Ben Young
Ben Young
May 3, 2024

Edition #447

On adtech twitter getting their knickers in a twist, Spotify and TIkTok?! And the battle for attention.

Another super interesting week for developments, the marketplace feels very active, with lots happening.

Musicly way back, became TikTok, and now with UMG and TikTok at odds, Spotify is launching TikTok-like clips.

Last year it was rumored that they were going to launch something like this, but is there even a thought of they could chip away at TikTok’s share. I’m not sure.

But you have
– Artists making songs
– Podcasters making podcasts
– Authors and audiobooks

It seems feasible to also have:
– Content creators with short videos.

And Spotify has the framework to reimburse creators, either through ads, or Premium subscriptions. So they have the economic engine behind it. BUT do users want it, do they have the app experience. That’s the big but. Either way interesting to see them dip their toes.

A lot of adtech Twitter had their knickers in a twist about these leaked Safari features, about a Web Eraser. Where users could modify the pages they visit. With tweets quickly pointing that users could do ads. But Safari launched content blockers four years ago, which let folks build ad blockers. Is there going to be a mass of Safari users that modify every page they visit, one by one, scrubbing ads. I don’t think so, if you were so inclined you would just use an adblocker.

Can’t blame folks in a way, with the rough and tumble of Google Chrome. But Brian O’Kelleys note which I included last week, kind of touches on this. Hand wringing doesn’t get us anywhere, and go back to first principles, who are the end users, what will they do. And let’s get on with it.

But of course, that doesn’t make for a great tweet does it!

Notable stories this week

  • Roblox steps up its ‘year of scale’ with new ad formats, hires, and key partnerships as it aims to build a $1b ads business.’
  • Instagram is updating its algorithm to surface more content from smaller, original creators.
  • Meta confirms launch of a bonus program for creators on Threads.
  • The case for and against organic social.
  • Substack rival Ghost confirms it will join the fediverse in 2024.
  • Spotify testing TikTok-like clips to playlist pages following UMG deal.
  • The media brand with one email newsletter, 15 staff and $15m revenue.
  • The revenge of the home page.
  • How Marc Jacobs cracked the code for going Viral on TikTok.
  • Original reporting is table stakes for publishers in an AI world.
  • Major US newspapers sue OpenAI, Microsoft for copyright infringement. The FT & OpenAI strike content licensing deal.
  • Google to open source PAIR identity tool with IAB Tech Lab.
  • New AI features reportedly coming to Safari in iOS 18. Including a web eraser.
  • Meta’s AI-everywhere push raises hackles.
  • The FT reorients its business around ‘global paying audience’.
  • Adelaide & Kantar forge game-changing partnerships to connect attention metrics with LIFT.
  • Eric on how advertisers should be adapting right now.
  • [Long read] The battle for attention.


  • Beehiiv lands $33m from NEA. Nice one!
  • The Onion is sold to a new firm known as Global Tetrahedron.

Campaign of the week

  • I don’t even know if this is legit, most likely not. But I liked it, tapping into culture and tongue in cheek. But it’s also a good sign of a brand with a strong identity when it can be parodied but you question if it is them or not. Seen in multiple places, but this one on BlueSky.

View all 2024 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • “If whatever you’re producing doesn’t make you a little bit nervous, it’s not going to land with the customer, it’s not going to create impact, it’s going to be safe.”Eugene Lee, CMO, McDonalds CMO.

Datapoints of note

View all 2024 datapoints of note.

That’s it for this week.