2017.12.08 Last Week in Digital Media

Here’s the news you may have missed:

Industry News

  • YouTube released their Top 10 Ads of the year. The most viewed ad of the year was from Samsung in India. An interesting trend is that the top videos are actually (on average) longer in length than the Top 10 of last year.
  • Instagram is testing a standalone messaging app called Direct. It’s being tested in 6 markets Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey, and Uruguay and is available on iOS and Android. The app opens to the camera by default – so it’s another move by Facebook on Snapchat.
  • News Corp has launched News IQ which offers an integrated environment for all of News’ first-party data, publishing properties and data science tools. News Corp is touting brand safety as one of the key benefits of News IQ.
  • Facebook has launched Facebook Messenger Kids. Billed as a way for families to connect, it’s aimed at children 12 and under. It has parental controls (parents must approve contacts) and contains no ads or in-app purchases. Members of Congress have already started asking questions of Facebook on why and what data is being captured. While at an abstract level it’s easy to understand why Facebook wants to bring children into their platform, it does seem a brave move to overtly target young children given all of the brand safety, child protection, and compliance constraints.
  • A rumor doing the rounds is that Apple is about to purchase Shazam, the music tagging app. Like all rumors, it may or not be true. That said, there is some great potential value for Apple in Shazam. While popular for music, Shazam also has an image tagging offering which could help Apple prepare for an AR future.
  • Another rumor doing the rounds is that YouTube is going to launch a music streaming service to compete with Spotify. The service is allegedly called “Remix” and is expected sometime around March.


  • Apple has released a new App Search ad product, called Search Ads Basic. This is a much simpler version of their advertising product which while not directly relevant to clients, may result in more smaller advertisers coming on board increasing competition across some app categories.
  • Can Will Ferrel play the drums?” may seem like an odd question, but that’s exactly the type of questions Google Search is answering in Google Chrome on mobile. You MUST do this on Chrome mobile app for this to work. Google is surfacing full-screen video results featuring the actual celebrities that are the subject of the questions. Some of the celebrities featured include  Priyanka Chopra, Tracee Ellis Ross, Gina Rodriguez, Kenan Thompson, Allison Williams, Nick Jonas, Mark Wahlberg, and  Seth MacFarlane

Brand Safety

  • Brand Safety continues to be an issue for YouTube and as a result, they’re increasing the number of people working to address content violations to over 10,000 by the end of 2018. There’s a lengthy blog post on the YouTube blog detailing all of the steps being taken to address problems on the platform.

This is the last update for 2017 so have a Happy Holiday and New Year.