Weekly Media Briefing for November 14th-18th

Michael Hurtig | November 14th, 2011

John Paton, CEO of MediaNews, is taking a web-based approach to the newspaper industry. His methodology for the overhaul of newsrooms is reminiscent of those organic to many internet news start-ups, demanding that journalists take on broader roles, while removing any barriers to speedy newsgathering and publishing. More at the New York Times.

Youtube seems to have cracked the code to the premium content industry. Under a new partnership with Disney, the company will produce an original series and feature Disney content on its site. Youtube has long been seeking to broaden its content offerings – the company stepped up its efforts earlier this year when it began offering premium video rentals, and more recently created partnerships with show runners and content producers matched by a $100 million dollar investment to create a slew of online premium content channels.

Apple’s newsstand, included with its new operating system, iOS5, offers publishers a new way to distribute their content – and get paid for it. One UK Publisher, Future Publishing, has reported a major increase in digital sales – 750%. Although this increase is based on the publisher’s first four days on the platform and not on annual sales, it still has significance. The psychology of purchasing a publication at a newsstand rather than a site, matched by the convenience of Apple’s sales portal may prove to be a strong formula for selling premium content.