1. Substack Facing Scrutiny Over Advance Payments To Some Writers (TechCrunch)

A number of writers publishing via Substack have begun arguing that the strategy of advance payments to high-profile writers makes the company seem less like a technology platform and more like a media company or at the very least, like a technology platform that also makes editorial decisions subject to scrutiny and criticism.

2. Spotify Launches A Site To Show How Much It Pays Artists (TheVerge)

Spotify claims to have paid more than $23 billion in payments to copyright holders, including more than $5 billion in 2020, up from $3.3 billion in 2017. It also cites that there are 1.2 million musicians on the site with over 1,000 listeners, and that 15%, or 184,500, of their catalogues produced recording and publishing royalties of at least $1,000.

3. Editorial: Publishers Must Focus On Ad Pricing Tactics Of Tech Giants (Pluralistic)

Blogging pioneer Cory Doctorow argues that in the wake of anti-trust law getting bolstered in the US for collective bargaining power of the media, publishers must focus on how Google and Facebook “steal publisher’s revenue through ad-fraud and price-rigging.”

4. TikTok Rival, YouTube’s Shorts Launches In The US (FoxBusiness)

YouTube Shorts allows users to record, edit, and share videos of 60 seconds or less that can be accompanied by licensed music from various industry partners. The feature was tested in India making Shorts viewable internationally. From today, US viewers would also be able to create short videos of their own.

5. Twitter Allows Watching YouTube Videos Directly From App (9to5Mac)

Twitter will today start testing a way to watch YouTube videos directly from the home timeline within the Twitter iOS app. That means one will be able to click and play a video without having to leave the conversation one is currently viewing.

6. Buzzfeed And Bellesa To Promote Sex Toy Ads To De-stigmatize Sexuality (AdExchanger)

With Google and Facebook forbidding ads on sex toys, Buzzfeed with its affiliated partner Bellesa, a direct-to-consumer sex toy startup, aims to promote products that target people of diverse sexual orientations and body types in an educational and fun way to de-stigmatize sex and sexuality.

7. NFL Strikes $100 Billion Media Rights Deal (MediaPost)

The NFL has struck a new round of 11-year long-term deals with TV networks Fox, NBC and CBS for a massive $100 billion in sports-right fees over the time span. Amazon secured exclusive rights to “Thursday Night Football” for $1 billion per year, according to NFL sources.