Curated by David Bloom
So, Snapchat is ephemeral, huh? After years of telling us it zapped everything, Snapchat has rolled out Memories, to let you keep and share at least some of those Snaps. Seems against brand, but the company has been iterating from its strong points lately on seemingly every front. Maybe this is another one. -DB
Social Media, Mobile, #NeverForget
Snapchat introduces Memories: a searchable, shareable archive of your snaps
By Casey Newton
Memories, which begins rolling out today on Snapchat for Android and iOS, is a new section of the app that you access by swiping up from the camera screen. In the past, you’ve been able to save your photos, videos, and stories from Snapchat to your phone’s camera roll. (“Stories,” of course, are what Snapchat calls the rolling 24-hour collection of photos and videos that you take throughout the day.) Now you can save them to Snapchat’s servers as well, and revisit them later in the Memories section of the app.
Memories also includes a section called “My Eyes Only” where you can put embarrassing or explicit snaps that might accidentally kill your grandma, if she ever saw them. You have to type in a PIN code to access those memories, and if you forget your PIN, Snapchat won’t recover the images. The company says Memories started from the observation that people often tell stories in person by physically sharing their phones with one another, letting them swipe through photos of a vacation, or prom, or some other event. My Eyes Only is meant to allow people to share their phones with one another more comfortably.
Social Media, Mobile
Inside the Newest Snapchat Megatrend
Geofilters are the new hashtags
By Molly McHugh of The Ringer
…now an entire cottage industry is cropping up around geofilters: freelance designers and small companies exist entirely to create geofilters, and to help you do it, too. A custom geofilter is the new custom hashtag: Your event, office, party, or fraternity better have one. And given that they aren’t free to submit, the geofilter community is happily lining Snapchat’s pockets.
International, Mobile, Video, Social Media
An 11-Month-Old Snapchat Copycat App Called ‘Snow’ Is Exploding Across Asia
By Geoff Weiss
Snow, which enables users to send disappearing messages, compose sequential video stories, and even transform their appearance via live selfie filters, has been downloaded a total of 30 million times.
Snow, which launched internationally last September, is the creation of South Korean app maker Naver, which is most famous for Line, a dominant messaging app in Japan.
Digital Media, Investment, Creators
Four L.A. start-ups hunting for online video stars raise a combined $56 million
By Paresh Dave
All Def Digital, Thoughtful Media Group, Kin Community and Woven Digital are exploiting consumers’ transition to digital video subscriptions from traditional pay-TV. They say their shows resonate better with their target group, whether it be millennial men, young women interested in arts and crafts, or “urban youth.”
Financiers include the world’s largest ad agency conglomerate, one of the top officials at media giant Viacom and many other major players in entertainment worldwide. The investors predict bright horizons for the video-centric companies because they’re suppliers in what stands to be a seller’s market for a while.
7 Years of VidCon
By Laura Chernikoff, Guest Manager for @VidCon, transitioning to Executive Director of the Internet Creators Guild.
Making VidCon a safe space was more important than ever this year.World events brought fear to the forefront and an already-robust security plan was evaluated all over again. Much has been written about the extra divide between creators and attendees, but I think it all came together and the opportunity to connect was still there.
Having VidCon feel true and genuine has also become more difficult as we’ve grown. With money and manpower pouring into digital careers, the number of people clamoring to say “what matters” has multiplied. YouTubers are now celebrities, or talent, or influencers.
Does advertising even work any more?
By Mark Duffy
What should a brand do, then? Whelp, it definitely should stop spending money on advertising its products. Immediately. And give up on your marketing MBA bullshit: no hard sells, no soft sells, no devious sells … no selling!
Your only options left are to non-sell or un-sell. Here are some examples.
Un-ad ads are becoming more and more popular. Although they are still obviously ads, young folk seem to like their attitude. One of the most famous un-ads was E-Trade’s 1999 Super Bowl spot “we just wasted two million dollars,” though that ad still had too much “selling” copy at the end.
Advertising, Traditiional Media
Could TV Upfronts Strength Hamper Programmatic Progress?
By Kelly Liyakasa
…a strong upfront could hamper programmatic TV progress, say some industry insiders, since networks might be more reluctant to expose their data or offer buyers the same concessions they would when prices are weak.
Last year, as a result of the soft scatter market, programmers talked up proprietary audience indexing tools and data platforms to differentiate their upfront pitches. Some positioned their programmatic tools as a value-add – or even a must-have, in some cases, to access the deepest of audience insights – for buying that network’s media.
“I think programmatic automation and advanced data targeting helps to make TV more accountable,” she added. “The networks should keep moving the industry moving forward and not let one stronger marketplace allow them to become complacent and accept that we can go back to the way things were always done.”
Programmatic, Social Media, Advertising
Five Minutes With: Most LinkedIn Advertisers now use Programmatic, says Russell Glass
In the past programmatic real-time bidding has been a bit of the wild-west with very little control over how data is used. Programmatic technologies have since then advanced sufficiently so that we can now have control over how our data is targeted and ensure members aren’t being harmed. LinkedIn is a member-first platform so protecting our members and their experience on our site is imperative to us.
