2017.11.17 Last Week in Digital Media

Here’s the news from last week:

Partner / Industry News

  • starting with something that is already confirmed as not happening. There were rumors early in the week that Amazon was going to launch an ad-supported version of Amazon Prime Video. But this rumor was shut down by Amazon, telling the Verge that “We have no plans to create a free, ad-supported version of Prime Video.”
  • in a potential sign of publisher consolidation, Mashable sold for about $50MM to Ziff Davis. Bloomberg reports that the owners and investors behind Uproxx and Defy have appointed bankers and are also considering a sale.
  • Facebook is making stories collaborative for groups and events. You can see how collaborative stories work with this video. It’s interesting as it may open up some ad opportunities around events and locations.
  • In other Facebook news, they continue to double down on video, this time by leaning into the creator community. Launching a creator community website but significantly a dedicated standalone creator app. The standalone creator app features include tools for pre-recorded and live video, analytics tools, as well as tools for better communicating with fans. All of which may help lure creators away from YouTube. It wasn’t the only video update from Facebook during the week, College Basketball is now available on the watch tab.
  • Snapchat is adding context cards for sponsored lenses and filters.There’s currently no cost to include context cards with a lens or filter. It does open the door to making these ad products more accountable for actions like sales, site visits, etc. which may make it worth Snap’s ad offerings.
  • YouTube has partnered with Ticketmaster to offer concert and ticketing information for artists. Interesting, because it could signal other real-time event and eCommerce integrations into the native YouTube environment.
  • Mozilla, the makers of the Firefox browser, have switched back to Google (from Yahoo!) as the default search engine. Commercial terms have not been disclosed.
  • not content with doubling tweet length, Twitter is working on a tweetstorm (series of threaded tweets) offering. Currently in a limited alpha and beta, if it ends up going public, the days of twitter being a short snappy content offering would well and truly be over.
  • Pinterest has rolled out some new features in time for holiday shopping, one of which is enhancements to the way visual search works. But the most interesting is Pinterest Pincodes (aka QR codes). Pincodes is a way of brands and retailers being able to surface related items in the physical world via Pinterest. Pinterest already has a reailer, automo and CPG company in board for pincodes.


  • UM partnered with Forrester and Owner IQ (a 2nd part data provider) to do research on the value of 2nd Party Data, with a key finding being that a move to 2nd party data is better for media performance transparency. You can download the full report for free from here.
  • twitter has announced a new premium API offering, specifically a self-service API, letting you query 30 days worth of tweets. This will soon expand to include the ability to query all tweets back to 2006. Pricing starts at $149 for up to 500 requests per month and scales up to enterprise pricing from there. Worth knowing, as it may encourage more companies to start using twitter data.

Trust & Safety

  • Google, Facebook and 75 news publishers are behind a new initiative called “The Trust Project“. This is essentially a trust mark icon for news, including more clarity on when an article is news, opinion, satire, etc. There is a detailed FAQ document which explains everything. If you’re looking for quality news sites for client advertising, Trust Project partner sites may suit your needs.

There’s unlikely to be an update next week, given Thanksgiving makes for a shorter week and I expect less news and updates.

Happy Thanksgiving


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