Generative AI company Jasper believes its technology can help brands create content more efficiently.
One of the products in the company’s newly launched Business Suite is Brand Voice, which lets brands input information about their companies, products and values in order to generate individualized content tailored to their specific interests. There’s also Jasper Everywhere, a browser extension that brings Jasper’s capabilities into a company’s existing CMS, email, notes apps, and social channels, so users don’t have to leave the program they’re using to use the AI.
AI is undoubtedly going to change a lot of content creation, particularly for corporate entities. Plenty of the blog copy currently populating company websites is commoditized enough that an AI could create it – and arguments about copyediting and fact-checking, while accurate, also apply to human writers. (Last week, an AI-generated article on Men’s Journal had 18 fact-based errors, in the latest example of publishers failing to bake in human review systems into their AI strategies.)
The arms race on the vendor side is coupled with excitement and trepidation around what AI will mean for brand publishers. For most executives we speak with, the surge in AI-powered content will mean more urgency to publish work that’s original and thoughtful – and human-crafted. At P&G-owned Pampers, for example, the marketing team is attempting to use AI on its owned channels to create content and tools like a due date calculator to gather more first-party data for ads. At the same time, brands are also worrying about issues such as brand reputation as AI-generated content makes misinformation potentially more likely, as Adweek reported last week.
Penn completes Barstool acquisition
Barstool Sports is now 100% owned by Penn Entertainment. The company last week completed the acquisition, which it announced in August last year. Penn said that it paid $388 million for the 64% of Barstool it didn’t already own.
“Barstool is a proven, powerful media brand with an authentic voice and vast, loyal audience that provides us with a strong top of funnel for new customer acquisition and organic cross-selling opportunities across our growing interactive division,” Penn CEO Jay Snowden said in a statement.
Barstool says it now reaches 200 million followers across platforms and its audience has grown 195% in the three years since Penn first bought a stake in the company. Sports betting and gambling companies have been among the most aggressive players in brand publishing in the past year.
While their reasons for investing in media might be similar, however, different gambling companies are taking very different approaches: Some are opting to buy existing properties as Penn has, while others, like competitors DraftKings, are partnering or building in-house.
Brand publishers test the limits of editorial independence
A growing number of brands are broadening their publishing ambitions beyond product-first content marketing, applying more rigorous journalistic principles to their publishing initiatives in an attempt to build genuinely engaged audiences with owned publications.
But there’s one particularly sticky part of that ambition that’s proving to be difficult to pin down: Defining and maintaining editorial independence.
Many brand publishing executives say they’re still figuring out what editorial independence looks like within their respective organizations, and that they’re increasingly running into situations where its limits are being tested. Although leadership teams remain supportive of the concept in theory, when it’s put into practice their views on it can often become more nuanced. “It’s a work in progress,” one editorial executive said.
Also worth noting:
- Why advertisers may be overemphasizing performance marketing.
- Speaking of podcasts, last week’s episode of the Town was all about industry M&A. One little nugget: As chances increase that Vice will sell, could a brand snap up its content shop, Virtue, and production capabilities?
- The recession that wasn’t: Digiday reports that ad and marketing agencies are reporting decent financial results as inflation continues to aid advertising growth.