Media Insider: Vox Launches Marketing Platform, Freelancers Organize, Italian Vogue Omits Photos

Welcome to Media Insider, PR Newswire’s round-up of media stories from the week.

Media Insider Jan 3 2020 - Hand holding a sparkler firework

New fronts will open in the media union wars in 2020

In 2019, the organizing wave was on the rise with unions forming at several media outlets throughout the year. In 2020, organizing efforts will continue with a new front as freelancers begin to unite. Leading the way is the Freelance Solidarity Project with help from the National Writers Union. At the end of 2019, the two organizations elected a 12-person committee to spend 2020 focusing on projects like drafting letters of agreement that standardize the working relationships between media companies and freelancers. The project already is growing rapidly with only writers in its ranks. It will soon look to add other types of media workers, including photographers, videographers, graphic designers, and illustrators.

Journalists face more adversity outside of the newsroom as public perception of journalism grew more uncertain in 2019.

Vox Media Launches Forte, First-Party Marketing Platform

Vox Media introduced its new first-party marketing platform, Forte. The platform will offer marketers a way to leverage first-party data from its 125 million monthly unique visitors across its portfolio of brands. This data will give marketers a better understanding of consumer intent so they can deliver an enhanced user experience. Ryan Pauley, Chief Revenue Officer at Vox Media, stated, “Forte is a next-generation solution in how marketers can reach audiences, moving away from a reliance on third-party data. It can optimize to the needs of any marketer in real-time and it serves as an immediate solution to browser policy changes and privacy regulation.”

Vox Media gets a head start on one of Forbes’ forecasted trends: How Tech Will Influence Digital Media In 2020.

Italian Vogue Won’t Publish Photos This Month

Last month, Vogue launched Vogue Values, a global mission across all 26 editions to have a strong voice on global issues. In his January 2020 note to readers, Emanuele Farneti, the editor in chief of Italian Vogue, acted on that pledge by announcing the magazine will not be publishing photos this month. In the note, Farneti detailed what it takes to fill one issue of the magazine, specifically describing the environmental impact of one photo shoot alone. The next issue of the magazine will be filled with illustrations by various artists rather than photographs and will feature eight different illustrated covers. Farneti is aware this isn’t a long-term solution, stating, “I think that the most honest way to face a problem is starting by admitting it. That was our way to say that we know we are part of a business that is far from being sustainable.”

Related: Media executives share New Year’s resolutions for 2020.

Universal Music sells €3bn stake to Chinese company Tencent

Universal Music Group announced the sale of a 10% stake to Chinese tech company Tencent in a deal valuing the company at €30bn. The deal advances UMG’s international expansion into Asia. Tencent’s subsidiary, Tencent Music Entertainment, also will buy stake in Universal Music’s operation and Vivendi, UMG’s parent company, has agreed to give Tencent the option to buy more stake at the same price until January 2021. Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and Chief Executive of UMG, reassures UMG staff that the deal will not result in Tencent having any influence over the day-to-day running of the music company.

ICYMI: FOX News Media Forms Strategic Advertising Partnership With HEVĒ for Branded Content.

The Washington Post Takes to TikTok to Drive New Subscribers

The Washington Post’s TikTok account launched last summer as a new way to connect with readers by providing a window into the newsroom and offering a comedic take on hard news. The account has since evolved and become an organic marketing tool and a way to build the brand for younger readers. The Washington Post took the app a step further when it released a video last week featuring a link with a promo code for a steeply discounted digital-only package for new subscribers. The link attracted potential subscribers and allowed the marketing team to track the number of people and where they come from.

More on newsroom social media: BBC considers restricting journalists’ use of Twitter.

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Erin Wade is a Senior Customer Content Specialist with PR Newswire. She is also an animal lover and aspiring world traveler. Tune into her insights as a social curator at @TotalCSR.

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