The Media Minute 7.19.23

Let Them Talk: The Best AI Tools For All Publishing Departments

After a quarter-century in publishing, I can very easily imagine how these conflicted in-house conversations about ChatGPT and AI tools have been going. 

But because I have the added benefit of years focused on technological tools that help publishers, you’ll have to forgive me for being nothing but ecstatic about the potential here. 

I truly believe this language-model technology and AI as a whole will be as essential a resource as any reference book or software package a publisher currently relies on. Once you spend time learning its limitations and preparing for its promise, it’s easy to see how revolutionary this tool can be for each and every publishing department. The commitment to AI’s independent strengths will ultimately be as essential as the separation of church and state.

In this blog, I wanted to highlight both the larger and smaller revolutions that AI can bring to the daily to-do lists of publishing teams. 


California Bill Requiring Big Tech To Pay For News Placed On Hold Until 2024

A California bill that would force tech companies such as Facebook and Google to pay publishers for news content has been put on hold in the Legislature until 2024. The California Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, sponsored by Assemblymember Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland), would direct digital advertising giants to pay news outlets a “journalism usage fee” when they sell advertising alongside news content. The bill would require publishers to invest 70% of those funds in preserving journalism jobs in California.


Global Study Finds Ads With Lower Carbon Emissions Are Tied To Higher Attention And Engagement

The study analyzed over one billion impressions across 55 countries through live campaign tracking and further stress-tested findings by using AI-based, predictive eye tracking on approximately 350 display ads that appeared on 100 U.S. websites. The resulting analysis proved that a spot that was in view for 10 seconds produced 64 percent less carbon emissions than a spot with a five-second, in-view time. This correlation between in-view time and carbon emissions is likely related to total ad load on each page, as the more ads that load, the greater the emissions generated. 


Marketing Meter: Brands Have Trouble Measuring ROI Across Channels

Most marketers expect their budgets to increase this year. Sixty-four percent say they anticipate budget increases, according to Nielsen’s 2023 Annual Marketing Report, a study released Tuesday. But will they know if they are getting what they’re paying for? Only 54% are confident they can measure ROI across digital channels, although not necessarily for individual ones.

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The Media Minute 07.12.23

Programmatic Advertising ‘Rife with Waste’ … But Also Potential Billions in Efficiency Gains

The Magazine Manager blog has covered the basics to bringing programmatic advertising to your sales teams. What we haven’t done is break down how programmatic advertising plays out in the wider $88 billion global market. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) is taking a shot, releasing what it’s calling a “first look” of a larger study on open web programmatic advertising and analyzing 21 participating advertisers and their $123 million in ad spend and 35.5 billion impressions between September 2022 and January 2023.

Unfortunately, the findings aren’t all rosy.

South Carolina Newspapers Evolve A New Paradigm To Survive

In South Carolina in 2020, ten local newspapers folded their print editions, and those that remain are often shoestring operations. But some papers are bucking the trend, either by hiring staff, or collaborating with other papers to expand their coverage and investigate corruption in local governments. And readers are supporting them for providing news they can’t get anywhere else.

A.I. To Top Tech Spending At Many Companies: CNBC Survey

Companies across the economy say artificial intelligence will be their top spending priority over the next year, according to the latest CNBC Technology Executive Council survey.

Global Ad Market Keeps Growing Thanks To Counter-Cyclical Verticals And Retail Media

The summer update of MAGNA’s “Global Ad Forecast” predicts media owners advertising revenues will reach $842 billion this year, +4.6% growth vs. 2022 ($805bn).


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The Media Minute 7.5.23

Did Google Violate Its Own Terms and Mislead Advertisers?

Existing where we are at the intersections of publishing, technology, advertising, and marketing, we’ve consulted and linked to a fair share of Google blog entries and explainer articles.

Hard to remember a time when that text was a defensive one.

