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Buzzfeed, AI and Wall Street: The Media Roundup

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Buzzfeed, AI and Wall Street 

Writing for The Atlantic, Damon Beres has an opinion on the news that Buzzfeed will be using AI to produce content: “AI-assisted internet posting is already in a race to the bottom.” That’s not what Wall Street thinks – the guys at Bank of America are bullish on the potential of AI, which they say could have the same disruptive impact on content creation as algorithmic feeds had on curation.

Looking just at the numbers, it would appear that the money men are right. Buzzfeed’s stock has posted a weekly gain of 283% on the combined news of the Meta deal we reported yesterday and its AI extravaganza. Here’s the thing though, the money men don’t care about quality the way writers at The Atlantic do.

Long term, though, maybe Wall Street’s in for a surprise. Asked by Ben Smith in today’s Semafor Media newsletter about Buzzfeed’s AI plans, staffer Katie Notopoulos said: “On one hand I want to try to explain this isn’t an evil plan to replace me with AI. But on the other… maybe let Wall Street believe that for a little while.”

Lessons from outside publishing

Did I read somewhere that media is in the slow lane when it comes to innovation? If I’m remembering correctly, and even if I’m not, it makes absolute sense to learn from other industries. Focusing on subscriptions, The Audiencers has published an article by German podcaster Lennart Schneider, formerly of Die Zeit, that introduces seven subscription businesses and the lessons that publishers can learn from them.

How publishers are using LinkedIn

I’m spending a bit more time on LinkedIn these days, looking for a viable Twitter alternative. And it seems that publishers are having similar thoughts. This post from the The Fix outlines some of the strategies that media organisations, from the Wall Street Journal to the New York Time, are following to make the platform work for them. With over 800 million members in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.

Real names bring toxic comments down 40%

In December The Times notified subscribers to its digital platforms that it would be requiring everyone who posts comments to use their real names. At the time just 36% of commenters were doing so; now it is 83% and the average number of comments flagged as toxic has fallen by 40%. In her feedback column, Rose Wild shares commenter Leanora Munn’s thoughts on the real-name policy: “To those who have moaned about having to use their real name, this should be an indication of why such practice should be employed by every online media outlet.”


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