Ben Young
Ben Young
January 10, 2020

I took a clinical approach to CES and was in/out for a few key meetings. With the short duration, I didn’t get to wander the gadgets unfortunately but enjoyed the time in media.

It’s my first time, the event is pretty close-knit, so you naturally bump into a bunch of people. Which I like. So if you haven’t been considering it.

Given CES was on, there are a few stories, it is worth getting a coffee and catching the most important ones though. Get a sense of the market/shape of the year ahead.

One big thing
Time Folding is a new term being bantered about in media, to describe how Gen Z is consuming content. And that is a bunch at once.

"It sounds vaguely sci-fi, but it’s not. “Time folding” is merely a new term to explain how people, mainly Gen Z, are consuming still so much content. Social recession or not, engagement with content overall is still increasing, up 20 percent last year, as is the number of pieces of content being produced every year, up 10 percent. There’s already too much content for everyone to even be aware of, much less see, but there is still a lot of consumption going on."

“Younger generations are doing more than one thing at a time, they’re folding time and they’re able to condense,” said Amy Emmerich, Refinery29’s global president and chief content officer. “Yes, they’re binging, but they’re skipping every 10 seconds. We’ve seen it, the younger generation is truly built to fold time.”

Haik of Vice Media, Refinery’s new parent company, offered that younger consumers are actually doing “three or four things at once” in terms of content consumption.”

If anything, this presses the need for smart promotion of content, which (of course) needs strong good quality content at its core.

Notable stories this week

  • BuzzFeed has gone from near 100% reliance on native to 30% of its $320m revenue. A takeaway – native has also decreased for them. These changes though are helping it attain profitability or at least closer to it this year.
  • The Chinese version of Yelp leans heavily on fresh content created by customers (who are incentivized). Content first.
  • NBCU aims to merge tv and digital ad buying with new tech called One Platform.
  • ^ These types of launches are great for reducing friction in the set up of existing clients. Even better for the new digital-first brands. One thing often forgotten though is the opportunity to promote and build a whole new set of customers. They tend to get launched and then forgotten. Hopefully, that’s not the case here.
  • Teen Vogue pulls a story, first published as editorial, then rapidly changed to sponsored. Shared by Sheryl Sandberg. Subsequently found to be part of a Facebook sponsored event package with stakeholders confused as to if it was sponsored or not.
  • TIVO announces new content partnerships.
  • Tumi partners with One Esports to offer content creation and products. One Esports is the JV between One Championship and Dentsu.
  • Spotify announces new streaming ad insertion to podcasts.
  • Flipboard launches a self-service ad buy model.
  • Meredith improves its recommended stories.
  • Electric vehicle startup announces partnership with ViacomCBS & Accuweather to bring content to its cars.
  • 2020s: The Decade for Publishers to Lean In via Paul Bannister, the co-founder of Cafe Media and DigiDays anti-predictions, what’s not going to happen this year, is a good read.
  • Twitter enables brands to take over the explore tab. / Walmart extends its sponsored search offering. / AT&T selling pause ads.
  • Facebook will not ban political ads.
  • Quibi previews ’turnstile’ mobile video, see below.

gif showing Quibi's turnstile mobile video

Campaign of the week

  • iShares partners with WSJ to de-mystify the benefits of ETFs, as narrated by Sasheer Zamata. Simple, easy, accessible. You only tune in if you want to learn more.
  • Autograph Collection Hotels tells the story of a guests experience through Mickey Ashmore, founder of handcrafted leather shoe company Sabah. A bit cheesy mid way but gets back on track. Nice mention of Yaletown Gin.


  • IAC sells CollegeHumor, or more accurately gives it another shot at success by passing the majority back to one of the early hires and present Creative Director – Sam Reich. The only crunch this means they had to let go of virtually everyone. Not fun but I guess better than the alternative. Hats off to Sam for standing tall and leading the charge.
  • S4 to merge with digital agency Circus, providing half cash and half stock.
  • Tremor to buy Unruly from News Corp, markedly lower than what it was acquired for only a few years ago.

Datapoints of note



Nudge is a dashboard for your content.
Nudge is built by marketers and aims to serve brands investing in content-based media, across any category, looking to illustrate ROI, generate deep performance insights, and save time.