Future Publishing wrestles with the Zebra Eclipse world

Zebra Eclipse is interested in the convergence of publishing and marketing. The rise of creators, curators and community moderators is compelling because of the victories and failures around monetization of those skill sets.

Over the Guardian, David Hepworth’s comments on Future Publishing’s ad-funded challenge resonates strongly with this.

New CEO Zillah Byng-Maddick is bringing in changes. There will be job cuts. Money will be made from adverts. It is no longer expected that much money will be made from readers.

The new Future has a single “content and marketing” team that produces all the content. In Future the worlds of publishing and marketing have just converged.

How important are audiences (since readers won’t pay) to the new Future? Byng-Maddick said;

… our expert, trusted content enables us to attract large communities of highly engaged customers who want to buy things, and that’s exceptionally appealing to our clients

Straight forward? Not quite. As David Hepworth goes on to lambaste there was once a separation of Church and State – of content and advertising – and that’s what advertisers and marketers prefer. He’s not entirely wrong. Speaking as an advertiser and marketer I know I do want that credibility. I want to work with content and brands that are trusted by the audiences I want to speak to.


Even though this article is titled Zebra Eclipse, it was moved here in 2023 and backdated from ZebraEclipse.com in a tidy-up. 

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