2017.09.08 Last Week in Digital Media

After a brief hiatus, the newsletter is back! Sharing updates from last week and also some of the more noteworthy news from the past few weeks.

  • Linked In has officially launched their Audience Network product. The product has been in beta for several months. The Linked In Audience Network lets your reach professionals based on their Linked In profile across the open web..
  • Yelp has also made available a Local Audiences product. Data points available include not only geographic data but also brand and category interests. Like Linked In, audiences can be targeted on the open web.
  • Proof that eSports is gaining traction. Nielsen launched a dedicated eSports measurement capability. The new group will help with sponsorship valuation, fan insights, custom industry research and consulting services to rights holders, media platforms and brands
  • Both Google and Facebook have announced plans to add subscription capability to their respective AMP and Instant Articles offerings (details here and here). This matters because as news organizations move embrace paid media, they may move away from relying on ad revenue.
  • Snapchat has started to lean into brand safety, introducing a way to block certain types of content from within Discover and Stories. There is also now the ability to apply category filters to only appear in a certain type of category. This is all a big move, as previously ads on Snap appeared on all available inventory.
  • Staying with Snapchat, they are also starting to warm to the idea of embracing influencers, with some influencers receiving an invite to become “verified stories” accounts. While verified stories have been around for major public celebrities, this is the first time Snap has offered it more broadly. Verified accounts will be more readily discoverable and featured within Snap.
  • Roku has filed for a $100M IPO. Of note, Roku’s ad sales (platform) while dwarfed by their device sales ($43.1M v $117.3M) is growing at a faster rate (+91% v -2%). Showing that Roku is a growing force in the OTT advertising space.
  • As voice assistant wars heat up, Walmart has partnered with Google Home. The integration is specifically around Walmart’s Easy Reorder offering (similar to Amazon Dash) but also enables Google to learn about your shopping habits to make smarter recommendations.
  • YouTube made a lot of changes, some you may have missed. Including a new logo, a cleaner desktop and mobile app, a dark mode on desktop and on mobile – an adaptive mode to better handle vertical video. There’s a complete run down of all of the changes on the YouTube blog.

With all of the storms that have hit and are still to come, please stay safe in the week ahead.

Joshua