Discover more from Business Side
Can we learn something from BookTok?
Plus, how Dotdash Meredith is using AI for content audits & competitive analysis
I came across an interesting piece in Esquire about BookTok.
“BookTok,” as you may know, is shorthand for the community of influencers who post about books on TikTok. (There’s also “Bookstagram” for Instagram.) These influencers have become a key channel for book publishers to promote new releases.
Here’s the part I found most interesting: Book publishers are sending influencers advance copies in creative “boxes,” which also have other items related to the book’s theme. One book published by Random House, for example, came with a bottle of sunscreen, sunglasses, and – you guessed it – a tote bag. For influencers, these boxes can be the subject of dedicated “unboxing” posts, or they can serve as b-roll for book reviews and commentary.
Of course my mind jumped to ideas for news & lifestyle publishers. As it turns out, Vogue is already tapping into the trend. Members of Vogue Club, a $300 subscription tier, receive an introductory box that includes a t-shirt and artistic print. If you search “Vogue unboxing” on TikTok, you’ll find videos of people opening their box.
Some other publishers seem to be benefiting from the trend by accident. I did a quick search on TikTok and came across videos of several magazines being “unboxed” from ordinary packaging.
Exploratory projects have to be weighed against many other competing priorities, of course. But for publishers already working with influencers, as well as those with advertising clients who work with influencers, this may be an interesting direction to explore.
Here’s today’s case study:
Dotdash Meredith is using AI for content audits & competitive analysis. CEO Neil Vogel explained in:
Audits: As one example, the company trained an AI on elements of a successful recipe. Then, the AI reviewed the publisher’s recipe archive and identified opportunities for improvement.
Competitive Analysis: Vogel talked about using AI to compile what’s been written by other companies on a particular topic, then informing a writer’s work.
And here’s the latest news in digital media:
The Times-Picayune now has 24 positions supported by philanthropy, up from 4 in 2020. The New Orleans paper uses a community foundation as a fiscal sponsor to receive the grants.
Nieman Lab rounded up publishers’ AI policies. Common themes include editorial involvement, transparency, and maintenance of high publishing standards.
Digiday compiled publisher stats on international podcast listening. The Economist counts 5 million monthly listeners, with roughly 30% in the US and 12% in the UK. At iHeartPodcasts, non-U.S. listeners grew 42% from 2021 to 2022 and now represent around 20% of total listenership.
And more from around the industry:
New York Mag published the compensation packages of Vice executives including Shane Smith, while noting the company’s tight budgets and layoffs in recent years.
WaPo announced Alex MacCallum as CRO.
Belgian media company DPG Media built its own ad manager tool.
Schibsted received positive feedback on AI-generated rap songs based on news stories.
Elon Musk formally launched his AI company.
Thanks for being a part of Business Side’s public beta. Have a great day!