Thanks to a relatively bombshell Wall Street Journal article that highlights an extensive report about advertisers potentially being misled for years by Google and its video-ad placements, Google has been caught on its backfoot. And while Google is quick to categorize them as “extremely inaccurate claims,” that these violations may have affected government agencies, Fortune 500 companies, publishers, and small businesses alike will surely capture more attention as numbers continue to be crunched, scrutinized, and questioned.


How Live Blogging Serves As A Critical Communications Tool For Newsrooms

Technologies such as live blogs have emerged as a critical communications tool to cover the world’s most pressing events — from the novel coronavirus pandemic to the war in Ukraine and even global elections. Live blogs have the toolkit journalists need to keep consumers updated on the latest events in an engaging, digestible, and authentic format. 


Perspectives from the Global Entertainment & Media Outlook 2023–2027

For the entertainment and media industries, 2022 marked an important inflection point. Total global entertainment and media (E&M) revenue rose 5.4% in 2022, to US$2.32 trillion. That represents a sharp deceleration from the 10.6% growth rate in 2021, when economies and industries globally were starting to rebound from the upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.


U.S. Ad Index Expands For First Time In 11 Months In May

The U.S. Ad Market Tracker rose 2.5% in May — the first expansion in 11 months. The expansion compares with the year-ago period that was only up modestly and is the best May since Standard Media Index began tracking it. The growth is the first material sign that the U.S. ad marketplace is pulling out of a recession that began in July 2022, based on the SMI data, which is derived from a pool of actual ad spending processed by the major agency holding companies and independent media services agencies.

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The Media Minute 6.28.23

Friends In AI Places? Publishers And Tech Companies Discussing Content Deal

Financial Times is reporting that it and other publishers such as News Corp, The New York Times, The Guardian, and Axel Springer are in early negotiations with leading tech companies to “strike landmark deals over the use of news content to train artificial intelligence technology.” Sources are saying tech companies like OpenAI, Google, Microsoft, and Adobe could pay media organizations a subscription-like fee to use their content with their AI products, something that would, in Financial Times’ words, “set the blueprint for news organizations in their dealings with generative AI companies worldwide.”


The Importance Of Editors In The Age Of (Highly Unreliable) AI

Germany’s best-selling newspaper, Bild, is reportedly adopting artificial intelligence (AI) to replace certain editorial roles, in an effort to cut costs. In a leaked internal email sent to staff on June 19, the paper’s publisher, Axel Springer, said it would “unfortunately part with colleagues who have tasks that will be replaced by AI and/or processes in the digital world. The functions of editorial directors, page editors, proofreaders, secretaries, and photo editors will no longer exist as they do today.”


Can You Spot An Email Written By A Robot? The AI Email Test

In the past few months, AI language tools have taken the world by storm. The likes of ChatGPT, launched in November last year, and Google Bard, launched this March, have been used by everyone. From University students asking AI to write their academic essays, to email marketing platforms using AI to craft smart, undetectable marketing communications. But is AI-generated marketing actually undetectable? To find out, we surveyed 510 Brits to see if they could spot the difference between brand marketing emails written by AI and those written by an actual human copywriter. 


The Irate Customer: People Are Unhappy With The Service They’re Getting

Marketers should be alarmed by the findings in CCW Digital’s 2023 Annual Consumer Preferences Survey. Of the consumers polled, only 4% feel the customer experience has improved in the past year. And 57% say it has gotten worse.

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The Media Minute 6.21.23

What Publishers Are Prioritizing To Expand Their Audiences in 2023

Echobox recently released its Publishing Trends Report 2023, summarizing the “challenging year” that was 2022 but also looking optimistically ahead, particularly at how those circumstances have “driven innovation at an astonishing pace.” And whether they know it or not, savvy publishers may already be utilizing the most-forward thinking innovation in audience development.


Young People Are Abandoning News Sites: New Research Reveals Scale Of Challenge To Media

Not only is consumption of traditional television news and print formats continuing to decline at a relentless rate, but online websites are also struggling to engage news users, despite the tumultuous times in which we live.


