2017.03.03 Last Week in Digital Media

  • Snap Inc. has IPO’d, raising $2.5B cash for the company and at close of day valuing Snap at around $34B (more valuable than these 9 companies). There’s a good NY Times piece that puts Snap’s IPO in perspective of other famous (and failed) tech media, adtech and eCommerce companies. Also worth a read is this WSJ piece explaining why NBCUniversal bought $500MM worth of Snap stock.
  • Ads in Instagram stories have left beta and are now available to anyone (and globally). Ads can be optimized for reach and have up to 15 seconds of video.
  • YouTube is bringing a $35 a month subscription service that includes all 4 US major US networks + 35 cable channels (all in HD). You also get a cloud DVR and can use it with 6 devices. With YouTube now streaming a billion hours of video a day, the addition of TV should accelerate that growth. The service is still “coming soon” and you can pre-register here.
  • Facebook’s video app is now available on Samsung smart TVs from the 2015 series onwards. This is interesting news in context of this WSJ report that claims FB is also soliciting ideas for original programming across half a dozen genres.
  • AOL has struck a partnership with AdSquare, a mobile location provider, to strengthen AOL’s overall location marketing offering. The deal covers 12 markets and includes all AOL publications and apps.
  • Are your brands still clamoring for Facebook likes? You might want to re-think that strategy. Facebook now prioritizes hearts above likes as they’re a better signal of emotional intent. At the moment, FB hasn’t changed the way emotions affect ads (no impact) but don’t be surprised if that changes in the near future.
  • There’s a really good opinion piece on the Drum that adtech is dead and martech is the future. The article looks at Marc Pritchard’s recent IAB comments, FB’s measurement problems, programmatic issues and other issues that have hit the industry in the past 6 months. Definitely worth a read.
  • Foursquare continues to re-invent itself as a mobile data company and during the week announced “pilgrim”. Making location data and accurate maps available as an API to any developer. More details here.
  • Are you a lurker on twitter and have never properly updated your account beyond the “egg“? You better update your profile as twitter users can now auto-block egg and other spam-looking accounts. All part of twitter’s attempt to clean up inappropriate behavior on the platform.
  • Some good news from Spotify this week, with their paid subscriber base hitting 50MM people. While subscription accounts are ad-free (so mixed news for agencies) it does show that people will pay for content.