Publishers begin the battle over AI with platforms

An Argentinian publisher looks to build its digital success with classic expansion strategies

First off, thank you to The Fix for positively mentioning my humble newsletter. Welcome to new readers. I publish a couple of times a week as the content merits and time allows. And if you like this newsletter, you might also like the newsletter that I write for my day job at Pugpig. Here is the last installment I wrote before going on my recent two-week holiday. Now, back to today’s newsletter.

It seems that there are only a few days since last November that AI hasn’t been in the headlines, and publishers have quickly taken stock of how their content has been and should be used to train LLMs. Big players like Bloomberg and plucky innovators like Skift are creating their own LLM products, but many other publishers want to be compensated for the value that LLM-based AI companies have already derived from their content. Players like Barry Diller and his IAC want big sums. This is the next battleground, and with regulators already feeling antagonistic toward platforms, publishers might have more success than in the past.

This is a classic Ansoff Matrix expansion strategy with both diversification and product development. Clarin has already grown their subscriber base in their home country of Argentina to become one of the top 20 publishers in the world based on its number of digital subscribers. Now, it is looking to build on its existing audience in the US and also launch new products including a football manager game.

This acquisition shows the value of community and focus. I have long used DPReview, and I’m glad that it was saved.

It’s a rebuilding year, but with new leadership, it looks like Jeff Bezos isn’t looking to sell but to make a new start.

Eight rounds of fundraising since 2017 as the company tried to raise enough money to replace the cash that they were haemorrhaging.

Josh Bentons is encouraging journalists to engage with AI more constructively. AI is like any tool, and journalists need to stay rooted in their values and their mission to ensure that they use AI constructively. He addresses a lot of the thorny issues that surround AI.

And the important thing is that editorial organisations need to engage with these issues before the pressures of deadlines. Max Tani shows how Insider is grappling with the issues now.

Social Media Update: Threads use declines and Twitter starts rollout of the super app with a branding update

Threads jumped out to 110m registered users within days, but data shows that activity has already dropped by 70%. But that doesn’t mean that we should start writing the obituary for it. Facebook iterates products quickly, and the first draft of this product will improve. The question now is whether Facebook can outpace Musk’s changes at X…

And then today, we have the latest installment of the rolling drama that is Twitter these days. Elon Musk demonstrates that his forté is not branding and that he ran out of ideas by wanting to rebrand Twitter as X and eliminate all of the bird-related branding. Musk has not been shy about his desire to remake Twitter as a Chinese-style Weibo über app. Musk needs more services attached to the product because advertising is down by half.

And we have CNN product manager Upasna Gautum taking a poke at Twitter’s CEO in explaining the product vision behind X.