Welcome back to Content Aware, GPP's invite-only weekly update of what's new, interesting, or essential in the world of media. Feel free to pass it on, or send interesting morsels our way.
The true cost of a story...
We're clear at GPP that one of our main areas of focus is on faster content creation so you can do more with less, or in less time. Why? Well, content isn't free to make, and until someone is reading it it's just time and budget spent. Typically it is hard to pin down exactly what it costs to make content, but US publication The American Prospect did just that - for them it's nearly $2000 per article. That reality underpins why we prioritise helping publishers get more from their content.
The untrue cost of an advert...
The above $-per-article stat is highlighted in this Adalytics report on how much revenue publishers can actually be left with after middlemen swallow their respective slices. You might not be shocked to hear that can be shockingly little.
GPP's Head of Content Intelligence Rob Corbidge takes a look at how disinformation can subtly be weaved into the threads of the fabric of truth, as a way of undermining the very truth itself. But he sees signs of hope that audiences are becoming savvier in spotting the blatant games being played.
Is Substack becoming just another Walled Garden?
Substack has a new app: a technical no-brainer or a calculated business decision, and what could it mean for the future of those who use it as a route to readers?
Data and insights on indie digital publications
Project Oasis has continued to gather interesting and insightful data on the business aspects of smaller US news publications throughout the Covid lockdowns and beyond. Really worthwhile data for any interested party.
Tackling the abuse journalists can face
Google is backing an innovative Online Harassment Manager tool, highlighted up as one of the ways journalists can help protect themselves against abuse and trolls. It uses machine learning to identify “toxic” language, be that rude, disrespectful or likely to make someone leave a conversation.
Journalists as 'brands'
Targeted abuse is one of the themes touched on by online media grandee Elizabeth Spiers in a piece here, looking at a spat of sorts over the concept of brand-building by journalists - making a name for yourself aside from whomever you officially write for. Free-ranging and very interesting.
Amazon's "Twitch for radio"
So... doing a bit of that brand building? Perhaps start your own radio show: Amazon pushes further into content as it Beta launches Amp, an app which lets users DJ their own radio station and stream it to an audience. Interestingly, you would not pay for the music you play: it's covered under your Amazon membership and its existing streaming agreements with musicians and publishers. Compared to the issues YouTube and other streamers have with licensing music, auto-takedowns, and copyright strikes, Amp's openness with music could be a huge attraction. It claims to have tens of millions of songs under the deal. It's been compared to Clubhouse and other 'talkshow' apps, but we see it more as Spotify meets Twitch.
You're no Shakespeare (thankfully)
If you are attempting to do some brand-building, or feel the need to saddle your staff with some interesting-sounding job titles or job descriptions, 'storyteller' probably shouldn't be one of them.
Google algo update - maybe
File this one in your 'keep an eye on it' folder: chatter in SEO and webmaster circles suggest there might have been a Google algorithm update last week. Reports of variations in traffic are not conclusive, and it's too early to be conclusive with other data, but it might be worth having a look at your own reports a little more closely.
Thanks for sending your tips and recommendations - all are gratefully welcomed.