Fujifilm Partnering with ZUND America
Fujifilm North America Corporation, Graphic Systems Division has announced a collaboration with Zund America, a company providing cutting solutions for processing a variety of materials, including corrugated display and packaging and sign and display materials as well as folding carton applications. The collaboration will enable Fujifilm’s print service provider customers to obtain access to Zund America’s collection of cutting technologies and methods, according to Fujifilm.
Additionally, Zund UK announced a new partnership with Inca Digital, a company whose products Fujifilm North America Corporation’s Graphic Systems Division distributes exclusively in the Americas. Zund is headquartered in Switzerland. Zund America is in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
Apple Launches App Store Small Business Program
On Nov. 18 Apple announced a new developer program aimed at small businesses and independent developers. Developers can qualify for the new App Store Small Business Program and a reduced, 15 percent commission if they earned no more than $1 million in proceeds during the previous calendar year. The small business program will launch on Jan. 1, 2021.
The App Store’s standard commission rate of 30 percent remains in place for apps selling digital goods and services and making more than $1 million in proceeds, defined as a developer’s post-commission earnings, says Apple. Apple also announced that app publishers now create subscription offer codes to acquire, retain and win back subscribers.
Google: Non-AMP Content to Appear in Mobile Top Stories Feature
Google announced Nov. 10 that non-AMP content will be eligible to appear in the mobile top stories feature in search starting in May 2021.
Google offered special placement in a “top stories carousel” in search results to urge publishers to employ a format called AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), The Markup reported. “Any page that meets the Google News content policies will be eligible and we will prioritize pages with great page experience, whether implemented using AMP or any other web technology, as we rank the results,” wrote Google in its Nov. 10 post. The move comes as Google is facing increasing antitrust scrutiny.
Torstar Starts Package Delivery Service
Torstar, the owner of the Toronto Star and more than 70 other papers in Canada, is starting a package delivery service. Metroland Parcel Services will use Torstar’s contracted driver network to provide retailers next-day and two- or three-day deliveries. The deliveries are trackable.
“We’ve been delivering to these neighborhoods across the province for 100+ years but just didn’t stop and think why don’t we actually deliver other stuff?” said Paul Rivett, Torstar’s chairman and co-owner. “This is the first of a number of announcements around building on the foundation of what was just newspapers,” he said. Nordstar Capital, Rivett and business partner Jordan Bitove’s firm, bought Torstar this year.
BuzzFeed Buying HuffPost From Verizon Media
BuzzFeed is buying HuffPost from Verizon Media, the digital media companies announced Nov. 19. The deal will make Verizon Media a minority shareholder in BuzzFeed.
As part of the agreement, Verizon Media and BuzzFeed agree to syndicate content across each other’s platforms, create an innovation group to explore monetization opportunities and leverage emerging ad formats including extended reality (XR) and AR applications. BuzzFeed will also have the opportunity to leverage Verizon Media Immersive, the largest online XR platform for advertising and content. Additionally, BuzzFeed will also be able to tap into Verizon Media’s ad platform, which provides access to qualified data sets while reaching consumers across channels, including mobile, desktop, video, native, addressable TV, Connected TV (CTV), Digital Out of Home (DOOH), and audio.
As part of the agreement, HuffPost will continue to contribute to Verizon Media’s portfolio as an official publishing partner. BuzzFeed will be able to syndicate content across Verizon’s Media brands, including Yahoo. BuzzFeed’s acquisition of HuffPost will bring it back to its original co-founder, Jonah Peretti.
Boston Herald Newsstand Sales Down More Than 40%
The Boston Herald’s newsstand sales have fallen 41% year-over-year in recent months, says the paper’s filing with the Alliance for Audited Media, the Boston Business Journal reported. Denver-based MediaNews Group owns the paper. Alden Global Capital owns Denver-based MediaNews Group.
Over the six months from April to September in 2020, single-copy sales of the Herald averaged 12,619 per day. In 2019, the average from April to September was 21,331. The business journal cites slowed activity in Boston during the pandemic as the major force behind the fall. Newsstands and convenience stores are more key for the Herald than for most papers, the business journal points out, as those types of sales represent a bigger part of the paper’s overall sales.
Gannett Refinances $500 Million in Debt
Gannett has refinanced about $500 million in debt, USA Today reported Nov. 17. Gannett refinanced around a third of the loan from private equity firm Apollo Global Management that financed the merger of GateHouse Media parent New Media Investment Group and Gannett. The new company is using the Gannett name.
The refinancing will save the company money on interest payments and result in a faster reduction of its liabilities, says USA Today. The refinancing means Gannett has around $1.12 billion in debt owed to Apollo, says USA Today.
- The Dixie Sun News, a student paper at Dixie State University (Utah), is going to an online-only format, the paper reported. The paper said it’s not getting enough money from the student fee committee and ad revenue is too low for a weekly print paper.
- The Nov. 18 paper will be the last edition of The Del Rio News-Herald (Texas), the paper said. Southern Newspapers owns the paper.
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