There will be no Last Week in Digital Media for the next few weeks, updates will resume in December. If you miss the newsletter, there is always the archive, every past issue is available online.
- Amazon has launched an Alexa app for Windows 10 PCs. Available for free from the Windows Store, the app works with Alexa skills and continues Amazon’s push to make Alexa available everywhere.
- Ever sent something awkward on Facebook Messenger? Spotted in the iOS software release notes, the ability to unsend Facebook Messenger messages is “coming soon” provided you unsend within 10minutes.
- As part of Facebook’s holiday marketing, Facebook is opening pop-up stores in Macy’s across the US. The pop-ups feature emerging and established brands. Interestingly, the page promoting the offering states that that participating brands keep 100% of their profits (so this is not some sort of clip-the-ticket commerce play by either Macy’s or Facebook).
- Defy Media has closed down and laid off all employees. Some of the YouTube brands/creators who operated within Defy, such as Smosh and Clevvr have indicated they are hoping to continue independently or with a new partner.
- Verizon announced that they are organizing Oath: underneath “Verizon Media Group“. There’s some confusion on this news, whether it means the Oath: name is dead (or dying). According to conversations with people at Verizon and Oath: it’s less the name is being retired and for the short term it’s about an internal business unit re-organization. From a practical standpoint, nothing changes day to day.
- Snapchat held a LensFest event for 50 Lens Creators focused on continued development and creativity around Snapchat’s AR lenses. There’s speculation that Snap will continue to double down on AR and lenses to gain an edge over Facebook.
- ComScore is providing limited measurement support for publisher content that appears in Snapchat Discover. The data will be available in ComScore from November.
- If you’re ever struggling for a way to understand or explain viewability, there’s a great demo on ThinkWithGoogle that shows (in real time) just how viewability works. Worth a look and you should share with your clients and teams.
- Facebook’s rumored TikTok competitor (Lasso) is now live. The app is available on iOS and Android and is branded as “Short, Fun, Videos”. To use Lasso you must have either a Facebook or Instagram account.
STREAMING & OTT
- During Disney’s Quarterly update, more details emerged about their OTT offering which will be called “Disney+“. The service is scheduled for launch late 2019 and there are no specifics on whether there will be an ad-supported tier. Disney did state that more details will be revealed during an investor presentation in April 2019. It was also hinted that Hulu may expand internationally.
- Pandora’s Q3 results saw the music service add 784,000 subscribers, with total active premium users sitting at 6.8MM. This is smaller than numbers reported by Spotify (87MM) and Apple Music (50MM), A reminder, the Pandora/Sirius XM deal is still pending and is expected to close in Q1 2019.
- Firmly in the rumor category, Warner Media is allegedly in talks with NBCU about partnering on a streaming service. The conversations are more around content and helping AT&T better compete in streaming.
PRIVACY, TRUST & SAFETY
- The ongoing browser-based approach to clean up cookies, advertising and pop-ups continue. A lot of news in this area during the week, with Opera Mobile blocking cookie dialog boxes (that have spiked post-GDPR). Separately, Chrome 71 will block all ads on a site that has abusive user experiences. Publishers will be warned and have a 30day notice period before all ads are blocked (there isn’t yet a way for agencies to see if a site is being flagged for abusive experiences).
- The Trustworthy Accountability Group (TAG) published a study (IPG participated) that shows TAG certified inventory had an average 84% reduction in fraud relative to non-TAG inventory. The full study can be found here.
Have a great week.