Ben Young
Ben Young
May 17, 2024

Edition #449

When the Google tap finally turns off, growing brands authentically and a shout out.

The solid theme in new stories this week are OpenAI, and Google and what it means for publishers. The joke is, expect everyone to launch or acquire their own Wordle, to help bring in the daily visitors. I’m not sure what to add (or what could really be added) other than the best way through change is straight through it. But I don’t get the feeling that anyone is sitting on their hands either. TheVerge frames it up as Google Zero, what happens when the tap is fully closed. 

Changing tacks, a founder a reader put me on to is Sari Azout, and she did a great interview this week on OffMenu.  I liked this quote on brand building.

“People want to go on a journey. They want to understand what your vision is, not just what problem you’re solving. They’re looking for belonging, something to be a part of.

Of course market demand matters. But demand isn’t born out of nothing. Desires are formed. We are all responsible for what one another wants. We need to build a world and then give people reasons to care, beyond fulfilling a need they already know they have.”

So many little nuggets in there, and a refreshing approach & enthusiasm to growing her business. Earlier this week I was at a Notion Cafe event, with a great line up, talking on product management. Something I like to geek out on. But the panel was all female, and (and New York is guilty of this!) rather than a few guys talking each other up with fluff, you get genuine conversation and here are the real things being touched on. Which is nice, hats off to them for a great event. 

I also want to have a shout out to James Hercher at AdExchanger, I feel like whatever is in the water over there we should all be drinking it. They’ve been on a string of hits recently with astute, right through the bullseye reporting. 

Notable stories this week

  • ‘We’re in our paid era’: Marketers will have to pay for content distribution.
  • Issa Rae launches branded content company to teach creators how to get better brand deals.
  • Netflix to in-house ad technology but Microsoft to remain a programmatic partner.
  • Shadier than Forbes Premium Publishers are partnering with content farms to make a quick programmatic buck.
  • Walled Garden Platforms are drowning marketers in self-attributed sales.
  • Leaked deck reveals how OpenAi is pitching publisher partnerships.
  • OpenAI will let publishers opt out of AI training.
  • Google and YouTube are trying to have it both ways with AI and copyright. Touches on Google Zero.
  • Can Google give A.I. answers without breaking the web?
  • How Zuckerberg turned against the news.
  • Free wine hidden in website’s small print finally claimed after three months.
  • TripleLift extends the Amazon RMN.
  • Snap bolsters ad offerings and incentives to woo advertisers – but will they take?
  • Apple, Netflix Amazon want to change how they pay Hollywood stars.
  • Mark Read targeted by deepfake scam.


Campaign of the week

  • Montblanc with Wes Anderson, 100 years of Meisterstruck, a short film. Brilliant. I didn’t realise the logo was a snowcap. As soon as it finished, I watched it again!

  • Creativity cannot be crushed. Samsung with their response to Apple. It’s good.
  • ^ Whilst I like the timeliness, not always a fan of acknowledging the competition like this. But nonetheless, well done.

View all 2024 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • “I like to call the end of Google traffic “Google Zero,” and Google Zero is on its way: on Google’s last earnings call, Sundar Pichai bluntly said of SGE, “Over time, this will just be how search works.”Nilay Patel, EIC, TheVerge.

Datapoints of note

  • Netflix ad-supported tier has 40m monthly users.
  • Disney accounts for the most tv viewing of any company across cable, broadcast & streaming.
  • ChatGPT reached a new daily record of 83.5m visits. And 1.8b visits in April.
  • AWS’s biggest data collaboration customer is Amazon Ads.

View all 2024 datapoints of note.

That’s it for this week.