Marketing App Sprawl is Wasting Time and Money. Here’s How to Fix It

Marketers rely on software or applications for just about everything—managing campaigns, analyzing data, and connecting with their target audiences. In fact, 67% of SMB marketers plan to invest more in tech in 2023.


61% of Workers Embrace Generative AI, but Lack Trusted Data and Security Skills

Generative AI is dominating the news cycle — and with good reason — as companies embrace opportunities to boost productivity and improve customer experiences in a myriad of ways. But amid this innovation lurks a new risk for enterprises: How can they keep trusted data secure?

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The Media Minute 6.14.23

What’s Your Mix Of Six? Alternative Revenue Streams In Digital Publishing

Nowadays, no single revenue stream is enough to sustain, let alone grow, a digital publication. Instead, online publishers are relying on a combination of revenue streams to ensure they can bring in sufficient capital.


Best Times to Post on Social Media in 2023

The internet never sleeps so the best time to post on social media seems like it’s at every hour of the day. We’re going to demystify this myth so your social team can plan, prioritize and create a successful social media marketing strategy.


Why CMOs Need To Learn The Language Of The Boardroom

Marketers and boardrooms have never operated in perfect harmony — and while businesses continue to view marketing as a ‘sunken cost’ rather than a valuable investment this will continue. Recent research carried out across Fortune 500 companies found that the tenure of the average CMO is currently only half that of the average CEO, pointing to an increasing dichotomy between marketing departments and boardrooms.


59% Of Gen Z, 49% Of Millennials Will Give A Brand 3 Chances Before Abandoning It

Strike three and you’re out. Sounds like the rules of baseball filtered into ecommerce and brand loyalty — mainly because great products alone are not enough to keep customers loyal. It takes products and great customer service. Consumers’ patience runs thin, with 59% of Gen Z and 49% of Millennials saying they will give a brand a third chance before abandoning it.

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The Media Minute 6.7.23

The 5 Myths of Digital Flatplanning, and How To Overcome Resistance

It takes all types to put a publication together, and those who work on the production side are often some of the most project-focused, systematic people around. Ask anyone on staff and all would agree that effective production managers and assistants are underappreciated, overworked, and, perhaps most of all, complete control freaks.

The resistance that some production managers have in opening up their flatplans to the rest of the company is widespread. And after 20-plus years in publishing, I do know how to address the rationalizations given for that resistance. 

These are easily dispelled myths that can be addressed head-on for the better of the publication, the people who make it, and the process overall.


California Assembly Ignores Meta’s Threat, Votes To Pass The Journalism Preservation Act

One day after Facebook parent company Meta threatened to remove news content from its platforms if Assembly Bill 886 becomes law, the California Assembly voted 46-6 to advance the bill to the State Senate. “I’m not interested in a debate between Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg,” said bill author Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks, D-Oakland, in support of her legislation. “…Free press is in our Constitution, and it is at risk right now.”


Apple Vision Pro is Apple’s New $3,499 AR Headset

Apple has announced an augmented reality headset called Apple Vision Pro that “seamlessly” blends the real and digital world. “It’s the first Apple product you look through, and not at,” CEO Tim Cook said of the device, which looks like a pair of ski goggles. 


The Roar Of GDPR: The Impact On Marketers And Their Tech Stacks

Marketers wondering how a national privacy law might affect them should look at Europe. Five years in, companies seem to have accepted GDPR, judging by a new study from  Piwik PRO. For instance, 82.6% of respondents agree that brands can adhere to privacy laws and effectively market their products — up from 63% last year. 

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The Media Minute 05.31.23

The Way The Cookie Crumbles: Google Announces First Steps in Finally Disabling Third-Party Cookies
It appears the chefs in the Google kitchen are prepared to offer the first samples for what the future of online advertising might taste like. (And, yes, cookies are finally finding their way off the menu.) Last week, Google announced plans to disable third-party cookies for 1% of Chrome users and migrate those users to Privacy Sandbox starting early next year. As Anthony Chavez, Privacy Sandbox’s VP, writes in Google’s update, this one-percent plan would “support developers in conducting real-world experiments that assess the readiness and effectiveness of their products without third-party cookies.” 


