- Companies that sell technology to publishers are increasingly building their own publications powered by those tools.
- Marketing leaders are bracing for a year of ROI, cost-cutting and, of course, generative AI
- Marriott is pushing deeper into branded entertainment
Why tech companies pitching publishers are building their own publications
The best way to sell to publishers: Walk the talk. Companies that sell technology to publishers are increasingly building their own publications powered by those tools, which is helping showcase the value of their products, lending legitimacy to their pitches and enabling them to learn first-hand about the challenges publishers face.
While some companies are building publications in-house, others are opting to buy. The latest example of this: Tech startup Zette, which gives readers pay-per-article access to content and shares revenue with publishers, acquired Below The Fold, a twice-a-week email newsletter that covers news that “doesn’t make it to the front page.”
Americans are mostly willing to give up personal information to brands
Almost three-quarters of Americans are willing to share personal information with brands or retailers in exchange for access to coupons, deals, products or other perks.
The Trade Desk and YouGov surveyed over 2,000 adults from September to October and found the top reasons consumers shared information was in exchange for coupons and deals, followed by lower prices, resources, or access to information. The survey also found that if the only “data” being given up was an email address, 58% of Americans were more willing to share that information without needing anything in return.
A survey conducted by Toolkits and National Research Group in October last year also found that registration walls asking consumers to enter an email address in exchange for access to content had no meaningful impact on audience trust. For 26% of respondents, adding that requirement actually made them trust the content more, while for 50%, it had no impact.
As the third-party cookie crumbles this year, that finding can mean brands with strong publishing presences may be well placed to offer content in exchange for customer data.
Marriott expands film production
Hotel brand Marriot has had a content studio since before those were commonplace. Nine years old, the studio has churned out short films that it screens inside its hotel rooms and on social media, all of which focus on Marriott properties. Now the company plans to do more, offering another example of a brand focusing on entertainment as a key part of its publishing practice in an effort to break through the noise. The company has launched two series on Amazon Prime, each “presented” by Marriott and focusing on creative minds behind the company’s hotels as well as on entrepreneurs who stay in Marriott hotels. “We all thought it was extremely important to connect emotionally with inspiring content as people were returning to travel in droves and navigating travel in this new normal,” the company’s head of content, Annie Granatstein, told Business Insider.
What marketing leaders expect from brand publishing in 2024
The year ahead will be challenging for anyone in the content business. We asked top marketing and editorial leaders what they expect from brand publishing in the coming year.
Key themes included finding ways to become more efficient, proving their worth to their broader organizations, and, of course, the impact of generative AI.
Robinhood-owned Sherwood Media acquires data newsletter Chartr
Robinhood’s media subsidiary, Sherwood Media, acquired Chartr, a free U.K.-based newsletter and media company that publishes visual, data-driven insights to an audience of over 500,000 people. Chartr stories will be integrated with Sherwood content, and the Chartr newsletter will retain its brand and continue publishing under the Sherwood umbrella. Chartr’s seven-person team will join Sherwood.
Peanuts to publishers
The Information reports that OpenAI has offered some publishers between $1 million and $5 million per year in exchange for licensing articles to train its bots and LLMs.
Where’s the fire?
Why has progress among marketing teams’ use of AI been relatively slow? Noah Brier, who runs an annual AI marketing conference, says it’s mostly due to legal and privacy issues. “Despite the excitement and the impressive capabilities of these models, most brands seemed to be stuck in talking mode instead of doing mode. My take is that this posture came down to many questions about legal—many of which are still playing out—as well as a lack of comfort and intuitive feel for what these things are best at. To open last year’s conference, I talked about the need to build “fingerspitzengefühl” (finger feel) for AI, and I still think that’s the biggest opportunity at hand.”