Insights with MSG: The Oncoming AI Revolution

AI is everywhere! There are apps that write your emails, apps that create cool visuals, apps that automate manual work, apps that add extended backgrounds to the Mona Lisa, and even an app that gets around content paywalls (we won’t link to it here!)

Here at Operative, we’re busy thinking about how AI is going to impact digital publishers. Operative’s Sarah Levitt recently sat down (ok….Zoomed) with Matthew Goldstein — our go-to advertising expert analyst — to talk through some implications.

The bottom line: Digital publishers need to be prepared for Google and Microsoft to fully integrate their AI tools into their Search offerings. Watch as Matthew outlines what you need to do today — consider it his “Action Items for Digital Publishers”. And read on below the video to get a summary of the 12 items to start thinking about.

Artificial Intelligence — Action Items for Digital Publishers

  1. Continue to build more front door traffic, Google traffic may be down 30-50% once AI is fully rolled out on their search engine.
  2. Newsletters will rise in importance as Microsoft and Google make emailing magically easy by helping you write, answer, and sort emails. The inbox will be a more indispensable content destination and repository. Do you have a newsletter Advertising strategy?
  3. Start integrating AI now across the entire Publisher business, not just editorial. Train your staff on AI. AI will be integrated into most products — Gmail/Outlook, Sheets/Excel, GA,, GAM, Notion, Jira, etc.; though publishers risk they inadvertently give/train the LLM’s with their proprietary content.
  4. Integrate AI into the CMS or push on WordPress/Arc to do this integration.
  5. Editorial should be 30-50% more productive and your overall staff should be 20-30% more productive in the next 12-18 months, though it will be a slow ramp.
  6. Content will not be flat once AI is integrated. (e.g. stories will be 500/1000/1500 words with a click of a button, homepage becomes personalized, chatbot integration, additional content categories, more polling, etc.).
  7. Hire now for what you will need in 12 months — prompt engineers, editors, data scientists, UX designers, content strategists, CMS experts, etc.
  8. Pubs should also be paid for LLM’s using their data to answer current queries. Pubs should align and work together on this initiative.
  9. Come up with Editorial AI policies and procedures, publish and continue to update.
  10. Publishers can partner with AI companies to get access to the latest AI technologies. This can help them to accelerate their AI adoption and gain a competitive advantage.
  11. The CEO should own AI. The CEO is ultimately responsible for the success of the publisher, and they will need to be involved in the decision-making process around AI. They will need to understand the potential benefits and risks of AI.
  12. AI will rain a hellfire of fake content onto the world. That will push readers to seek safer and more trusted sources of news.

Those are your twelve action items to think about in June. A lot to process, no doubt. But starting to think through your strategies now will help as AI is rolled out more extensively into traditional search.

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