Ben Young
Ben Young
February 16, 2024

Edition #436

On Marie condo, browser appreciation and why brands say the big game.

We take the browser for granted. We open our favourite each day and spend our lives using it as a portal to the internet. Every screen time report you get, how much was through a browser? A lot right. We trust that Apple is looking after us with Safari, making it faster, more private and reducing battery usage.

Before that, Chrome & Firefox were always competing for speed. That is to say, they are just there and we enjoy their benefit. Arc, an upstart browser has been competitive, recently pulling in AI deeply into the experience.

Google Chrome right now, with its privacy sandbox, is making hard changes to avoid cross site tracking, In a way to avoid as much revenue loss as Safari created with their changes.

And Firefox just announced cut backs, they make their money through a Google deal, with shares the search revenue with them.

Which ironically is also where Safari makes their money. So a hidden impact of the rate of change on AI on search but also the ad eco-system is that it is putting pressure on the browsers themselves.

You could say that Google basically props up the whole market, $20 or so billion to Apple, Firefox gets virtually all its funding from its Google deal- and Chrome, well they own Chrome. So hurting Google, may have a domino type effect. Without these deals, maybe browsers would be quite different? Maybe better maybe worse? On balance I suspect probably worse.

So in Marie Kondo fashion, as you close your browser today, show it a moment of appreciation.

Notable stories this week

  • Most publishers grew their ad offerings last year, with a focus on branded content.
  • Creator Bowl: How brands are partnering with creators for the Super Bowl.
  • Tom Fishburnes latest comic on the future of search is great.
  • Havas consolidates content creation units under new prose on pixels.
  • Influencers say Slack is now a ‘gold mine’ for brand deals. They told us the best tips and groups for success.
  • Meta won’t recommend political content on Threads.
  • Flipboard just bought its 1,000 plus magazines to the mastodon universe.
  • Bluesky shows off custom Super Bowl feeds (with and without Taylor Swift).
  • Slate reports best year.
  • Dotdash Meredith bucked the Digital Publisher Doldrums in Q4 thanks to programmatic.
  • Messenger CEO says he’s weighing severance options, may restore site.
  • BDG shutters Fatherly.
  • The Trade Desk’s Media Quality Product, SP500+ puts publishers at the center.
  • Shopify is launching an ad product that takes a page from Meta’s playbook.
  • Parrot releases the Global Demand Award winners.
  • Kantar partners with RealEyes to tackle billion dollar survey fraud problem.
  • LinkedIn launches enhanced audience insights and predictive analytics.
  • Some Cookieless alternatives still use Cookies.
  • Ari Paparo chats with Alex Cone on Privacy Sandbox.
  • Many misunderstandings and inaccuracies: Google issues retort to critical Privacy Sandbox report. And their official response.
  • Mozilla lays off 60 people, wants to build AI into Firefox.
  • The Analytics Note on Digital Twins.
  • Friend of ours – Wayne is running a survey on attention metrics in programmatic. Would love if you could help him out by participating or sharing.
  • Outcomes as a service.
  • The $20 billion sports media problem no one can answer.
  • Is the media prepared for an extinction-level event?

Campaign of the week

View all 2024 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • “Historically, big media moments like the Super Bowl have been quite restrictive—both in terms of which brands could afford to participate and what they were creatively allowed to do or say. These moments could also feel intimidating for certain audiences who may not feel catered to or included.But creators break these constraints. They provide more creative freedom than what we see on network TV, and more importantly, they are shortcuts to many subcultures. Creators are inherently inclusive of their communities and can offer a brand a bridge to audiences they perhaps previously couldn’t tap into (or didn’t think to).”Yan Wang-Benz.

Datapoints of note

  • Super Bowl LVIII becomes most-watched US broadcast in history at 123.4m viewers.
  • Firefox gets 80% of its funding through Google.
  • Podcasting now accounts for 50% of Slates advertising revenue.
  • On demand audio now makes up 50.3% of audio listening.
  • 58% of publishers added branded content ad products in 2023.

View all 2024 datapoints of note.

That’s it for this week.