Welcome to another Last Week in Digital Media. Here’s all the news you may have missed:
- The biggest news of the week broke on Saturday, with Bloomberg reporting that there is draft White House Executive Order that would investigate whether the major tech companies and social platforms have breached antitrust laws. By Sunday, the Whitehouse has distanced itself from the reports (although hasn’t denied the existence of the draft).
- Instagram has added the ability to send GIFs in Direct Messages. Instagram’s GIF back-end is powered by Giphy. It’s also a reminder you should be looking at GIF/stickers as a media idea.
- Google is closing the standalone YouTube Gaming app and integrating it into the main YouTube site. The move is not a surprise, as gaming and eSports continues to move to broader mainstream popularity. It should also help YouTube better compete with twitch, by connect gaming to the entire YouTube platform. The new site is YouTube.com/gaming.
- twitter has re-introduced the chronological timeline (currently the timeline is algorithmic, based on the content you have interacted with or people you follow, which is why you sometimes get ‘old’ news). The change should have an only minimal impact on organic reach (since users need to opt-in for chronological) but it’s worth keeping an eye on campaign performance for any potential impact. If you want to shift back to a chronological twitter feed, follow the steps outlined here.
- Pinterest is keen to better engage with influencers, opening their content marketing API to 3rd party influencer platforms. This will provide clearer insights into influencer campaign performance (impressions, click-throughs, saves, etc).
- Comcast has successfully outbid Fox for UK’s SkyTV assets. The deal is expected to close in October.
- Adobe acquired B2B sales management/marketing company Marketo for US$4.75B. The deal will better enable Adobe to compete with Salesforce in the B2B space.
- iOS 12 dropped during the week, the big news for advertisers is that Safari now has Intelligent Tracking Prevention (also known as ITP 2.0). The update will have a wide-ranging impact on performance marketing, as it changes the way cookies can be used, shared, and maintained across browsing sessions. If you want to learn more, ping me an email.
- Amazon announced a host of new Alexa-enabled products during the week including an upgraded Echo Show, Plus, and Echo Dot. The coolest and most unexpected things was an Alexa-enabled Microwave. Available November 14th and only $60. Not only can you cook via voice, but the microwave will also auto-replenish microwaveable items (never be out of popcorn again!).
- Rumor is that Facebook’s own (long delayed) hardware product will be announced during the week ahead. Facebook’s voice assistant will be called Portal and will be a video chat product, but will apparently feature a lens cover given growing privacy concerns about Facebook.
- Amazon has launched a visual shopping tool called Scout where you simply thumb up/down the products you like/dislike. Discovered by CNBC, Scout actually fixes the biggest problem on Amazon – it’s a great place to search, not a great place to browse. Scout currently covers products in the home furniture, kitchen and dining products, women’s shoes, home decor, patio furniture, lighting and bedding categories (yes, that’s a lot but it’s not everything on Amazon)
- As reported 2 weeks ago, Instagram has added new eCommerce/shopping offerings to the platform. This includes expanded availability of Shopping in Stories (now 46 countries), but the big update is the addition of a Shopping Channel in Explore, which in Instagram’s words is “dedicated to Shopping posts from the brands you follow and brands you might like.” If you want to take advantage of this feature in the holiday-season, reach out to your Facebook contact.
STATS & RESEARCH
- MAGNA’s latest 2018 Advertising Forecasts are now available. Key callouts, OTT ad revenue will hit over US$2B, US ad-revenue will grow at 5.2%, and digital advertising will pass US$100B. Non-digital advertising sales will fall by 4.6% (print and radio experiencing major declines).
- eMarketer reports that Amazon Advertising is now #3 in digital advertising share at 4.2%. Amazon is still dwarfed by Google (37.1%) and Facebook (20.6%). Amazon’s growth comes at the expense of Microsoft and OATH: and shows the growing importance of eCommerce and related data in media campaigns.
- Hulu’s OTT live TV service has hit 1million subscribers (and over 20million subscribers if you include Hulu’s other on-demand offerings).
- Who is better at advertising AI or Human? A new study from the IPG Media Lab in partnership with True[X] has shown that it’s actually neither – it’s machines and humans working together you get a better result. You can download the full study here (PDF).
TRUST & SAFETY
- the 4A’s Advertising Protection Bureau (APB) has released brand safety guidelines to better help advertisers and media partners understand brand safe content. The definitions will also form part of the MRCs recently publisher enhanced brand safety guidelines (PDF). UM played a major part in driving the adoption of industry-wide brand safety guidelines.
- a Business Insider investigation on Instagram revealed IGTV is promoting disturbing videos to users. The content is definitely not brand safe and shows that Instagram has a long road ahead if it eventually wants to make IGTV an advertiser-supported environment (3rd party verification is a must).
- twitter has experienced an API-issue that may have resulted in private direct messages being sent to other 3rd party developers. Around 3million twitter users have been exposed and affected users will be notified in the twitter app. The bug occurred during May 2017 – Sept 2018 and did not affect ad products. It is important that any clients who are using twitter for customer service/support to contact twitter directly to understand if they were impacted.
- The National Test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) last week was delayed because of Hurricane Florence. The new test date is October 3rd at 2:18pm EST.
Have a great week.
PS. A reminder to all new subscribers. Archives of the last 2 years of newsletters can be found here (searchable and meta-tagged).