Ben Young
Ben Young
April 7, 2023

Edition #399

We get the trailer for The Grand Train Tour, Lemon8, the end of content and Nativo + Cision news.

I’ve been thinking about this, where capital flows and how when it changes, that has big impact.

One is, the funding of companies that relied on app installs, or easy sales via Instagram. That funding is not really going into those companies any more. VC funding has plunged 50% in the last 12 months. But it has to go somewhere else? Where does it go. Some smart folks will be working away at that. So far VC funding has shrunk by half.

Sometimes it just pauses, put in the piggy bank, only to be cracked open later. As many marketers are doing with their budgets right now, still planned to spend, but let’s confirm closer to the time. That gives flexibility but also uncertainty. If the brand isn’t able to rely on those executions later in the year, what else might they do? What prep work do they have to do now? What do their partners do?

That’s the hidden cost, the cost of the flexibility, is the investment and resource that have to go to alternatives, which may not eventuate, or are not needed. So even if activity is lighter, the workload remains the same. Targets still need to be met, forecasts beaten.

And that’s the concern, that all this comes at the cost of efficiency. The exact thing that was trying to be improved in the first place. Many are looking to organic growth, how can we grow with what we’ve got, how can we make partnerships go further, how can we be more creative? What assets or strengths do we have that can be utilized?

It’s these sorts of things that help get the capital flowing again, in the right direction.

Notable stories this week


  • The FT has acquired a majority stake in pharmaceutical publisher Endpoint News.

Campaign of the week

View all 2023 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • “We were told that the good channels would be elevated by the platforms and that people would stop watching the bad channels. But the marketplace of attention cares only about attention. The assumption that low-quality or dishonest or dangerous content wouldn’t get clicked on was always entirely and obviously wrong. The videos are slickly made; the results look plausible. People try them, fail, and assume it’s their own fault. And since the videos get views and views make money, the platforms have no reason to do anything about them.”Freddie deBoer.
  • “The big social apps now feel increasingly the same because they’re filled with the same stuff: content their users didn’t ask for made by people they don’t know on platforms they may not even use. Where they used to see posts from people they know, now there are algorithmically suggested videos from somebody made for nobody.”John Herrman, Intelligencer.

Datapoints of note

  • BeeHiiv surpasses $2m ARR.
  • News now makes up less than 3% of what people see on Facebook.
  • Researchers asked participants to consider losing access to internet services like search engines, digital maps and email. Then participants were asked how much they would pay to keep access to those services for a year. Participants were willing to pay more than $17,000 to keep access to search, more than $8,000 to keep access to email and more than $3,000 to keep access to maps, the study found.
  • Brand recall and enjoyability are the top two key attributed that determine the success of brand campaigns.

That’s it for this week.