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The Digiday Podcast

The Digiday Podcast is a weekly show on the big stories and issues that matter to brands, agencies and publishers as they transition to the digital age.

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Business Insider’s Henry Blodget: ‘We don’t want to aim for reach growth anymore’

On this week's Digiday Podcast, CEO and co-founder of Business Insider Henry Blodget said the publisher, which has over 10 million followers across social media platforms, is not trying to grow reach anymore. As the publisher's focus shifts to deepened engagement and frequency, it faces questions: whether an ad-driven model is better than a subscription model, how to monetize social and web video and how to approach the ever-growing need for video on platforms. Blodget answers these questions and more in the episode.


6 Sep 2017

Rank #1

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Hearst’s Mike Smith explains WTF is programmatic advertising

Programmatic advertising is playing a larger role in the future of publishing. Recent Digiday research found that over half of publishers now generate more revenue from programmatic advertising than any other channel. On this episode of the Digiday Podcast, Mike Smith, chief data officer at Hearst, joined Digiday editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey in an attempt to break down the current state of programmatic advertising.


23 Apr 2019

Rank #2

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Conde Nast's Craig Kostelic: 'We’re completely embracing programmatic'

The Food Innovation Group is home to legacy brands like Bon Appétit, but in the shift to digital, the magazine has become a complement to Bon Appétit's digital and social offerings. With the majority of the group's revenue now also coming from digital, it's embracing programmatic advertising. “Programmatic is an activation method versus a buying strategy. If display [advertising] is a function of getting more programmatic, there’s a huge opportunity to streamline and create less friction [in transactions]," said Craig Kostelic, chief business officer of Food Innovation Group and Condé Nast’s Lifestyle Collection, on this week’s Digiday Podcast.


18 Oct 2017

Rank #3

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News industry analyst Ken Doctor 'People will pay for quality content'

This has been yet another turbulent year in the media industry, and publishers have pivoted to wherever they found potential for ad dollars or an alternative revenue model. Some are experiencing success with subscription models, particularly those with a legacy of trust and quality associated with their names, like The New York Times. Ken Doctor, a news industry analyst joins us on this week's Digiday Podcast to discuss subscriptions for local news publishers, FCC decisions, the problem with digital-only models, Tronc and more in the episode.


29 Nov 2017

Rank #4

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Quartz’s Kevin Delaney: Advertising is still a great business model for news

On this week’s Digiday Podcast, Quartz’s co-president and editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney defended the advertising business model and discussed the pivot to video, venturing into lifestyle and more.


20 Sep 2017

Rank #5

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The Atlantic's Taylor Lorenz: Facebook is irrelevant to Gen-Z

Gen-Z is the latest object of marketer fascination. The teenage demographic has its own language and very different traits when it comes to the Internet and social media consumption -- just witness the Instagram egg. Taylor Lorenz, staff writer at The Atlantic, has carved out a niche for herself exploring the nuances of Gen Z internet culture, and the impact it has on media and marketing. Lorenz discusses the power of influencer marketing, why Instagram wins over Facebook, and how YouTube's algorithm still poses a problem. Plus, we get deep into what a finsta is.


5 Feb 2019

Rank #6

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Talking Points Memo’s Josh Marshall on making subscriptions half of revenue

Talking Points Memo founder Josh Marshall started the website as a personal blog in 2000. Today, TPM is a 25-person independent publisher that's moving from an ad-dependent model to over half of revenue coming from 26,000 subscribers. Marshall discusses advertising challenges for a small publisher, downsides of venture capital, not pivoting to video and more on the episode.


25 Apr 2018

Rank #7

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Digiday's reporters on what 2020 holds for the publishing industry, from the streaming wars to the end of the cookie

This week's episode of the Digiday Podcast is a look ahead at what 2020 may have in store for the publishing industry.The site's reporters weigh in on the beats they know so well: Tim Peterson breaks down the streaming wars that have only just begun, the UK-based Lara O’Reilly makes predictions on a future that goes "beyond the cookie," and Max Willens explains how publishers' revenue streams may change in the New Year.


24 Dec 2019

Rank #8

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Bleacher Report’s Howard Mittman: Better to be a 'need' publisher vs 'feed'

It's the year of loyalty for publishers, and as reverberations from Facebook's news feed change subside, only those that have created a need for their content will remain unfazed. At a Digiday Live Podcast event on Jan. 24, Bleacher Report CRO and CMO Howard Mittman said Facebook's community is waning, and all its changes aim to protect that owned and operated platform.


31 Jan 2018

Rank #9

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Hayley Romer: Advertisers must choose between publishers and platforms

It’s been about nine months since Emerson Collective, a philanthropic organization founded by Laurene Powell Jobs, acquired a majority stake in The Atlantic. On this week’s Digiday Podcast, The Atlantic’s svp Hayley Romer talks about the publication’s ambitions in the wake of the acquisition, growing reader revenue and the challenges of advertising.


