2017.08.14 Last Week in Digital Media

Before I begin, a correction to last week. I incorrectly said that Instagram was introducing public stories. It is Facebook that is introducing public stories. Instagram stories have always been public.

  • the UK Government published a statement of intent on data protection which would make it a criminal offense to re-identify anonymized data. There is a 30 page PDF document available. While it may not seem relevant to the US, European and UK Privacy laws can have an impact in the US if you are working with European based media partners or servers are based in Europe. Please note, this is opinion only and seek professional legal advice before taking action.
  • Facebook made public statements about their new video offering or “Watch” tab. In beta to 1% of their US users and expected to be rolled out to everyone by the end of August. Watch features pre-vetted publisher and creator content including a weekly MLB game, content from Tastemade, A&E and others (full list here). Advertising will be available (via Facebook Auction) and ads can be from 5-15 seconds, sound on, forced view and will all be mid roll. Reach out to your Facebook team to learn more.
  • Disney doubled down on streaming and video. During their earnings report they announced plans to pull all Disney content from Netflix, launch their own direct to consumer streaming service in the US by 2019, and launch ESPN as a streaming service.
  • The other big Disney news is that they also acquired an additional 42% of a BAMTech (bringing ownership to 75%) for $3.75B. You may not know who BAMTech are, but their streaming platform (spun off from MLB) powers MLB, HBO, WWE, NHL and now Disney. So Disney is not only positioned well to go into streaming, but will benefit from the overall category growth given their ownership of key tech. .
  • Snapchat stories have proven popular for publishers, Google envisions the format as something that could be used anywhere across the web and is working on a platform called StAMP  (Stories for Accelerated Mobile Pages). Still in the rumor stage (WSJ Paywall), it’s another step towards Google making AMP a standard across web pages, ads and now interactive content. To be clear, StAMP would be somewhat of a competitor to Snapchat stories.
  • A Facebook app you probably didn’t know about (or forgot) called Lifestage was shuttered during the week. Lifestage was a Snapchat clone that never really took off and given Facebook is adding Snapchat-like features to every other product, shutting it makes sense.
  • Snapchat’s Q2 results were released. Daily Active Users (DAUs) 173MM (vs 175MM expected). Revenue per user $1.05 (vs $1.07 expected). Users under 25 spend an average 30minuutes per day with Snapchat. Snapchat sold 42,000 spectacles in Q2. You can access the full earnings call transcript here. Snapchat’s share price was down 11% the following day.