The Media Weekly: Jack Dorsey quits, Cardi B glitz, and NFTs hit Hollywood

The paint had barely dried on Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta rebrand, when Jack Dorsey announced his resignation from Twitter last week. They say Alexander the Great sat down and wept, for he had no more worlds to conquer. Was Dorsey’s departure influenced by his rival’s decision to turn attentions towards the metaverse? Probably not, since Meta is a US$800bn company, and Twitter weighs in at a humble $13bn. But it’s interesting timing isn’t it! 

We’ve also got news on Cardi B, Playboy, Future Plc, Forbes, and the first ever Hollywood film due to be funded by NFTs… it’s another week in media, and we’ve got the headline(r)s here!

Jack Dorsey quits as Twitter chief

After six years at the helm, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey is to step down as Chief Executive of the company. The 45-year-old, who co-founded Twitter with Biz Stone, Evan Williams and Noah Glass in 2006, and has been its chief executive since 2015, will now focus on his payments-based company Square. Dorsey will be replaced by the company’s Chief Technical Officer, Parag Agrawal, and FIPP Reporter, Ashley Norris has the full story here.  

Playboy, Playgirl, Superstar DJs… 

We last caught up with Playboy way back at FIPP Congress in Vegas, before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. At that point, David Israel, Chief Financial Officer & Chief Operating Officer for the company, explained how the brand was reinventing itself for the modern era. It seems the magazine has decided to turbocharge this transition, because last week Cardi B announced that she has been named its first ever Creative Director in Residence. 

Taking to Twitter a day before lighting up the Playboy x Big Bunny party at Art Basel in Miami, the US music star said:

Exciting Future 

It certainly looks to be an exciting time to be involved with Future Plc, which last week announced record growth in its Full Year results for 2021, posting total revenues of £606.8m (FY 2020: £339.6m). The increase includes a 23% upturn in organic revenue, while acquisitions including GoCo Group, Marie Claire US and Mozo, alongside Dennis, have also contributed significantly. The company’s global online audience increased 8% yr-on-yr, and now reaches half of all online adults in the UK (47%) and one in three in the US (31%). 

Reporting on the share price bump that resulted from the higher-than-expectations posting, The Guardian’s Mark Sweney says that staff at Future are set to share a £10m bonus pot: “Under the scheme,” writes Sweney, “the minimum each of Future’s 2,800 staff will receive is a bonus of £2,250, with the amount graduated by factors including salary level, from a total pot estimated to be about £10m. In 2022, staff earning under £50,000 will receive a 4% pay rise, and those on more will get 2%.”

Forbes reports return to profit

There’s also good news for Forbes, as it becomes the latest media company to unveil financial figures that show significant growth in 2021. In-spite of the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, the company’s year-to-date 2021 revenue increased 34% $165 million. Much of the growth has been attributed to Forbes’ consumer business, which was up 83% year-over-year. Full story here

NFTs hit the big screen

And if you thought those announcements weren’t big time enough, production company, NFT Studios, says it will produce “the first-ever Hollywood feature film to be fully funded” by NFTs. A Wing and a Prayer tells the story of Brian Milton, the first person ever to circumnavigate the globe in a microlight. The project is being led by Martin Scorsese’s Producer Niels Juul, who had this to say about the move:  

“We are in the middle of great transition in the entertainment business where traditional ways of film funding and ownership are being uprooted due to the rapid rise of streamers and other digital platforms. NFT Studios has developed forward-looking strategies which will be a positive disrupter in the global movie-making industry and which will further shorten the distance between an engaged community of audiences and high-calibre writers and directors.”

The announcement comes as UK based and Aquis Exchange market-listed NFT incubator company, NFT Investments Plc, makes a $1million investment into NFT Studios to take a 20% share, and you can find out all the information here.

The business of media

Behind the headlines and Hollywood screens, the business cogs creating today’s media moments continue to turn, and it’s been a big week for appointments. Conde Nast has named its first ever Global Head of Events, Patrick Garragan, while Kenya Hunt becomes new Editor-in-Chief of Elle UK. 

Meanwhile, What’s New in Publishing (WNIP) has published its annual Media Moments report. Written by the Media Voices team, it covers trends across platforms, advertising, subscriptions, e-commerce and more, alongside emerging technologies like the metaverse and NFTs. You can read all the latest news – including information on how to download the WNIP study – here

As for FIPP…

We’ll today be kicking off our THIRD Google Digital Immersion Week – an exclusive, 5-day programme for magazine media hosted in partnership with FT Strategies. These courses have proved immensely popular in the past, and while the latest is sold out, you can find out more about the programme here


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