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AARP, formerly known as The American Association of Retired Persons, is one of the largest media companies in the country, bringing in more than $174 million annually in media-based advertising revenue, according to public filings.
Why it matters: The non-profit's print and digital presence makes it one of the most widely-consumed media properties in the U.S.
By the numbers: According to the association's most recent financial filings, in 2017 the company made:
By comparison, media giant Vox Media — which houses popular brands like Vox, The Verge, and Eater — made around $185 million in revenue last year, per The New York Times.
What's next: Like many of today's digital media companies, AARP has built a digital video studio.
Be smart: Similar to many other big enterprises that have invested in media, like Amazon or Apple, AARP's investment isn't just about the advertising money. It's about providing content so that it can continue to collect membership dues.
Read more about the "The Future of Retirement" in an Axios special report coming this weekend. Sign up here to get it in your inbox.
"AARP The Magazine," which distributes bi-monthly, surpassed "People" as the most-circulated magazine in the United States in 2017.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Media companies are looking to transition into the non-profit world for survival, as non-profits can accept donations while still selling advertising space, like AARP.
Driving the news: A small Quebec newspaper called The Gleaner, facing near collapse, was salvaged by a community that instead worked together to pivot the for-profit media company into a non-profit, Nieman Lab reports.
Yes, but: While some non-profits have major media presences, like AARP and Smithsonian, others have struggled to maintain strong media footprints.
The digital media empire owned by media mogul Barry Diller has been quietly building a profitable mobile apps division that's on track to bring in about $200 million in annual revenue.
Between the lines: The company is looking to acquire apps in emerging categories, like mental health. Meditation apps similar to Calm or Headspace could be an area of investment, or even mood tracking or journaling apps.
How it works: IAC will give the mobile group, now called Mosaic, the money for the acquisitions, so long as Mosaic pays IAC back.
By the numbers: In total, all of Mosaic group's apps total around 4 million paying subscribers.
Disney+, the streaming service from the Walt Disney Company, officially launched today in the U.S., Canada, and The Netherlands.
Why it matters: Disney executives assured stakeholders that the streaming franchise would be a seamless experience for consumers beginning on Day 1.
The big picture: The service will the flagship product that will define the decades-long career of Disney chief Bob Iger.
What's new: For $6.99 per month, subscribers will have access to nearly 500 films and 7,500 episodes of television from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic.
Our thought bubble: Disney is most competitive thanks to its content offerings and competitive pricing, costing less than Netflix and Amazon Prime — and its bundled service costs the same as Netflix's most popular subscription tier.
Between the lines: Netflix is one of the few companies left in the streaming wars that's investing in content to sell, well, content. Most of the other streamers are using streaming to sell other stuff, like merchandise, phones, or internet plans.
Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images
Since entering the presidential fray last week, billionaire Mike Bloomberg has become a popular topic of on fringe internet forums, where users have dished about what his war chest could mean for the race, according to data provided to Axios from social intelligence firm Storyful.
Why it matters: Discussions on Reddit, as well as fringe-right sites 4chan and Gab, discuss whether Bloomberg's well-financed entrance into the race will upend President Trump's second bid for The White House.
On Reddit, the most popular discussion — amassing over 1,400 comments since it started on November 8 — is titled "Michael Bloomberg, the Billionaire No One Likes, Is Here to F*** Up 2020. That title came from a Vice article that published with that headline on November 7th.
On 4chan, a thread started on November 7 entitled “It’s happening, It’s over” had multiple comments stating Bloomberg’s indication he would enter the race was a prelude to Hillary Clinton joining as well.
The big picture: Bloomberg's candidacy is picking up steam online.
Be smart: For Bloomberg Media, which has long had a rule that the company can't cover Michael Bloomberg itself, coverage of Bloomberg's candidacy is complicated.
What's next: According to an internal memo obtained by NBC News' Claire Atkinson, "If Bloomberg runs for president, a management committee will run his company."
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Several of the biggest social media platforms are beginning to test changes that cut down on scorekeeping, discourage harassment and aim to improve users' well-being.
Why it matters: The unwinding of features such as public "like" counts could have a major impact on the multi-billion dollar businesses of social media companies, as well as the millions of brands and creators that rely on those features to fuel their own businesses.
Driving the news: Instagram will begin testing the removal of public "like" counts on its platform in the U.S. this week, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said last week at a Wired event.
Between the lines: These efforts aren't totally altruistic. The platforms' high-engagement environment is burning out some users.
What's next: One big question will be how these changes affect the millions of online creators and businesses that rely on "like" counts and similar stats to optimize their businesses.
Nielsen Holdings, a $7.5 billion company known best for its decades-long position as the leader in television measurement, announced Thursday that it would spin off its retail measurement business, called Nielsen Global Connect, into an independent, public company.
Why it matters: Despite criticism about whether its TV measurement tactics are outdated, Nielsen's media arm has been outperforming its retail counterpart lately, which measures consumer sentiment about goods and retail sales.
Photo: Axios (Axios' Ina Fried with the case of Sesame Street in LA)
"Sesame Street" officially turns 50 this weekend. That's 50 years of Bert and Ernie, 50 years of Oscar and Big Bird, and 50 years of expanding minds, stretching boundaries and occasionally stirring up controversy, Axios' Ina Fried writes.
Why it matters: As was the original intent, "Sesame Street" has played a huge role in teaching generations of kids not only how to read and count, but also about the world around them.
"The wonderful thing about Sesame Street is there are birds and monsters and people and fairies and all kinds of wonderful different kinds of people that live together and we all have a great time."— The Count