Advertising technology company The Trade Desk has relaunched its brand publication and moved it to its own dedicated URL, an attempt to underline the site’s editorial independence and point of view.
The new site at TheCurrent.com has a sleek look (one editorial staffer described it in a post as New Yorker-esque) and new organization, which houses original reporting from a team of journalists. It primarily covers the worlds of media and advertising, with a focus on ad tech-relevant issues, such as third-party cookies, connected TV, and the like.
The publication also includes an “opinion section” which features first-person thought leadership relevant to TTD’s interests, written by its executives. For example, CEO Jeff Green’s comments on the open internet – widely publicized during its last earnings call – are presented as an opinion piece.
When I connected with the company’s newly installed GM of Editorial (and veteran journalist) Stephanie Paterik earlier in the year, she said TTD’s editorial mission was to cut through complexity to tell stories in human terms – particularly in the very murky and technical world of ad-tech. Starting in January, TTD started “connecting the dots” of the various pieces of its operation, which include podcasts, thought leadership and journalism. Part of this is also spinning off The Current as its own URL, which Paterik said “makes it clear it’s a resource for the greater advertising industry.” The company also expanded its editorial team to Europe.
Another AI tool enters the brand publishing ring
Former Adobe CTO Abhay Parasnis’s new company, Typeface, has raised $65 million in funding. The company lets brands upload existing content such as their brand logos, assets and articles in order to train Typeface’s AI model, which is built on OpenAI’s GPT 3.5. The platform will then “learn” based on the data that was inputted and create text and image content tailored specifically to individual brands.
“CEOs, CMOs, heads of digital and VPs and directors of creative are all expressing a growing demand for combining generative AI platforms with hyper-affinitized AI content to enhance the future of content workflows,” Parasnis told TechCrunch.
It’s the latest tech tool to emerge that is taking aim at the brand content creation process. Startups like Jasper are developing brand voice capabilities that they say will help brands ensure that AI-generated content is aligned with the company’s tone and voice.
The funding round includes investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, GV (formerly Google Ventures), M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures) and Menlo Ventures.
Introducing the Brand Publishing Show
We’re excited to unveil the Toolkits Brand Publishing Show, a new podcast that explores how brands are building content and publishing operations designed to forge direct relationships with audiences. In each episode, we’ll speak with an editorial leader at a top brand to discuss the strategies, tactics, best practices, and approaches they’re employing and the challenges they face along the way.
This week’s guest is Courtney Symons, editor-in-chief at Shopify, the Canadian e-commerce juggernaut. Shopify’s editorial approach tells the stories of entrepreneurs and focuses on uplifting, aspirational, reported pieces that showcase their impact on their communities. Hand-in-hand with that, Courtney uses the company’s website and its new print magazine to highlight how Shopify arms those entrepreneurs with the tools they need to run their businesses.
Courtney discussed how she built an editorial team within Shopify, why editorial is a “defense” for the company, and how she maintains editorial independence. Special thanks to AudiencePlus for their support for the show. Listen now.
Also worth noting:
- Marc Andreessen said he will begin a daily publishing schedule on Substack, Farcaster, and on Twitter. He’ll be writing about tech, business and investing – and just in case you were wondering, won’t be editing his copy or citing sources.
- Here’s how Wired plans to use generative AI tools.
- Media buying behemoth GroupM rebranded its Motion Content production unit as GroupM Motion Entertainment. It will work with brands on original programming and brand entertainment.
- Salesforce+ will broadcast this year’s Trailblazer DX developer conference starting March 7.