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Wilson FM, which aims to “elevate podcast aesthetics,” is the first exciting podcast app in a long while
“I’ve always had a soft spot for print design and aesthetics that have a point of view or opinion. But I’ve been working in tech for quite some time and am just tired of this A/B-tested, data-proven, metric-driven design.”
By Nicholas Quah
Dog-eared MP3s: The podcast and book publishing industries are finding new ways to cross-pollinate
Plus: S-Town gets sued, Spotlight goes audio, and a remarkable new podcast player named Wilson FM.
By Nicholas Quah
Enough with the “Netflix for audio.” Podcast companies should take a cue from meditation apps instead
There’s a lot that subscription on-demand audio gambits can learn from the increasingly formidable world of mindfulness apps.
By Nicholas Quah
RadioPublic opens up a new investment platform so individual users can get a stake
Plus: Civil + podcasts, Anchor’s troublesome TOS, and IAB’s standards.
By Nicholas Quah
Could Google’s new podcast app change the way we understand the Average Podcast Listener?
“It’s pretty damn hard to listen to a podcast, so the kinds of folks who listen to them regularly must really love the thing enough to walk on coals. Google’s new AI-assisted features are designed to cut down the necessity of that intensity.”
By Nicholas Quah
Revenge of the desktop: These are the most important announcements Apple made for news publishers today
Apple News comes to the Mac, breaking news alerts get a little extra scrutiny, Siri learns a few new tricks, and the web — or some version of it — comes to your wrist.
By Joshua Benton
The Skimm launches a 1:1, bot-less (for now) texting service to help subscribers make decisions
“People are always on their phones, but this isn’t ‘Let’s just start shooting them info over text.’ When you integrate into somebody’s routine in an intimate way, it has to feel right for the platform.”
By Christine Schmidt
Google wants to do for podcasts on Android what Apple did for podcasts on iOS
Plus: the BBC moves to monetize outside the U.K., talent agencies keep moving in, and 50 billion is a big number.
By Nicholas Quah
Maybe to be at our best on mobile, publishers should think back to the web’s early, visually spare days
Girlboss redesigns its site to be as mobile-friendly as possible, hearkening back to the web’s first iterations in the name of speed.
By Joshua Benton
Here’s what we know so far about Google Chrome’s mobile article recommendations, the next major traffic driver for publishers
It’s driving over 100 million visits a month to news sites in the United States — on Android alone. And it’s an even bigger factor in France, Argentina, Brazil, and elsewhere.
By Josh Schwartz
Homepages may be dead, but are daily news podcasts the new front page?
Plus: What’s going on with Stitcher Premium, Gimlet isn’t actually going to buy NPR One, and how membership works in the age of podcasts.
By Nicholas Quah
What The Guardian’s Mobile Innovation Lab has learned after two years of experimenting with better news delivery on phones
Two dozen experiments, one Brexit and one U.S. presidential election, and hundreds of thousands of readers later, the Mobile Innovation Lab has some thoughts about what newsroom innovation and experimentation requires on a practical level.
By Shan Wang
Mobile Majority: How phones are changing news
Dog-eared MP3s: The podcast and book publishing industries are finding new ways to cross-pollinate
Plus: S-Town gets sued, Spotlight goes audio, and a remarkable new podcast player named Wilson FM.
By Nicholas Quah
Enough with the “Netflix for audio.” Podcast companies should take a cue from meditation apps instead
There’s a lot that subscription on-demand audio gambits can learn from the increasingly formidable world of mindfulness apps.
RadioPublic opens up a new investment platform so individual users can get a stake
Plus: Civil + podcasts, Anchor’s troublesome TOS, and IAB’s standards.
