Another week, another Last Week in Digital Media. Enjoy.
- Nielsen has expanded the Digital Audience Ratings (DAR) YouTube in-app measurement offering to 26 additional markets (bringing the total to 34).
- There’s a story doing the rounds that French adtech Weborama is attempting to derail Amazon’s acquisition of Sizmek. Sizmek’s Chapter 11 proceedings are still in progress, so there is still time for someone to better Amazon’s offer but it’s also hard to imagine Amazon will allow itself to be outbid if it genuinely wants the asset (and the Sizmek website still states that it is now an Amazon company).
- Google’s game streaming service “Stadia” was announced during the week, with plans to launch in November this year. The US$129 device is also linked to an optional $10 a month subscription. The entry price is very competitive relative to existing consoles and the BBC has a good write up on Stadia as well as an interview with the VP in charge of the service.
- Instagram has introduced a new ad format “Branded Content Ads” that lets brands promote content from Creators. This gives the benefit of both organic Creator reach amplified with advertising budgets. Although in an interesting counterpoint, UM’s Wave study found low levels of trust in creators.
- there are increasing reports and leaks of Facebook’s cryptocurrency plans. It’s rumored Facebook will announce their cryptocurrency this month (June 18th). Reuters reports that Facebook has established a Swiss entity for the product, with the entity called Libra Networks (and there’s a US Patent filing registered to a Facebook address for Libra including a logo).
- Quibi, the proposed short-form mobile video service from Meg Whitman and Jeffrey Katzenberg has started to get more scrutiny. With an April 2020 launch data, Digiday has a good summary of the challenges facing Quibi and whether it can succeed where so many others have not. If you’re intrigued, pre-register your interest in Quibi here.
- MAGNA released a study on ad receptivity for digital audio vs digital video. The study is interesting, as it shows how much mood matters for ad receptivity. This may not seem that profound, but when you consider how being tired impacts receptivity and how usage of audio vs video differs during the day, it’s something to keep in mind when dayparting media and given Podcasting ad spend is forecast to grow this year.
- eMarketer research shows that for the first time ever, time spent on mobile will overtake time spent on TV or 9minutes more per day on mobile.
- if you have clients concerned about advertising on news sites, research out of the UK by Newsworks (an industry coalition of newspapers) has a neuroscience study that shows hard news has higher levels of brain activity and no negative impact on advertising.
the IAB released a lot of research during the week, here are the highlights
- Playable Ads Playbook: this provides guidelines and best practices on interactive mobile ads with gamification (both from a consumer and advertiser perspective).
- Augmented Reality for Marketing Playbook: With Amazon, Apple, Snapchat, and Google all offering AR, it covers everything from ad units to sponsorship opportunities.
- California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA): a microsite that aggregates all of the IAB information around CCPA
- Mobile security research firm, Lookout, discovered an obfuscated advertising plugin BeiTa in over 238 Google Play apps (with a collective install base of 440MM). There’s an exhaustive write-up on the Lookout blog. What makes this particularly insidious is not only is it undermining trust in mobile advertising, it can render phones unusable with ads popping up 24 hours post an app is used (making it hard for users to discover).
- YouTube was under the spotlight during the week, with the New York Times publishing a story about the February 2019 incident on inappropriate comments on YouTube videos featuring children. The New York Times published additional follows to the story, including how the YouTube recommendation algorithm has radicalized individuals, and how YouTube struggles with editorial controls and policing the platform.
In response the first New York Times story, YouTube shared a blog post on steps being taken to protect children. YouTube also took a stronger position on removing hateful and supremacist content from the platform, as well as borderline content (misinformation and hoaxes), and tightening rules that suspend monetization.
PRIVACY and TRUST
- Firefox has taken further steps to increase the privacy of users (keep in mind it has 5% market share). Privacy features will be enabled by default, which means the Firefox equivalent of Apple’s ITP, Firefox ETP “Enhanced Tracking Protection” will block known 3rd party cookies. Firefox is also making enhancements to their Facebook Container, which stops Facebook tracking you across the web (including shadow profiles).
- Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) was held during the week. The IPG Media Lab has the best write up of what WWDC means for marketers. The biggest news was Apple announcing Sign In with Apple (an alternative to Sign In with Facebook, Google). What stands out about this is Apple will both mask and anonymize the email address shared. This is a great privacy step for users that will also have an impact on marketers, as email is often used as the foundation to build audience profiles or as a record to match and target users elsewhere. Apple will also be increasing the controls around mobile location sharing, including preventing companies from using a phone’s WiFi or bluetooth connections to track location.
- If you’re looking to better understand the various antitrust actions gathering around the tech industry, there’s a good write up on Bloomberg that summarizes for each of Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook.
- getting a surprisingly low amount of coverage, NY State has a Privacy Act working the way through approvals. The proposed Act would require companies to put consumer privacy first across all business decisions and is stronger than CCPA including giving consumers the right to sue companies. Wired has a useful write up of the NY Privacy Act.
Thanks for reading and extra special thanks to all of those people who sent me an email last week thanking me for writing these updates. It’s appreciated. Have a great week
PS. There may not be a newsletter next week, I have some personal commitments next weekend which may limit my ability to curate and write the update. If there’s no newsletter, don’t panic, updates will start again the following week.