Ben Young
Ben Young
November 3, 2023

Edition #423

Meta says yes to Ketamine, AI executive order – and would you pay $37/month for your fav social network? 

If you’re seeing this note for the first time, my apologies there was a snafu where people who signed up to the newsletter, weren’t receiving it! We fixed that. But so please enjoy.

Meta is leaner and earning more money from ads, having neutralized any loss by a switch in consumption to Reels. From earnings last week we saw they grew net income 164% YOY. Paired with a 31% growth in ad impressions and a 24% reduction in headcount year over year.

A bit of trivia, what would be the difference between Metas average revenue per user last quarter vs its average revenue per Facebook user in the US & Canada?

$56.11 vs $8.71!

That is Facebook and Messenger, are generating $18.71 per user per month in US & Canada. Wow.

Would you pay more than that to not get ads? Their recent Europe trial is about $13.50/month, compared with average ad earnings of $6.34/month in Europe. They have a large margin of safety to protect against any revenue loss.

To flip it though, would I pay $18.71/month? Or based off the European model, which is double the ad revenue. Would you pay $37/month for Facebook?

If you were Netflix though, and this would be known, as you look at ad supported tiers, driving ad revenue at 1/3 of US in international markets. It does make you question whether that is the right model for that market. In less competitive markets with less inventory, subscription may be the way to go.

Notable stories this week

  • Peloton announced a partnership with NBA. <- Peloton as a branded content distribution opportunity.
  • Inside Uber’s strategy with content creators to amplify its organic TikTok following.
  • Why Home Depot is evolving its media strategy, starting with branded content.
  • Meta decides to just say no to oversight board requests and allow paid posts for Ketamine.
  • Content creators surge past legacy media as news hits a tipping point.
  • Millions work as content creators. In official records, they barely exist.
  • Instagram tests collaborative carousels your friends can add to.
  • As news aggregator referral traffic slips, publishers turn their attention inward.
  • President Biden issues an executive order on AI.
  • IAC warns regulators generative AI could wreck the web.
  • CreatorIQ adds AI to help swamped marketers track creator conversations.
  • There are nine songs on Spotify with 1b streams total, 1m+ streams daily and are 20 years old.
  • The new ‘efficient’ Spotify has a very different approach to podcasting.
  • SEO will be over for publishers, you need to adapt.
  • IP addresses may not be the post-cookie data solution adtech wanted.
  • Capture what may go to outside tech providers’: WPP’s Mark Read says it will rival ad tech buyers.
  • Disney+ beefs up ad tier with more targeting, measurement features.
  • Amazon rolls out new ad offerings for Fire TV.
  • Mysterious bylines appeared on a USA Today site. Did these writers exist?
  • [Long read] The people who ruined the internet.


  • Hubspot acquires Clearbit.
  • Omnicom buys e-commerce shop Flywheel Digital for $835m.
  • BuzzFeed is considering selling Complex Media to ecommerce Platform Ntwrk.
  • 6am City in talks to raise money.
  • Forbes buyer asks to extend deal deadline amid scramble for funds.
  • Agentio raises $4.25m to help buy creator content at scale.
  • Fire sales sweep the creator economy as startups struggle.

Campaign of the week

  • Ford launches editorial platform about Mustang fanatics.

View all 2023 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • “To grow you need to be noticed. To be noticed, you need to stand out. And to stand out is—usually—inauthentic. Yes, we all say and do noteworthy things, but not every day. To do or say noteworthy things every day involves some degree of forcedness, repetition, or trying. The opposite of authenticity.”Cory Zue.
  • “Brand publishers are increasingly distancing their output from so-called content marketing, eschewing product-focused content in favor of serving audience needs and interests as a priority.”Shareen Pathak, Tookits.

Datapoints of note

  • One third of consumers trust content published by brands more than traditional media organizations.
  • Netflix ad supported tier has reached 15m users. First streamer to bring downloads to ad supported tier.
  • Fifty percent of new Disney+ subscribers choose the ad tier.

That’s it for this week.