2017.07.28 Last Week in Digital Media

Now back to the news.

  • Google’s parent co. Alphabet released Q2 results during the week. Ad revenues are up around 18% to $22.6B. Most of the growth coming from mobile and YouTube. The biggest negative impact to revenue came from the $2.74B EU fine and there is no impact from brand safety issues earlier in the year.
  • Facebook also released Q2 results. The earnings presentation (PDF link) shows revenues of $9.1B in ad revenue. ARPU was up in all markets but Facebook did warn that ads were reaching saturation (i.e. running out of space in the feed). Which makes last week’s WhatsApp monetization rumor and video rumors make sense – as Facebook will need to unlock more areas to monetize  their customers (expect a push for Messenger ads too). At the moment, mobile accounts for 87% of revenues.
  • twitter also released Q2 results (PDF link). Adding zero net new users for the quarter. While revenue was up, all other metrics were less positive.
  • If you’re interested in a total perspective of what the Q2 results means, there’s a good eMarketer chart on recode which shows how total 2017 ad revenue share is expected to breakdown between Google, Facebook, Alibaba and others.
  • Facebook continues to give signals that it is going to double down on original video. It acquired Source3 during the week. Source 3 specialize in rights protection (i.e. piracy detection) and monetization.
  • Google often does search experiments, which are tests of new products and experiences only available to some users. The latest is auto-playing video in search results. The videos are muted by default. The move to autoplay video seems odd when Google is also trying to clean up the quality of the ad ecosystem with ad blocking in Chrome.
  • Amazon’s made some clear public statements about doubling down on advertising. Saying that 42% of staff growth is to support their media business. There is a good op-ed on MediaPost which highlights Amazon’s strengths in data, retail, media and innovation as why Amazon will be a major force in advertising.
  • LinkedIn has made available an interesting analytics tool this week (although roll out is phased). Called Website Demographics, it lets you discover professional traits of your website visitors. Primarily aimed at B2B marketers, this could also be useful for luxury and automotive clients.
  • Connected TV use continues to grow, with eMarketer reporting 168MM will watch connected TVs in the US this year (with Roku the #1 platform/device). In mobile only TV, app analytics firms AppAnnie and and Sensor Tower claim that 2MM people have downloaded YouTube TV but keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily translate into subscribers/active users.

Have a good week.


PS. Fun distraction of the week is from Algorithmia (Google is an investor). Using machine-learning you can colorize black and white photos.