Welcome to your Last Week in Digital Media.
- Google’s Area 120 team has a new experiment called Keen. Using a combination of Machine Learning (ML) and human-curated content, it’s a Pinterest-like experience. Keen is available on the web and as an Android app.
- for the remainder of June and into the first week of July, Vidcon will be hosting a free online version of Vidcon. This is a great way to get a feel for Vidcon if you haven’t been before or want to stay connected to the creator community. Sign up here.
- twitter is rolling out the ability to do audio tweets (iOS only). Sticking with twitter tradition, the audio recordings are limited to 140seconds. Although you can thread twitter audio tweets.
- Spotify has struck a multi-year deal with Warner-DC Comics to bring Super Hero (and Super Villain) themed podcasts to the platform. In other Spotify news, the Spotify ad studio now supports video ads.
- YouTube is rebranding Famebit to YouTube Brand Connect. US-based creators with more than 25,000 subscribers will be able to sign up for Brand Connect directly in the YouTube Studio.
- if you have ever wondered how TikTok’s recommendation algorithm works, the company shared a post with details. It’s one of the first times that I can recall, any platform publicly sharing how the algorithm works.
- YouTube is testing a new Direct Response video ad unit with browsable product imagery appearing alongside the ad synced to an advertiser’s Google Merchant Center feed. Also available is a new lead generation form directly within a video ad experience.
- not technically advertising related, but still interesting. Disney+ has stopped offering free trials.
- Disney has merged all of its streaming services adtech teams under one person. The move comes just days before Hulu’s NewFronts presentation (June 22nd).
- the Boston Consulting Group has published research marketing strategies for Gen Z and Millennials post COVID-19.
- MAGNA published its June 2020 Ad Market forecast (watch it here). MAGNA forecasts that will COVID-19 will adversely affect the current market until about Q4; by 2021, there will be a recovery with about a 4% gain.
- as antitrust discussions gain traction, there are reports Google and Facebook are prepared to testify before Congress. Jeff Bezos from Amazon is apparently prepared to testify. Apple’s participation is unknown, but worth knowing that the EU has formally opened investigations into Apple’s AppStore.
- the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence held a hearing during the week with Google, Facebook, and twitter on foreign interference into the election (you can re-watch the hearing here). The hearing did stray into conversations about S230 and the recent executive order.
- a US Senator has introduced the “Data Accountability and Transparency Act” (PDF link) that would restrict the collection of data unless it was strictly necessary as well as establish a Federal Data Protection Agency.
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
- a recent poll from the Knight Foundation (PDF link) found that 65% of those surveyed favor people being able to express views on social platforms rather than restricting them, and about the same percent would prefer to keep S230 “as is.” The full report is detailed (42 pages) but worth a read.
- Apple’s IDFA may be undergoing a substantial change. There are a few reports that Apple is looking to strictly limit how IDFA can be used and is now requiring app developers to clarify how they are currently using IDFA.
- the Weather Company is seeking to have a Location Privacy lawsuit dismissed. At the heart of the complaint is that the company allegedly misled consumers that location data was only required for weather and not for packaged and sold for location-based advertising purposes.
There is a lot of discussion about Facebook; here’s the summary at the time of writing.
- the NAACP and the Anti Defamation League have called for advertisers to boycott Facebook for the month of July. The campaign is running with the tagline #StopHateForProfit, and there’s an official website.
- House Speaker Pelosi has called on advertisers to hold social media platforms accountable. Pelosi suggests using advertising spend as leverage, noting the need to “empower advertisers to continue to object and to use their power to hold social media companies accountable .”
- The North Face has become the first advertiser to agree to a Facebook boycott. They announced their plan in a tweet.
- Mediabrands has developed a set of principles that would apply not just to Facebook but to hold the entire media industry to a higher standard.
- Mark Zuckerberg published an opinion column in USA Today outlining steps that Facebook plans to take to drive both voter registration and participation. Facebook also detailed plans to let users turn off all social issue and political ads. It will be worth tracking the opt-in rate, as social issue ads could impact non-political advertisers e.g., health.
Have a safe week.
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