Ben Young
Ben Young
March 3, 2023

Edition #394

Spotify to become TikTok? Branded content inevitable? Acquisitions and Substack hits 2m subs.

It’s been a bit of a crazy week – so will keep this note short. I really enjoyed Turners chat on Spotify introducing a feed. Which is how TikTok got started, as Musicly first, then TikTok. So it kind of makes sense, but Spotify is already big, they did it to help get big.

Nonetheless, it would introduce more advertising options for brands. Apparently it launches in a few weeks. Watch that space.

Notable stories this week

  • ASANA sponsors a new digital magazine The Workback
  • Taboola is shifting its positioning to performance advertising.
  • Spotify is redesigning its app to create a feed. To be launched in a few weeks.
  • ^ Branded content is inevitable?
  • TikTok launches Sounds for Business.
  • What ‘one marketing metric’ that keeps these CMOs up at night. Truly a one size doesn’t fit all.
  • Ad service startups will emerge from thousands of tech layoffs.
  • Meta Verified launches and Instagram engagement is dropping.
  • Free ad-supported creator content comes to The Roku Channel.
  • Apple hires ad exec Lauren Fry for Apple TV+.
  • Advertisers remain committed to Google as TikTok and AI-powered Bing try to become search competitors.
  • The problem with today’s super bowl ads.


  • to acquire native advertising platform Bidtellect.
  • Ex Adobe CTO raises $65m to help businesses generated marketing content with AI.
  • Penn Entertainment completes its acquisition of Barstool Sports.
  • Dentsu acquires Spain’s Omega CRM agency and merges it into Merkle.

Campaign of the week

  • Moncler with Highsnobiety for their fashion week event. Just smart positioning to the right audience and extending a IRL event to digital.

View all 2023 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • “When we were developing just 3 spots a year, we had time to refine the craft. We were Michelin 3-star chefs making our masterpieces with love, care, and proper debate over every nuance, and more importantly, the strength of the idea itself. Today, the needs of a marketer are more like drive-thru McDonalds — sacrificing quality for expediency and volume.”Jon Bond.

Datapoints of note

  • There is a direct correlation between the amount of content produced by a brand and the ROI. Around a third (34%) of teams that produce more than 20 pieces of content a month report a significant increase in ROI, compared to only 5% who are producing five or fewer pieces of content.
  • Walmart ad sales hit $2.7b in 2022.
  • Bloomberg Media targets 500,000 subscribers in first half of 23.
  • Streamers projected to spend $8.5b globally on sports rights in 2023.
  • Substack tops 2 million paid subs.

That’s it for this week.