Ben Young
Ben Young
October 13, 2023

Edition #420

On excess content, closing the gap between good and bad content, Yahoo inventory now on Taboola & what’s Hulu worth.

If any readers are in New York for AdWeek or Tech Week and want to grab a coffee, send me a note ☕.

This week I enjoyed Joes piece on Soulful content, that is what is the future of content in an AI world. And thoughts on the human connection.

In a world of excess content, that is there is more than you could ever consume, it is all about what bubbles to the top. What is good enough to get and hold your attention.

In exploring what helpful content is, I found that the difference between bad and good content (as defined by emoji feedback) came down to 2 seconds. Which is not much at all.

Now there is some wonkiness to evaluating helpfulness only by an emoji response, as if you didn’t enjoy it, you would leave the content. So it contains selection bias. BUT it is feedback, tangible feedback from users that wanted to share it. Which you should listen to.

So a better framing is, of users that shared feedback after finishing a post, the difference between good content and bad content came down to 2 seconds. I suspect with AI that gap will continue to shrink.

The challenge is, that it will be harder and harder for us to just evaluate is this good content, is this good creative.

Human intuition, with data & AI. Ie. Human intuition with good tools will be the enduring winning combo.

Notable stories this week

  • Adobe AI is coming for your branding.
  • Meta is paying creators millions for AI chatbots in their likeness.
  • The one thing AI can’t do, according to Adobe’s Scott Belsky.
  • X rolls out new ad format that can’t be reported, blocked. i.e. testing programmatic inventory to look like tweets.
  • The bots have come for podcasts.
  • Google-extended does not stop Google Search Generative Experience from using your site’s content.
  • Netflix’s ad exec shakeup was part of effort to speed growth.
  • TheAthletic cuts back on local podcasts.
  • How Pinterest is pitching itself to advertisers.
  • What should publishers do if gen AI sucks up all search traffic?
  • Yahoo inventory now available via Taboola.
  • CTV and brand marketing.


  • BazaarVoice acquires
  • Sincera raises $4.2m seed round to help ad tech companies build better ad tech.
  • How the short-form video boom is driving marketers to creators for content production.

Campaign of the week

View all 2023 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • “And so that soulfulness, I think, is something we’ll crave more than ever,” … “We’re going to crave these craft experiences. We’re going to crave storytelling … which goes against a lot of what I just said [earlier in this talk].” –Scott Belsky, Chief Strategy Officer, Adobe.

Datapoints of note

  • WashingtonPost audience down 28%, subscriptions down 15% to 2.5m, print revenue down 10% and digital ads down 30%.
  • Hulu valued at $63b.

That’s it for this week.