It’s another issue of Last Week in Digital Media. Here’s all the digital media news you may have missed:
- WhatsApp business is now available on iOS is Mexico, Brazil, and France (it was released on Android last year). Still no word on when WhatsApp business for iOS will be available in the US. If you need a refresh on WhatsApp business features, there’s a handy guide on the WhatsApp website.
- Disney now officially owns 21st Century Fox, with the US$71B deal closing during the week. It’s also worth remembering that Disney will now own 60% of Hulu.
- Google announced Stadia, their cloud-based game streaming service (official site). Not available for purchase yet (but you can register interest in Stadia here), the service plans to offer 4K up to 60fps games streamed to devices as simple as a Chromecast. One of the more interesting examples shown was the ability to watch a game on YouTube and seamlessly switching to playing it. If you don’t want to watch the full keynote, here’s a great edited 14min Stadia highlight reel.
- a friendly reminder, Firefox 66 dropped during the week. Firefox joins Chrome, in blocking auto-playing video by default (which will include ads). More details are on the Firefox blog.
- Pinterest has filed IPO documents and plans to list on the NYSE. The prospectus details that Pinterest has 250MM MAUs (Monthly Active Users) and US$750MM in revenue. While not profitable, Pinterest’s losses are only US$63MM and it looks like it has room for growth, with international markets being a key focus.
- shopping is coming to Instagram, with the ability to buy and check-out without leaving the feed. In beta and US-only, Adidas, H&M, MAC Cosmetics, Warby Parker and Zara are some of the brands participating in the Instagram shopping beta. If your client isn’t participating, it’s a good time to remind them to include Product Tags in Instagram posts, with Instagram revealing that on average130 million Instagrammers tap to reveal product tags in shopping posts each month.
STATS & RESEARCH
- traditional media, particularly TV, likes to tout that it’s more viewable than new media. Research from the IPG Media Lab shows that around 29% of TV ads are non-viewable (regardless of the placement of an ad in a pod). If you’re interested in the full TV viewability study, you can download it here.
- Deloitte published their 13th Annual Digital Media Trends report and have stated that more people now pay for streaming services than cable (69% v 65%).
- Deloitte’s perspective is also in line with new research from the MPAA. The Global THEME (Theatrical and Home Entertainment Market Environment), Media Report (pdf link), has digital home entertainment vs physical driving growth (pp30), and online TV/IP TV outpacing cable and satellite (pp31). That said, cable and satellite still account for the bulk of industry revenue.
- Nielsen released research their Total Audience Report (pdf link) that shows time spent with US adults on media is flat at 10hours 30min per day. There were some shifts within usage, live TV down 10min, smartphone apps up 16min (pp3). The full report is worth a read, as it examines what influences consumers to consume certain content/platforms, has demographic breakdowns, and also examines media consumption from a multicultural perspective.
- Newzoo (a gaming and eSports analytics company) has released a study on mobile gaming. The full mobile gaming study (registration required), undertaken in partnership with Activision-Blizzard, has details on demographics, usage, and attitude to advertising of mobile gamers. The study ran across the US and parts of Europe and surveyed 12,000+ consumers and found that mobile gamers are both receptive to advertising, are gender-balanced (50/50), and are influential in purchasing decisions.
- Alphabet was fined by the EU €1.49 billion by antitrust regulators, specifically for issues related to search advertising. In the EU’s own words “Google has abused its market dominance (in Search) by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google’s rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites”. As part of a concession with EU regulators, Google will be offering Android users the ability to switch browsers and search engines.
- the possibility of antitrust investigations into Facebook is gathering pace, with Congressman Cicilline, Chairman of the Sub Committee on Antitrust, sending a letter to the FTC (PDF link) requesting an investigation be opened into whether Facebook has violated antitrust laws. The letter is very comprehensive, with a page and a half of footnotes as supporting evidence.
- Washington DC has introduced privacy legislation, specifically to protect consumers in the event of a data breach. If you’re interested in reading the full proposed Security Breach Protection Amendment Act of 2019, you can do so here (PDF link) The proposal covers additional security requirements, disclosure in the event of a breach, as well as post-breach identity theft protection for consumers.
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
- PSA #1. Change your Facebook/Instagram password NOW! Facebook revealed during the week around Facebook 600MM passwords were stored on internal servers as plain text. It is critically important you change your password, especially if you’re managing a business account, logging into Facebook’s advertising tools, etc. It’s also recommended you set up two-factor authentication (2FA) and I personally recommend you should use a password manager to make your passwords harder to guess.
- PSA #2. If you use an app called Family Locator, change your password and stop using the app. It was discovered that 238,000 user accounts had their real-time location leaked publicly because a database wasn’t secure. This app should not be confused with Apple’s official Find My Friends app.
- Facebook settled litigation brought by the ACLU on discriminatory ad-targeting practices. Details of the Facebook-ACLU settlement are here, but in summary, it will “prevent (advertising) discrimination in housing, employment, and credit advertising on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger”. In a practical sense, Facebook will limit what data can be used across these categories, set up a separate ad portal and review process for the ads, and require advertisers in these categories to certify the ads are non-discriminatory.
- AdWeek reports that Google is considering ending the ability to target with 3rd party data. There are allegedly several working groups with Google exploring how this would work including changes to how Chrome works (keep in mind Safari and Firefox are more aggressively blocking 3rd party cookies). This is definitely something to watch.
PS. It’s been a while since there is a distraction of the week. While I personally love this Nvidia AI tool that can make a doodle into a photo-realistic image, sadly it’s not available to the public yet. So instead, have fun with this great iOS app (Morphin) that can take your selfie and using AI can put your face into various famous scenes in GIF form. You can also put add meme text. Have fun!