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Publishing Pulse: Ad Rate Recovery, Barbenheimer Effect, End of Social Era, & More

Publishing Pulse: Ad Rate Recovery, Barbenheimer Effect, End of Social Era, & More

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Welcome to Publishing Pulse, your weekly source for industry updates in online publishing. Stay informed about the latest trends, innovations, and breakthroughs in the ad ecosystem, content creation, SEO, and monetization. 

If you prefer to listen to industry news, you can tune in to The Publisher Lab Podcast. New episodes are released weekly on Thursday. 

The Battle for Short-Form Video Dominance

This week, Digiday reports that YouTube, Meta, and Snapchat are making efforts to compete with TikTok in the short-form video space.

TikTok boasts over one billion monthly active users, outpacing its competitors. YouTube Shorts attracts an audience of over two billion logged-in users monthly, while Meta’s Reels format garners a staggering 200 billion plays per day across Facebook and Instagram. 

Snapchat’s Spotlight feature is watched by more than 400 million monthly active users. TikTok leads in daily watch time with 118 minutes, followed by YouTube (75 minutes), Facebook (52 minutes), Instagram (31 minutes), and Snapchat (22 minutes). 

The short-form video trend is gaining profitability, as Meta’s Reels format hit a remarkable $10 billion run rate in the last quarter. While TikTok achieved approximately $2.5 billion in revenue for Q1 2023, it still has some way to go to match Meta’s ad revenue figures. 

As for YouTube Shorts, its monetization is still in its early stages, with advertisers experimenting with Shorts ads and awareness campaigns. While Meta currently leads in cashing in on the short-form video format, other platforms are also heavily investing in short-form content to compete.

Image from Listenfirst.com

When it comes to short-form content, production quality no longer determines popularity; anyone can create and share content quickly and easily. However, it’s not just about being viral or silly but about providing valuable content or information.

The Power of Technology and the Internet

In a recent article from Adweek, notably titled, “Social Media Is Dead. Welcome to the Swipe Era,” we learn that the revolution of brands putting all their eggs (dollars) in the social media basket is coming to an end. 

A new phase is unfolding, marked by personalized content catering to individual interests and passions. Meta’s Threads launch exemplifies the shift towards algorithmically curated subcultures and communities. 

Image from CNET.com

The power of technology and the internet is giving individuals a platform to be heard. However, there needs to be consciousness and intentionality in using these platforms. As a publisher, it’s important to question the value and impact of the content you’re creating. 

To thrive in this new era, publishers must identify and embrace the passions of their core customers. Success lies in addressing specific audiences truthfully, using their language, and crafting authentic storytelling. Brands should focus on catering to specialized subcultures and communities instead of blindly targeting mass audiences.

Image from Netbasequid.com

The Barbenheimer Effect 

With two huge films hitting movie theaters this past week, Barbie and Oppenheimer, many are speculating that these films are bringing cinema back from the dead. 

Image from Washingtonian.com

Over the past decade, the film industry has seen a proliferation of content, but it begs the question: How much of it is truly original and captivating? With multi-million dollar budgets invested in films, it’s easy to assume that such massive resources would result in groundbreaking entertainment. However, the reality is that many productions fall short of offering something truly unique. As viewers, we’ve become more discerning, seeking content that resonates with our interests and passions.

This is where independent creators, such as YouTubers, have found success. They often create content that connects with audiences on a deeper level, gaining popularity even without hefty budgets. 

Viewers are drawn to content that offers value, a sense of direction, and reflects their preferences. As cinema ratings decline, it’s evident that audiences are demanding more than just flashy production. They want substance, something that leaves a lasting impact.

Promising Road Ahead For Ad Rates? 

According to recent reports from Adweek and Search Engine Land,  the ad industry is witnessing positive growth as major tech platforms like Alphabet, Microsoft, and Meta report increased ad revenues, thanks to AI technology. 

The International Monetary Fund’s higher global GDP estimate has boosted confidence in consumer and company spending. GroupM and Dentsu foresee a rise in global ad investment, with digital ad spending projected to account for over 75% in 2023 and 2024. 

AI’s impact is evident with GroupM predicting a 5.9% growth in advertising revenue for the year. Ad spending has also surged across Google, Meta, Amazon, and Walmart during the first two quarters of 2023, indicating stability and trust in the digital ad space. 

The Impact of AI on Human Consciousness

In this week’s episode of The Publisher Lab podcast, our guest co-host Darnay Luckie raised an important question about the impact of AI on human consciousness. Our hosts discussed which aspect, the AI-built part or the human-built part, is more beneficial for humans as conscious beings. It was agreed that as publishers, it is crucial to create content for the audience but also to consider how AI and machines can enhance human qualities instead of replacing them.

AI can fill skill gaps and provide assistance, allowing business owners to focus on core tasks and improve their understanding of development processes. The conversation highlighted the need to be conscious of the impact of AI on human lives and to use it to benefit humanity and raise consciousness.

In conclusion, the conversation with Darnay Luckie provided deep insights into the world of creativity, technology, and consciousness. It served as a reminder of the importance of balancing work and self-care, the power of individual voices, and the potential of AI to enhance human qualities. As the landscape of content creation continues to evolve, these insights will undoubtedly guide individuals in making conscious and impactful decisions. Give the episode a listen here. 

Sarah is a social media expert and successful brand marketer. She has experience growing brands and content across multiple different platforms and is always on the cutting edge of emerging social platform and internet culture trends.