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6:15 PM ET, April 28, 2021


 Top News: 
Wall Street Journal:
Sources: Verizon Communications is exploring a sale of its media assets, including Yahoo and AOL, which could yield a price of $4B-$5B  —  Private-equity firms including Apollo are among possible bidders for Verizon media assets, sources say  —  Verizon Communications Inc. is exploring …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Spotify says podcast listening hit an all-time high in Q1, crediting The Joe Rogan Experience; Spotify had 2.6M podcasts at end of Q1, up from 2.2M in Q4 2020  —  Spotify reported results for the first quarter of 2021 in line with expectations, with total revenue up 16% — helped by 46% uptick in ad sales.
Kerry Flynn / CNN:
Q&A with Máuhan “M” Zonoozy, hired as Spotify's first head of innovation earlier this year, about rise of live social audio, podcasting's inflection point, more  —  New York (CNN Business)Spotify (SPOT) is frequently one step ahead of us, suggesting undiscovered songs …
Anne Steele / Wall Street Journal:
Spotify reports Q1 profit of €23M, up from €1M a year earlier, revenue of €2.15B, up 16% YoY, 356M MAUs, up 24% YoY, and 158M paid subscribers, up 21% YoY
Laura Italiano / @italiano_laura:
Rick Edmonds / Poynter:
USA Today has quietly started putting some of its stories behind a paywall with a $4.99/month digital-only subscription  —  Gannett's flagship national paper quietly started to put some of its premium stories behind a paywall.  A subscription costs $4.99 a month.
Jennifer Elias / CNBC:
YouTube is on pace to book between $29B and $30B in revenue in 2021, equaling Netflix's expected revenue of $29.7B for the year  —  - YouTube is on pace to bring in annual revenue comparable to Netflix's.  — The Google-owned video platform is seeing a rise in more traditional television advertisers.
Alex Weprin / Hollywood Reporter:
YouTube ad revenue topped $6B in Q1, up 50% from the same quarter a year ago
Alex Sherman / CNBC:
WarnerMedia will charge $9.99/month for its ad-supported tier of HBO Max debuting in June; it now charges $14.99 for the ad-free tier, same as its pay-TV add-on  —  - HBO Max will charge $9.99 per month for its advertising-supported streaming service, which will launch in June, sources say.
Shoshana Wodinsky / Gizmodo:
An Oracle EVP, Ken Glueck, was suspended by Twitter for 12 hours after tweeting contact information for an Intercept reporter covering Oracle's ties to China  —  A tweet from Oracle Executive VP Ken Glueck goading his followers into harassing a female reporter was found to violate Twitter's policies …
Brian Steinberg / Variety:
Discovery reports Q1 revenue of $2.79B, up 4% YoY, with net income down 63% to $144M, and it now has 15M paying subscribers worldwide to its DTC services  —  Discovery revealed the big challenge behind getting involved in the media industry's streaming wars: A new broadband hub can bring …
Mike Juang / Ad Age:
TV consortium OpenAP debuts OpenID, a new identifier to help brands target audiences across both linear and digital TV  —  OpenID is a step in moving TV advertising to ID-based targeting  —  TV consortium OpenAP is looking to do what it's done for standardizing audience segments …
Shen Lu / Protocol:
Profile of Chinese AI-driven aggregator News Break, which says it has 45M MAUs and is finding success in the US through a sharp focus on local news  —  It's the most downloaded news app in the world — and the content it carries is entirely local.  In the U.S., it drives more traffic than all but three apps.
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 More News: 
Columbia Journalism Review:
Facebook and its Oversight Board use newsworthiness for moderation decisions, but the term is anachronistic or synonymous with virality and should be rethought
Sara Guaglione / Digiday:
Flipboard says it began removing banner ads from emails in Q4 2020, and plans to move nearly all of its newsletters to a native sponsorship format by end of Q2
Josef Adalian / Vulture:
Netflix launches Play Something, an opt-in viewing mode that gives the service a more TV-like feel to fight viewers' decision fatigue
New York Times:
Simon & Schuster, which sources say signed Kellyanne Conway, became a test case for how publishers are trying to draw a line over who is acceptable to publish
Kellen Browning / New York Times:
Twitch has grown in popularity among QAnon adherents and far-right influencers, making it easy for streamers to make money while spreading conspiracy theories
Marisa Sarnoff / Mediaite:
Report: CNN has opened an internal investigation into workplace culture and treatment of women at CNN Business
 Earlier Picks: 
Jon Allsop / Columbia Journalism Review:
Journalists in India are dealing with life-threatening assignments amid a COVID-19 surge as they also face eroding freedoms for the press
Michael J. Socolow / Reason:
A history of NYT's “op-eds”, born in 1970 to highlight voices outside of the newspaper, and why NYT occasionally publishes offensive and even vile essays
New York Times:
Norton takes its Philip Roth biography out of print as the author faces claims of sexual assault; Norton also vows to donate to support sex assault survivors
Benjamin Mullin / Wall Street Journal:
Meadowlark Media, led by ESPN vets Dan Le Batard and John Skipper, signs a distribution deal with DraftKings, one of its investors; sources: deal's worth $50M+
Angela Fu / Poynter:
NewsGuild study of 14 unionized Gannett newsrooms finds ~$10K median wage gap between men and women and a ~$5K wage gap between POC journalists and white ones
Sara Fischer / Axios:
NPR plans to launch a podcast subscription service that will let listeners directly support their favorite podcasts and get sponsorship-free versions thereof