The Center of Attention is a podcast for anyone with (or in) an online audience who wants to understand how their digital behavior relates to the attention economy at large. By questioning data from multiple perspectives, Parse.ly co-founders and hosts Sachin Kamdar and Andrew Montalenti attempt to illuminate what we’re really paying attention to.
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21 Media industry takeaways and trends in 2018
It’s year in review time! Sachin and Andrew share their takeaways from the media industry in 2018 (the importance of trust and the power of movements), worst trends (the infamous video pivot and also movements again), and predictions for 2019 (building companies that endure and diversifying traffic and revenue).
Plus, they talk about some of their favorite content and entertainment from 2018, from multimedia reporting to books on physics, and go +1/-1 on whether certain technologies will transform the media industry in 2019.
Subscribe to The Center of Attention on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.
20 Why audience engagement helps journalists find job satisfaction, with Community Impact Newspaper
Earlier in his career, Matt Dulin, an editor at the Community Impact Newspaper, experienced a shift in the nature of his work. “Journalism jobs have inadvertently been redesigned, just through necessity,” Matt said. When conducting research at the Missouri School of Journalism, he was inspired to study one of the factors related to that change: audience engagement.
Matt set out to learn whether journalists who practiced audience engagement—defined as using analytics or social media as part of your job—had higher job satisfaction. Turns out, audience engagement helped people find meaning in their work.
Matt joins us to discuss what he learned from his research, why there’s a link between feedback and job satisfaction, and how audience engagement creates a positive feedback loop. Sachin and Andrew talk about how they define audience engagement and why feedback from data is so important. Plus, they go +1/-1 on common (and maybe thankfully not-so-common) jargon words. Subscribe to The Center of Attention on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.
19 Why we need to think about email as community, with Quartz
If your inbox is anything like ours, it’s a crowded space but an important one. Email can provide an asynchronous, personal, and curated experience in an environment that offers publishers a degree of control and experimentation. But how do you make your newsletter stand out? Eva Scazzero, Product Manager at Quartz, does it by treating email as a way to build community. “We try the best we can to make it a two way street,” she says of Quartz’s Obsession newsletter, which takes a deep dive into a different topic every day.
In the first year, 10,000 individual people wrote in a response to Obsession. Eva talks with us about building reader engagement through email, the first time a reader response made it into a newsletter, and how the constraints of email actually afford opportunities for creativity. Sachin and Andrew discuss the importance of email and user feedback and go +1/-1 on things they’re nostalgic about, like AIM and Blockbuster. Subscribe to The Center of Attention on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.
18 Why reader support is not about the tote bags, with Billy Penn
Organizations are increasingly looking to reader support as a primary revenue stream. In an analysis of almost 2000 domains in our network, 29% of those sites had some kind of paywall. While paywalls are one option for reader revenue, they aren’t the only one. Danya Henninger, Editor at Billy Penn, explains their membership philosophy of going directly to readers for support. “The message for our membership program is that we care about you, each individual person who reads our stories. We care what you think about us and about how we report,” Danya said. “And we want your feedback.”
Danya talks with us about the channels where Billy Penn connects with readers, the role newsletters play in building loyalty, and how the “returning visitors” metric connects to membership potential. Sachin and Andrew discuss the efficacy of paywalls, their perspectives on reader revenue as company founders, and how it ultimately comes down to forging relationships. Plus, they go +1/-1 on reader support methods and membership perks. Subscribe to The Center of Attention on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.
17 Why is growth in time spent with digital media slowing? with eMarketer
Nicole Perrin, Senior Analyst at eMarketer, gets a lot of “peak X” questions. We spoke with Nicole about data illustrating peaks and plateaus in the amount time people are projected spend to with digital media in a day (while multitasking). “We're expecting that time with digital is going to grow about 4% this year, and then about 3% next year, and then about 2% in 2020,” Nicole said.
There’s still growth in digital media consumption, but the rate of growth is declining. What does peak digital consumption look like in terms of our attention for different mediums? How would a plateau in time spent impact content creators? What happens as we approach peak app usage?
Sachin and Andrew discuss how smartphones factor into growth in digital media consumption and the different modes we’re in when using devices. Plus, they go +1 / -1 on apps versus the mobile web. Subscribe to The Center of Attention on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Stitcher.
I have been loving the new season of the show. As a media professional who wants to understand how audiences are finding content and how publishers are seeking audiences, this podcast is very insightful. Fun commentary at the top; insightful interviews in the middle.
Awesome perspective on perspectives
These guys do a great job at giving context, looking at perspectives and alternative perspectives and I really enjoy their contributions.
Two tech insiders take on topics and trends that are familiar for non-techies. Appreciate the “plus/minus” segment on outlook topics.