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Media Martini: Tweaking Paywalls, Amazon Acquires Goodreads, Publishers Embrace ThingLink

Happy Friday and Happy Spring!  Here’s what we’ve been talking about in media this week:

1.  Tweaking Paywalls

Andrew Sullivan's The DishAs publishers continue struggling to find the best ways to monetize their digital offerings, there were a few changes in paywalls this week.  To make subscriptions more accessible, readers now have a monthly (not just yearly) subscription option for Andrew Sullivan’s The Dish (set up to renew automatically).  The New York Times closed another loophole in its paywall, for “the second time in as many months.”  This week The Telegraph also announced a metered access model for its website; the company’s press release introduced it as “the next phase of subscription strategy.”

2. Amazon Acquires Book-Based Social Network Goodreads

E-commerce giant Amazon recently acquired book-based social network Goodreads, which is based in San Francisco.  Known as a “neutral” hub for readers, Goodreads allows users to keep track of the books they’ve read and want to read, rate and review books, and discover reading recommendations.  Previously, the site served as a “place where publishers and authors could market and promote their books without being tied to a specific retailer.” PaidContent reports that the site is now “clearly tied to promoting books for sale on Amazon.”

3. Publishers Embrace Photo Platform ThingLink

ThingLink photo platform“They’ve turned the photo into a content- discovery platform,” says Lewis DVorkin, chief product officer at Forbes, about ThingLink’s photo platform. Both editors and advertisers can use the platform to make digital images more interactive, engaging and shareable; 100,000 publishers have already signed on, including Forbes. ThingLink CMO Neil Vineberg says that images embedded with videos, annotations or links see clickthrough rates as high as 50%; he notes that “if you put content inside an image, the engagements go crazy.”

Tell us – what were you talking about in media this week?