning Consult said they felt internet ads (social media ads got their own category) were “intrusive.” Sixty-nine percent felt social media ads were intrusive, 66 percent felt the same about music streaming ads, and 65 percent felt that way about TV ads. Sixty percent did report that they find television ads “entertaining,” but the share of people surveyed who found any of the other types of Continue reading "Most Americans are annoyed by online ads — but many would rather just endure them than pay up, according to a new survey"