Ben Young
Ben Young
March 20, 2020

Thanks to everyone who participated, Gustaf passes on thanks for the invaluable feedback. If anyone else wants to join just let me know.

One big thing
Content consumption is up.

I was delighted to receive the latest edition of The Explorers Journal, I’ll treat myself at the weekend over coffee.

It got me thinking, during this disruption print editions of major publications are likely to stop, or be paused. And some won’t come back. A few years ago I was at a cocktail event with a few folks from well-known publishers, who are printing on machinery so old, replacement parts are harder and harder to find and even more so people that know how to run them.

If some of these machines shut for a month, they may never come back online.

Anecdotally content consumption is up, Verizon is tapping into emergency capacity, Cloudflare saw internet usage jump 20% last Friday. Now, if ever, is a time to invest in content and distribution.

If you are hankering for sports content – and want something different, do check out the virtual rugby on.

Notable stories this week

  • Nativo launches stories for the open web.
  • Terry Kawaja and Rich Greenfield did a chat on the Streaming Wars. A good listen.
  • Comscore partners with Twitch to bring gaming and esports viewership stats.
  • The collapse of the cookie heightens interest in brand-uplift studies and other solutions.
  • Creative pivots in the sports industry during the COVID-19 shutdown. Exploring some of the content executions.
  • To promote or not to promote – content strategy in the midst of a crisis.
  • More on why you might be seeing clouds in ad slots all over the web.
  • How Dude Perfect is trying to fill the sports content void.
  • Lay’s will be integrated into every episode of Snap Originals series Endless.
  • Through responsible coronavirus coverage, LadBible aims to show its maturity.
  • [Long read] How a partnership model is driving short videos on phones.
  • [Long read] “Running a Football Manager ad is cheaper than running an in-stadium ad in the real world, but you can still get the same brand uplift,” from Fifa, product placement and the future of ads in video games.


  • Fatherly gets scooped up by Spider Studios. Last year, the combined revenues of the two companies were $35 million, with the aim of getting to $50m this year.
  • Bidstack secures partnership to insert ads into an upcoming Codemasters game. Previously they had collaborated on DIRTY Rally and Grid.
  • Fox Corp to acquire Tubi, free streaming service for $440m.

Smartest commentary

Datapoints of note

  • Twitch generated $230m in ad revenue in 2018, which increased to $300m last year.
  • 80% of Tik Tok’s spend is on Snapchat.
  • The FT found that its vertical video ad format increased consideration by 21%, brand preference by 25% and purchase intent by 22%, compared to a control.