2016.04.01 Last Week in Digital Media

Transparency is a hot topic in digital media, especially when it comes to programmatic. To help the programmatic industry be more transparent, the IAB published a Programmatic Fees Calculator. This is useful for a number of reasons. It will help encourage conversations about what makes up the cost of media, it’s educational (showing just how complex programmatic can be), and of course, it brings greater transparency. The IAB also has a good PDF report that deconstructs the cost of a programmatic buy and explains who pays for what. Both the calculator and the PDF are useful reference points for programmatic conversations with clients.

Lots of updates from Snapchat, starting with the acquisition of BitStrips. If you don’t know BitStrips, they’re a site for making your own comics (popular with school teachers and in education) but more popularly known for their bitmoji keyboard for IOS. Android and Google Chrome. Think of bitmoji’s as personalized avatar stickers, with the bitmoji keyboard/stickers popular with advertisers especially in the movie industry. The acquisition makes sense, giving Snapchat another way to monetize their messaging service. Snapchat also released Snapchat 2.0 extending the functionality to include video calling, voice calling, auto advancing stories and (unsurprisingly) stickers.

Innovation in messaging and AI has been a consistent theme so far this year, perhaps driven by the fact that mobile now accounts for 2 our of every 3 digital media minutes (ComScore) and most messaging happens on our mobile. The coolest thing messaging service to arrive this week was a partnership between KLM Airlines and Facebook. You can now get your boarding pass, check your flight, and get updates all within messenger. If you’re not helping your clients think about their post-app, messenger media strategy you need to start now.

Some important auto-category updates from Google that will no doubt expand across all categories, with the introduction of carousel ads in search. The whole goal being to offer more of a showroom like experience in search. The ad unit also includes functionality that helps locate dealers and connect to the local website. So this ad unit will have broad retail application in the future.

Have a great week.