Technology • Innovation • Publishing — Issue #140


China Creates Its Own Digital Currency, a First for Major
A cyber yuan stands to give Beijing power to track spending in real time, plus money unlinked to the global financial system dominated by the dollar. It also could soften the bite of U.S. sanctions.


Google beats Oracle in biggest programming copyright Supreme Court case ever

APIs can’t be strictly copyrighted.

YouTube announces new ‘applause’ feature that allows users to pay creators
YouTube has announced a number of new features to be released in 2021, including a new opportunity for creators to make money with “applause.”

Clubhouse launches payments so creators can make

Clubhouse, a one-year-old social audio app reportedly valued at $1 billion, will now allow users to send money to their favorite creators — or speakers — on the platform.

Discord’s new Clubhouse-like feature, Stage Channels, is available
Discord is announcing a new Clubhouse-like feature called Stage Channels. If you’ve used Clubhouse or Twitter Spaces, using a Stage Channel should feel very familiar to you.

Facebook’s first crack at a Clubhouse competitor is a new Q&A platform called
Facebook’s NPE Team, its experimental app division, today revealed a new project called Hotline, a take on Clubhouse with elements of live-streaming technology built in. The app is just in the testing phase, with only a website with a waiting list and no mobile apps just yet.

Facebook confirms ‘test’ of Venmo-like QR codes for person-to-person payments in

Facebook confirms it’s testing a new QR code feature and payment links for use with Facebook Pay to make it easier for people in the U.S. to send or request money from one another.

Introducing auto captions on

Publishing & Media to offset all book retailers’ delivery emissions on Earth Day
Indie-focused online retailer will mark Earth Day on 22nd April by offsetting all home deliveries of books across the UK for one day, including those of rival sites.

Bustle Digital Allows Articles to Become

Editors will select certain articles on Bustle to feature shopping carousels of featured products that are mentioned in the story. #ecommerce #publishing

Game developer Electronic Arts produces shows to expand reach ‘as a media business’

The pandemic has been a lightbulb moment for people who realized esports was going to play a key role in the future of sports. #media

Gender equality in ads has big impact on sales, finds major retailer’s three-year

RT @cindygallop So how do you 8x sales impact with gender equality in your ads? Not by having young white male creatives going, ‘Gotta celebrate women in ads’, but by having women create, approve, produce, direct and cast the ads. @jackneff @adage#GenderEquality

Scale Was the God That
To understand what went wrong with digital publishing, we need to go back to the fat years of newspaper journalism that preceded it.

For creative publishers, micropayments are an invitation, not a cautionary

HT @TheTiltNews Content isn’t a tuna sandwich: Micropayments — paying for individual servings of content — doesn’t work. Medialyte’s advice? Think subscription sales (even better, multi-year subscriptions).

Video experiments boost creative performance on

HT @TheTiltNews Google’s letting people experiment with video ads. Early discoveries? 1. Supersize the text. 2. Tighten the framing. 3. Make it easy to follow the CTA.

Nearly Half of Digital Subscribers Are ‘Zombies,’ Medill Analysis

HT ⁦@TheTiltNews 49% of digital subscribers didn’t go to websites they had paid for even once a month. These zombies are less likely to unsubscribe than those who show up 1/mo. (Still, want to banish your zombies? create good onboarding & follow up)

Activist Tarana Burke lands CBS Studios production
The activist who sparked the #MeToo movement, with producing partner Mervyn Marcano, will create stories for TV networks and streamers.

Park Chan-wook is directing a TV adaptation of Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The

Exciting adaptation news: A24 and Rhombus Media have optioned the rights to Viet Thanh Nguyen’s The Sympathizer.

Conde Nast plans to organize a mix of more than 500 online, hybrid or in-person events.

The company reached a cumulative 700,000 attendees, last year. “Hybrid is here to stay.”

A Short Story to Read on BART? These Machines Will Print You One for

HT @BoSacks BART passengers can collect one-, three- and five-minute reads from touchless dispensers.

For small publishers, what’s the point in Big Data?

The company behind Slate and Foreign Policy is acquiring Leaf Group, the owner of digital properties Livestrong and Techwalla

Worth magazine, online during pandemic, returns to print

Worth magazine, which has been online during the past year because of the pandemic, is returning to print with its June issue.

Resources & Opportunities

Free Project Voice 4/15–4/16


Now open! Mentor applications for DVmentor and DVdebut!

RT @_DiverseVoices we are looking for 2 kinds of mentors!

1. agented book creators to mentor unagented creators (apply in DVmentor)

2. seasoned book creators to mentor debuting creators (apply in DVdebut)

these mentorship programs are for marginalized comms! apps for mentors close April 15!

The WNDB Emergency Fund for Diverse Creatives

MT @diversebooks The WNDB Emergency Fund for Diverse Creatives is accepting new applicants! We’ve updated our criteria so that even more diverse creatives can apply for grants (ranging from $500 to 1,000) during this challenging time.

Women’s Media Group — Cry from Laughter! Annabelle Gurwitch in Conversation with Sandra Tsing Loh

Time is running out! Sign up quick to see @LAGurwitch in virtual conversation w @SandraTsingLoh on 4/13 at @WMG_NYC Register today! All welcome!! #readwomen #WomenSupportingWomen #amreading #amwriting #amlaughing @jkhoey



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Kathy Sandler

Kathy Sandler

Sr Mgr, Content Applications, Penguin Random House * Innovation * Technology * Publishing * Opinions expressed are my own