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Media startups to watch
Layoffs are hitting HuffPost, just weeks after the publisher was acquired by digital rival BuzzFeed, Steven Perlberg reports.
The layoffs involve nearly 50 in the US and fulfill fears of staffers when the two companies combined to get profitable and surmount business challenges wrought by the pandemic.
BuzzFeed is trying to get HuffPost to break even after it lost more than $20 million last year, CEO Jonah Peretti said.
Read more: BuzzFeed is making layoffs at HuffPost weeks after it acquired the company
How Snap came back
Just a few years ago, people were ready to write Snap’s obituary. User growth had plateaued and it started to look like just another social platform as rivals copied its features.
But Snap looks pretty different now from platforms like Facebook and TikTok that are enmeshed in privacy controversies. And as Tanya Dua, Lara O’Reilly, and Dan Whateley report, it’s providing the service demanded by advertisers that was missing from its early days.
“Snap is on the consideration set again,” said Amanda Grant, global head of social at WPP’s GroupM.
Of course, there are threats around every corner, like Apple’s clampdown on ad targeting on its devices, TikTok, and maybe a new platform that hasn’t even launched yet.
But for now, Snap is enjoying the spotlight.
Read their full story: Snap is on a growth tear. Here’s how the once flailing company got advertisers to fall in love with it and reversed a sales slump.
Media startups to watch
Just a couple years ago, investors were obsessed with media startups centered on sports, subscription payments, and in-person events.
The global pandemic has transformed how people live in many ways — as evidenced by new high-flying media startups like audio app Clubhouse and Fable, a social-reading app.
The pandemic’s impact is also informing the kinds of media startups in vogue now.
VCs told Ashley Rodriguez and Dan Whateley they’re betting on startups that mix media with commerce, focus on social issues or mental wellness, facilitate sports betting, and bring in-person experiences online.
Read more: 19 media startups that VCs say are poised to take off in 2021, as trends like newsletters and sports betting surge
Other stories we’re reading:
Mike Bloomberg said he expects employees to return to the office once they get vaccinated — but some want work-from-home life to continue (Insider)
TikTok nearly doubles its European headcount in 6 months – and it’s eyeing up a third London base (Insider)
Exclusive: Penske Media launches first-party data studio (Axios)
Digiday’s updated breakdown of 12 publishers’ diversity statistics (Digiday)
Jeffrey Katzenberg’s WndrCo, Michael Ovitz Invest in Production Payroll Startup Wrapbook as Part of $27M Round (Variety)
Hims has been hit with class-action lawsuit in California over alleged spam text messages (Insider)
Thanks for reading, and see you next week!
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