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9:00 AM ET, January 21, 2023


 Top News: 
Sara Fischer / Axios:
Memo: Vox Media is laying off 7% of its staff, or ~133 people, across editorial, revenue, operations, and core services, after cutting 39 positions in July 2022  —  Vox Media is laying off 7% of its staff, according to a memo sent internally from CEO Jim Bankoff, obtained by Axios.
Emily Baker-White / Forbes:
According to six employees and an internal doc, TikTok and ByteDance staff engage in “heating”, or inflating video view counts, to court influencers and brands  —  TikTok and ByteDance employees regularly engage in “heating,” a manual push that ensures specific videos …
Mia Sato / The Verge:
In a staff call, CNET and Red Ventures executives said they were pausing AI-generated content on CNET and other websites and detailed their proprietary AI tool  —  The call, which lasted under an hour, was held a week after CNET came under fire for its use of AI tools on stories …
The Verge:
Source: CNET owner Red Ventures has used AI tools like Wordsmith to write stories for at least a year and a half, causing unease amid layoffs and restructuring  —  Fake bylines.  Content farming.  Affiliate fees.  What happens when private equity takes over a storied news site and milks it for clicks?
Ronan Shields / Digiday:
Sources: Google is directing advertisers to work with third-party resellers directly to reduce its ad services overhead and position itself as a SaaS outfit  —  Alphabet today has confirmed that it plans to cut 12,000 jobs, reportedly the largest round of layoffs in its history …
Dade Hayes / Deadline:
Netflix's ad-supported tier is off to a “solid” start, says new co-CEO Greg Peters; CFO Spence Neumann estimates the ad tier will be about 10% of future revenue  —  Netflix's landmark entry into ad-supported streaming, which began last November, is off to a “solid” …
Sarah Whitten / CNBC:
Netflix Q4: revenue up 1.9% YoY to $7.85B, $55M net income, down from $607M YoY, and 231M paid memberships, adding 7.66M vs. 4.57M est.; stock closed up 8.46%
Anna Nicolaou / Financial Times:
Netflix co-founder Reed Hastings steps down as co-CEO but plans to stay on as executive chair; the company promotes COO Greg Peters to co-CEO with Ted Sarandos
Emma Roth / The Verge:
Netflix plans to roll out paid password sharing “more broadly” in Q1 2023 and expects some “cancel reaction” before an improvement in overall company revenue
Nieman Lab:
In interviews with 16 US whistleblowers who contacted journalists between the 1970s and 2010s, about half say the media is antagonistic and not a good partner  —  There is perhaps no more studied — or worried-about — dimension of news over the past five to ten years than the decline of media trust.
Bron Maher / Press Gazette:
Twitter is testing a feature for verified journalists that adds their publication's logo, linked to the outlet's main Twitter account, next to blue checkmarks  —  Twitter reached out to the Mirror offering it the chance to take part in the beta test.  —  Twitter is testing a new feature …
Study: in Q4 2022, the number of US video streaming households rose 2.5M to 115.6M and sports events drove a record 9% of new streaming service subscriptions  —  Netflix with Ads has a slow start to its launch  —  Kantar's Entertainment on Demand study in the US uncovers the following behaviours within …
Andy Maxwell / TorrentFreak:
The Delhi High Court issues an interim order requiring local ISPs to block 18 stream ripping websites that let users download copyrighted music from YouTube  —  In a September 2022 blog post, YouTube's Global Head of Music revealed that in the 12 months between July 2021 and June 2022 …
Horowitz Research:
Horowitz Research: 71% of password sharers would pay full price for Netflix, 51% for HBO Max, 49% for Amazon Prime Video, 47% for Disney+, and 46% for Hulu  —  As Netflix cracks down on password sharing, a new study by Horowitz Research suggests that the decision may not spell doom and gloom for the service.
Discussion: Observer, The Streamable and CNET
The Hollywood Reporter:
Penske Media and Japan's Hersey Shiga Global launch The Hollywood Reporter Japan, which will offer translated entertainment industry news and original reporting  —  The Tokyo-based entertainment publication will include significant industry news translated from THR's flagship website …
Discussion: PMC and MediaPost
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 More News: 
Ayenat Mersie / Reuters:
Rwandan journalist and government critic John Williams Ntwali died on January 18 in a car accident; activists and journalists question the official narrative
Sources: Vice Media restarts its sale process, after bidders balked at the initial price tag, and is likely to fetch under $1B; Vice was valued at $5.7B in 2017
 Earlier Picks: 
Chris Stokel-Walker / Nature:
Journal editors, researchers, and publishers are debating the place of AI tools like ChatGPT in published literature and whether they should be cited as authors
Todd Spangler / Variety:
Fandom cuts jobs at GameSpot, Giant Bomb, Metacritic, and TV Guide, four months after their ~$50M acquisition from Red Ventures; source: under 10% are impacted
Max Read / Read Max:
The most important thing a blogger can do to develop and retain an audience is to post regularly and frequently, as evidenced by Matt Yglesias' success