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Media Martini: NY Times Lifts Video Paywall, Gannett’s Digital Revenue up 75%, Viral Sports Media

Congratulations, you’ve made it to Friday afternoon.  Now settle down with your martini, take a sip, and savor this week’s best stories in media:

1. The New York Times Lifts Paywall For Video

New York Times: Video content is freeThe New York Times will no longer count video views as part of the 10-article limit it imposes on non-subscribers who visit its website. The aim? “To increase its overall video investment and to develop video franchises around its writers and columns,” according to PaidContent. For now, the free videos – which can be viewed via desktop or mobile – are sponsored by Acura and Microsoft. The Times is “ramping up” its video strategy, and also recognizes that the brand’s video content is already available (for free) on other channels, like YouTube, so keeping it behind a paywall on the Times’ site would be inconsistent.

2.  Gannett’s Digital Revenue Jumps 75%

Gannett – the largest newspaper chain in the United States – saw digital revenue rise 75% in its publishing segment, the result of more consumers paying to access news online and through apps.  The brand’s current pay model for its digital newspaper products was adopted just last year, and it’s clearly working.  However, the gain in digital revenue wasn’t enough to offset an overall decline in advertising revenue, which slipped 0.3%.

3. For The Win Finds ‘Shareable’ Sports Media

For The Win screenshotCan “BuzzFeed-style viral media” work for sports media? New social sports site ‘For The Win’ is focused on finding ‘shareable’ content that will attract non-sports-fans too. Executive Jamie Mottram claims it is “the first sports site designed specifically to reach readers on viral networks like Facebook or Twitter,” reports PaidContent.  By modeling itself after viral news sites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy – and relying on analytics and A/B headline testing – can USA Today’s For The Win compete with more established sports news sites, including ESPN, Deadspin and Bleacher Report?

What were you talking about in media this week?