Media Insider: Spotify Hits 345M Monthly Users, Hearst Releases D&I Report, NPR Launches Investigative Unit

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

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Spotify adds subscribers with podcasts push

In its fourth-quarter 2020 earnings, Spotify reported it logged 345 million total monthly users, marking a 27% rise from the year-ago period. Spotify also reported ad-free subscriptions grew 24% from a year earlier – it had a record 30 million sign-ups in 2020. Spotify’s total quarterly revenue climbed 17% to $2.6 billion. Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek attributed the boost in audience to exclusive podcasts, such as “The Joe Rogan Experience,” which was the top podcast on the platform in 17 markets. For the first quarter of 2021, Spotify predicted total subscribers of between 354 million and 364 million, and paying subscribers are expected to reach between 155 million to 158 million.

The New York Times exceeded 7.5 million subscriptions in 2020.

Hearst releases first diversity and inclusion report

Hearst released its first U.S. diversity and inclusion report this week. The report found that out of the 14,000 U.S. employees, 73% were white, 8% were Black or African American, 8% were Hispanic or Latino, 8% were Asian, and less than 1% were American Indian. The report also found that 78% of employees who were managers or higher were white, as were 64% of new hires over the last year. Concerning gender, the report found 52% of employees were men and 48% were women, and women made up 42% of management positions, while men accounted for 58%. CEO Steven Swartz said in a statement accompanying the report, “Clearly, we have work to do so that our workforce — at all levels — reflects the communities that we serve.” Within the report, the company outlined programs to increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Hearst also plans to report a nonbinary gender option starting this year.

Continue reading: Media companies’ diversity, equity, and inclusion follow-throughs fall short.

NPR Launches Station Investigations Team As Part Of Collaborative Journalism Network

NPR has launched an investigative unit called the Station Investigations Team. The team includes a producer and a data editor who will offer technical support, such as data collection and analysis and freedom of information requests, to station-based reporters covering ambitious investigative projects. The team will be funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and led by award-winning investigative reporter Cheryl W. Thompson. Thompson, who is also president of Investigative Reporters and Editors, said, “Investigative journalism, particularly at the local level, is needed now more than ever. This is an amazing opportunity to work with our Member stations to do those stories that hold the powerful accountable.”

Read next: People desperate for COVID-19 guides seek local journalists.

McClatchy will outsource printing for two NC newsrooms, costing 81 full and part-time jobs

McClatchy continues to outsource printing with its most recent print production halt at The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, and the Herald-Sun in Durham, North Carolina. The two McClatchy papers will now outsource to Fayetteville, North Carolina, cutting 48 full-time jobs and 33 part-time jobs. The Philadelphia Inquirer also announced the loss of 500 jobs with the sale of its printing plant. The Inquirer will now outsource to another Gannett newspaper. Gannett has been outsourcing too, closing the plant of The Register-Guard in Eugene, Oregon, and sending that work to the Vancouver, Washington-based Columbian Publishing Company. Since last year, more than 1,700 jobs have been cut because of printing plant closures.

Philadelphia Inquirer kills the comments section on most stories after being hijacked by a small group of trolls.

Insider Inc. to drop Business Insider name amid massive global expansion

This week Business Insider dropped “business” from its name and logo. This is the first step in CEO and founder Henry Blodget’s plan to grow the publication to reach a broader audience. Blodget said he will continue to invest in the company’s core verticals of business and technology, but he will also invest significantly in verticals outside of traditional business coverage, like politics, travel, and lifestyle. Blodget’s objective is to build Insider into the next-generation global publishing giant online. In 5 years, Blodget hopes Insider will reach a billion people online per month, have a million subscribers, and employ a thousand journalists.

ICYMI: Dainik Bhaskar published a 204-page cloth newspaper to mark its 15 years in Bhilwara.

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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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