News from LHCHQ
Greetings from our currently-being-renovated office in Greenpoint, where this newsletter is coming to you a day late because we've been busy integrating new technologies into our workflow.
Things at LHC continue apace: we're busy hanging decals on our walls, painting the floors, and flying into a rage when they don't have Mallomars available on Amazon Prime Now. We're also planning multiple weddings and debating the merits of sharing our registries on this newsletter. Anyone interested in buying us a vintage pickup truck?
On to the #content:
The world's most valuable company is relying on the world's most undervalued commodity
This newsletter is actually a day late because we wanted to come with the PIPING HOT TAKES on Apple's big event yesterday. In case you were hiding under a rock/are an Android user (Hi Kyle!), the big news is that Apple is getting into original video content a la Netflix, as well as launching a $10/month subscription news service that's basically a souped up version of Apple News. Which is to say, the world's most valuable company has decided that the way forward is as a content company.
Smarter newsletters than this one will debate the strategic merits of moving into content, but we were struck by how often Apple touched on the human aspect of its new services as a key differentiator:
"Our editors pick the best stories every day," said Tim Cook when talking about Apple News.
"Apple's expert editors are like the friend you have that always knows the best shows on TV," said Apple TV's Peter Stern.
"Our editors need to be laid off so we can cut costs," said like every media exec over the past 20 years.
OK we made that last one up, but for those of us who've had the misfortune to work in media for the last decade or so, it's been a long time since editorial expertise has been a highly desirable resume bullet. Editors have become used to having their work undervalued, misunderstood, and tktkt.
But it turns out in the age of algorithms, where companies like YouTube and Netflix use increasingly sophisticated technology to surface anti-vaxxer videos and sign Adam Sandler to four-picture deals, Apple sees an opportunity to distinguish themselves with experienced humans. This experience used to be called "news judgement"; now it's often called "content strategy".
But whatever we decide to call it next, it's a kind of expertise who's value is becoming more and more apparent.
Some (high-paying) jobs
Atlas Obscura, which is maybe the coolest thing on the internet, is looking for a branded content lead. If you dislike interesting stuff, this is NOT the job for you.
WeWork, ahem, The We Company, is looking for a writer to join their growing editorial team.
Spark Foundry, a Publicis agency, is hiring an SVP of Content to help connect their portfolio brands with their portfolio brand's customers.
Things are happening
1) From our homies at Adweek - the 25 best ads of 2018. Fried chicken, plastic straws, and of course: Dilly Dilly.
2) Via the Atlantic, turns out the hot new chat app for teens is.. Google Docs? As gdocs power users, we couldn't be more thrilled, and we're hoping this inspires some of our MS Word-using enterprise clients to change their affiliation in an attempt to relate better to the youth.
3) Podcasts are the new hotness, which we know because we are one of the 10 zillion people that listen to The Daily. Digiday has the story of how The Guardian is at the vanguard of publishers who are figuring out how to monetize this "new" content format.
4) Twitter is testing a new feature that lets users hide replies, in an effort to curb hate speech and toxic comments. It's a positive step in the right direction for a company that's seemed to always prioritize engagement over safety, but we'll see if it actually works.
5) Also on Twitter: the extremely non-toxic account that's dedicated to identifying video game dogs you can pet.
6) Listening to hip hop may be the secret to better cheese.
7) Move over Mandarin Duck, there's a new hot bird in town.
What we're listening to
Jenny Lewis' new album fucking SLAPS. We highly recommend you stop what you’re doing and listen to it at your earliest convenience.