Gustaf here. I'm stepping in for Ben, who's back in NZ for a wedding.

It's a pretty meaty edition this week, with lots of interesting stories and data-points to dive into. Many of these are on the back of newly released earnings reports from some of our industry's giants, including Microsoft, , and .


Notable stories this week

  • How Morning Brew grew to $13m in revenue with 33 employees.
  • With a new sponsorship deal, BuzzFeed hopes a new attribution model can power commerce growth.
  • The heat up, with Disney set to leave Foxtel following the launch of its own streaming service in Australia.
  • Publishers are growing audiences by producing less content.
  • DotDash is building a smart digital media portfolio. Super audience-first. Low ego, high performance brand.
  • Facebook plans to shut down the mobile web arm of its Audience Network.
  • rolls out a personal finance site, Cashay, for millennials.


  • Spotify acquires The Ringer, Bill Simmons’ podcast empire. More, straight from the horse's mouth here.
  • DotDash acquires another two publishers, TreeHugger and Mother Nature Network, to create a new sustainability vertical within its portfolio.
  • Clickhole was just bought out from G/O Media by Cards Against Humanity in an all-cash deal.

Campaign of the week

Branded content by Future and 1800 Tequila on Pitchfork

Smartest commentary

  • "If you think 10 years ago, I think the trend that we're investing in is that radio is moving online because users get a much better user experience," […] "What we really did with I think is we bought the next ESPN. We think that's going to be a tremendously valuable property as we look at the development of sports over the next decade."Daniel Ek, CEO at Spotify

Datapoints of note

  • 74 million readers – twice the amount compared to an average Sunday in January 2020 – went online to seek information on brands that advertised during the big game.
  • Google just revealed YouTube's ad revenue, 14 years after acquiring it, and the video site brought in $15 billion last year.
  • The New York Times added more than 1 million digital subscribers in 2019, its largest increase ever.
  • Microsoft reported its fiscal 2020 second-quarter results, including revenue of $36.9 billion (up 14%), net income of $11.6 billion (up 38%) and diluted earnings per share of $1.51.
  • ^ Related, Azure posts 62% growth.
  • Morning Brew’s revenue grew from $3 million in 2018 to $13 million in 2019.
  • Spotify closed 2019 with a positive quarter that saw it add 10 million new paying subscribers (126m). Their podcast push also appears to be paying off, with listens from 16% of its monthly active users. The consumption hours of podcasts were also up 200%.
  • 20% of Disney+ subs came from Verizon.




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