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4:40 AM ET, February 23, 2021

Mediagazer

 Top News: 
ABC:
Australia says Facebook agreed to reinstate news content in Australia in the coming days after the government promised amendments to its proposed media bill  —  We acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the First Australians and Traditional Custodians of the lands where we live, learn, and work.
RELATED:
Alex Barker / Financial Times:
Microsoft says it will work with Europe's four largest news publishing lobbying groups to “mandate payments” for content used by “gatekeepers”
Dylan Byers / NBC News:
Spotify launches Renegades: Born in the USA, an exclusive, eight-episode podcast with Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen as co-hosts  —  Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen are making a podcast.  —  Spotify on Monday announced the launch of “Renegades: Born in the USA,” …
RELATED:
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Spotify says it will test paid podcast subscriptions in the US this spring through a new feature in Anchor  —  During its live-streamed event today, Spotify officially confirmed its plans to launch paid podcast subscriptions on its platform.  As a first step, the company will this spring begin beta testing …
Discussion: Matt on Audio and Spotify
Chris Welch / The Verge:
Spotify says it will launch a subscription later this year called HiFi that will offer “CD-quality, lossless audio”; Spotify currently tops out at 320kbps audio  —  Your turn, Apple Music  —  Spotify is going hi-fi.  Well, “HiFi.”  It's taken longer than competitors like Tidal …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Spotify says it will launch in 80+ new markets in the coming days, expanding from 93 markets, making the service available to 1B potential new users
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Spotify announces many new development tools for artists, including an expansion of Marquee promotions and opening up the Canvas visual looping tool to all
Discussion: The Week
Brian Stelter / CNN:
Pamela McClintock / Hollywood Reporter:
Following Warner Bros., Hollywood studios are increasingly concealing their box office grosses, citing hybrid releases due to theater closures  —  In the latest twist, Searchlight Pictures didn't provide any numbers at all for ‘Nomadland’ when the Oscar hopeful expanded nationwide over the Feb. 19-21 weekend.
Kelsey McKinney / Defector:
Internal memo: Slate indefinitely suspended The Gist host Mike Pesca over a Slack discussion; sources: he argued for the use of the N-word in some cases  —  Mike Pesca, host of Slate's daily podcast, The Gist, has been suspended from the company indefinitely according to an internal memo sent …
Sean Highkin / Bleacher Report:
A look at NBA Top Shot, a marketplace for NBA video highlights, that has over 50,000 users with sales of $60M+ since launching a public beta in October  —  In the third quarter of a regular-season game against the Houston Rockets last February, LeBron James broke away for a two-handed reverse …
The New York Times Company:
NYT: Maggie Haberman will take on a new beat and join Washington bureau's investigative/enterprise team and still track the post-Trump scene with Politics desk  —  Elisabeth Bumiller, Dick Stevenson and Patrick Healy share Maggie's new role, which will span investigative/enterprise in Washington and Politics.
Jess Shankleman / Bloomberg:
UK tabloids like The Sun, once vehemently skeptical of climate change, are backing green policies, to attract younger readers and compete with digital outlets  —  The right-leaning papers tend to drive public opinion, and now they're backing Boris Johnson's campaign to tackle climate change
Discussion: Press Gazette
 
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 More News: 
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Google tells ad partners that it will lift its ban on all political ads starting Wednesday, after banning them following the Capitol riot
Rachel Abrams / New York Times:
Ahead of a hearing on Wednesday, Congressional Democrats ask cable and tech companies how they combatted misinformation from Fox News, OANN, and Newsmax
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Outside, previously known as Pocket Outdoor Media and owner of 22 active lifestyle publications, raises $150M and says average revenue per user is ~$70/year
Los Angeles Times:
Investigation finds non-profit HFPA, which runs Golden Globes, makes substantial payments to members, as questions persist about its ethics and legitimacy
 Earlier Picks: 
Lucas Shaw / Bloomberg:
Splice, which makes tools for musicians and offers royalty-free samples, raises $55M at a ~$500M valuation, bringing its total raised to $150M
Margaret Sullivan / Washington Post:
Defector, the employee-owned site that began after a staff walkout at Deadspin, is doing surprisingly well and is financially self-sustaining six months in