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Hello! Welcome back to the Advertising and Media Insider newsletter after Labor Day and the summer that was anything but slow for us.
First, news about us: I’m excited to welcome our new advertising correspondent, Patrick Coffee, a longtime muckraking journalist, to our growing team. Email him your best tips at email@example.com.
On to the news: The pivot to subscriptions has been one of the big stories for digital news outlets. As a pair of stories this week shows, that path is not straight.
Jessica Lessin’s tech news site The Information is largely subscription driven, but it’s tapping Spotify and BuzzFeed vets as it tries to grow the business beyond its $400-a-year subscriptions – showing how even hardcore subscription publications are diversifying their revenue to include advertising.
Meanwhile, business news site Quartz has lost a batch of key people in the past few months, including those who were instrumental to its effort to diversify away from advertising.
Something to ponder: To switch from being a free site to being membership-driven requires a massive cultural shift. From what some insiders tell me, the site made this change quickly, which might have worked against leadership’s ability to get buy-in.
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Elsewhere, we’ve been all over direct-to-consumer companies, which are facing growing pains as the social platforms that gave them their start get more expensive.
As Tanya Dua reported, Peloton’s road to its IPO has come at a cost – the stationary bike company more than doubled its ad spending in the past year.
Meanwhile, one venture capital firm is trying to stand out by helping DTC companies solve that very problem. Comcast Ventures apparently is helping some of their portfolio companies cut their costs, though whether it can help them grow the topline is still TBD.
Over in media, the rise of OTT is disrupting TV companies, but ad tech companies are picking up the spoils. Lauren Johnson found companies like The Trade Desk and TripleLift are snapping up TV talent to try to own OTT. But people who come from traditional TV sales backgrounds may be unaccustomed to the speed of ad-tech culture.
And a fun one: Tanya got the inside story behind those quirky Oatly ads you’ve probably seen plastered all over the place – and which helped shoot the Swedish oat drink maker to the top of the category.
Here are other great stories from media, tech, and advertising. (You can read most of the articles here by subscribing to BI Prime; use promo code AD2PRIME2018 for a free month.)
Viral meme platform 9GAG is launching an overarching media company to capitalize on advertising deals – and is already working with brands including Sony Music, Dunkin’ Donuts, Netflix, Pizza Hut and My.Games