2016.10.14 Last Week in Digital Media

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 is one to watch as Amazon looks to put pressure on Netflix, Hulu, Pandora and Spotify.
  • It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Amazon and music this week, with a Lady Gaga album leaking on the Echo (and only the Echo) this week. The lesson to all of us – not only do you need to date embargo websites, mobile sites and apps – now you need to also think of voice search services.
  • No twitter acquisition rumors this week. Instead, some product news. Some mobile users are seeing the “Moments” tab replaced with an “Explore” tab. The Explore tab differs by also suggesting accounts to follow.
  • Discovery Communications invested Investing $100M in Group Nine Media, a holding company that owns Thrillist, The Dodo and Discovery’s other digital assets. Axel Springer is the second biggest shareholder in Group Nine. Given Univision’s pick up of the Gawker assets recently, we can probably expect more traditional media players to start consolidating the digital publishing sector.
  • Are you using Facebook at work? You really should be using Slack, because it’s a great productivity tool. So great that Facebook feels threatened and launched Workplace. Available previously under the title [email protected], the difference is Workplace is now available to any organization. Of note, Workplace is a paid service – starting at $3 per user per month (with volume discounts).
  • Google acquired Famebit (terms not disclosed). What is Famebit? It’s a tool/site to help brands better work with influencers, specifically around content integration and product placement. It may be a sign that Google sees growth in video advertising coming from more than the traditional video spot. All the more reason you should talk to your UM Studios contact to stay ahead of the media curve.
  • How important is mobile to GoogleAccording to reports Google is close to separating the desktop and mobile index. At the moment, when you search you get results from one main database. The separation would mean mobile friendly sites don’t have to fight with desktop sites when people search for something.This will be a major disruptor to clients own sites, as well as media inventory – publishers with AMP enabled sites are bound to benefit. So the impact of this change will extend far beyond search.