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Time Inc.’s Digital Audience Grows

Time__Inc_-logo-2ED06AA15C-seeklogo.com_Time Inc.’s digital presence is on the upswing. Ad Age reports that for the first time, the publisher’s digital audience has exceeded its print audience.

According to ComScore, in November Time Inc.’s collection of sites (including desktop and mobile) had 107 million unique visits. Meanwhile, Time Inc.’s print audience for fall was 104 million.

As Ad Age notes, this is a good sign for a media company hoping to start the new year right:

This is an important mile marker for Time Inc., which is looking to its websites to help offset declining print revenue. A large digital audience could mean more attention from advertisers. At the same time, however, print advertising — even in decline — remains a more lucrative business for Time Inc., which can fetch higher ad rates in print than online.

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News Corp, Columbia, NYU Collaborate on Data-Visualization Tools for Journos

Newscorp-MedialabConsider a new partnership among News Corps and two academic institutions an early Christmas present to journalists who enjoy tinkering with data but may not possess lots of technical knowledge.

A working group consisting of the Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia University and the Integrated Digital Media Program at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, as well as News Corp, promises to build “visual programming tools” designed for journalists who don’t speak hacking languages.

“The idea is to develop a robust tool for the rapid deployment of data-driven storytelling for journalists,” said NYU professor Luke DuBois. “This will be an open source tool that allows journalists to link in a data set, process it using a pipeline of commonly accepted statistical methods, and extract a wide variety of different visualizations that can be easily embedded within a narrative context.” DuBois is overseeing four graduate students who will focus on software development and user experience for this project.

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Arianna Swaps Christmas Sweaters for PJs

Take a look at the following photo, taken this holiday season at The Huffington Post’s NYC offices. Notice anything different?

HuffPoNYPJs

That’s right; no one is wearing a Christmas sweater, breaking what had been a longstanding HuffPo tradition.

Explains Arianna Huffington to FishbowlNY: “After nine years of giving holiday sweaters, we decided it was time to disrupt our own tradition. Some of our employees had collected seven, eight or nine sweaters and it seemed like time to give them something else to wear.”

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21st Century Fox Buys Digital Ad Company

21st Century Fox logo G21st Century Fox has purchased TrueX Media for $200 million. TrueX — founded in 2007 as SocialVibe — is a digital advertising company which licenses its products to advertisers and media companies.

Some of TrueX’s clients include Microsoft, Visa, Apple, Disney, Coca-Cola, Kia, Kraft, Macys, Nestle, and Procter & Gamble.

“The connections between brands and consumers have continued to evolve within digital video environments, and True[x] is at the center of this vital area of innovation,” said James Murdoch, co-COO of 21st Century Fox, in a statement. “We’re thrilled at the opportunity to have true[x]’s talented team work with us as we set out together to create new experiences in what we believe is a very exciting time in digital video.”

Time Inc. Now Accepts Bitcoin

Bitcoin enthusiasts (that’s got to be a thing) rejoice — you can now pay for your Time Inc. magazines with the digital currency. The publishing house has partnered with Coinbase, a Bitcoin wallet, to integrate bitcoin payments for subscriptions to Fortune, Health, This Old House and Travel + Leisure.

Lynne Biggar, Time Inc.’s executive VP for consumer marketing and revenue, said that if people are using bitcoin, Time Inc. might as well get onboard.

“We are always looking for ways to make it easier for consumers to engage with our brands and this pilot program will give bitcoin users a seamless and simple way to purchase subscriptions,” explained Biggar, in a statement.

Norman Pearlstine Talks Advertising

NormanPearlstine_FeaturedNorman Pearlstine, Time Inc.’s chief content officer, is no stranger to the world of advertising. In his role at Time, he has to guide the company through the nasty waters of the magazine world, somehow keeping it afloat. So when The Washington Post asked him about Time Inc.’s approach to ad dollars, he had plenty to say. Below are a couple highlights.

On the controversial spreadsheet that seemed to indicate that if a writer didn’t pen advertiser-friendly content, they were cut:

I don’t think you can say to a reporter that you should be writing stuff for the benefit of advertisers. But as an editor who’s a steward of a publication who has to go down on head count, do I have the right to choose to keep the reporter that is generating a lot of traffic… as opposed to the guy who happens to have a beat that nobody’s reading? The answer has to be yes.

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Journo Profiles and Admires Norman Pearlstine

NormPearlstineTimeIncPicOn Twitter, Washington Post reporter Thomas Heath explains that he writes ‘about how people build businesses.’ In the case of the journalist’s latest feature interview, the more apt verb might be ‘renovate.’

Heath recently sat down with Time Inc. chief content officer Norman Pearlstine (pictured) at Time magazine’s Washington D.C. offices. He follows a wink-wink quote from his interview subject with an intriguing and, given Pearlstine’s age, very accurate observation:

“I’ve been in the business a long time and seen the changes,” says Pearlstine. “I can probably take a little longer view than other people do who are worrying about how many [unique visitors] they had last month or how many page views or something.”

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Nick Denton Values Gawker Media at Around $200 Million

GawkerMediaStatsOur favorite passage from Lloyd Grove‘s Daily Beast interview with Nick Denton is the following:

Personally and through a family trust, Denton says he owns 68 percent of his privately-held, Cayman Islands-registered company that press reports have valued in the neighborhood of $300 million, though Denton says, “On the open market, if it were for sale—which it isn’t — it’s more like $200 million.”

At this point in his life, Denton has enough filthy lucre in his bank account to affect a certain lack of interest in the stuff. “This is not a ‘money-making venture,’” he insists. “For me, I just like the activity, and the activity just happens to make money.”

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Condé Nast Has a Rat Problem

For Condé Nast, moving into their new home at One World Trade Center was supposed to be a time for celebration. Instead, it has been a time of extermination. The New York Daily News reports that the Condé offices have been overrun with rats, to the point where Anna Wintour refuses to go inside.

Initially, the furry guys were confined to the Vogue offices. Now they’ve spread. That’s what rats do — whatever the hell they want.

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Hearst Purchases Stake in DreamWorks’ AwesomenessTV

Hearst Corporation has acquired a 25 percent stake in DreamWorks’ AwesomenessTV (ATV) for $81 million. ATV is a YouTube multi-channel network with about 114 million subscribers.

ATV’s founder Brian Robbins and president Brett Bouttier will continue to lead the company. As part of the deal, ATV will have access to Hearst’s subscription video on demand (SVOD) tech.

“Few companies have built the global audience of millennial females as quickly as AwesomenessTV,” said Steven Swartz, president and CEO of Hearst Corporation, in a statement. “For us, it’s very important to make a bet on the future of how content is created. Together, in partnership with DreamWorks, we see great opportunity in supporting the consumer media franchise that AwesomenessTV continues to build.”

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