Ben Young
Ben Young
August 30, 2019

One big thing
I was listening to RadioLabs, the right to be forgotten. Which gets in to how local newsrooms are looking at case by case should they remove names from articles, for maybe cases that were expunged or a college kid making a mistake. And earlier this week we got together a few folks to chat on content, with panelists from diversity media Brand Advance, News UK and WSJ.

The nexus of these two topics, is that content is a way to reach consumers, in a privacy first world that is respectful and attentive to the end user. And it works.

When you hear a brand unsure of how to act, give them a nudge.

Notable stories this week

  • With their latest hire from Fox, TripleLift is investing in growing beyond native and expanding in to connected TV and OTT.
  • The Information digs into why the merging of the digital media firms (Buzzfeed, Group Nine, Refinery29, Vice) is hard. In short, the later stage capital has terms which squeeze all other holders out. “Under the terms of the deal, TPG is entitled to its money back plus around 10% a year before any equity holders get any money. Earlier this year, Vice also raised a round of debt from a group of outside investors. That debt ranks ahead of TPG’s convertible preferred: If Vice were to be liquidated, the debt holders would get paid out first.”
  • FameBit founders raise $2.2m for Podcorn. To connect brands and podcasters. “Today’s podcast landscape is similar to that of the early YouTuber/brand partnerships space, in that only a small portion of podcast creators are able to monetize, and it’s a manual and tedious process for brands to find the right podcasters to collaborate with directly”.
  • MoPub and Criteo partner to bring in-app native ads.
  • Facebook has been rolling out its clear history tool.
  • An early preview of Disney+.
  • Comscore aims to be cashflow positive before end of year. And DigiDay dives in to what’s been happening behind the scenes in the last year.
  • A skeptical riff on content experiences. It really comes together in the end.
  • MGID launches an AMP solution.
  • How Nike, Trader Joe’s and more are using branded content to connect with consumers.
  • The Athletic to open up ad-supported content.
  • The Drum digs into Peloton’s marketing investments ahead of its IPO.
  • CMOs highlight big performance gaps in the marketing mix.


  • WPP is looking to beef up on acquisitions now that it has lightened and streamlined the business. Making investments in technology.
  • Dentsu to buy marketing shop MuteSix to grow its access to startup/DTC brands.
  • P1440 acquires

Campaign of the week

Amazon Prime on The Guardian

Smartest commentary

  • [From our content event: are the tech-giants are a threat/partner in growing the content business?] “The value of trusted news has never been higher, we’ve been voted the most trusted news source, certainly in America, for the past 13 years running, and that trend isn’t going anywhere in the short term” […] “But, if we’re trying to compete with tech companies as a tech company, we’re going to lose. We’re not a tech company, but they’re not a news organization either, so if we can monetize those partnerships better, than we can definitely play nice.” […] “Take Apple news for example, we’re getting incredible content results on that and it opens our membership up to completely new demographics that we weren’t reaching.” -Jim Piercy, Group Creative Director at WSJ Barron’s Group
  • “There’s a misconception that science/data and creativity are two things that don’t connect, when it’s two sides of the same coin. There’s an organic beauty and creativity in technology and science, and an immense amount of structure in art. When combined, it’s powerful.”Edwin Wong, SVP Insights & Innovation, Vox
  • “We’re kind of going against the grain there because this story is really important and meaningful and we didn’t want it to be stripped down to just 15 seconds so it was a really great way to embrace a partnership that allows for longer form content.”Michelle Daidone, Group Director, Martin Agency

Datapoints of note

  • 84% of respondents believe data collection and management will be needed to drive customer insight, but only 49% think they deliver well on that today.
  • Switching off ad personalization caused a 52% revenue drop in this Google experiment.

Oh, and don’t forget to nab a call with me during office hours here.




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