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Future of Media: Economist consultancy tips, Oculus odds, The i at 10

The Drum's senior reporter and media correspondent John McCarthy rounds up the latest media trends and developments. Also available in your inbox every Thursday as The Drum's Future of Media email briefing. Sign up here.

This is an extract from The Drum’s Future of Media briefing. You can subscribe to it here if you’d like it your inbox once a week.

Welcome back to The Future of Media, John McCarthy here. This week, we’ve charted how publishers can beat agencies at their own game, the feasibility of Facebook’s Oculus platform and the legacy of the i newspaper, which celebrates its 10th anniversary. Enjoy.

Be the best at what you do

As part of Agencies4Growth festival, The Economist’s Becky McKinlay explained how its client solutions team works with agencies. The industry veteran offered some tips for agencies looking to cut through in a difficult time, as well as for the publisher consultancies squeezing up to the table.

Her advice is to be the best at a specific thing and sell it. She’s cold on the future of full-service agencies and explained how publishers like The Economist can be advantaged by their audience relationship.

Read it here – or watch it here.

Facebook again - see the future

Oh, it’s Facebook. Again. This time we looked at its hardware (which generates a sliver of revenue eclipsed by its ad business). Following the launch of the Oculus Quest 2 VR headset, our US editor Kenneth Hein got to grips with the chances of marketers making use of the much-touted tech.

In a pandemic lockdown, VR tech could, and should, have flourished. Even now it lacks the visibility it needs for mainstream appeal. For Facebook, it's about delivering, owning and innovating what could feasibly be a lucrative platform to serve ads in…

Imagine being inside a virtual world constructed by Facebook... Is Zuckerberg’s endgame to put consumers INSIDE the ads?

Read this here.

10 years of The i newspaper

Sam Bradley talked to Oliver Duff, editor-in-chief of The i, as the paper reached its 10th anniversary. The launch was a bold gambit: few thought it wise to launch a concise newspaper as industry sales stared into the abyss ahead of a decade-long managed decline.

Yet the i is still here, a decade on, and retains a loyal audience. These days, however, it's not limited to print, being available on not one but two apps. Whether print or digital, Duff says: “We don’t differentiate between them; it’s about getting the point across to readers. The medium is less important than the journalism.”

I'm not convinced you lot like reading about print. Prove me wrong.

What CTV can learn from linear

If you want something a bit more technical (your click is a vote), we’ve got digital ad expert Paul Gubbins talking about how connected TV ads can serve to learn from the standards in place on linear TV.

It is an eye-opening explainer that shows just how far the burgeoning medium has to come.

Arianna Huffington talks productivity

Arianna Huffington, who you’ll know as the face of the HuffPost for a great many years, offered us three actionable insights for pandemic productivity. One tip is to consume less media… This week, that’s probably a grand idea.

Other stuff

Well, that’s this week’s round-up. If you missed the last one, I have summarised it here.

Got a tip, a correction, a complaint, want a chat? I'm at or @johngeemccarthy on Twitter.

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