Verizon-Yahoo Deal, Facebook Q2 Results, Meredith’s Video Strategy, Bauer’s Print Success, TFP’s Infographic Pick of the Week

Welcome to Technology for Publishing’s roundup of news and tips for media industry pros! This week, we’re sharing stories about Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo’s core business, Facebook’s stellar Q2 earnings results, how Meredith is approaching video, why Bauer still believes in the newsstand, and more.

top ceos photo

  • Verizon announced it’s buying Yahoo’s core business for $4.83 billion, a deal intended to give Verizon the scale to compete with Facebook and Google in the digital advertising business, Business Insider reported. With its earlier acquisition of AOL and now the addition of Yahoo’s sophisticated ad technology and content business, Verizon will become the third-largest digital ad network in the U.S. The report said while these deals and others, including its mobile video partnership with Hearst, will enable the company to expand its content offerings, “the strategic rationale for Verizon is probably something like four parts ad platform to one part content.”
  • Meanwhile, Facebook is winning on multiple fronts. According to TechCrunch, it “crushed” Q2 results, bringing in revenue of $6.44 billion (estimates were $6.02 billion) and hitting 1.71 billion monthly users, a jump of 60 million. The report noted the social media leader suffered some bad press during the quarter, including allegations that it was censoring conservative news in Trends along with backlash over an algorithm change that favors posts from friends and family over those from publishers and brands, resulting in a drop in their reach and referral traffic. But that didn’t slow the growth of products like Facebook Live, with the company recently revealing it’s paying media companies and celebrities millions of dollars to create content for the live-streaming service, and Facebook Messenger, which just reached 1 billion active users. Check out reports from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes for more numbers and industry perspective.
  • Video is a key component of content strategies at all top publishers today, including Meredith. It told Digiday that it now produces 500 original videos a month—double the number it produced last year—resulting in 80 million unique views. But like other media companies, the publisher of lifestyle titles like Better Homes and Gardens and Martha Stewart Living is looking to make production more efficient and less costly, in its case taking a centralized approach. That means using a centralized team to produce as much video as possible while ensuring the content is aligned to each title, the article said. To do that, it relies heavily on data, especially when it comes to popular categories like recipe videos, which are planned out months ahead of time. And it’s also experimenting with Facebook Live video, along with virtual reality and 360 video. But of course for all publishers the trick is to balance the right mix of video—cheap and expensive—to ensure return on investment, an analyst said.
  • Back in the print world, Bauer Media EVP Sebastian Raatz explained in a Folio Q&A why the newsstand is working for Bauer titles like In Touch and Women’s Day. Although data shows newsstand sales are continuing to sink, with declines of 5% to 10% every quarter, Raatz said certain categories continue to do well. In fact, the publisher has launched several new titles over the past few years, including Closer, Simple Grace, Girl’s World and Celebrate with Woman’s World, and is expecting more in 2016. “The easy story is ‘newsstand sales are down,’ and while it’s true, it’s an undifferentiated view that most of us industry insiders get sucked into too easily,” he said in the Q&A. “We all agree that publishing magazines profitably hasn’t exactly gotten easier—and that’s why we have to dissect the market, know what’s wrong and, more importantly, what’s right. You can still launch a winning title with the right concept in the right genre.”

On the Technology for Publishing Blog

  • Learn how to create effective infographics: This week we bring you an infographic pick that outlines the top six do’s and don’ts when it comes to infographic design and content. (Hint: Keep it simple!)
  • Don’t miss our latest Media Metrics installment, highlighting recent reports on the cost of ad blocking, news consumption on social media, newspaper jobs, the audiobook market, and more.
  • Also check out Monica Murphy’s tip on AEM Mobile’s tools for creating layouts, designing and mapping content to cards, and creating layout renditions.

Business Insider photo: Oscar Siagan/Monica Schipper/Justin Sullivan/Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Visit our blog for highlights of interesting and noteworthy stories from the publishing world every Friday, and sign up for TFP’s This Week in Publishing newsletter. Think we missed something great? Let us know! Leave a comment below or drop us a note.

Posted by: Monica Sambataro

Monica Sambataro is a contributing editor and copyeditor for Technology for Publishing. Her publishing background includes work for leading technology- and business-related magazines and websites.