Media Insider: BuzzFeed Bets More on Video, Podcasts Experiment with Paid Subscriptions, and Vice Hit With Layoffs
Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round up of journalism, blogging and freelancing stories from the week.
BuzzFeed has made a huge commitment to building out its video capabilities, and funny and shareable videos have become its staples, Nieman Lab reports. BuzzFeed Motion Pictures was launched in 2014. Today, it publishes 65 original videos each week; the company says it has more than seven billion content views per month, with video counting for a majority of them across all platforms, Nieman Lab says.
New York Times Co. to Offer Buyouts to Employees (The New York Times)
In a bid to continue aggressive digital expansion while controlling costs, The New York Times will offer voluntary buyout packages to members of the newsroom and several business departments, the company says. Members of The Times’s executive committee said in a memo to employees that the buyouts were a part of the company’s larger mandate to build a more digitally focused newsroom and to reach its stated goal of doubling digital revenue by the year 2020, The New York Times reports.
Podcasts Experiment With Paid Subscriptions (The Wall Street Journal)
If you’re a podcast listener, you’re likely used to the advertising that many shows depend on. But some podcast companies think there’s another viable way for programs to generate revenue: paid subscriptions, The Wall Street Journal reports. To that end, podcast app and ad network Acast recently launched a service that will allow creators on its platform to sell content directly to their audience without advertising.
Vice News Hit With Layoffs in US, UK (Variety)
Variety reports that Vice Media is cutting 15 news staffers in the US and also axed three members of the Vice News UK editorial team. Meanwhile, Vice News also recently hired nearly 20 employees and plans to open additional news bureaus. Josh Tyrangiel, former Bloomberg chief content officer tapped by Vice last fall to run the daily news show for HBO, now will oversee the company’s news division internationally and coordinate strategy between Vice News and the Vice daily and weekly programs on HBO, Variety says.
Building massive audiences with the help of social platforms like Facebook has become a standard publisher go-to move, Digiday says. But that scale doesn’t necessarily go with revenue, and headlines today have included staff cuts at news organizations, including the Guardian, The Telegraph, Vice, and Mashable. In a recent edition of Digiday Confessions, Digiday grants anonymity in exchange for brutal honesty with a senior publishing exec at a UK newspaper.