Remotely Entertaining SXSW: Axios' Mike Allen Keeps It Short

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Mike Allen, cofounder and executive editor at Axios, is perhaps best known for his "Top 10" newsletters sent out each morning and night. The man who helped put Politico on the map spoke with Ad Age about keeping stories short, banner ads, Facebook and political media.

Why it matters: Axios, which means "worthy" in Greek, has raised $30 million in funding by betting on brevity. The 14-month-old publication believes the current media system is broken, and says its style of journalism can make readers "smarter, faster." If Axios proves successful, similar sites might prop up.

Current challenges:

  • Axios intends to build a paywall, but wants to shore up a reader base first. It's unclear whether people will pay for content that's mostly short.
  • It says it has no plans to run banner ads, something other poublication have said before (see BuzzFeed). Allen says Axios is different.
  • Allen believes reporters should go where their readers are, rather than wait for readers to come to them. Axios encourages its reporters to break stories through social media platforms such as Twitter, but it's unclear how effective that approach is.

See our other Remotely Entertaining videos from South by Southwest, including The New York Times' team behind the Daily podcast and an explanation for the cruise-ship set in the video above, right here.

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