Last year wasn’t quite the skip fire that 2020 was, although it might not feel like it if you’ve deep in fourth-wave Omicron hell. But Press Gazette is calling 2021 ‘a much more positive year’ and it has some numbers to prove it.
Looking back at the preceding 12 months in nine charts, PG acknowledges the continued acceleration of long-standing trends such as print decline and the desperate search for new business models, but highlights ‘plenty of bright spots’. They include the ad bounce back and stock market recovery for the biggest media brands. There’s also the expansion of the 100,000 club as more publishers pass that magic subscriber milestone.
On the social-good side of the media equation, global declines in press freedom and the fact that most people think the UK media is racist take the shine off, but at least more women won and were nominated for British Journalism Awards. Here’s to two steps forward and just one back in 2022.
For those of you that just can’t get enough of those crazy NFTs, here’s our very own Chris Sutcliffe’s analysis of the trend from our Media Moments 2021 report. Publishers have leapt feet-first into the newly mainstream crypto convertible, but is there any sustainable revenue to be found in these shiny new opportunities?
As an OSG (older Scottish gentleman) I absolutely love this report from FIPP about a new magazine targeted at older readers. Long frustrated with magazines aimed at the over 40s, South African publisher Terena le Roux has ditched the “chairlifts and adult nappies,” for content focused on ‘positive ageing’. F*ck yeah!
I saw a report about the AOP’s fair attribution proposals today (in the Press Gazette to give it fair attribution) and it reminded me that I’d written a little thing about it late last year. The AOP’s email-based protocol is really simple and an important way to credit investment in original content. It absolutely deserves to succeed.
This week's podcast:
We’re releasing the first episode of 2022 on Jan 17th; a special looking at local news start-ups in the US and what they need to become sustainable. In the meantime, here’s a throwback from last year:
ICYMI: I interviewed the UK Editor of The Big Issue, Paul McNamee, right at the end of 2021. We spoke about the Big Issue’s Breakthrough scheme, paying disadvantaged young people to get into journalism, the magazine’s recent redesign and about making a properly entertaining magazine.
We’ll be building out our written analysis this year. But did you know we also published a bunch of content before Christmas looking at media trends over the past year? If it passed you by in the pre-holiday rush, you can catch up here in our Analysis section.