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Could generative AI hinder subscription efforts? — The Media Roundup

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“Generative AI could hinder subscription efforts”: Toolkits Subscription Snapshot Q2 2023

Subscriptions insights consultancy Toolkits has released its latest Subscriptions Snapshot, which WNIP has helpfully rounded up the key points from here. Retention initiatives are a top priority, unsurprisingly, with some publishers deprioritising growth almost entirely in favour of maintaining existing subscriber bases.

I confess to not having read the Snapshot directly due to being knee-deep in last-minute Podcast Awards prep but one point from this summary really stuck out – that of paywall security. At the moment, ChatGPT will brazenly pretend it can ‘read’ and summarise paywalled content, but all the examples I’ve seen have been best guesses based on keywords in the URL.

I don’t think generative AI itself will be a threat to subscription businesses. If anything, it will prove the value of that human-written content and analysis. But the industry needs to come down hard on the potential of these tools to access content beyond paywalls.

Americans mostly believe news they hear on podcasts

The vast majority (87%) of Americans who listen to news on podcasts say they expect the information they hear to be mostly accurate, according to a new Pew Research Survey. And a third of them say they trust news more from podcasts. This piece raises an interesting potential issue of the blur between trained journalists and commentators, where many listeners struggle to distinguish opinion from fact.

How misrepresentation and underrepresentation of disadvantaged communities undermine their trust in news

Talking of audience trust, new research from the Reuters Institute looks at how groups who are underrepresented in news coverage perceive the news media. Worryingly, most saw news media as not only out of touch, but at times an “especially harmful force that did real damage to their communities, either through neglecting them altogether or exploiting them, reinforcing harmful stereotypes, or sensationalising in divisive and polarising ways.”

Publishers are pivoting to video (again), but this time it’s vertical

Before you raise your eyebrows, the headline for this is a little misleading – it’s actually a Mail Metro Media case study. Don’t worry, not everyone’s pivoting to vertical video. Given MailOnline’s huge mobile and app audiences, this move makes a certain amount of sense, and it’s fascinating to read about the integration with their eCommerce strategy as well.

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