Good morning! Today’s newsletter was lovingly put together by Peter.
The first issue of The Grub Street Journal is off to the printers. If you fancy reading a brand new magazine about magazines, pre-order before we start mailing, April 1st.
It used to be pretty difficult to put any direct value on the work of editorial teams. What we now call content has always mattered, but it was also really hard to measure in any kind of detail. However, with the rise of digital subscriptions, that has changed.
Jack Marshall points out that publishers, working to create more direct relationships between editorial teams and their audiences, are driving audience revenue with a spotlight on quality content. Brilliant, but their new found commercial importance has led to editorial staff asking if subs revenue is growing as a result of the value they create, are they getting their ‘fair share’?
One US reporter told him: “If there’s a straight line between [the editorial department’s] work and subscription growth, that’s great, but that should apply to our remuneration as well.” With 4% on the table at Reach in the midst of its ‘Customer Value Strategy’ I think that might be prove to be a difficult conversation at some organisations.
On Tuesday we published a post laying out the argument for why the tech giants should be compensating publishers for linking to their content, and which models would work for organisations of all sizes. The same day, Mike Masnik published a piece on Techdirt outlining how legislation to make the platforms pay could spell the end of the open web. You pays your money (or not if you’re Google), you takes your choice.
Adam Tinworth is taking a look at some positively terrifying AI fakery on his blog. One example has Steve Jobs commenting on the COVID pandemic. Another shows Boris Johnson in jail (if only). I’m currently working on a report on a ‘Practical AI’ report to come out next month and my take on all of this is, introducing AI automation to add value to your own content operation, 100%. Handing over creative control to the AI genies Adam is discussing, absolutely not.
I wrote this quick look at SEO automation. As with all things pubtech, the devil is very much in the details, but if you’re looking for inspiration around the kinds of SEO reporting and optimisation tasks you can automate, then I humbly offer up this short summary post as a starter for 10.
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