VIACOM CEO PHILIPPE DAUMAN GOES ON CHARM TOUR BEFORE HE'S FORCED TO EXIT, BUT ANALYSTS AREN'T BUYING IT: The same day, the company issued a gloomy profit outlook for the current quarter, due in part to the weak results for its Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. But sitting in his office at 44th and Broadway, with a 180-degree panoramic view of New York, Dauman was calm, showed little emotion, and made no apologies. He said he deserves to keep his job because he has “realigned this company for the future.” He cited the company’s increased investment in original content; its success in securing affiliate deals; its successful performance selling advertising in the recent television up fronts; and its rapid growth overseas.
THE CRITICAL STATE OF NEWSPAPERS: The Internet is pilfering readers and advertisers from print. There’s a growing army of startups and platforms to which more and more people are flocking for their headlines. Announcements of layoffs and newspaper closures are so regular they strain the standard of newsworthiness. This may sound like the same old story, but there’s a reason you may be getting the nagging feeling that lately, the storm clouds are getting darker.
NEWSCORP ENTERS THE VERTICAL VIDEO ARENA: At this year’s Cannes Lions advertising festival, the media giant launched its first vertical video advertising format. Now, advertisers will be able to buy and place vertical video ads across websites owned by News Corp. The New York Post and The Sun will be the first to offer the format, followed a month later by all other properties in the News Corp umbrella including The Wall Street Journal.
BUZZFEED STILL BELIEVES IN TUMBLR: Parent company Yahoo may have made a mess out of Tumblr financially, and the platform is no more than a rounding error for publishers in terms of referral traffic. In December, it contributed less than a tenth of a percent of publishers’ social traffic, according to Shareaholic. But dedicated ones like BuzzFeed say the find value in its ability to reach a young, style-conscious and socially active audience they can’t find elsewhere — even if there aren’t opportunities to make money directly from their efforts.
BUZZFEED MOTION PICTURES IS SERIOUS ABOUT THE LOYALTY THEY EXPECT FROM EMPLOYEES: On Monday, BuzzFeed Motion Pictures President Ze Frank sent out a staff memo, later published on BuzzFeed.com, that explained "why we think our model is a unique and valuable opportunity." The memo did not address the departures, but noted that "there have been a number of conversations recently about what it means to be a BFMP producer."Mr. Frank, after ticking off the benefits of working for BFMP, said the company expects "real commitment in return." He continued: "Concretely, this means that the work you do while you're on BuzzFeed's staff belongs to BuzzFeed, and that you can't work for other productions without our permission."
TRONC OFFICIALLY ARRIVED YESTERDAY: This is an exciting day in the evolution of our company, and we are proud to join Nasdaq alongside other innovators and tech companies as we create a new media model for the industry,” said CEO Justin Dearborn. "tronc is built on the foundation of brands that have upheld the respect and honor of their communities for over 250 years.
UK PUBLISHER MISSES MEMO, LAUNCHES NEW PRINT NEWSPAPER: Apparently news of the death of print comes slowly to the north of England as a local publisher has just launched a new ‘national’ newspaper for the north called 24. The publisher, CN Group, publishes such papers as the News & Star and The Cumberland News and the Hexham Courant. New newspaper launches are great, in theory, but already there are some odd things about this one. For one thing, how can something be a new national newspaper if it is for the North? Second, haven’t these guys heard of New Day, the daily launched by Trinity Mirror, that lasted all of two months before being shuttered?
APPARENTLY TRIBUNE PUBLISHING'S NEW NAME "TRONC" AND ITS ROLL OUT ARE THE BIGGEST JOKES OF THE MOMENT, OR IS IT? WE ARE ALL TALKING ABOUT IT: What they've done is what you might call the nuclear option," said Josh Feldmeth, CEO of branding agency Interbrand North America. "To rename the company is to suggest that everything has changed. It's interesting that they've taken that approach. A name can only do so much." It also isn't helping that mentions of tronc videos explaining the company's new direction released on Monday are currently polling 63 percent negative and 37 percent positive, according to Spredfast.
IF YOU WANT TO READ THE WASHINGTON POST FOR FREE ONLINE, JUST GIVE THEM YOUR EMAIL, FAIR ENOUGH: Even as it boasts of record traffic, The Washington Post is apparently looking at ways to make it a little more difficult for people to read its journalism for free. Numerous social media users are reporting that the paper is taking steps to get more information about readers, and the paper has taken steps to close loopholes that let readers access stories for free via social media. Some readers who aren’t logged into the Post’s site are getting a pop up that asks them to provide their email address and subscribe to the the paper’s Post Most daily newsletter.
TUMBLR ENTERS THE LIVE VIDEO ARENA TODAY: Twitter has Periscope. Amazon has Twitch. Google has YouTube’s live streaming. And Facebook has Facebook Live. Now, Tumblr is getting into live video, too. The company is preparing to launch a new live video feature on its service, beginning today, which will introduce a series of live broadcasts as well as a user-facing feature that could compete with Facebook Live, among other things.
TV FIGHTS BACK: The rise of Netflix, YouTube and Spotify makes it easy to assume that everything sprinkled with internet fairy dust is better than what came before. It seems to extend to advertising -- in countries like the U.K. and the U.S., spending on digital ads will outpace television this year, and globally the shift is not far off. But the dinosaur that is television has a big weapon to fight back. Cable companies like Comcast and European pay-TV leader Sky Plc are deploying new set-top box technology that allows web-style ad targeting by age, demographics, or interests.
TWITTER GETS A MAGIC PONY: Fresh off a $70 million investment in audio-streaming service SoundCloud, Twitter announced Monday that it has purchased Magic Pony, a British artificial-intelligence startup, for a reported $150 million. Magic Pony is the third machine-learning start-up Twitter has purchased in as many years. Prior to buying up Magic Pony, Twitter bought A.I. start-ups Madbits in 2014 and Whetlab a year later.
NEWS CORP IS BUYING 72 NEWSPAPERS: APN News & Media has sold its regional newspaper business to News Corp. for $36.6 million. The regional assets include 12 daily newspaper, 60 community newspapers and dozens of news websites. News Corp. already owns a 14.9 per cent stake in APN, which is currently shedding its traditional media assets but keeping its radio and AdShel divisions.
NETFLIX COULD SUFFER MASSIVE SUBSCRIPTION EXODUS: Netflix is at risk of losing hundreds of thousands of customers as the price hikes it began in May extend to current subscribers through the rest of 2016. The streaming service has seen its costs rise sharply as it invests more in original films and series while launching a global expansion. Nomura analyst Anthony DiClemente expects Netflix could lose 480,000 subscribers in the U.S.