Technology • Innovation • Publishing — Issue #169


NFTs: What Are They and How Much Should Writers and Publishers Care?

HT @BoSacks A nice explainer on #NFTs and #web30 in publishing from @JaneFriedman.

Fox bets big on blockchain

#blockchain #NFTs

The Metaverse Is Mark Zuckerberg’s Mobile Do-Over

Microsoft Teams enters the metaverse race with 3D avatars and immersive

Microsoft is entering the metaverse race with Teams. New 3D avatars and immersive virtual spaces are coming to Microsoft Teams in 2022. Via @Verge #metaverse #Microsoft

Adobe and news orgs are working on a new tool that could identify a photo’s origin — and combat misinformation

Adobe’s Content Authenticity Initiative is developing tools and standards that allow people to capture, store, and verify key details about a photo — its digital provenance — with an eye toward creating standards that can be used across the internet. Via @NiemanLab #Adobe

AI Comes to Audiobooks (which Audible doesn’t accept, for now)

Startups are making automated text-to-speech conversion a reality. Via @publisherswkly #AI #audiobooks

Spotify doubling down on interactivity

The company said it’s working to add things like video, polls, live audio conversations and Q&A features to its podcasts. This suite of interactive podcast features that will help users develop stronger personal relationships with niche creators. #Spotify #podcasting


Pinterest hops on the live shopping trend with Pinterest

Pinterest is getting in on the live shopping trend. The platform is launching Pinterest TV, an exclusive series that will star creators from the platform and celebrities. The series is set to debut on November 8th and will air Monday through Friday at 6PM ET. Via @Verge

Snapchat has reached a deal with NBCUniversal that will bring audio clips from films and TV shows to the social platform

Snapchat reached a deal with NBCUniversal to use audio clips from films and TV shows like ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ‘The Office’ and ‘Shrek.’ Via @thr

Netflix games are coming to all members on Android, starting this week

After early tests in select markets, Netflix announced its debut lineup of exclusive mobile games will begin rolling out to all members globally on Android devices. Via @techcrunch #gaming

3rd-party sellers on Amazon marketplace can now offer buy-online-pick-up-in-store & delivery services from their own brick-and-mortar operations.

HT @BISG. The move is the latest effort by Amazon to solve the “last mile” delivery issue for local businesses.

TikTok Is Now on TV Screens. Is It Still TikTok?

Amazon launched a TikTok app made for TV screens. But TVs weren’t made for TikTok’s vertical videos, infinite scrolling and comment culture. #TikTok #Amazon

Apple’s change in the privacy settings of iPhones cost Snap, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube nearly $10 billion in revenues


Facebook, Snap Eye Commerce Expansion as Apple Roils Ads Businesses


Meta is reportedly planning physical stores to showcase its

The company formerly known as Facebook has been discussing the possibility of opening retail stores to showcase products by its Reality Labs division.

Facebook to shut down face-recognition system, delete data

Facebook will shut down its face recognition system and delete the faceprints of more than 1 billion people amid growing concerns. #Facebook

Yahoo leaves China for good, cites “challenging” environment

Roblox had a 3-day Halloween outage

Beyond the Meme: Ever Given, Supply Chains, and the Physical World — Future

For all we may talk about software eating the world, it’s clear (and became a lot clearer during the PPE shortages of the early pandemic) that the physical world still matters. #SupplyChain

Publishing & Media

Another Sale at Follett: Management Leads Buyout of Baker & Taylor

Follet has sold Baker & Taylor to a private investment group, led by president and CEO Aman Kochar. The disposal follows the sale of Follet School Solutions to Francisco Partners at the beginning of September. Follet bought Baker & Taylor and Bookmasters from Castle Harlan in 2016.

Printer RR Donnelly announced the board has accepted an offer from Atlas Holdings to take the company private

The bid comprises about $620 million to buy out the equity, and takes on about $1.4 billion in debt.

Huge Index of Scholarly Articles Raises Copyright Concerns

The General Index — which searches more than 100 million journal articles — allows researchers to automatically search a vast amount of published work, including articles protected by paywall.

PW Star Watch 2021: The Stars of

How Dow Jones’ Amped Up Targeting Tool Drives New Business and Ad Revenue

Dow Jones, parent co of Barron’s and The Wall Street Journal, is using artificial intelligence to power a growing portion of its digital ads business, a strategy that has helped it increase revenue and win repeat business. Via @Adweek. #AI #advertising

Nearly half of digital publishers anticipate having to reduce their workforce due to a loss in ad revenue from third-party cookie deprecation

Via @Adweek. #webpublishing #advertising

Paper magazine, now owned by Tom Florio, is teaming up with Google on a shoppable magazine featuring celebs and influencers

Via @mrmagazine. #magazines #ecommerce

Shape Magazine is set to shutter print operations, save for two special editions in spring and fall.


News Corp: Content licensing payments from tech giants including Google and Facebook will “contribute annual revenues in the nine figures.”

Resources & Opportunities

Books to Prisoners

MT @diversebooks Prison Book Program compiled a masterlist of “book to prison” programs you can support across the U.S. (they even list a few in Canada and the UK!). Many are welcoming funds and book donations.

FREE Virtual Seminar for unpublished or early-career Black, Indigenous, people of color to learn more about Penguin Young Readers editorial groups

Unpublished BIPOC writers: A group of PYR editors are hosting a FREE panel on 11/16. @EmergeVoicePYR #teamPRH

Last Call: Virtual Pitching Event 11/8

#amwriting #WritingCommunity #writerslife peeps: Ck out @WMG_NYC’s virtual event 11/8 6:30pm ET for

  • The ideal format for an editorial pitch
  • How to find an editor/journalist to connect w your topic
  • Creative ways to stand out in an overcrowded in-box

Free for members,$15 for nonmembers.W @MeenaGanesan@FiveThirtyEight, @AnnaHalkidis @parentsmagazine, Diane Di Constanzo @ Millie, Moderated by @zaharahill @Blavity.

Women’s Media Group Educational Foundation

For my birthday on 11/1, I am raising money for the Women’s Media Group Educational Foundation, a 501(c)3 which provides scholarships for women in media, publishing, and communications. We doubled our scholarships in the past few years and with your help, I’m hoping to TRIPLE the number of scholarships! My Facebook fundraiser will be open all November (and the GoFundMe will stay open). I really appreciate all the support you’ve given me and @WMG_NYC!!



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Kathy Sandler

Kathy Sandler

Sr Mgr, Content Applications, Penguin Random House * Innovation * Technology * Publishing * Opinions expressed are my own