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In yesterday’s newsletter you heard that The Independent had reached 5m registered users. Today we’re looking at what comes next. I spoke to the paper’s Chair John Paton, and he told me why he’s so confident the UK-based title will be able to multiply its revenue by five times within the next three years.
He explains that the paper has had three defining eras, as he sees it. The first was about print – and when it ultimately left that format behind the focus became about digital. And now it is heading into its third era, that of growth – both geographically and in terms of revenue.
My favourite part of the interview was the section on AI. While it didn’t all make it into the final article we chatted about how it’s increasingly worming its way into company results to paper over the cracks of weak business models. Leaky ship? Slap an AI sticker over it.
This seems like an inevitable move, and one that I’m surprised hasn’t been pushed for more strongly by publishers. Acast is integrating its tech with publishers’ paywalls, removing a bit of the faff that comes with monetising their audio content.
I spoke to BuzzFeed’s senior director of UK content James Martin about its plans to integrate AI into its marketing pitch. You’ll have heard Peter’s thoughts on the risks of AI-generated content on the podcast – here’s how Martin believes BuzzFeed can do it in a way that benefits it commercially but in a safe and editorially consistent manner.
Another salvo in the battle between publishers and platforms, the forever war that will never end. When will measured discourse come back from the war? Never. In the platform-publisher war there’s no room for nuance. You’re either for us or against us. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori.
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