Ben Young
Ben Young
September 8, 2023

Edition #415

Post Labor Day quiet, facial expressions and watch duration on YouTube – and TikTok movie watching.

Post Labor Day, yeah this is a quieter week for stories. But hey, we’re all catching up!

We dropped the next handbook, this one for publishers doing content partnerships. It’s a bit bigger than the others, but so is the operation, it’s not easy doing high quality content at scale!

YouTube’s A/B testing for thumbnails looks like it will finally rid us of all the gaping on YouTube. With MrBeast that closing his mouth led to longer watch times. Give creators the data, they’ll find and learn!

It works for him, as a mostly known creator, unclear if the same thing works for an aspiring creator. But hey the data will tell them. But let’s hope that this trend is over.

In this vein, you might enjoy this from Why Is This Interesting – Movies on TikTok. Have you been doing that? Is this a new thing?

Notable stories this week

  • YouTube’s A/B thumbnail testing helped MrBeast find that a closed mouth led to longer watch times.
  • Kofluence launches a platform for content creators to secure guaranteed brand partnerships.
  • LinkedIn introduces enhanced features for its newsletter platform.
  • StoryThings are hosting a workshop about developing brand formats in New York this month. Worth checking out.
  • TikTok eyes more social features.
  • X’s brand safety efforts called into question (again) as MRC and TAG credentials hang in the balance.
  • David Zaslav says content companies are talking about building bundles.
  • How PepsiCo has grown its first party data stores by 50%.
  • Universal Analytics still processing data two months after sunset.
  • On ‘views’ and useless metrics.
  • Firefox dived into data privacy in cars. Interesting read & findings.
  • [Long read] How AI is upending the freelance world.

Campaign of the week

  • Huckberry Homes, to promote their home shop they go on the road and hear the creation story behind homes. This episode is with photographer & filmmaker Ben Moon.

View all 2023 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • “Wanting to watch clips like this, with two layers of subtitles over them, weird cropping, and shoddy editing, does feel like the TikTokiest way to watch a movie, though. The content that feels most authentic on TikTok is always the stuff that feels a little hacked and rough”Amber Finlay
  • Format as authentic to the channel.

That’s it for this week.