Welcome to Last Week in Digital Media, here’s all the news you may have missed:
It’s impossible to review the week without considering the twitter hack. The hack targeted 130 accounts and promoted a cryptocurrency scam. In response, twitter had to suspend the ability to tweet on verified accounts, locked out certain users, and more. Over 24 hours later, some people were still unable to access their accounts. The FBI and New York State are investigating the hack, and there are letters from a Senator demanding an investigation. Somewhat beating everyone, the New York Times has an interview with the alleged hackers and how they coordinated the attack. In 2011, twitter was hit with a similar attack, and the company is currently under a 20 year FTC settlement agreement from that previous incident that expected they would have a “comprehensive information security program.” It will be interesting to see how this all plays out for twitter.
Now onto the other news:
- Facebook will be launching its TikTok competitor, Reels, globally, in a matter of weeks. Reels will appear as a new icon at the bottom of the Instagram navigation bar.
- Amazon is making it so that all live streamers can earn Amazon affiliate revenue. Using the Amazon Live Creator app, streamers have the opportunity to be featured on the Amazon Live Home Page but are also guaranteed their own personal “influencer storefront.”
- Facebook is making available a training program called “Boost with Facebook” to help businesses succeed in the digital economy.
- Snapchat is testing brand profiles, a more permanent home for brands on Snapchat. Snapchat brand profiles currently include the AR lenses from the brand, a Snap native store, highlights from the brand (Snaps, stories, etc.), as well as daily stories.
- Facebook looks set to launch a music service on August 1st. Based on leaked screenshots, Facebook will automatically populate artist pages with official music videos.
- Apple is expanding Apple News+ with podcast-like audio stories, and it’s own podcast daily audio briefing called Apple News Today. There will also be support for a more curated local news feed.
- staying with podcasts, Spotify has launched Podcast Charts. Available in 26 markets, the charts could help further accelerate podcast advertising by providing a central list of what is popular.
- owners of the agency standard tool MediaOcean have agreed to purchase 4C Insights in a deal valued at US$150MM. The deal is expected to close late this month (July).
- Google has invested US$4.5B in India’s Jio Platforms, which brings Google and Facebook together in their overall strategy for India.
- in Germany, Amazon has launched free streaming TV channels as part of Amazon Prime. There are 38 channels in total at no additional cost.
- there’s some research from Integral Ad Science on the streaming TV market (registration required). The results are interesting, even from a small sample, because it shows Amazon Prime video coming in second to Netflix. Most telling is that people subscribe to an average 2.7 services, and 64% don’t plan to subscribe to add another one, but 55% would add a free service.
- with Peacock TV launching during the week, one notable place of absence for the app was Roku. It turns out Roku and Comcast-NBCU (Peacock) are in a bit of turf war over who gets access to what from an advertising perspective. AT&T WarnerMedia (HBO) is also allegedly in a similar dispute with Roku. All of which means these streaming services not being on Roku is a deliberate commercial decision.
- Netflix failed to meet earnings expectations in its latest quarterly earnings. Subscriber numbers were up 10.09MM, bringing the total to 192.95MM. The earnings letter to shareholders is worth a read because it notes TikTok as a competitive threat (PDF link).
- Hulu is beta testing a self-service platform that would open the platform to marketers with budgets as low as US$500. It’s an invite-only beta of the Hulu Ad Manager, and if you know of someone interested, they can request an invite here.
FACEBOOK AD BOYCOTT
We’re now halfway through the Facebook Ad Boycott, here’s what’s happened during the week:
- the StopHateForProfit coalition has 100 new members, across labor, faith-based, and advocacy organizations.
- Facebook continues to provide updates on how it’s responding to the organizers, with one of the priority areas being working with GARM to define Hate Speech better.
- the GARM update comes as multiple platforms, including Twitter and YouTube, commit to adopting GARM definitions, specifically of Hate Speech, as common standards.
- not part of the boycott organizer recommendations, but adjacent, Facebook provided an update on its plans to add content labels.
- Facebook released its 2020 Diversity Report with a 2024 goal of 50% diversity of its workforce. One of the boycott organizers flagged concerns with the report.
- if you need a summary of how Facebook is responding to each of the issues raised, Facebook’s latest official response is here.
- the EU continues to scrutinize Google’s proposed acquisition of Fitbit. In an attempt to appease regulators, Google pledged not to use Fitbit data for advertising purposes.
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
- TikTok has launched a series called “Be Informed” to help improve media literacy. Accessible within the app from @TikTokTips, it covers topics like checking the source, verifying graphics, knowing when to share, and checking your bias. The content was developed in partnership with the National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE)
Stay safe and have a great week.