Mobile continues to be an incredible force for change. It already represents more than half of LinkedIn traffic and engagement and more than 50% of our advertising revenues. It will only continue to become more critical to our ad business and LinkedIn as a whole.
Advertising, Mobile, Video
New Data Says Mobile Video Ads Lead The Pack of Best Performing Formats
By Michael Wiser
According to the research presented by the ad company, mobile video ads remain the most effective and best forming ad formats in the mobile space today.
The report summary notes that mobile video ads drive higher revenue when shown in-app versus in the mobile web, with iOS apps delivering almost 3x higher eCPMs over the mobile web.
In terms of app categories that deliver highest eCPMs: music saw a +54% eCPM uplift, followed by Video & Computer Games (+38%), Society (+29%) and then Real Estate (+15%). This makes intuitive sense, as people using apps in the Arts and Entertainment category are already being exposed to rich media (including sound), and mobile video ads may seem less invasive.
Video, Digital Media, Marketing, Advertising
Brands, creators wrestle with sound’s role in social videos
By Tim Peterson
A year ago, brands and publishers were wrestling with whether and how to make vertical and square versions of the horizontal videos they had traditionally produced and posted to YouTube and, more recently, Facebook. And that was just visual formatting. Now they have to consider not only how people may view a video, but also whether they’ll listen to it.
Until about a month ago, the dilemma seemed to be getting easier. Facebook had been telling brands and publishers to create videos that could be watched with or without sound, and some publishers were putting out stats backing up Facebook’s point.
But it turns out that mobile doesn’t always equate to silent cinema. In early June, Snapchat announced that two-thirds of the videos posted to its mobile app are viewed with the sound on. That stat “totally took me aback,” said Gloria DeCoste, Head of Digital Strategy at Nestlé USA.
Mobile, Advertising, Olympics
What Mobile’s Massive Growth Means for Advertisers at This Year’s Summer Games
By James Patterson
This is all part of the same trend. Last year, mobile video accounted for 55 percent of all mobile data traffic. By 2019, U.S. smartphone video viewers are estimated to reach 174.8 million, according to eMarketer. Global viewing habits are rapidly shifting to mobile, and advertisers are finding ways to answer the call.
Programmatic buying, in particular, is one avenue that advertisers will turn to. Because of how narrowly you can target through programmatic, mobile video is one of the most personal one-to-one marketing channels advertisers can find for reaching their audience. Simply put, when viewers see more varied and relevant video ads, viewability and completion metrics improve for the advertiser. Programmatic helps to ensure this by satisfying viewers with content that resonates and, in turn, improves key metrics for advertisers.
Social Media, Marketing
Pinterest Updates Strategy, Looks to Scale Search and Audience Based Buying
By George Slefo
Seeking to scale its ad business ahead of a much anticipated IPO, Pinterest said it’s updated its advertising strategy and will place more focus on expanding its keyword search and audience based buying offerings.
The company is now offering its search inventory separately to advertisers, something it previously had not done before. More importantly, Pinterest’s head of global sales Jon Kaplan says the platform will feature the same kind of keyword based buying search marketers are familiar with — such as those found on Google — to be applied on Pinterest.
Social Media, Marketing
The State of Social Media for B2B Brands
By Alex Chaidaroglou
Mainly because everyone is like “You have to get on Snapchat now” and that’s no necessarily true for every brand. The important social media channels in B2B are different than those in B2C, but few seem to clarify this.
Snapchat is an interesting app that will probably dominate to a length similar to Instagram or more. But. As happened with Instagram, I don’t see many businesses regretting not betting on Instagram in the early days (remember the hype back then?).
The thing is, Snapchat’s applications in B2B seem to be very limited.
Content Marketing, Digital Media
How You Can Conquer These Three Negative Content Trends
By Jacob Harwick
To conquer these advertising shifts…
- Own intent-based and relevant industry searches (through SEM and SEO efforts).
- Create high-quality, empathetic, and valuable content; it converts better and keeps costs down.
- Experiment with campaigns across many channels to better determine your best tactics.
- Maintain an accurate reporting structure and relationship with your analytics efforts.
- Track KPIs closely and reassess strategy often (at least quarterly).
The latest Yahoo offers are due tomorrow, with the final round expected in two weeks
By Kara Swisher
Remaining bidders — including Verizon and a group headed by Quicken Loans’ Dan Gilbert — have been told that the final selection process will take place around July 18.
It will be interesting to see how activist shareholder Starboard Value — whose leader Jeffrey Smith now has several Yahoo board seats — will react to what are essentially subpar offers for the company. He had pushed for the sale and now is presiding over what could be a very tepid one.
International, Technology, Investment, Innovation
Emerging markets’ challenge to Silicon Valley
By Keith Jones
Africa and the emerging markets have a leading role to play in the future direction of the planet. If we are brought along for the ride, we all have a chance of a good future. However, if we are left behind, we all suffer the consequences. The evidence that this is already happening is becoming more apparent.
Technology innovation is everything to our future. The challenge we have for Silicon Valley is: “How are you going to be relevant to us?”
