Joshua Lowcock publishes a weekly email newsletter for his colleagues summarizing the latest news in digital media, marketing and technology of the week. The email newsletter has been published for over 3 years. The Last Week in Digital Media blog has an archive of most old newsletters.
Copies of the Last Week in Digital Media email are published as a blog on this page, primarily so there is a fully searchable archive. Use the search box to the right (it will search the whole site, not just the newsletters). There are ads on the search results pages (Google requirement) so you may need to scroll down for actual results content.
The Last Week in Digital Media blog is currently published every Sunday afternoon U.S. EST (New York). There is no newsletter during major US holidays, vacation days, or in the event of a major business or personal conflict.
The Last Week in Digital Media Podcast has been retired. It was beta tested in 2018 using a text to speech service. Old versions of the podcast are still available.
It's 2017 and as always, the year starts with CES. Here are my key takeaways. Amazon Alexa. Despite no Amazon Alexa presence at CES, Alexa is present via other exhibitors. Alexa is being embedded in more devices. Everything from TVs, fridges and to cars. Billboard has a good write up. If Amazon can become a dominant software player in smart media devices, this has interesting media implications given Amazon's closed-loop advertising platform. PC makers seem to be betting that 2017 is the year of PC gaming and that consumer VR hits the mainstream. A few PC manufacturers Lenovo, Asus and Dell announced sub $1000 VR ready gaming ...Read More
While the holiday season is a big time in advertising, most industry partners will be holding off any news until the kick-off of CES in January. So unless there is any breaking news, this is the last newsletter of the year. The IAB announced a consultation/discussion for In-App Mobile Advertising standards. The new Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definition (MRAID) specifications include rules around pre-loading of ads, use of location data, and more. Given most location providers and mobile video providers rely on in-app media, this is an important topic to be across. If you want to contribute to the review, you can do so ...Read More
Happy Thanksgiving week! Here's the news you may have missed last week: Facebook had a bad week. Firstly it had to overhaul reporting and publicly admit to bugs that resulted in ads misreporting numbers. The 4 bugs covered Page Insights, video products, Instant Articles and referrals in Analytics for Apps. So while not all affected media, they may have influenced client internal decisions and broader post-campaign insights. It's worth getting clarity from your Facebook rep. to understand if any of your client work was impacted. Having admitted to bugs, Facebook later in the week announced it was dropping the Atlas Ad Server product. This is disappointing ...Read More
Another exciting week in digital, media and tech. Here's what you might have missed this week: Facebook randomly killed off half of the population on Friday due to a software bug. It was somewhat random if you got affected, although there was no way to be immune. Even Mark Zuckerberg was affected. If you were one of the unlucky ones, your page was memorialized. But in good news, by the end of the day - the bug was squashed and people were back to life and Facebook was sorry. Last Friday was Singles Day in China, which is bigger than Black Friday and Cyber ...Read More
Here's the news: Spotify has started bundling subscriptions in parts of Europe with "Headspace" a meditation and mindfulness service. Bundled subscriptions start at €14.99. It's an interesting move by Spotify. As the number of subscription services of all types grows, these kinds of bundled offerings may represent the future - especially when it comes to competing with the likes of Amazon who are bundling everything into the Prime subscription. Facebook's quarterly earnings came out during the week.Globally Highlights of their earnings report include 1 billion people use Facebook on a mobile (and only mobile device). Earnings were higher but Facebook claimed growth would start ...Read More
Boo! Alphabet (AKA Google), Amazon and twitter all released financial results during the week. The short story is Google's results beat expectations, Amazon's disappointed the market and twitter's were better than expected, but they are laying off 9% of their staff and closing Vine. What does all of the twitter news mean? With user growth still languishing and revenue not growing, it feels like twitter really wants to have more appealing financials for any potential acquisition. AdAge has a good breakdown about how twitter's various ad lines are underperforming. Everything currently points to a tough 12 months ahead. Buried in all of the Amazon news during the week was a ...Read More
Just the news. Pandora has a new logo (which to me looks a lot like the PayPal logo) and openly stated more aggressive drive to gain paid subscribers. The rebranded paid service is called Pandora Plus. What's interesting is how their data science is going to find paid subscribers, by hunting first in their own customer data to find people with a high probability to subscribe. Sticking with the streaming music space, Amazon launched their streaming audio service this week. Starting at $10 a month ($8 if you have Prime, $4 if streamed on Echo only). The differential pricing of a service bundled with hardware ...Read More
Snapchat IPO rumors continue, with the WSJ reporting (subscription required) that an IPO could be as early as March 2017, with a valuation of $25B. The Google hardware event was held during the week. As expected, Google announced new phones, VR headsets, and their AI Home assistant. The Home product is definitely the one to watch given how it will change voice search. The IPG lab has a great event write up here. AI and voice assistances continue their rise in importance. During the week, Samsung announced the acquisition of Viv labs. Viv was started by ex Siri founders and only demonstrated in public this year. With Samsung, ...Read More