Category Archives: Media

Revcontent names Omar Nicola as its new CEO

Content recommendation company Revcontent has a new chief executive: Omar Nicola, formerly the co-founder of mobile advertising company Kixer. Revcontent’s founder and outgoing CEO John Lemp will remain involved as chairman of the board of directors. “Omar is the perfect choice to take over as CEO of Revcontent, because of his wealth of experience and track record of success as a publisher and a leader of several different advertising technology companies,” Lemp said in a statement. “Founding and building Revcontent has been one of the most rewarding […]

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Acast raises $35M to help podcasters make money

Podcasting has grown tremendously in recent years, and a Stockholm-based company called Acast is looking to help all those podcasters make money. Acast is announcing today that it has raised $35 million in Series C funding, bringing its total funding to more than $67 million. Investors in the round include AP1 (which manages some of the capital in Sweden’s national income pension system), as well as Swedbank Robur funds Ny Teknik and Microcap. Ross Adams, who became Acast’s CEO last fall, told me that the money will […]

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The economics and tradeoffs of ad-funded smart city tech

In order to have innovative smart city applications, cities first need to build out the connected infrastructure, which can be a costly, lengthy, and politicized process. Third-parties are helping build infrastructure at no cost to cities by paying for projects entirely through advertising placements on the new equipment. I try to dig into the economics of ad-funded smart city projects to better understand what types of infrastructure can be built under an ad-funded model, the benefits the strategy provides to cities, and the non-obvious costs cities have to […]

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Social music app Playlist lets you listen to music with others in real time

A new app called Playlist aims to make music a more social experience than what’s offered today by the major music platforms like Apple Music, Pandora or Spotify, for example. In Playlist, you can find others who share your musical tastes and join group chats where you listen to playlists together in real time. You can collaborate on playlists, too. The app, backed by investment from Stanford’s StartX fund, was founded by Karen Katz and Steve Petersen, both Stanford engineers and serial entrepreneurs. Katz previously co-founded AdSpace Networks […]

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Piano teams up with True[x] to combine advertising and paywalls

Nearly every online publisher has launched or announced a paywall — but of course, even the ones that are successful won’t convince every reader, or even the majority of readers, to sign up. Now Piano and True[x] say they’ve found a more effective way to monetize the rest of the audience, without threatening crucial subscription revenue. Piano is a company that’s built a range of publisher tools, including paywall and subscription management. True[X], meanwhile, is an adtech company that was acquired by 21st Century Fox a few […]

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BuzzFeed News launches a paid membership program (and yes, there’s a tote bag)

BuzzFeed News is giving readers a new way to support its journalism — by paying a monthly or yearly fee. BuzzFeed might not seem like the most obvious publication to ask readers for financial support, as it doesn’t really have the high-minded appeal of (say) NPR or the New Yorker. However, the company has been working to establish a separate identity for its team focused on real journalism (as opposed to the quizzes and other entertainment that BuzzFeed is known for). In fact, it launched a separate […]

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Stoop aims to improve your news diet with an easy way to find and read newsletters

Stoop is looking to provide readers with what CEO Tim Raybould described as “a healthier information diet.” To do that, it’s launched an iOS and Android app where you can browse through different newsletters based on category, and when you find one you like, it will direct you to the standard subscription page. If you provide your Stoop email address, you’ll then be able to read all your favorite newsletters in the app. “The easiest way to describe it is: It’s like a podcast app but for […]

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Spotify alums create Canopy content suggester that won’t steal your data

Personalization comes at a steep price. All your data gets sucked up into a company’s servers where they can do whatever they want with it. But Canopy is a new content discovery startup that’s invented impressive technology that lets it learn about you anonymously while all your data stays on your device. Built by the co-founder and CTO of Echo Nest, the music data startup Spotify acquired to power its recommendations, Canopy wants to turn privacy into a competitive advantage. It plans to equip any content app […]

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The Correspondent launches campaign to bring its ad-free journalism to the US

De Correspondent, a Dutch news organization aiming to “unbreak the news,” is planning to launch in the United States next year as The Correspondent. To fund its efforts, it’s hoping to raise $2.5 million from future readers. Co-founder and CEO Ernst Pfauth (a former tech journalist who previously served as editor in chief at The Next Web) said this campaign is meant to test the waters of whether U.S. readers are interested in The Correspondent’s journalism. If it raises the money, it will launch in the U.S. […]

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The tactics behind The Athletic’s breakout success in sports subscriptions

Local newspapers may be shuttering and people may be consuming most news on social media, but don’t tell Alex Mather that a subscription news publication can’t grow like a unicorn startup. His 2-year-old sports publisher The Athletic has gained over 100,000 paid subscribers (60 percent under age 34) and has a 90 percent retention rate. Having already raised $30 million in its short life, the company announced a new $40 million Series C yesterday, led by Founders Fund and Bedrock Capital. It reportedly values The Athletic around $200 […]

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