The West says “mobile first;” Africa is mobile only, so the way we use mobile is very different. The West thinks “cloud/PC/tablet/mobile;” emerging markets think “mobile/bricks and mortar.” Our payment models are different: We need to service larger, more complex, multi-cultural user communities at a cost to serve that is a fraction of the West, off weaker infrastructure.
International, Traditional Media, Film
China Box Office Shrinks For First Time in Half a Decade
By Patrick Brzeski
Coming after a historic run of relentless growth, fueled by a nationwide cinema construction boom, the fall marks the Chinese theatrical market’s first year-on-year quarterly decline in over a half a decade.
In the first quarter of 2015, China’s box office expanded an astonishing 50 percent, hitting 14.49 billion yuan (roughly $2.2 billion) compared to 9.66 billion yuan ($1.4 billion) the year prior. In February, the China market totaled more than $1 billion, topping North America for the second month ever.
Mogulfest, Traditional Media, Digital Media
Sun Valley: Shari Redstone Takes Center Stage as Media Moguls Gather
By Paul Bond and George Szalai
“It is likely that consolidation will be discussed,” says Drexel Hamilton analyst Tony Wible. “The industry will also need to focus on ways to monetize viewing as cord cutting continues to grow.”
Also attending is Leslie Moonves, CBS’ chairman and chief executive, who was seen by the gathered media driving Shari Redstone to dinner on Tuesday. There has been heavy speculation on Wall Street that Shari Redstone might like to see a merger between CBS and Viacom – with Moonves leading the combined media giant.
Not attending, though, is Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, who is shopping the core assets of the company (which don’t include stakes in Alibaba and Yahoo Japan, apparently) for roughly $4 billion. And while former superagents Mike Ovitz and Jeff Berg are in attendance, current WME-IMG co-CEOs Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell are sitting the event out. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam is expected to be there, though, and his company is allegedly a front-runner in the bidding for Mayer’s Yahoo, a process that should end in mid July
Pay TV, Streaming Video, Pigs Fly
Comcast Strikes Deal With Netflix
By Paul Bond
Comcast agreed to integrate the Netflix service into some of its upgraded cable boxes that are due out by year’s end, the two former rivals said on Tuesday.
The partnership is seen as a win for Netflix, which is available on Apple TV, Roku and video game devices but has been trying to work its way into as many traditional cable boxes as possible so that consumers won’t need to juggle multiple devices.
Social Media, Live Streaming, Sports
Twitter Debuts Livestreaming With High Definition Broadcast of Wimbledon
By Christopher Heine
Twitter today is providing a glimpse into what kind of TV-like platform it could be for sports fans, one of its most-loyal user bases. The social media network’s livestreaming of Wimbledon is Twitter’s first broadcast in high definition.
Video ads are not running during breaks in the action. Additionally, Twitter doesn’t appear to be selling Promoted Tweets specifically for the Wimbledon stream while focusing on the user experience, but it seems likely that targeted ads will appear alongside sports video content on the social network in the near future.
Also, Twitter’s Wimbledon coverage provides a preview for how the social platform may treat Thursday Night Football games later this fall. Twitter signed a $10 million livestreaming rights deal with the NFL a few months ago.
Traditional Media, Pay TV, International
Global television subscriber numbers rise
By Broadband TV News
The worldwide number of pay television subscribers reported by the Informitv Multiscreen Index rose by 6.90 million or 1.68% in the first quarter of 2016.
60 of the 100 leading pay-television services in the latest Multiscreen Index report showed net subscriber gains in the quarter.
The greatest quarterly subscriber gains were in the Asia Pacific region.
The top 10 services from the United States in the Multiscreen Index closed the first quarter with just 18,000 subscribers more than at the start of the year, but they were down by over 880,000 year on year.
Mobile, Gaming, Franchises, M&A
Chris DeWolfe’s SGN Buys ‘Marvel Avengers’ Maker TinyCo
By Reid Nakamura
TinyCo, the Andreessen Horowitz-backed San Francisco studio is led by CEO Suli Ali, and is the company behind mobile games such as “Marvel Avengers Academy” and “Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff.” Ali will remain the leader of TinyCo’s 125-person staff, growing SGN to a size of 400 employees.
Founded in 2010 by DeWolfe with President & COO Josh Yguado and CTO Aber Whitcomb, SGN received a $130 million investment from South Korea’s Netmarble Games last July. The TinyCo’s aquisition marks the company’s third since December.
Links of Note
Product Hunt Does Product Marketing
Product Marketing: An essential part of any startup (even Snapchat). TV commercials, ads on the side of a bus, billboards, you know… the usual stuff. But it’s the little things that count:
- Lead Flows makes those (high conversion) pop ups for your website
- Pexels is the most upvoted site for awesome stock photos
- Revue is like tumblr for your newsletters
- The Psychology of Snapchat Marketing has Major 🔑 for your startup
- Petit Hacks shows you the acquisition, retention, and revenue hacks used by startups
Conferences of Note
Variety Sports & Entertainment Summit, July 14, Los Angeles