Morning! Today’s newsletter is brought to you by Chris.
Considering how well some of the absolute giants of ecommerce are doing, there don’t seem to be many new commerce sites launching from publishers lately. In part that’s because publishers’ success in the ecommerce space is predicated on brand recognition, which in turn engenders trust which increases purchase propensity. Why launch a new brand instead of appending an ecommerce wing to an existing brand?
But it also speaks to the amount of competition in the market, which is r i d i c u l o u s. So it’s interesting to see Time and Taboola partner on a new ecommerce brand, one that is apparently set up for the long haul when it comes to building trust. Time’s CEO Jessica Sibley told Axios that the two companies “are mutually committed to building this business together.”
Launching a new ecommerce brand right at a time when some of the bigger ecommerce platforms are revising down their post-pandemic predictions is a bold move. But considering it’s Time, which has a long history of being a trusted brand, don’t count this one out yet.
There are no safe sectors when it comes to publishing hardships. Faced with the challenges of the pandemic aftershocks and now a global slowdown (worsened in the UK because of Brexit, which – when are we going to hold some people account for that?) Eater London is closing its doors. It’s a sad day, but as editor Adam Koghlan says, any truly worthwhile publication leaves a legacy, no matter how long it lasted.
The West has largely relegated the ongoing situation in Hong Kong to the back burner but for the journalists who are continuing to cover the civil unrest and government crackdowns, the struggle continues. This is a fascinating look at how some HK journalists are managing to report on the subject accurately and authentically – even when they’re not on the ground.
Brian Morrissey has delivered a typically insightful look at the current AI landscape – and crucially for this newsletter where it intersects with journalism: “I’ve watched enough seasons of Game of Thrones to know that no good happens when the powerful houses are warring, particularly for the villagers”. Let’s just hope it ends better than Game of Thrones hiiyyyooooo
On this week’s episode, we hear from Sarah Ebner, Executive Editor and Head of Newsletters at the Financial Times. She tells us about her role leading the newsletter team at the FT, and the value of newsletters in subscriber acquisition and retention but also as paid products in their own right.
In the news roundup we take a thorough look at what the integration of ChatGPT and Bard into search results means for news and magazine publishers. In the news in brief, the Mastodon Bump has levelled out, DC Thomson announces 300 job cuts, and we ask why subscription revenue is outperforming expectations.