TikTok Partners With Top Publishers On Its New Premium and Brand-Safe Ad Slot, “Pulse Premiere”

TikTok is partnering with big-name publishers, including NBCU, Condé Nast, DotDash Meredith, BuzzFeed and others, in an effort to pull in more premium ad dollars. The video entertainment company announced a new premium ad product that would allow marketers, for the first time, to position their brand ads directly after TikTok’s publisher and media partners’ content in over a dozen categories, including lifestyle, sports, entertainment, education and more.


Email Tries Hard: How Teams Manage Their Workflows

Here’s some good news for email teams. Email is by far seen as the most effective marketing channel: 41% of marketers say so, versus 16% apiece for social media and paid search, according to the 2023 State of Email Workflows Report. 

5 Advertising Trends That Are Changing Media Buying

Writing on the International News Media Association’s Advertising Initiative Blog, Mark Challinor says the way advertisers buy media has changed. Challinor, INMA’s advertising initiative lead, acknowledges that post-COVID, advertising predictions are really difficult to make. However, he sees five major advertising trends that need to be addressed if publishers are to succeed in digital ad sales.

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The Media Minute 5.24.23

The Highs and Lows of Publishing CRM, and How To Embrace The Complications

In publishing and beyond, it’s easy to find success stories about customer relationship management (CRM) software, right alongside ever-increasing numbers relating to publishing CRM usage and publishing CRM return-on-investment and everything else rosy and promising about this ultimate revolutionary supertool. Sadly, magazine CRM systems are neither invincible nor undefeated. Keeping an exact score is difficult, as the CRM failure rate has been measured to be anywhere between 18% and 69% over the years. 


US Digital Ad Spend Growth To Recover Next Year

US digital ad spend growth will return to double digits next year at 11.2%, following this year’s 7.8%, according to our forecast. Growth certainly won’t go back to the 37.6% we saw in 2021, but it will increase steadily. Come 2025, US digital ad spend will pass $300 billion and keep climbing to nearly $400 billion by the end of 2027.


Survey Reveals 71% of CMOs Believe They Lack Sufficient Budget to Fully Execute Their Strategy in 2023

The survey revealed that marketing budgets compose 9.1% of total company revenue in 2023, remaining relatively flat but still dipping slightly from the 9.5% reported in 2022.


Google Ads Benchmarks 2023: Key Trends & Insights for Every Industry

It’s no secret that one of the most effective ways to promote your business online is through search ads. In fact, when correctly optimized, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising returns $2 for every $1 spent—a 200% ROI—on average. But how do you know your search campaigns are optimized to their fullest capacity?

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The Media Minute 5.17.23

Readers Trust Newspapers More Than TV, Social Media For Public Notices (New Report)

America’s Newspapers just released its 2023 Local Newspaper Study, not only highlighting how news consumption and readers have changed but, as America’s Newspapers CEO Dean Ridings puts it, also “measuring the difference local newspapers make.”


US Subscription OTT Revenues To Pass $50 Billion This Year

OTT video subscription revenues will hit $50.56 billion this year, an increase of 12.5% YoY, according to our forecast. Revenues will climb to $64.12 billion by the end of 2026.


Podcast Ad Study Finds Consumers Prefer Single-Brand Sponsorships

The findingswhich are based on a study on online interviews conducted with 2,028 weekly podcast listeners (date not disclosed)generally found overwhelmingly positive attributes about podcasts vs. other media, although at least one question explicitly addresses the relative impact of podcast advertising formats.


New Marketing Automation Research: 2023

Business-to-business (B2B) marketers are tasked with creating effective customer journeys that identify, engage, and inform prospects to build pipeline for sales and ultimately generate revenue for their business. Marketing automation can make this process significantly more efficient when utilized effectively.

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