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'The Information' offers Reporting from Inside of Facebook and Google... At a Steep Price

The Information, which offers deeply reported tech news from inside notoriously hard to reach tech companies like Apple, Facebook, and Google, comes with a high price-tag. Since its 2013 inception, The Information has charged an annual subscriber rate of $399. Starting Dec. 4, it’s adding a $199-a-year plan for people age 30 and under, “The Information Young Professional Plan” and a $749-a-year “All-Access Plan.” The Information also offers the annual $10,000 subscriber tier, which includes personalized, in-person tech news briefings. 

Read more about The Information here.

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Membership vs Subscriber Model

Jay Rosen and Emily Goligoski spent the past six months studying the differences between membership and subscriber media revenue models. They found that subscribers pay money for a service but members expect to be a part of the production process, or at least see behind the scenes. 

Read more here. 

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Problems Arise with 'Facebook Watch' Ads

Facebook Watch, which currently facilities 45 percent of all of Facebook's ad revenue, is being challenged about its video ad policies. Facebook Watch's original content partners are usually not allowed to run their own ads. Dig Daily reports that one Facebook Watch partner says, “We’re barely making any money off of [Watch shows] — it’s all off the minimum [production] guarantees... “

Read more here

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A Paywall Revolution

Considering the strict paywall at the Wall Street Journal, which is prohibitive to many readers, it may be time to consider new types of paywalls. Melody Kramer at Poynter suggests only putting feature articles behind a paywall, allowing all users to access breaking news stories. Kramer speculates about some other radical paywall workarounds, like what if sustaining your location public radio station could allow you to swerve a paywall? 

Read Kramer's column here

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Great Expectations Dashed for Digital Journalism Outfits

Sites like  BuzzFeed and Mashable seemed able to generate massive web traffic and, with it, ad revenues. The Economist reports that they, as well as print newspapers, have succumbed to the duopoly of Alphabet (owner of Google and YouTube) and Facebook. Smaller digital operations show several clear paths to long-term survival, but not to billion-dollar valuations. Read the entire article here.

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Village Media: A Case Of Funding Hyperlocal Media

Village Media, a digital local media company which has launched multiple localized sites, is trying to use Google and Facebook to their advantage. Most traffic to Village Media sites come from Facebook. CEO Jeff Elgie told Harvard Nieman Lab, “Google and Facebook are as much our friends as our enemies." He acknowledges, “We have to find new and creative ways to not replace a client’s Google and Facebook spend but find our own portion of it." Village Media remains confident about its prospects using local business ad revenue.

Read more on Village Media here.  

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The Meaning of VC Money in Media

When venture capitalists invest in media companies, the companies are relieved of the burden of immediate profitability. Simultaneously, VC-funded media companies are urged towards high-stakes risks.  Buzzfeed, Mashable, and Vice have all recently disappointed their VC investors. Buzzfeed, for one,  is set to miss their annual revenue target by twenty percent. The Columbia Journalism Review asks, "Is that because the expectations of BuzzFeed and its investors were too high, or did Facebook make changes that undermined those expectations?"

Read more here. 

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Is Invisibly An Answer to The Subscriber Model?

Co- founder of Square Jim McKelvey is launching Invisibly, a much-anticipated micropayment ad platform that will offering publishers a path beyond the subscriber/non-subscriber model. Invisibly will offer viewers the monthly subscriber option, as well as payment per article, day passes, week passes, or the publisher can pop up an Invisibly-served video ad. Watch the ad, answer a few questions, and you get access to the site for a metered amount of time. McKelvey has recruited The Atlantic, The Motley Fool, and Warner Brothers test Invisibly.

Read the Nieman Lab's introduction of Invisibly. 

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