Ben Young
Ben Young
September 22, 2023

Edition #417

Will X really make the jump to subscriptions for all users? Platformer three years on & Byline secures first partnership.

This weeks handbook is for enterprise content marketers, but what sets them apart from regular content marketers? Big company, big problems, more complexity. But they compete in the same market. Or do they? Like the others, simple, practical things to do to help drive performance.

Musk shared that he would like to charge all Twitter users a fee, with the view that this helps authenticate users. This would be a big move – as it would change the dynamics of the platform. Ad supported media brings in bigger audiences, subscription can dramatically reduce that. Which may in turn undermine the subscription basis. Current users pay a fee, to help them reach their audiences better, but if those audiences diminish…

Over to threads, Visit Orlando shared how they have had success on the platform, and in view of the former, maybe investing in Threads is a hedge that Twitter goes away as a way to get your brand out there. Casey kind of touches on this dynamic, in his year 3 round up of the Platformer, where he goes that Twitter used to be the way writers could get the word out about their work. And he nudges them to still hustle, share, and email their work as they get started.

So maybe Threads is a stalking horse, waiting for Twitter to misstep and capitalize. Now I don’t really think it is that, they have a genuine interest in building a unique product and voice – and to learn from their prior products. But they certainly benefit from any misstep Twitter makes.

The other thread with the ‘payments’ to verify users, is that X has said they want to shift into payments. They said to investors they would do $15m in revenue this year from payments. So this then is the take, having authenticated users with payment details, gives the first seed users for a payment platform. And/or activating your X Payments account becomes the way to authenticate users. I don’t think I’ve seen anyone connect those dots yet but it wouldn’t surprise me.

The outtake, X would kill the platform shifting to subscriptions only, but maybe if you create a payment authenticated account that solves two birds for them. Gets them a new payments user and helps verify you’re not a bot.

What opportunities would that create for brands? More users with payment details attached makes ecommerce easier, growing subscription revenue for media companies and content creators. And maybe better ad targeting. Think content + payment data. A possible future for X, time will tell.

Notable stories this week

  • What I learned in year three of Platformer. Great read with lots of nuggets.
  • ^ He is also going to test advertising.
  • [On growing content studio revenue] Leveraging the power of cause marketing.
  • Activision kills its newsletter in favor of social media.
  • Don’t count Threads out yet. Visit Orlando shares their success so far.
  • When, why, and how content creators should launch a brand.
  • TikTok rolls out new label for AI-generated content.
  • How NIL deals and brand sponsorships are helping college athletes make money.
  • Hearst Magazines Lisa Howard says advertiser requests for 2024 are on the upswing.
  • Media Monks pulls Nvidia, Adobe, AWS into AI and ML content production.
  • X turns to Google to sell programmatic ads. And exploring charging all users a subscription fee.
  • Nielsen names new CEO amid measurement drama.
  • Apple’s expanding ad ambitions: A closer look at its journey toward a comprehensive ad tech stack.
  • Yahoo Backstage only big supply source free of made for advertising inventory.
  • Rupert Murdoch stepping down as chairman of Fox Corp & News Corp.


Campaign of the week

View all 2023 best campaigns.

Smartest commentary

  • “There are more good reasons to consider the independent life. There are a shocking number of unfilled niches in paid newsletters. Where is the scoopy daily newsletter about Amazon, or streaming TV, or short-form video? What about AI in education, or AI in marketing, or AI in law? For a good enough reporter, any one of those is a six-figure job just waiting to be claimed.”Casey Newton, The Platformer

Datapoints of note

That’s it for this week.