2 May 2018

Rank #10

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BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti: ‘We’ve proven we can be profitable’

Buzzfeed founder and CEO Jonah Peretti talks about profitability versus growth, his company's relationship with Facebook, and more.


10 Jul 2018

Rank #11

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Hodinkee’s Ben Clymer: “Making the flip from 100 percent ads to a majority in commerce is difficult”

Hodinkee has built a media brand around those passionate about watches. It started as a Tumblr page by Ben Clymer, who was working on Wall Street at the time. Clymer turned Hodinkee into a leading source of content related to watches and the business model has evolved from entirely depending on ad dollars to making 65 percent of its revenue from e-commerce.


14 Aug 2018

Rank #12

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NYT's head of ads Sebastian Tomich: The role of the publisher is to sell ideas

In which NYT's global head of advertising Sebastian Tomich argues that publishers will change direction on their agency businesses. Native is not going to save publishers. Instead, agency services are sitting alongside subscriptions, display, commerce, licensing and other business lines. 


27 Jun 2018

Rank #13

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Mic’s Chris Altchek: Facebook’s news feed is not the place to build a loyal audience

This week's guest is Chris Altchek, the CEO and co-founder of Mic, a news publisher focused on young people. Mic has raised nearly $60 million -- and it was one of the first publishers to talk about the pivot to video. Chris discusses whether the pivot was a mistake, figuring out Facebook, and how Mic’s vertical expansion is going.


11 Apr 2018

Rank #14

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Cheddar’s Jon Steinberg is betting big on OTT bundles


9 May 2018

Rank #15

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The Atlantic's Taylor Lorenz: People like TikTok because it's free of toxicity

Since short-form video app TikTok, formerly known as Music.ly, burst onto the scene in 2018, it has captivated young audiences with its endless challenges, memes and lip syncs. The app even helped launch rapper Lil Nas X, and propel his hit "Old Town Road" to a record-holding 17 weeks on top of the Billboard charts. To outsiders, the app has a reputation for "cringey" content and comedic music videos produced by and for teenagers. But for Taylor Lorenz, a tech and internet reporter for The Atlantic, TikTok's unusual approach to social media is game-changing. On this week's episode of The Digiday Podcast, Brian Morrissey welcomes Lorenz back into the studio for a deep dive on the app that everyone is talking about, but not many understand. Here they discuss what TikTok is, what sets it apart from other platforms, and why it still has some growing up to do.


6 Aug 2019

Rank #16

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The Athletic co-founder Adam Hansmann: 'We believe there is a $1b company to build here'

With over $100 million in outside funding, The Athletic is quickly racking up subscribers, recently crossing the 600,000 mark.Hitting 1 million paying subscribers would put The Athletic in rarefied company: "You're talking about companies like the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Washington Post, Financial Times, and a couple of others," said Adam Hansmann, the site's co-founder, on this week's Digiday Podcast. "Being in that kind of rarefied air, we'd feel at that point incredibly secure in the foundation we built. We see 90% engagement weekly during busy sports times. We see 80% of our subscribers renew. Getting to that point, we feel good about the platform's permanence. Long term, valuations concerns in the short term aside, we believe there is a $1 billion company to build here, which might sound crazy. But if you look at The New York Times, with their 4 million digital subscribers, they're a $1 billion publicly traded company.""We have a one of a kind business that we've started," he said. "We're going against every instinct that the industry has had."The Athletic, which now has 500 employees, has its share of detractors, who note the company's path to profitability will be perilous with its penchant for paying top salaries for writers."I think there are 50 million sports fans in the US at least," he said. "The segment of sports fans we're targeting are people that really care. That know the difference between just a headline about a story, 'who won the game,' and the true insight about the teams that you really care about."


15 Oct 2019

Rank #17

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Google’s Richard Gingras: Platforms didn't destroy journalism's business model

Richard Gingras, vp of news at Google, discusses working with publishers, local news, advertising, and more on this episode.


17 Jul 2018

Rank #18

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Hearst’s Kate Lewis: One-third of Hearst’s magazine content is video

Last year, the big wave of pivoting to video washed over many media companies. Troy Young, global president for digital at Hearst Magazines, joined the Digiday Podcast last March and said half of Hearst Magazines' content would soon be video. This year, we invited Kate Lewis, svp and editorial director of Hearst Magazines Digital Media, on the podcast to check in with Hearst's digital operations. So far, one-third of Hearst's magazine content is video.


10 Jan 2018

Rank #19

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Brit+Co’s Brit Morin: Modern media brands are human brands

Publishers are coming up with a variety of ways to support content and encourage direct reader revenue. But it all starts with building a brand that people want to pay for. Brit Morin, founder of Brit+Co and a former Google employee, has been working on that for about seven years now. But every brand’s sustainability and elasticity has to go beyond a founder’s career span. Morin discusses revenue, differentiating content and more on this episode.


28 Aug 2018

Rank #20