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By Thomas Baekdal - June 2019

That $4.7 billion number from News Media Alliance is not real

This is an archived version of a Baekdal Plus newsletter (it's free). It is sent out about once per week and features the latest articles as well as unique insights written specifically for the newsletter. If you want to get the next one, don't hesitate to add your email to the list.

Welcome to the latest edition of the Baekdal Plus Newsletter. In this edition, we are going to talk about media lobbyism.


The News Media Alliance report on Google is bad

If you have been spending any time on Twitter over the past 24 hours, you will have seen the discussion we all had about the News Media Alliance report that claims that "Google Made $4.7 Billion From the News Industry in 2018".

There have already been a lot of people who have written about this, but I put together a more extensive analysis of this, which you might enjoy.

The short version is that the numbers NMA are using are imaginary, it contains some fundamental statistical errors, and their assumptions are based on only two publishers and how they get traffic from Google ... which in no way can be extrapolated to define how Google revenue works as a whole.

But the bigger issue here is the focus of the report itself, and how many in the media pushed it out without any journalistic checks and the very obvious and misleading deception that comes with it.

And then, of course, there is the whole problem with the concept as a whole. But I cover all this in this article.

Read more: The problem with the $4.7 billion that News Media Alliance say Google makes from news

BTW: Yesterday, several people also started criticizing both me and other media analysts for pointing out the flaws in this report, so I had a bit of a rant about that on Twitter. The short story. It's much worse when we in the media do a bad job or start to mislead people. We expect other companies to lie, but we demand trustworthy content from journalists (or people representing journalism). So, it's not acceptable when the media lowers themselves to untrustworthy lobbyists. That hurts all of us.


In other news

Other than the article above, I'm currently in the middle of two projects. I'm in the planning phase and data gathering phase for my next Plus report, which is going to be about robot journalism.

I have so much that I could talk about with this, so that's exciting.

I also have a plan to write about what really happened when Google entered the market because I see so many publishers who have a kind of distorted idea about this.

I talk a little bit about this in the article above, but the fundamental problem that I see is that publishers are simply not speaking the same language as brands anymore.

The ad products that publishers think that brands want is not actually what brands are talking about today. So, that's something I'm working on.

Meanwhile, Mary Meeker is out with her annual report, and that's exciting. I haven't had time to look at it yet, but it's always interesting to see how all of these changes, especially if you compare it to her previous reports (here is a list of them all).

Finally, if you haven't seen it yet, last week's Plus report about Zetland has turned to be very popular, and it's also one of the longest reports I have written this year.

In it, I take you behind the scenes to help you get a very deep look into how the Danish newspaper Zetland operates, their strategy, culture, and most of all, how they managed to get their readers to listen to the news as audio 70% of the time.

I'm really proud of this article and how it has been well received.

Anyway, that's it for this week's slightly shorter newsletter, but next week, I will be back with a lot more.

This is an archived version of a Baekdal Plus newsletter (it's free). It is sent out about once per week and features the latest articles as well as unique insights written specifically for the newsletter. If you want to get the next one, don't hesitate to add your email to the list.

 
 
 

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Thomas Baekdal

Founder, media analyst, author, and publisher. Follow on Twitter

"Thomas Baekdal is one of Scandinavia's most sought-after experts in the digitization of media companies. He has made ​​himself known for his analysis of how digitization has changed the way we consume media."
Swedish business magazine, Resumé

 

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