BuzzFeed Reorg, NBCUniversal’s Olympics Snapchat Numbers, Apple’s New Social Push, Newsroom Metrics Fail, TFP’s August Book Picks, 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 BuzzFeed’s reorg and video push, how NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed Olympics video scored on Snapchat, Apple’s push to integrate social into its products, a survey showing newsrooms are missing opportunities to use metrics to improve results, and more.

BuzzFeed reorg photo

  • BuzzFeed announced it’s reorganizing into two divisions—entertainment and news—as part of its ambitious plan to expand its digital video operations. “This new structure positions BuzzFeed to become something like the Paramount of the 21st century—an entertainment conglomerate built to be consumed quickly and everywhere,” said a Vanity Fair report, which included CEO Jonah Peretti’s memo to staffers on the changes. In the memo he said video “will be something we expand and embed across the organization. As digital video becomes ubiquitous, every major initiative at BuzzFeed around the world will find an expression as video, just like everything we do works on mobile and social platforms.” As for concerns that news will go by the wayside, Peretti countered the move is an opportunity for reporters to work with video news teams to get their stories out to much larger audiences.
  • When it comes to social video, the Olympic Games presented a great opportunity for media companies to “flex their creative muscles,” as NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel put it—resulting in some pretty impressive numbers. For NBCUniversal and BuzzFeed, content on both a pop-up Snapchat Discover channel and daily Live Stories drew a total of 2.2 billion views and accounted for 230 million minutes of consumption, according to Digiday. NBCU, which last year invested $200 million in BuzzFeed, gave BuzzFeed video producers in Rio “near-total editorial control,” the report said, noting the content specifically targeted Snapchat audiences. NBCU also ramped up its video on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. On Facebook alone, the media giant produced almost 900 videos during the Games, including 160 Facebook Live posts, generating more than 600 million views.
  • Apple is once again looking to get in on the success of social platforms, developing a video-sharing and editing application and testing related features for its iPhone and iPad operating systems, according to a Bloomberg post. Back in 2010, the company unsuccessfully launched an iTunes-related social network called Ping. Now, the company is pushing to integrate social apps in its mobile products as it shifts its focus from the slowing hardware business to services, including the App Store and iCloud storage. The move is intended to keep Apple “relevant” among younger consumers, the article said. Its next mobile OS will include an updated iMessage app aimed at Facebook Messenger and WeChat. And sources said the video-sharing app currently under development will let users record video and apply filters and drawings to it—a la Snapchat.
  • Elsewhere, MediaShift reported on a new survey that shows while the vast majority of newspapers measure metrics, few actually use the data to test and learn about key things like audience engagement, design, and revenue development. The Engaging News Project at the University of Texas found that 87% of news organizations track page views, unique visitors, and other metrics. “Almost everyone is doing monitoring,” said Talia Stroud, director of the study. But too often, “that’s where analytics work stops,” the report said. When it comes to testing—specifically, partnering with researchers and A/B testing—the survey found that only 12% of newspapers work with researchers and just 5% engage in A/B testing.

On the Technology for Publishing Blog

  • TFP’s August Book Picks list offers a mix of great summer reading, from guides on how to successfully create and leverage video to steamy reads about Silicon Valley and Hollywood power players.
  • This week’s infographic pick looks at the future of book publishing, showing print remains strong despite earlier predictions of e-books overtaking the market. See our post for comparisons and forecasts for each format.
  • Don’t miss Women in Media: Our August installment highlights Arianna Huffington’s latest move, Joanna Cole’s role as “The Cosmo Woman,” a visit to the Times by Girls Who Code participants, a Slack community focused on the gender pay gap, and more.
  • Also check out Monica Murphy’s latest Adobe Experience Manager Mobile Tip on using the AEM Mobile layout renditions feature to design content for multiple target devices.

In observance of Labor Day, This Week in Publishing will be on hiatus next week. We’ll be back with more industry highlights on Friday, Sept. 9. Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!

Vanity Fair photo: Jay L. Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/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.