What We’re Reading
Digiday / Kerry Flynn
🤑 How HQ trivia is trying to turn a viral sensation into a media business
HQ’s sole revenue strategy, for now, is akin to a sponsorship where brands pay for game takeovers. For example, NBC paid for a takeover of The Voice. On May 14, HQ players had a chance to win $50,000 and a trip for two to the show’s finale. The Voice game on HQ, which aired at 11:30 p.m. ET, reached 1.4 million players. NBC’s ratings for 18- to 34-year-olds, as well as viewers aged 12 to 17, was the best for a Monday episode since the first live show of the season, evp of digital for NBC Entertainment Rob Hayes said.
Digiday / Sahil Patel
Half of Telemundo’s live digital viewers for the World Cup are watching on mobile devices
“The NBCUniversal broadcaster, which has Spanish-language rights to air every World Cup game in the U.S., said between 48 and 51 percent of its live digital viewers consistently watch the games on their smartphones. The other half flips between connected TV and desktop streaming, said Peter Blacker, evp of digital media and emerging business for NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises.”
Digiday / Max Willens
Podcasting keeps inching toward measurement standard, but is reluctant to deal with the short-term pain
“Transitioning to the IAB’s standard has caused a ‘double-digit percentage’ drop in downloads for many of its shows, Wondery said. That hit is slowing the transition that both producers and ad buyers say is necessary to attract more ad dollars. ‘It is the right thing to do,’ Wondery CEO Hernan Lopez said. ‘We certainly hope agencies will notice we’re taking the first step.'”
NPR / Elizabeth Jensen
You call that breaking news?: NPR’s public editor on the increasing frequency of push notifications
“NPR puts alerts into two categories: Breaking news that subscribers need to know now and feature alerts, which cover investigative work and original reporting that NPR wants to highlight, as well as live event coverage and new podcasts or programs. (New programming alerts are supposed to be “rare and far between,” per the guidelines.)”
The Hollywood Reporter
Vox Media chief Jim Bankoff on the future of digital media and his Hollywood ambitions
Q: What’s an area of growth for Vox Media? A: Podcasting.
Wall Street Journal / Benjamin Mullin
With $40 Million, podcast upstart Luminary Media is building its own platform
Here’s a “Netflix for podcasting” for you: “Unlike most of its competitors, which support their businesses primarily through advertising, Luminary Media’s business plan includes signing users up for a subscription service granting them access to a portfolio of premium podcasts, according to people familiar with the matter.”
Wall Street Journal / Benjamin Mullin
Taboola signed a deal with the Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE to surface recommended links on some of its phones
“Taboola has inked a deal with Chinese smartphone manufacturer ZTE Corp. to incorporate a new feature that displays Taboola’s recommended links on some of its phones, the companies announced Wednesday. The module will initially include only links to news and lifestyle stories from some existing publishing partners, although the company may eventually expand to include paid links from content marketers, according to Taboola Chief Executive Adam Singolda.”
Wired / Felix Salmon
The improbable rise of the daily news podcast
“[W]e come to Act 4, Vox’s new podcast, Today Explained — a daily news podcast which has had ultrahigh production values from inception. That kind of up-front commitment, without any guarantee of popularity or commercial success, would have been unthinkable just a few months ago: It’s a big-money move that even Gimlet and The New York Times didn’t dare attempt — let alone public radio stations, which are by nature more fiscally cautious.”
Bloomberg / Selina Wang
Twitter is working on a Snapchat-style video sharing tool
“The company has a working demo of the camera-centered product, according to people who have seen it, but the design hasn’t been finalized, nor has the timing of its debut. The tool could change significantly over the next several months, they said. The goal of the new feature is to entice people to share video clips of what’s happening around them.”
Digiday / Lucia Moses
After folding in print, Self’s 8 million Snapchat users are more than on its website
The percentage of Self’s audience that returns to its Discover Stories at least three times a week is more than 50 percent. As a standalone channel, Snapchat is profitable for Self, according to parent company Condé Nast. (Self folded its print edition at the end of 2016 as part of a consolidation of Condé Nast’s magazines.)
Nieman Lab is a project to try to help figure out where the news is headed in the Internet age. Sign up for The Digest, our daily email with all the freshest future-of-journalism news.