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Apple, off-Apple, and adaptations: These were the most important podcast trends of 2017
“I am struck by a distinct sense that we’re smack dab in the middle of a really slow but considerable change. Where we’ll be this time next year, I have no idea. But I can’t shake the feeling that it won’t look much like today.”
By Nicholas Quah
With “My WSJ,” The Wall Street Journal makes a personalized content feed central to its app
“We don’t have to ask you anything. We just know, by virtue of you being a Journal reader, what you’d like to read and what you should read. You don’t have to tell us anything.”
By Laura Hazard Owen
Your pocket is buzzing: 2017 was the year of push alerts and this new report illustrates why
“There is widespread frustration about the difficulty of gauging qualitative aspects of success, such as helpfulness or usefulness.”
By Laura Hazard Owen
If your favorite podcast gets a new host, is it still your favorite podcast?
Plus: Oprah’s podcast sees ad success after signing with Midroll, getting new listeners with a “shareathon,” and the line between podcast fiction and podcast reality.
By Nicholas Quah
Who are podcast “super listeners,” what do they do, and how do we build podcasts for them?
Plus: Vox’s upcoming daily news podcast has a host; the convergence of audio media; what it means to be a ” “full-service creative podcast agency.”
By Nicholas Quah
If podcasts and radio move to smart speakers, who will be directing us what to listen to?
Plus: Pandora leans into podcasts, NPR has a leadership crisis, and Limetown and 30 for 30 plan returns.
By Nicholas Quah
What a podcast needs to do to put on a good live show (and why so many are trying)
Plus: A subscription-first audio product doesn’t necessarily have to be big, grappling with politicians’ podcasts, and developments in podcast-to-broadcast.
By Nicholas Quah
CNN’s three month-old daily Snapchat show The Update avoids the “bells and whistles and flashes”
“We’re telling great stories on the platforms where they live. They’re getting to know those three red and white letters for what it stands for: great news and information.”
By Christine Schmidt
The Guardian Mobile Lab’s latest experiment targets public transit commuters with an offline news app
“The app is a really good first step for gathering information, using it in a respectful way, and seeing how people feel about that.”
By Christine Schmidt
Atlas Obscura is using virtual reality to transport readers to the world’s distant, exotic locations
From VR to AR, emerging mobile technology is going to have a significant impact on how the site engages with its readers in the real world.
By Ricardo Bilton
Atlas Obscura usa realidade virtual para transportar leitor a lugares distantes e exóticos do mundo
“Queremos poder contar essas histórias sobre esses lugares e incutir nas pessoas esse sentimento de admiração e encantamento pelo mundo ao redor em muitos meios diferentes”.
By Ricardo Bilton
Panoply’s Pinna might just be the first really interesting attempt to get people to pay for podcasts
Plus: 60dB goes to Google, waiting (and waiting) for Apple’s new analytics, and the best podcast-related reads of the past few weeks.
By Nicholas Quah
Everyone loves push alerts, but there are problems. Like: What if readers don’t actually open them?
New research on how news organizations are using (and abusing?) push notifications.
By Laura Hazard Owen
Mobile Majority: How phones are changing news
Apple, off-Apple, and adaptations: These were the most important podcast trends of 2017
“I am struck by a distinct sense that we’re smack dab in the middle of a really slow but considerable change. Where we’ll be this time next year, I have no idea. But I can’t shake the feeling that it won’t look much like today.”
By Nicholas Quah
With “My WSJ,” The Wall Street Journal makes a personalized content feed central to its app
“We don’t have to ask you anything. We just know, by virtue of you being a Journal reader, what you’d like to read and what you should read. You don’t have to tell us anything.”
Your pocket is buzzing: 2017 was the year of push alerts and this new report illustrates why
“There is widespread frustration about the difficulty of gauging qualitative aspects of success, such as helpfulness or usefulness.”
What We’re Reading
Recode / Rani Molla
Video will make up 75 percent of mobile traffic in five years
Overall, worldwide mobile data traffic will increase to 110 exabytes per month in 2023, according to a report by telecommunications equipment company Ericsson, or the equivalent of 5.5 million years of streaming HD video. It’s eight times the 14 exabytes per month we used in 2017.
CNBC / Sara Salinas
Snapchat’s redesign will separate its news-heavy Discover page from a user’s friend list
Snap has long been plagued by criticism that the app is difficult to navigate and not intuitive, dragging daily active users below estimates and burying paid publisher content. The update will start rolling out to some users this week.
The Splice Newsroom / Joshua Carroll
Frontier just launched Myanmar’s first local-language podcast – on Facebook
“Podcast platforms popular elsewhere are little used in Myanmar. SoundCloud puts off many because Android users must download the app to listen, and few people in the country have iPhones. To get around that, Doh Athan can be streamed directly from Facebook, a platform that dominates Myanmar’s internet.”
Bloomberg.com / Adam Satariano and Lulu Yilun Chen
Tencent, the company behind WeChat, takes a 12 percent stake in Snap
“Tencent has experience turning its apps into big money-makers by adding games, newsfeeds and advertising. Taking a stake in Snap also could help the Chinese company expand outside its home market.”
Design at NPR / Libby Bawcombe
How NPR redesigned its iPhone app
“The app design hasn’t significantly changed since it launched in 2009, so our users have been willing to trade polish for utility.”
The Economist
How The Economist adapts its stories for Snapchat Discover
“A Snapchat script is broken down into at least 14 snaps, with words and visual ideas for each, plus links to the articles that might be added as content that the user swipes up to read. Editors, designers and animators then build all the visuals to produce the edition. Articles are fact-checked by the research department and updated where necessary.”
Journalism.co.uk / Caroline Scott
Prothom Alo is building the largest mobile journalism network in Bangladesh
Prothom Alo, the country’s most-visited newspaper website, hired a mobile journalism specialist to train its reporters through workshops across Bangladesh: “We’re now using mobile journalism to re-shape our news channel, encouraging our reporters all over the country to produce audio-visual content for social audiences.”
Medium / John Ciancutti, Steve Henn & Steve McLendon
Shortform audio platform 60dB is shutting down
The audio platform, launched last year by Netflix alums John Ciancutti and Steve McLendon and Planet Money alum Steve Henn, is shutting down on November 10. The team behind the startup is joining Google: “We came to the conclusion that to accomplish our goals we’d be better positioned if we joined someone with scale who shared our vision for what was possible with digital audio.”
The New York Times / Andrew Ross Sorkin
DreamWorks Animation cofounder Jeffrey Katzenberg is trying to raise $2 billion for a short-form video project
“Katzenberg, 66, is convinced that his new product, called New TV, can upend the format of television for mobile devices. He wants to create the next-generation version of HBO or Netflix, purpose-built for viewing on phones and tablets with short-form content of premium quality — think of ‘Game of Thrones’ as if each episode had a narrative arc of 10 minutes.”
Open News / Hamilton Boardman, Alastair Coote, and Tiff Fehr
Building better story formats for live coverage, from live blogs to mobile alerts
“Our most recent experiments in live coverage forms are often tied to special events like elections or sports, because they benefit from having a strong data source. Meaningful updates for readers becomes a mix of news, analysis, and significant data changes (updated counts, shifts in momentum, winner calls, etc). Another shared characteristic in these experiments is a focus on mobile.”
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.