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Iterate Weekly - Issue 38
This week we're talking about artificial channel surfing, Adobe fighting back against Canva, Peloton's wild week, the best linen towel you can buy, and a Muppet Family Christmas!
Welcome to issue 38 of Iterate Weekly!
Just a reminder that you can always reply to this email or leave a comment on the web version. I do read all of them and I appreciate the feedback, questions, and insights from all of you.
Let’s jump into this week’s stories.
Artificial Channel Surfing
Do you still watch live TV?
It’s a form of media consumption that is largely dying. Sure, people may still watch things like sporting events and award shows while they’re happening live, but that’s about it. With the increase in streaming of content on your own schedule, it may seem odd that Paramount+ is adding some new live channels to their app.
I find this particularly interesting because these channels aren’t just live feeds of traditional networks like ABC or NBC. They have curated schedules created by Paramount around particular topics. The shows and movies are taken from the Paramount on-demand catalog and arranged into typical broadcast television schedules.
No, there is no rhyme or reason to a particular show starting at a given time. You’re not at the mercy of actual TV airwaves broadcasting a signal at a certain time. They’re just hoping that this artificial sense of urgency will help avoid some of the decision fatigue that plagues the modern media consumer. You just turn on the TV and see what’s playing on a given channel, no need to choose what you want to watch? A novel idea right?
It’s very similar to the concept that rival streamer PlutoTV has found success with. The channels on Paramount+ will be free of ads (at least to start). I suppose there is a younger generation who grew up with unlimited streaming options whenever they want. These folks might find it downright quaint to wait for their favorite show to air. Or more likely, this will just serve as another way to consume content mindlessly.
Are you interested in still watching live (or artificially live) television channels?
Adobe Creative Cloud Express
In a never-ending quest to remain relevant to the average consumer, Adobe has released a new product aimed at the “non-designer”. It’s called Adobe Creative Cloud Express and it hopes to give content creators the tools they need without the steep learning curve that accompanies other offerings in the Adobe Suite.
Adobe Creative Cloud Express is obviously aimed at one big competitor…Canva. Canva has steadily been gaining market share and has become the go-to option for those who have the need for a creative tool once in a while but don’t consider themselves to be professionals. I’ve used Canva for plenty of quick design projects myself. Their presentation creator is particularly fantastic and way better than PowerPoint, Google Slides, or Keynote.
Some may recall Adobe making a similar attempt to reach this audience through its previous iteration of Cloud Express called Adobe Spark. There is a free version of the product that folks can use with some restrictions. Or they can agree to pay $9 per month to access everything it has to offer.
I’m curious to see how it compares to Canva. Any Canva users out there willing to make the switch?
🩺Health & Nutrition
Peloton’s Wild Week
Peloton has been in the news lately for their surprise cameo in the new “Sex in the City” series “And Just Like That”. I won’t spoil anything for those of you who plan on watching the show, but the stationary bike featured in the plot.
There was a quick, and clever response ad created to help feed off the buzz surrounding the new show. The ad was made with help from actor Ryan Reynolds and his Creative-as-a-Subscription company. With this venture, the hope is to inject some of that Ryan Reynolds trademark snark into creative advertising.
The ad became a quick viral hit. And sadly it went away as quickly as it came about after allegations came out about its star Chris Noth.
Perhaps this is more of a media story than a real fitness or nutrition story, but it’s worth noting the roller coaster week it has been for the folks at Peloton. There have also been rumblings about what products (or lack thereof) are in the company’s pipeline. I’ve really been enjoying my Peloton workouts lately, and really hope they can keep things moving in the right direction.
Outlier Grid Linen Towel
Wow, I never thought I’d be writing about bath towels, but here we are. The grab bag section really can contain anything, can’t it?
For the last few years, I’ve been almost exclusively using Outlier’s Grid Linen towels.
What makes these so special? Well, they are made in Lithuania from some of the finest linen you can buy. They’re soft, absorbent, but also probably unlike any other towel you’ve used.
Most bath towels are thick and made of cotton. They’re super absorbent but can also take a while to dry and will take up a lot of space in your suitcase or beach bag. But a towel made of linen can be thinner while working just as well.
The unique grid pattern on the towels gives you a nice exfoliating feeling when you’re drying off. And it also sheds off sand really easily, making them the best beach towel I’ve ever used. They even make these in a robe cut if you want to lounge around the house in linen.
You could do much worse than buying someone some linen this holiday season.
💬Quote of the Week
“Love people, use things. The opposite never works” - Joshua Fields Millburn
Muppet Family Christmas
It’s the holidays and I want to recommend my favorite Christmas special. It’s called “A Muppet Family Christmas” and it has the distinction of being the only occasion when The Muppets, Sesame Street, and Fraggle Rock all came together for a fantastic felt-filled celebration!
There is family fun for all in this one. Lots of classic Christmas tunes with a Muppets twist. Fun fact - when this special first came out, they only secured the rights to use the songs on television, not in VHS or DVD releases. So for many years, we had to seek out a grainy VHS recording with local commercials still intact or a sketchy YouTube upload.
The watered-down version without the songs should never be watched. Do yourself a favor, and check out the proper, full hour-long version from 1987 this holiday season.
Thanks for reading, I’ll see you next week!