Felix Salmon

Matter, Medium, and the future of immersive content

April 17, 2013

When Matter launched, last year, co-founder Bobbie Johnson told Christopher Mims that “done right, we can offer something valuable and remain sustainable in the medium term.” Little did he know how close he was to hitting the nail on the head: it turns out that it’s not “the medium term” which is going to provide Matter’s sustainability, so much as a term sheet from Medium.

The native matrix

April 15, 2013

Jay Rosen asks, reasonably, that people start drawing useful distinctions between buzzy terms like content marketing, sponsored content, native advertising, and even brand journalism. Here’s my stab at it:

The disruptive potential of native advertising

April 9, 2013

Andrew Rice delivers 6,000 words on BuzzFeed in the latest NY Mag, which means he has the space to tell a number of different stories. The one I’m interested in is the way that BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti wants native advertising to disrupt banner advertising. I apologize for the long blockquote, but it’s a lot shorter than the article:

What will Henry Blodget do with Jeff Bezos’s millions?

April 5, 2013

The news of the day in the media world is that Jeff Bezos has led a $5 million Series E funding round for Business Insider. Here’s the story, according to CEO Henry Blodget:

How paywalls are evolving

April 3, 2013

Last week, I hypothesized that the publishing industry was going to informally settle on a single management-consultancy company to ask for paywall advice from. That consultancy, having seen everybody’s internal figures, could then tell everybody else what “industry best practice” was. It’s the time-honored management-consultancy m.o., reselling other clients’ confidential information, suitably anonymized, of course, so that everybody learns from everybody else’s successes and failures.

Paywalls rise

March 27, 2013

It’s paywall season right now: the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Telegraph, the Sun — all have recently announced plans to erect paywalls in an attempt to extract subscription revenues from their most loyal online readers. And other paywalls are being tweaked: the NYT paywall is getting less porous, while Andrew Sullivan’s is being tightened up, with a new $2/month option to complement the existing $20/year price point.

Must investors be on Twitter?

March 18, 2013

Izabella Kaminska and Joe Weisenthal have both, in their own ways, weighed in on the importance of Twitter to investors. Here’s Kaminska:

The many flavors of native content

March 15, 2013

A story about smartphone use in emerging markets appeared on Quartz Wednesday morning. The byline at the top is that of Donald Fitzmaurice, the CEO of Brandtone, who wrote the introduction and the conclusion. The rest of the piece comprises short country reports from Brandtone employees in South Africa, Brazil, Russia, and Turkey. The ostensible message of the piece is about smartphones. The real message of the piece is “hey, look at us, you might not have heard of us, but we’re thought leaders in the mobile space, and we’re in lots of different countries around the world”.

The problem with online freelance journalism

March 5, 2013

Nate Thayer caused quite a stir in the Twittersphere this morning when he published the email correspondence between himself and Olga Khazan, an editor at the Atlantic. Khazan had seen Thayer’s 4,300-word piece for North Korea News about “basketball diplomacy”*, and decided that it would be great to have a shorter version of the story at the Atlantic. After a bit of back-and-forth, she proposed this to Thayer: