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Rethinking the Comment Section

Posted on Friday, May 31, 2019 at 1:09 PM

In the news: Publishers are reevaluating their comment sections, which present them with huge audience-building opportunities ... and huge headaches.

Some publishers are examining their comment sections and making changes in the name of audience development. Recently, reports Lucinda Southern of Digiday.com, the Wall Street Journal closed commenting to non-subscribers and cut back on the overall number of articles with comments enabled.

Why the renewed focus on comment sections, which are nothing new in the online media landscape? "Comments are growing in importance as reader revenue strategies become more crucial avenues for sustainable media businesses," writes Southern. "Publishers have also beefed up their data science teams to comb through audience behavior data." Read more about what's happening in comment sections industry wide here and here.

Also Notable

Sports Illustrated Sold for $110 Million

This week, marketing company Authentic Brands Group purchased Sports Illustrated from Meredith Corporation for a reported $110 million. According to Reuters, "The companies also formed a strategic partnership to build a global media platform and develop broad-based licensing programs under the Sports Illustrated brand that will include product, original content and live events." The sale comes as part of Meredith's wider efforts to focus its resources on women's titles. Read more here.

Washington Post Shares Its Programmatic Platform

Shoshana Wodinsky of AdWeek.com reports that the Washington Post will be releasing its programmatic platform, Zeus, to all online publishers. "Partners can opt for a standard package and leverage the basics of Zeus, or they can choose a more premium package, which includes access to in-house ad tech from the company's research, experimentation and development team, or RED," she writes. Read more about the wide release of Zeus here.

The Current State of Print

This month has seen several major magazine brands shutter their print editions. Included in the mix: Motorcyclist, Bride, ESPN The Magazine, and Beer Advocate. Despite those closures, print is still thriving for a lot of publishers. Sarah Jerde of AdWeek.com reports that 134 magazines have launched in the last two years, since January 2017. Read more here.

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