In the outside world: for February 14th

Better late than never: interesting media-related news from last week that caught the eye of Anjali Ramachandran, Head of Innovation:

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Tablet growth is hitting a saturation point in developed markets like the US, according to research by IDC. With the increase in the size of phones, this Recode piece narrating the author’s personal experience with tablets suggests that phablets (tablet-sized phones, if anyone was wondering) will replace tablets going ahead: “tablets may simply evolve into single-purpose devices found in kitchens, schools and other situations where keyboards are cumbersome and large screens are preferred.” This is happening in a few places in the UK and US – retail environments, for example. Expect more attention to be paid to mobiles and less on tablet-oriented content and apps going forward.

Hearst Magazines have launched a newly designed website by Code & Theory. They send a weekly newsletter to their 20,000 employees, which from this week onwards they are opening to the public – you just need to sign up at the top of the new hearst.com website if interested. This is unusual because though individual publications often have newsletters, it isn’t that common for a publishing house to do this under an umbrella. A clear brand-building exercise.

Glenn Greenwald, who left the Guardian last year following his work on the NSA-Snowden leak, announced a while ago that he was joining First Look Media, which is set to be a platform for digital magazines and is backed by eBay’s Pierre Omidyar. Glenn and his team have just launched their first digital site, called Intercept. Short-term, it wants to provide a platform for the NSA story and long-term, it wants to be a voice for ‘fearless journalism’. Read why their approach of a ‘personal franchise model’ that is centred around one famous writer might not be so silly.

Eat Big Fish has done an internal poll of the challenger brands that are on the horizon, and they include the likes of Aldi, T-Mobile, Tinder and Netflix. An interesting mix of brands.

The Guardian has signed a huge deal to produce branded content for Unilever via a sustainable living partnership. It is the first deal to be signed by the officially-announced Guardian Labs, which will co-create bespoke content for brands, including live events.  The deal is reported to have taken nine months of negotiation.

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