The case for mobile apps for local news publishers

Canada settles with Google for payments to news organisations

Guy Tasaka makes a very sturdy case for mobile apps for local news publishers. He highlights stats on how much more engagement apps users. App users consumer more than 6x more sessions per month than desktop or mobile web users, and more than, he breaks out the incredible amount of adviews -151 - that mobile app users consume than desktop - 10 - or mobile web -7. And push notifications are such an important tool for publishers to engage users. Tasaka is right to highlight that publishers have aggregators to content with, but apps are an important tool in the publishing stack for local news organisations.

Print represents 25% of The Guardian’s revenue, and their publishing director Mylene Sylvestre attributes the resilience of their print business on distinctive content and a global footprint. It underscores how much British publishers are looking to a global market for growth. And both in their digital and print operations, they are looking to leverage data. I also think it’s interesting how they are looking to convert print readers in the UK to subscribers. That is different than the traditional newsstand sales in the UK, but it provides a more stable basis for their business.

And licencing deals like this one for the Guardian are a new source of revenue for major newspapers and other publishers.

I had to double-check the date on this story. Is is 2023 or 2017? No, it is definitely this year. Subscriptions for groups have been around for a while, but this is a good case study of how they could work for local publishers. Subscribers get access to special content including dedicated discussion groups, exclusive content, polls and a special badge on their profile. It is an interesting play for a local publisher. Could this scale for larger publishers?

For all of the smart uses of AI, there are some very public and very stupid uses of it that will damage a lot of businesses and the use cases for AI. Following Sports Illustrated being caught using AI to generate content. Publishers under pressure will be using generative AI. Will it be enough for readers to alert them that the piece was written by AI? Or will it further erode trust?

And here is an article about the Sports Illustrated AI controversy. So sad.

It is positive to see the industry being proactive with policies and processes to govern the use of AI in journalism. In another excellent piece from The Fix they dig into the new Reporters without Borders guidelines. One criticism of the guidelines is that they were not written by a broad group of stakeholders. They were written with journalism unions and researchers only, The Fix says. I also find it interesting that WAN-IFRA has decided not to promote the charter due to unrealistic expectations. It’s a valuable piece.

A thoughtful piece from The Conversation on what news organisations are doing as their content fades, or in the case of Canada has completely disappeared on Facebook, on social media platforms.

Just a few weeks before the Online News Act is set to go into effect in Canada, Google has struck a deal with Google. I am sure that news companies are hoping that a similar deal can now be struck with Facebook and that their visibility online will be restored.

Social Media this week: Musk drops the F-bomb on advertisers and disinformation networks build ahead of the US elections

Ahead of the US elections, Russian and Chinese misinformation networks are growing their audiences, Meta has warned. It is a worrying that after all that has happened over the last eight years that the US does not seem prepared to tackle this issue. But efforts to deal with them seem to have been hampered by partisanship.

And, of course, Elon Musk looks to be preparing for a messy divorce with advertisers. This comes as those in the ad industry are calling on CEO Linda Yaccarino to resign to preserve her standing and reputation in the industry.