Digital Publishing Reader Revenue
2 mins read

How Tortoise podcasts became the most profitable part of the ‘slow news’ start-up: The Media Roundup

How Tortoise podcasts became the most profitable part of the ‘slow news’ start-up

If you didn’t manage to come along to our Publisher Podcast Summit last week, Chris’s interview with Katie Vanneck-Smith was one of my highlights. The Press Gazette’s Charlotte Tobitt has written up the interview, focusing on how slow-news outfit Tortoise made podcasts profitable.

Unashamedly admitting to a pivot to podcasting, Vanneck-Smith explained how research had shown the Tortoise audience was spending just four or five minutes on the site, while articles were typically taking 20 or 30 minutes to read.

Tortoise’s audio team now has more than 12 full-time staff and, according to Press Gazette, has grown its podcast audience more than three-fold over the past year. While Tortoise is still not in the black, the podcast operation was profitable within 12 months.

Hearst launches new experiential division

Hearst UK has launched a new experiential division, HearstX, to oversee platforms and campaigns across the physical, VR, AR, and mixed experience spaces. Writing for FIPP, Jamie Gavin was particularly impressed by the VirtuELLE Reality room… an experience that began with the scanning of a QR code tucked inside the latest print version of the magazine, and ended in an all-out immersive behind-the-scenes fashion shoot.

LadBible to sack 10% of staff as it warns of tough trading conditions

LadBible, one of the UK’s biggest online media success stories, is sacking 10% of its staff following a slump in its share price and a warning about tough trading conditions. Last month, the Manchester-based company announced a half-year pre-tax loss of £1.9 million, attributed mainly to the cost of hiring more staff. This recent expansion has made the sudden redundancies even more surprising.

Journalism and Big Tech continue to build on a bed of sand

Your regular reminder of the ‘Faustian bargains’ that publishers continue to strike with our ‘fair-weather friends’ in Big Tech. Acknowledging that the platforms aren’t going anywhere soon, this piece on Poynter offers some advice on how to manage the eventual downsides by using their reach to build your own products and relationships.

This content originally appeared in The Media Roundup, a daily newsletter from Media Voices. Subscribe here: