Today's Media Trends is 1625 words, a 6 minute read.
The news and information that U.S. adults actually read doesn't always match up with the topics they claim they want covered more, according to data from traffic analytics company Parse.ly and an Axios/SurveyMonkey poll.
Be smart: It's easy to blame the media for overblown media coverage, but publishers have to respond to what people actually read — not what they say they want.
The big picture: Media companies struggling to find their footing are looking for ways to better connect with consumers. This involves finding new verticals and topics to write about, as well as more innovative ways to cover traditional topics.
Our thought bubble: Successful subscription models are able to sidestep the traffic trap of covering easy-gratification topics for clicks by reaching audiences in more intentional consumption environments — newsletters, magazines and streaming services.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
News companies that have been lobbying for legislation that makes it easier to negotiate with companies like Google and Facebook will testify before Congress on Tuesday, in the first of several hearings probing the power of Big Tech.
Why it matters: The advertising-supported business model that underpinned journalism for decades has collapsed, leading to the closure of hundreds of newspapers across America.
How it works: Newspapers worry outdated government rules about consolidation and collective action prevent them being able to join forces to compete for their share of digital advertising dollars.
Yes, but: Congress doesn't typically intervene in private negotiations around content leverage and distribution.
Our thought bubble: Forecasts project social media and video platforms will continue to take the majority of ad growth away from newspapers for the foreseeable future.
A new report out this morning from PwC finds that by 2021 more children's advertisers will shift their budgets away from YouTube and channels that are non-compliant with children's privacy laws.
Why it matters: Almost a billion kids will be covered by digital privacy laws by 2021 around the world, thanks to new regulations being introduced in Europe (GDPR Kids), India (PDPA) and China (PIS), per the report, commissioned by SuperAwesome, a platform used to power kid-safe technology.
Be smart: This will intensify as regulators globally commit to children's privacy law enforcement. The FTC said earlier this year it will seek to extend liability to individual executives in companies acting illegally.
Yes, but: The report finds many of the major content services that have dedicated, vetted content for children are subscription-based, like Netflix, Disney+, Apple and Amazon.
By the numbers: The report estimates that kids digital ad spend will reach $1.7 billion worldwide by 2021, roughly 37% of total kids ad spend. This number projected to grow even further as more investments are made in kids tech.
Digiday, the eleven-year old digital media trade publication, is adding a third brand. The company will launch a "Modern Retail" vertical that will exist across all revenue streams, including advertising, events, newsletters, digital and subscriptions.
Why it matters: Digiday is good example of how a digital media company can scale while remaining niche. "You can be small but be big by staying focused," says Digiday founder and CEO Nick Friese. "We've been a profitable media company over the last seven years," says Friese.
The big picture: Modern Retail becomes the third major franchise within the Digiday family. It follows the 2016 launch of Glossy, a fashion and beauty media brand that focuses on the intersection of technology and fashion and luxury brands.
Be smart: Digiday is a rarity in today's rocky digital media climate. The company was initially self-funded, and hasn't raised any venture capital money. As a result, it's been able to grow strategically at its own pace.
By the numbers: According to Friese, all five of Digiday's business units (advertising, subscriptions, events, awards, custom content) are 7 to 8 figures in revenue.
Apple is killing its famous iTunes app on the Mac in favor of three new apps this fall: one for music, podcasts and TV.
Why it matters: The move is a symbol of the way music consumption has changed, moving from digital downloads to on-demand streaming.
The big picture: Over the past year, Apple has aggressively pushed users away from iTunes in favor of Apple Music, which has grown to reportedly surpass Spotify in U.S. users.
Between the lines: The industry has developed standards and benchmarks for popular music around album sales and downloads.
What's next: The music business is still trying to figure out how artists will be compensated for streaming success.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Google-owned YouTube has taken a lot of heat over the past week for how it polices content, sucking attention away from Facebook after a brutal news cycle around the doctored Nancy Pelosi video.
Why it matters: As Axios' Ina Fried points out, many of the struggles YouTube is facing stem from vague and unevenly enforced rules for taking down videos and "demonetizing" creators.
Driving the news: Ina got to the heart of this point yesterday at Recode's annual Code Conference, when she asked YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki if she was sorry for the way YouTube handled anti-gay comments made by a popular conservative at a Vox journalist, or if Wojcicki was sorry that people were offended.
Go deeper: Ina writes about these issues and so much more in her daily tech newsletter Axios Login. Sign up.
Vice faces a tidal wave of changes that have pundits and analysts wondering about the future of the brand once valued at $5.7 billion.
CBS and Viacom merger talks will likely reach a critical stage this week as the board of CBS meets to go over the discussions during its regularly scheduled gathering, per Fox Business.
Video games used to be played on big screens through expensive consoles on couches in your mom's basement. Soon, when we think of games, we'll think of our phones instead.
The big picture: The future of gaming is one where casual gamers just whip out their phones and play on the go.
Go deeper: Full piece from me and Axios' Michael Sykes.