News & Views

Issue 48 is Out Now!

by Contagious Team

So about that cover...

Imagine you've got to market one of the most popular content platforms on the internet. Sounds easy, until you realise that Facebook censors every link with your name in it. Traditional media doesn't accept your ads. Your media budget is practically non-existent. Most of your biggest fans pretend to be ignorant of your brand's very existence. Oh, and a good portion of the population hates everything that you stand for.

Finding out exactly how Pornhub overcomes these challenges was simply too good an opportunity to pass up, so one of issue 48's Brand Spotlights goes deep into the company's strategy to find out how it does that, why it supports so many good causes (did you know it has a clothing line that donates all proceeds to domestic violence charities?) and how it's using its own big data to garner press coverage. 

As Cindy Gallop observed when we interviewed her, 'They are the only mass porn brand that are being truly creative and inventive about marketing, about use of data. I really applaud their efforts to bring themselves out to the mainstream'.

Meanwhile, the pervasive influence of machine learning is a running theme throughout the magazine. In our Small But Perfectly Formed section, there are startups using machine learning to create new foods, autonomously drive people around cities and sell people music. Machine learning is also underpinning the nascent trend of predictive fulfilment, with a food delivery company using it to crunch data in order to predict what its chefs should cook and when.

We tackle the subject head on in an interview with machine-learning expert Professor Pedro Domingos from the University of Washington who believes that a master ML algorithm is potentially the last thing the human race will ever have to invent as it will go on to create anything we ask of it. And for a creative industry, what could be a more intriguing possibility or a more need-to-know technology?

You can subscribe to issue 48 here, or check out a preview for more info.