2019.03.29 Last Week in Digital Media

It’s time once again for last week in digital media, here’s all the news you may have missed:


  • Apple made a wealth of announcements during the week from news subscriptions, video products, to a credit card.  The big takeaway for the ad industry is that the subscription-based all-you-can-eat Apple News+ service will not have ads. If News+ gets wide-spread adoption, it could see a decline in audiences on ad-supported content. As for Apple’s TV+ service it won’t be exclusive to Apple devices (Roku is one of the partners), it won’t have ads, and pricing is unknown. The IPG Media Lab is your best source of information and summary of all of the recent Apple news.
  • Mark Zuckerberg shared a lengthy post outlining how he believes regulation can help the industry (also published as a Washington Post Op-Ed). Zuckerberg identified four (4) areas where he thought regulation would help: harmful content, election integrity, privacy, and data portability. A must read.
  • Google is rolling out AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for Gmail in an attempt to make email more dynamic. AMP-enabled email can dynamically update so that the contents are current at the time of opening, as well as provide levels of interactivity directly in the email (buying, booking, etc). Hopefully, AMP for email will get broader support beyond just Gmail but even without this, clients who are active email marketers should start looking to segment out Gmail users to take advantage of the features.
  • eMarketer reports that reddit is on track to hit US$100MM in ad revenue by the end of the year with most of the growth coming from in-stream video, app-install campaigns, and top-post takeovers. For those who haven’t seen it but are interested, Digiday has published reddit’s pitch deck (paywall).
  • advertisers can now take advantage of interactivity such as polls on Instagram with the introduction of interactive stories ads. While brands could use interactivity in native placements, this is the first time it has come to ad units. Instagram claims that using interactive elements has increased video watch time and reduced ad cost.
  • Spotify has acquired Parcast a podcast content company, this comes a month after acquiring Gimlet Media and Anchor, giving Spotify a position of strength in owning exclusive original podcast content.
  • Comcast is set to build a dedicated eSports arena for their Philadelphia Fusion Overwatch League team franchise. The proposed arena will seat 3,500 and sit within Philadelphia Sports Complex. This would be the first purpose-built dedicated eSports team facility in the US.

Have a great week.


PS. I was going to attempt to April Fool you all and say this was the last ever newsletter. Instead, a reminder that April Fools Day is often a day when brands, platforms, and the digital media industry like to try and prank the public with fake press releases AND also release real products. FYI Gmail was launched on April Fools Day. So don’t believe everything you see or hear online Monday e.g. setting your twitter birthdate to 2007 will not unlock a fancy new color scheme.