Content Aware media news: July 06, 2023

Published: 06 July 2023

Junk sites with quality ads, HELLO!'s lessons for success, and how bad can AI write? All in this week's Content Aware.

You'll never guess where your advert ended up!
New report illustrates how adverts for high profile brands commonly appear on “low-quality AI-generated sites” via Google Ads, parked next to trashy content and who-knows-what other ads. For us, this is an opportunity for real sites created by real people to promote the higher quality and power of human curation, and why you charge more for your ad space.

Corbidge comments on... AI content at its best can be good, but at its worst - phew!
So what might such AI sites look like? Well, we can't be certain they are AI generated, but our Head of Content Intelligence can spot a bot from a mile away and has been pointed at sites that seem to have the hallmarks of generative AI. Now, whether they are or not, such sites certainly have the effect of a) reminding the publishing industry of the value of its people, and b) also giving very good indicators on how NOT to do AI articles should you head down that road in the future.

HELLO! to the lessons which could transform your business
One of the best FIPP presentations (in our humble view...) described the journey and decisions made by publishing icon HELLO! as it completely overhauled its business over the last year to incredible effect. Read about it and see the video of the presentation here.

Changes imminent at Apple and Google will potentially decimate the marketing info you get from newsletters and targeted content when sent via their platforms. Are you prepared? Apple start removing link trackers from URLs in messages and email with iOS 17, while Google’s Privacy Sandbox changes target similar changes.
Mass media vs massive media
A new book by Jeff Jarvis (Twitter link, so toss a coin if it will actually work today or not) argues the age of big media brands surviving with single channel domination is well and truly over. While media generally is thriving, mass media’s old “one channel for all its audience” model is not good enough anymore says Jarvis – you need to get flexible for your readers.

UK Online Safety Bill “poses serious risks”
In an attempt to legislate to protect the public from poorly defined “harms”, the UK government is making a catastrophic mistake say multiple tech and publishing industry figures. This clip from an interview with Signal's Meredith Whittaker is informative.

Authors on the warpath
Two US writers taking legal action against OpenAI allege their copyrighted books were used to train the company’s artificial intelligence chatbot without consent. The first of many such cases, we assume.

Axios on the future of Axios
Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei discusses eight key transformations he sees in the future for his own publishing business, but of interest and relevance to other publishers too.

Social Media's "big tent" is becoming a series of encampments
The village square is breaking up, but fragmentation among social media audiences are just one of the birth pangs of “the next internet”, according to some thinkers.