Mather Report with David Clinch – Aug 4, 2022

The Mather Report – David Clinch

The Mather Report with David Clinch features a weekly blog post about all things relating to media revenue.

“Headwinds” is the word of the week in #MediaRevenue world.
There have been a number of stories this week about media companies of many kinds facing “headwinds” as digital advertising stalls and subscriptions either slow or become harder to acquire.
At Mather we think of this as a set of problems in which “data science as a service” can become even more important and calibrating your revenue strategy to optimize for revenue on both sides of the subscription and advertising equation is vital.
Reconfiguration of services and content in the streaming world is also continuing as streamers offer new content slates and adjust to new hybrid subscription and advertising models.
Always let me know on Twitter if you spot any #MediaRevenue stories I may have missed. If you have any questions or comments about these updates, please get in touch.

Here is this week’s curated selection of #MediaRevenue news:

‘Perfect storm’ wipes nearly $400bn off value of large US media groups this year

“Disney, Netflix, Comcast, Spotify, Fox, The New York Times, News Corp, and other large US media groups have collectively lost ~$380B in market value in 2022.”

Gannett reports disastrous financial results; layoffs are coming

““In the coming days,” Media division head Maribel Perez Wadsworth wrote in a note to staff, “we will … be making necessary but painful reductions to staffing, eliminating some open positions and roles that will impact valued colleagues.””

Profits Slump at CNN as Ratings Plummet

“CNN is on pace to dip below $1 billion in profit for the first time since 2016 amid crashing ratings.” “Mr. Marlin has floated a variety of revenue-generating ideas since joining CNN, including striking advertising deals with major tech companies like Microsoft. Mr. Marlin has also mentioned selling sponsorships to corporate underwriters, extending CNN’s brand in China and expanding CNN Underscored, an e-commerce initiative.”

Warner Bros. Discovery cost-cutting measures rankle CNN staffers as layoffs across divisions loom

“there have been some pains regarding the July switch-over from conference provider Webex to Zoom. During a recent town hall meeting at the end of July, staff received a message that they couldn’t access the online meeting because it had exceeded 500 people.”

In tough conditions, business at The New York Times continues to thrive

“Despite a relatively slow news cycle and a changing mix of products, The New York Times Co. reported Wednesday that it added a net of 180,000 digital-only subscribers in the second quarter.”

N.Y. Times Pushes Bundle Subscriptions as Ad Sales Face Pressure

“The New York Times plans to more aggressively sell bundles of its subscription products to drive revenue and offset pressure from advertisers who are cutting spending in a weakening economy.”

Thomson Reuters raises sales outlook, citing strong core in face of slowdown

“The earnings report comes as nearly 300 Reuters journalists in the United States were staging a 24-hour strike over the company’s offer of a three-year contract with guaranteed pay raises of 1%.”

Thomson Reuters Q2 profit higher, sales outlook revised upwards

“Reuters earns about half of its sales by supplying news to Refinitiv, previously Thomson Reuters data and data business which was spun off in a multi-billion dollar sale to private equity investors and is now owned by the LSE.”

“NBC News Daily” will debut across NBC stations

“On September 12th, “NBC News Daily” launches at 12p, in the timeslots previously occupied by “Days of Our Lives,” which is moving to Peacock. “NBC News Daily” will be simultaneously streamed on News NOW and Peacock.”

Streaming Investment Spurs Profit Drop in Paramount Global Q2

“Paramount Global saw profit drop in its second fiscal quarter as it increased investment in new content while seeing decreases in advertising and affiliate fees at its main TV businesses.”

Forbes Explores Sale After SPAC Deal Collapses

“Forbes has tapped Citibank to explore a possible sale in the wake of its SPAC collapse.”

Antenna Group Emerges as Bidder for Vice Media

“Vice Media, which is exploring a sale of its business, has a longstanding relationship with the Greek broadcaster.”

Semafor – Netflix for News

“Why did Ben Smith select Netflix as a way to explain the new company that he claims will disrupt the media industry? Not even the Semafor co-founder himself seems sure.”

New media venture Semafor takes shape as economic backdrop darkens

“the early contours of the new venture are starting to emerge ahead of a launch planned for October. Having secured $25mn in funding from various wealthy individuals, the start-up, called Semafor, is hiring more journalists.”

Chicago Sun-Times and launch a membership program

“”We’re going to drop the paywall for the Chicago Sun-Times and launch a membership program.””

Murdoch staffers in the Gunn as rumours of cuts swirl

“Rumours of cost-cutting measures at the News Corp papers have been kicking around for some time now, and at a briefing for staff at The Australian on Wednesday, editor Michelle Gunn can’t have filled many with confidence.”

The Twitter Blue subscription is getting more expensive

“the service told subscribers it’s increasing the price…to $4.99.”

Instagram is paying media companies to post Reels

“As Facebook cuts back on its payments to publishers, Meta-owned sibling Instagram is opening up its wallet as the platform continues its controversial pivot to short-form video with TikTok clone Reels.”

A 26-year-old entrepreneur takes a fresh shot at selling news one story at a time

“Startup Zette will offer access to paywalled stories across publications via a browser plugin for $10/mo.”

What is the future of news on LinkedIn?

“LinkedIn also has its own news team. This in-house newsroom has expanded significantly in the past year, with almost 200 people in journalist, editor and other news roles worldwide.”

CherryRoad Media expands through rapid growth spurt

“fast-growing CherryRoad Media, the New Jersey-based ows 64 newspapers in 10 states.”

Inside the one newsroom the NewsGuild failed to unionize

“Outside Inc. told staff a union would jeopardize the company’s ability to attract venture capital funding.”

Published by

David Clinch

Head of Global Partnerships – Mather Economics. Former Storyful, CNN, ITN. #MediaRevenue
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