We all know that the Bezos Post and the Grey Lady are doing well selling monthly subscriptions. (During the last three months of 2016, the Times added 276,000 net digital-only subscribers, more than they started the year.)
Are tech events on the wane? Quartz last month pulled the plug on The Next Billion, its three-year-old conference series with $1,500 ticket prices. The Bloomberg Technology Conference, historically held each June in San Francisco, is as yet unscheduled for 2017.
Pando, again, is in trouble. In June we published "Pando's Last Stand," covering the publication's quest to persuade 5,000 readers to subscribe at $100 a year -- by year end. With eight weeks to go, reported EIC Sarah Lacy and editorial director Paul Carr this week, subscriptions have plateaued at "a fraction above 3,100." In response, Pando has announced Pando Patrons, a supplemental fundraising effort.
Is The Information worth pitching? Our subscribers have been asking us lately. We continue to say yes, but for different reasons than before. Shortly after its Dec. 2013 launch The Information scored several scoops that rival publications quickly followed. That made The Information a must-read newsbreaker.
In simpler times, consumer titles, business titles, trades and verticals comprised the entirety of media. Editors and publishers researched their audience and served it. Today a subtler framework is emerging that over time will change how PR shapes pitches and woos influencers. Successful publishers today produce either attention products or engagement products -- or both in tandem.
Clickbait and native advertising may be remembered as 2014's big themes, but a third one -- the emergence of "agenda setter" publications -- will affect PR the most. The latest agenda setter is Backchannel, the "lithe, nimble center for meaningful, fun tech writing" launched this week and edited by former Wired and Newsweek scribe Steven Levy.
The Information founder Jessica Lessin promised to deliver scoops that rivals would follow. Now that the publication is a month old, are they?