Media companies should open up an HQ2

Amazon has announced its list of 20 finalists to be the new home for its second headquarters, its HQ2. (Though 20 feels more like a longlist than a shortlist, to be honest.) For anyone hoping that Amazon would play urban revivalist and plunk its employees down in some down-on-its-heels third-tier burg, it’s a disappointing list of the usual major-league cities and suburbs. (While the city that wins will obviously get a development boon, it seems borderline unfair to have raised the hopes of places that never had a chance. I love my home state of Louisiana, but I’m pretty sure the Lafayette–Baton Rouge corridor wasn’t going to be competitive no matter how good their PowerPoint was, barring a crawfish-specific ask in the RFP that I missed. I’m reminded of the time Tulsa tried to get the Summer Olympics: You want to applaud the chutzpah, but you also Continue reading "Media companies should open up an HQ2"

Can sports turn the local podcast business into a green monster?

Two things to watch with Season Ticket. The first is how much, and how fast, it will grow. Recall that the station’s first major podcast achievement, Modern Love, garnered 1.4 million downloads in its first month, and after four months the podcast was averaging 300,000 downloads a week. The second is how Season Ticket will find its place within the Boston sports fan media diet. This is, after all, a media consumer long super-served by New England’s sprawling network of sports media institutions, talk radio and otherwise, and WBUR’s task will be to tap into a completely new set of previously unserved fans — a younger generation, perhaps, or a diaspora in need — or test the limits of the hypothesis that the Boston sports fan’s hunger for coverage could very well be infinite. Whatever WBUR finds out, they can definitely add another feather to their cap of Continue reading "Can sports turn the local podcast business into a green monster?"

E-Books and Self-Publishing Roundup: July 25, 2017

Each week, we curate the top stories of the week in e-books and self-publishing. Sign up here to get these delivered right to your inbox.
  1. Amazon Titles Dominate Amazon E-Book Bestseller List (John Maher / Publishers Weekly)
  2. When Reader Targeting Goes Wrong (David Gaughran / Let’s Get Digital)
  3. China’s Online Reading Craze Is So Big It’s Challenging Amazon’s Kindle (Jinshan Hong / Forbes)
  4. Taking a Look at Apple’s Six Month E-Book Bestsellers (Cal Reid / Publishers Weekly)
  5. Institutional Licensing: the Next School Textbook Business Model (Arthur Attwell / Medium)
  6. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to be Released as Enhanced Kindle in Motion E-Book (Nate Hoffelder  / The Digital Reader)
Nate is the founder of The Digital Reader. He also builds and repairs websites, and helps authors and small businesses solve tech problems.
The post E-Books and Continue reading "E-Books and Self-Publishing Roundup: July 25, 2017"

Live touring is a real business for some podcasts (and you don’t need huge downloads for it to work)

Radiotopia’s Ear Hustle breaks 1.5 million downloads in its first month, qualifying the show as a “runaway hit” for the podcast collective, as the press release puts it. Also interesting from the release: the podcast, which emerged as the winner of Radiotopia’s first Podquest competition that wrapped last November, has doubled the number of advertisers that will be running spots throughout the first season. Chalk that up, perhaps, to the Today Show bump. (By the way: Ear Hustle is very, very good, in case that’s not already clear.) The New York Times adds a new show to its portfolio: “Dear Sugars,” formerly known as “Dear Sugar Radio,” the advice column-turned-advice podcast featuring Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond from WBUR. This deepens the Times’ relationship with WBUR; the two organizations already collaborate on the Modern Love podcast, which itself is another column-turned-podcast initiative, and long-time observers already know Continue reading "Live touring is a real business for some podcasts (and you don’t need huge downloads for it to work)"

Live touring is a real business for some podcasts (and you don’t need huge downloads for it to work)

Radiotopia’s Ear Hustle breaks 1.5 million downloads in its first month, qualifying the show as a “runaway hit” for the podcast collective, as the press release puts it. Also interesting from the release: the podcast, which emerged as the winner of Radiotopia’s first Podquest competition that wrapped last November, has doubled the number of advertisers that will be running spots throughout the first season. Chalk that up, perhaps, to the Today Show bump. (By the way: Ear Hustle is very, very good, in case that’s not already clear.) The New York Times adds a new show to its portfolio: “Dear Sugars,” formerly known as “Dear Sugar Radio,” the advice column-turned-advice podcast featuring Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond from WBUR. This deepens the Times’ relationship with WBUR; the two organizations already collaborate on the Modern Love podcast, which itself is another column-turned-podcast initiative, and long-time observers already know Continue reading "Live touring is a real business for some podcasts (and you don’t need huge downloads for it to work)"

Newsonomics: For the newspaper industry’s next feat, can it get Donald Trump to give it antitrust protection?

Sounds like a John Oliver segment, doesn’t it? As we all know from checking our favorite news apps, the line between satire and news has all but vanished anyhow. Last week, in the friendly confines of the Wall Street Journal op-ed page, the News Media Alliance initiative to gain an antitrust exemption lit many fuses. Media Alliance CEO David Chavern (see my Q&A with him here) made a singular point: The news(paper) needs legal protection so it can collectively negotiate with Google and Facebook, the dominant duopoly of this digital age. In his op-ed, “How antitrust undermines press freedom,” Chavern called on Congress to provide a safe haven — essentially an exemption — from antitrust law so that the Department of Justice wouldn’t charge the daily newspaper group with illegal activity. The proposal has reignited a panoply of pleas, broadsides, two-decade-old arguments, and even a reasoned analysis or Continue reading "Newsonomics: For the newspaper industry’s next feat, can it get Donald Trump to give it antitrust protection?"

How will we know when we’ve hit Peak Podcast? And are we there yet?

The IAB has announced the lineup for its third-annual podcast upfront, and it boasts some changes. Gimlet, Public Media Marketing, and iHeartRadio are added to the mix, while CBS and AdLarge appear to be sitting this one out. This year’s festivities will take place on September 7 at Time Inc.’s Henry R. Luce Auditorium in New York. As you might recall, I wasn’t much of a fan of last year’s proceedings. Details here. Gimlet’s diversity report. The company revisited the issue in a recent AMA-style episode of StartUp — after its first dive into the topic back in December 2015 — and the big picture is more or less what you’d expect: still not great, but better than the last time. Poynter has a good summary of the segment, and I’d like to state here that it’s interesting how you can basically evaluate the company based on two public Continue reading "How will we know when we’ve hit Peak Podcast? And are we there yet?"