Thanks for subscribing to Media Trends. Tell friends to follow along by signing up here.
Today's newsletter is 1640 words, a 6 minute read.
Situational awareness: The business fallout from journalism continues to rock newsroom across the country.
Illustration: Axios/Sarah Grillo
President Trump’s consistent attacks on free press and access to information, mostly through social media, have forced judges to re-evaluate the rules of political communications in the digital era.
Why it matters: Some of these actions have led to historic legal cases or set new precedents that could create stronger protections in the long term.
Heading into the summer, First Amendment advocates are waiting for a ruling that will end a two-year-long debate over whether Trump, and other public officials, can block constituents on social media.
Shortly after Trump was elected, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) confirmed that tweets posted by Trump using his @realDonaldTrump handle are considered presidential records.
Last year, a federal judge found that the White House’s stripping of the security pass of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta was unconstitutional.
Be smart: In many of these cases, courts have had to figure out ways to apply decades- long principles to new mediums.
Yes, but: Trump's rhetoric about the media being "the enemy of the people" and "fake news" is dangerous — and it provides cover for authoritarian regimes to threaten journalists around the world, free speech advocates tell Axios.
The bottom line: "Trump's relentless attacks on the free press and on government transparency have yielded strong pushback from ... the media itself, entities like NARA charged with preserving key records, and the federal courts," says Joshua Geltzer, Executive Director of the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown Law Center.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told several senior executives last month that spending on film and TV projects, particularly big budget movies, needed to be more cost-effective, The Information reports.
Why it matters: Netflix's heavy spending has set the bar for all of the other streamers looking to challenge it.
The big picture: In the past, Netflix used "a ratio of their cost to a measure of viewership that gives more weight to new subscribers and those viewed at risk of canceling," The Information's Jessica Toonkel, Tom Dotan and Beejoli Shahwrite write.
Be smart: Matthew Ball, former head of strategy at Amazon Studios, argues that this is not a sign of trouble for Netflix, but rather a sign of maturation.
What's next: There's been a lot of talk about whether companies that make content and own streaming services would eventually pull their titles in favor of their own platforms.
Photo: Joshua Lott for The Washington Post via Getty Images
Scoop with Axios' Alexi McCammond: Story Syndicate, a new production company founded by veteran filmmakers Liz Garbus and Dan Cogan, is creating a documentary on Mayor Pete Buttigieg, according to sources with knowledge of the film.
Why it matters: Buttigieg becomes the latest millennial politician — after Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — to turn to docs to define his legacy as an unlikely political challenger.
Details: The documentary details Buttigieg's rise to national attention, chronicling his stops on the campaign trail.
Be smart: For younger politicians looking to challenge incumbents, documentaries create an easy way to establish their narratives, before an incumbent does it for them.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
On Sunday morning, the news about Scooter Bruan buying out Big Machine Label Group was an interesting music industry deal, furthering the power and influence of a private equity-backed holding company that most music-lovers have never heard of.
But as of Monday morning, it was a massive PR debacle, Axios' Dan Primack writes.
The big picture: The music industry is changing a lot, but in some cases, experts worry that the economics around ways artists and music publishers are paid is outdated. This is especially true given the plethora of ways music discoverability has changed in the digital era.
New-age musical genres — like R&B and rap, Latin, and electronic/dance —continue to push music consumption towards digital channels, while genres that often cater to older audiences — like Christian/Gospel, Jazz, Rock and Classical — tend to still be consumed via physical albums, according to Nielsen's Music's Mid-Year 2019 report.
The big takeaway: Overall, streaming (both in audio and music video) is way up, and the total number of people actually paying to own albums is way down.
Other key takeaways:
Bernie Sanders captured more online conversation than any other candidate last week following his proposal to wipe out $1.6 trillion in student debt, according to data NewsWhip exclusively provided to Axios as part of a project that will regularly update throughout the 2020 campaign.
Why it matters: It shows that the topics that got outsized media attention weren't the ones that animated people the most, Axios' Neal Rothschild writes.
Go deeper: See the interactive
Facebook hasn't yet said whether it makes more from users on Instagram versus users on its core service, but a new report suggests that Instagram isn't providing the company with more revenue per person, at least not in the U.S., according to data from eMarketer.
Why it matters: The data shows that despite reports of slowed Facebook app usage and in the U.S., Facebook’s flagship app still monetizes users better than Instagram.
Driving the news: Instagram announced last week that it would begin placing ads over the next few months within its "Explore" tab, or the section of its app that includes tailored recommendations of posts for users to browse, watch or shop.
The big picture: Instagram's push to increase ad revenue comes amid warnings from executives of slowed ad revenue growth on the main Facebook app News Feed, due to privacy issues, user saturation and less user engagement.
What's next: Facebook quietly elevated its top advertising executive David Fischer to chief revenue officer, giving him more oversight into growing revenue across all of its properties, Business Insider's Lauren Johnson reports.
For transparency: eMarketer's methodology ... "Estimates are based on the analysis of various elements related to the ad spending market, including macro-level economic conditions; historical trends of the advertising market; historical trends of each medium in relation to other media; reported revenues from major ad publishers; estimates from other research firms; data from benchmark sources; consumer media consumption trends; consumer device usage trends; and eMarketer interviews with executives at ad agencies, brands, media publishers and other industry leaders."
A new study conducted by Protein Agency and Snap Inc. found that in several countries around the world, people’s average social circle consists of: