2018.03.16 Last Week in Digital Media

Here’s all the news you may have missed:


  • MAGNA intelligence has published a study in partnership with YuMe on the topic of 360 Video. The study shows that 360 video drives higher purchase intent compared to traditional ads. Read the full 360 video report here (PDF link).
  • SXSW has wrapped up, the IPG Medialab SXSW summary has all the information you need to know. AI dominated the conversation while VR and AR continue to be hot topics without a breakout app.
  • iHeart Media has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 gives iHeart an opportunity to restructure and the company claims to have more than enough cash flow to fund and support the business during restructuring. It’s also worth noting that Liberty Media has been attempting to gain a position in iHeart (Liberty owns Sirius and a large share of Pandora) so it could make for interesting times in the streaming audio space.
  • twitter is experimenting with a way to better surface breaking news with a curated news offering. For now, curation is human but the plan is to move it to an algorithmic basis.
  • There are rumors Facebook is to looking to bring news to Watch. Details are still light, but the product is said to be consist of 3minute news stories and will be available by summer. According to the WSJ, publishers are wary of what Watch will mean and whether Facebook is truly committed.
  • This is old news (2014) which I missed. Google developed a location mapping offering called plus.codes (nothing to do with Google Plus). It’s come into the news cycle as it’s now supported by Google Maps. The whole idea is fascinating, as it allows you to map any location independent of an actual specified physical street address.
  • Apple acquired digital magazine service Texture for an undisclosed amount. Texture offers 200 magazines for a flat subscription of $9.99 (with premium tiers available). This continues the trend of all you can eat subscription content services from music, to entertainment to movies. On the plus side for the advertising industry, texture magazines still include advertising.

Brand Safety

  • Google has revealed it removed 3.2B (yes, Billion) ads in 2017 for policy violations. That’s almost twice the number in 2016 (1.7B). There’s a lot of detail on the Google blog about other activity to clean up the ecosystem including 320,000 publishers removed, 90,000 sites blacklisted, and 12,000 sites for scraping content.
  • YouTube announced that Wikipedia entries will appear below certain videos to help stop the spread of fake news, hoaxes, etc. Vice News reports that Wikipedia isn’t sure this is the best idea, especially as Wikipedia struggles with breaking news.

Stay well and have a great week.


PS. The distraction of the week is from the BBC UK, who have released an online game/tool for kids (although adults can play) designed to help children learn about and identify fake news, the importance of checking sources and the pressures of a real newsroom. It’s a good way to teach critical thinking skills when reading online news.