Ben Young
Ben Young
June 23, 2023

Edition #408 launches paid newsletters, the origin of the newsletter and what does the hype from Cannes mean?

I had thought with much of the vocal folks of our industry in Cannes, that the news would stop. But, as they say the news never stops. Last weeks note hit a snafu, if you missed it, read up here on Speed. 

WordPress launched their Substack competitor or rather features to help with it. You can imagine the publishers who use their stack, those that haven’t created paid newsletters, can now jump on board. And that’s a curious thing about newsletters, when you look at the origins of the newsletter. They tend to come in a period of unbundling, when there is less trust in mainstream media. Then over time, mainstream tends to acquire the newsletter as trust shifts back to them. 

So does this mean that we’re now in that phase of the cycle? I think not, but it probably means a lot more paid newsletters coming from content creators who have held out. And I think we can be guilty of (me included) of calling a trend, but really it’s a blip within a cycle. We are in the newsletter cycle right now, and it could last a while. 

What does the Cannes hype mean? Paired with the market run of recent, it does lend some credence towards a strong second half of the year. Touch wood. I’m glad, a vibrant Cannes, might mean a vibrant year ha. Don’t hold me to that. 

The topic for this week though was preparation. You need to do the preparation to get the work, you need to do the preparation to get the opportunity. I’m sure we’ve all heard about the 5P’s, proper planning prevents poor performance. Yup. And preparation is something you can take for granted, you just notice when it’s not there. Especially in media. 

And in todays environment of, in office, at home, zoom but in person too. Preparation is even more key. Each meeting can sometimes feel like a bit of orchestration, just to get that one or two things moving along. But with the right preparation, it does move along. 

So I just wanted to give a shout to doing the prep, it makes a world of difference. And thank you, when you do do it, people notice. 

Notable stories this week

  • challenges Substack with launch of paid newsletters.
  • Steve Bryant launched his digital workshop to align content with the business strategy.
  • Nativo unveils its ContentAI Suite, improving branded content performance via generative AI.
  • TikTok and Candle Media to co-develop new branded entertainment and content.
  • The disclosure debate. This is good.
  • Westbrook and Pinterest partner to launch innovative branded content.
  • Twitch’s new CEO tries to strike the right chords. And their new Partner Plus program offers some streamers a 70/30 revenue split.
  • TripleLift announces new audience targeting solution powered by first party data.
  • Spotify launching weekly podcast with Trevor Noah. Spotify launching weekly podcast with Trevor Noah.
  • Video ads are coming to all your Uber apps.
  • Nielsen launches media data clean room with Snowflake.
  • Twitter looks to reassure anxious advertisers at Cannes.
  • Insider to use a smart paywall which will add people to pay if an algorithm thinks they are likely to pay.
  • Advertisers, here’s one weird trick from the ANA that could save you $20b.
  • Apple Search Ads is making some changes to its ‘Today tab ads’.
  • Can publishers overcome ad annoyance and avoidance.
  • Paywalls aren’t blocking access to high quality news.
  • Microsoft Advertising brings ad sales, technology in-house through Xandr acquisition.
  • Marketer Trade Group report shows ad spending ‘rife with waste’.
  • ChatGPT is unoriginal and exactly what humans need! On how creatives should use it.
  • Gimlet’s story was always going to end like this.


  • GoDigital wants to acquire Vice, submitting a bid $300m-$350m. More on who GoDigital are.
  • Mitgo to invest up to $500k in each promising publisher to enhance their growth.
  • Camera review site DPReview finds a buyer, avoids shutdown by Amazon.
  • JellySmack acquires Network Media.

Campaign of the week

  • ^ Thanks Ben for the tip.
  • Fandom enters mainstream. Twitch Ads with Adweek.
  • Teads with Digiday, A sober guide to Cannes 2023.

View all 2023 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • I learned from BuzzFeed that from tiny acorns can come mighty oaks and that you can build products from scratch and launch new things. And it may take time, but it can be done.”Jon Steinberg, Future CEO

Datapoints of note

That’s it for this week.