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The Bezos/National Enquirer saga gets stranger: The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that American Media, Enquirer's parent company, asked about having to register as a foreign agent after publishing a glossy magazine promoting Saudi Arabia and its new crown prince.
Reddit announced Monday that it has raised $300 million at a $3 billion valuation, up from a $1.8 billion valuation when the company took in a $200 million in investment in 2017.
Why it matters: Reddit has focused its efforts over the past year on cleaning up its platform to build a better advertising model.
Between the lines: Reddit has roughly 330 million monthly active users (MAUs), which means it's about the same size as Twitter — but its efforts to monetize those users haven't been great yet.
By the numbers: CNBC reports that the company's annual revenue is roughly $100 million, meaning each user is worth around 30 cents. By comparison, average revenue per MAU as of Q4 2018...
A big part of Reddit's value to advertisers is the demographic of its audience, which is mostly users ages 18–34. On its website, Reddit says 63% of its users are under 25 years old and 87% are under 35.
The big picture: The company has pushed aggressively over the past year to both clean up its site and focus on more lucrative advertising opportunities, primarily video.
National Enquirer is sparking a media crossover, with activists pushing to persuade stores to stop carrying tabloids, in light of recent scandals around the publication.
Why it matters: So much of the attention on fake and malignant news has been on the platforms — Google, Facebook and Twitter. But a major chunk of the questionable media consumed in America is still seen in print, often in the checkout aisle.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Companies that began publicly planning for the digital transformation of their business 6 years ago are beginning to see their efforts pay off.
What's happening: Both the New York Times and Turner publicly committed to pivoting their businesses to meet new digital goals in 2014, and their companies have come a long way ahead of 2020.
Why it matters: Neither effort has been pretty, a reminder that the thousands of layoffs announced over the past month within the media industry are par for the course of survival in the internet era.
Where they stand:
Be smart: Turner's digital transformation is worth noting, but nowhere near as tangible as NYT, which reports actual digital revenue figures.
What's next: NYT says that it hopes to grow its subscription business to more than 10 million subscriptions by 2025. A large part of that will continue to be through lifestyle services, like subscriptions to cooking and crossword content. This month it launched a new game, Letter Boxed, to keep its 400,000 crossword subscribers hooked.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Communication in general is becoming more private and group-oriented — primarily via messaging platforms — as well as more ephemeral through the use of formats like "Stories."
Why it matters: Privacy concerns on big, open social networks, as well as well as a need for tech platforms to expand revenue and build audience engagement, is pushing users away from endless content feeds, where scrolling can be mindless. They are heading more towards community-focused forums where people are comfortable engaging.
By the numbers: Around the world, more people are using messaging platforms than social media networks.
The shift is happening mostly on Big Tech platforms, where mobile users spend the majority of their phone time.
Be smart: Snapchat has really pioneered many of these features and functions. The company created "Stories" in 2014, and said in 2017 that it would separate social aspects of its app from media in order to give users a more intimate, private experience.
The big picture: Traditional communications strategies have focused on perfecting messaging so that it can be relevant to many people for years after it publishes.
"The movement towards private groups and more ephemeral content has accelerated in the past 12 months ... Companies who don't adapt now towards more discreet online communities could find themselves playing catch-up to maintain an engaged audience for years to come."— Matt Navarra, social media consultant who tracks trends, tells Axios.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's social media stardom follows her around the web, sucking an entire news cycle in around her.
Why it matters: It amplifies her overall media presence. Coverage of AOC is more likely to be picked up by news websites from social media than any other Democrat, per the data.
By the numbers: From a list of 8 popular Democrats, AOC attracted the second highest overall traffic — after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — between Jan. 3 (when she was sworn in) and Feb. 10 on the websites within Parse.ly's network.
A new analysis from the Interactive Advertising Bureau finds that direct-to-consumer companies like Dollar Shave Club and Everlane are moving beyond the retail sector and are pushing into every sector, from media to health care.
Why it matters: The shift means companies across all industries need to find ways to shift their supply chains from wholesale distribution through brick and mortar stores or entertainment providers to distribution relationships through the internet.
By the numbers: Here's a comparison of brick and mortar growth vs. e-commerce absolute dollar growth, via Nielsen...
The bottom line: "The trick is every disrupted brand needs to acquire consumer relationships at scale. The only way do this economically is through a low cost acquisition," IAB president & CEO Randall Rothenberg says.
In her acceptance speech for Best R&B Album on Sunday at the Grammys, Musical artist H.E.R. gave a "special shoutout" to Spotify's Head of Urban executive Carl Chery, Spotify itself, as well as Apple Music.
Why it matters: Tech companies are taking the creative community by storm. It's the new normal.
What's next: We'll be watching how Netflix's "Roma," which has snagged 10 nominations, does at this year's Oscars on Feb. 24.