Daily Scroll: The Jeff Bezos show; millennial obsession

6 Oct

Here are today’s top reads. Lots of talk about The Washington Post and millennials (eye-roll on the latter).

Yahoo Nears Investment in Snapchat

Yahoo plans to invest about $20 million in Snapchat, which would value the ephemeral social network at $10 billion.

But at a $10 billion valuation, Snapchat also represents a risky investment in a startup that has yet to turn its popular mobile service into a business that generates revenue. The three-year-old company, whose app lets people send messages, photos and video that typically disappear after 10 seconds, has more than 100 million users. Snapchat is planning to debut a new service for vanishing news articles and advertisements in the coming weeks, people familiar with the matter said in August.

Autoplay video ads come to articles

Publishers like Slate and Reuters are stuffing video ads inside articles. The units, dubbed Teads inRead, are tied to scroll behavior, activating only when readers scroll past them. In other words, the ads give publishers all the benefits of video CPMs without the pressure to create actual video inventory.

A typical video ad comes with a CPM that hovers around $20, much higher than rates for display ads. And there’s demand on the buy side as well, as big brands are increasingly looking for premium video inventory to advertise against.

While the inRead ads have been around since 2012, scroll-based autoplay video ads have become the new normal site on the Web. Facebook, for example, has pushed the format heavily on its site and mobile app.

But while autoplay video ads make sense on the revenue side, the jury’s still out on how good they are for the reading experience. Autoplay ads, particularly those that include sound, are notorious for annoying users, which can only mean bad things for both the brands and publishers using them. In the case with Facebook, autoplay video ads ate up users’ mobile data.

Both Reuters and Slate mute their autoplay ads by default, only playing the audio when users mouse over the ads for three seconds.

Perkins said that the fact that the readers can skip the autoplay ads if they want to made the ads a better sell for the site’s editors.

U.S. Online Display Advertising Spend to Hit $19 Billion by 2019 Forrester Research sees big opportunity in mobile and video

(This is full article:) Online display ad spending is expected to increase 90 percent by 2019, from $19.8 billion in 2014 to $37.6 billion, according to new findings from Forrester Research.

Video platforms in particular are expected to be the main driver of the growth. Forrester predicts that the tactic will grow more than 21 percent on desktop platforms and will capture as much as 55 percent of the total desktop display spending by 2019.

Mobile ads targeted to both smartphones and tablets will also be a major online growth area, capturing up to 40 percent of the online display ad spending by 2019—up from 24 percent of display budgets this year.

“Most of the growth in online display will come from three areas that will generate the bulk of the growth by 2019: Programmatic exchange-based trading, video advertising and mobile display,” Forrester noted, in a summary of the report.

Meanwhile, offline advertising is expected to grow just 1 percent during the same period, but will still capture $239 billion in marketing dollars. Cable television will be the offline platform with the most growth—at 4.8 percent—while platforms such as radio, newspapers, magazines and yellow pages are all expected to see declines.

The Washington Post/Jeff Bezos Show

The Washington Post Regains Its Place at the Table

The Washington Post sets new monthly digital traffic record

The editors noted a 34 percent increase in unique readers and a 38 percent jump in page views, in comparison to September 2013.

Jeff Bezos’s New Plan for News: The Washington Post Becomes an Amazon Product

Jeff Bezos wants to turn the Washington Post into a national publication, and he’s going to use his other company—Amazon.com (AMZN)—to help achieve that goal.

For the past few months, a group inside the Post has been working on a new application that will offer a curated selection of news and photographs from the daily newspaper in a magazine-style, tablet-friendly format. The application will come preinstalled on Amazon’s newly updated Kindle Fire tablet, expected to be launched later this fall with the larger 8.9-inch screen, according to people with knowledge of the Post’s plans.

The app will be free for owners of the larger Kindle, at least at first. It will eventually be available for download on other Kindles as well as to owners of Apple’s (AAPL) iPad and various Android devices, and it will carry a monthly subscription fee. A Post spokesperson declined to comment.

Jeff Bezos and the Post Don’t Know the Future of Media, But Are Preparing for It Anyway

“We’re not trying to come up with easier ways to produce the content that we’ve always produced,” said Greg Franczyk, director of software engineering at the Post. “We’re looking at the actual content forms, the story forms, the type of content we’re producing, structuring that content in ways that allows us to do and create user experiences that we haven’t yet dreamt of.”

Prakash claimed that the company brought in record digital revenue last year, but that has not been able to keep up with print declines.

The biggest deal the paper struck had little to do with tech and more to do with licensing — WaPo is launching a partner system to bring its digital content to local publications across the country.

“I think it is much more of a West Coast, Silicon Valley approach where you’re getting more focus on the business. You’re getting more focus on the product, but at the same time, we’re going to be very focused on that product and we’re going to make other business changes that put this business in better shape,” Ken Doctor said.

The Post is addressing those pressures head on with the WPNYC, which is seen as a vehicle for exploring options like partnering with other publications and tech firms. The office started up in March and is now the unofficial headquarters of the company’s attempt to break away from its newspaper roots. It is also an admission that there will have to be less Washington in the Washington Post. Future offices might be in Seattle or Austin, Texas.


What Do Millennials Really Want? From their favorite digital devices to Lena Dunham, here’s what we learned


Who Will Succeed the Millennials? Let’s Call Them the Post Generation These consumers come of age after 9/11, Obama and the digital revolution

Regardless of what you call them, this next generation’s defaults will be diversity, networked communication, globalism, personalization and choice, as well as equal rights and freedom that encompass not only race and gender, but extend to sexual orientation and even recreational drug use. It’s clear that what once were progressive causes will now serve as the status quo for the post generation.

Attention Brands: This Is How You Get Millennials to Like You Looking at what resonates with most marketers’ dream demo

In its study, Hashtag Nation, Havas notes that this loyalty aspect is very good news for marketers: “Today’s youth are significantly more apt than their elders to recognize—and value—the role brands play in their lives.” But this can be a tricky relationship to maintain, the study notes, as 40 percent of respondents ages 16-24 complain that brands don’t take them seriously enough.

“Brands also need to recognize that they’re now dealing with a generation of consumers who are much savvier than their parents were at that age,” the study concluded. “Young people have an innate understanding of marketing and of their value as consumers. And they’re significantly more likely than older generations to believe they have the capacity to help a brand succeed or fail. And why would they think that? Virtually every day they see some evidence of the power of ordinary people to effect change, whether it’s using Twitter to foment a rebellion in the Middle East or using social media to compel a company to behave better.”

The Yahoo/DigitasLBi/Razorfish/Tumblr study included a list of tips for content marketers trying to reach this dream demo:

Set the mood. Give them a repository for a particular emotion, or bond over a universal human experience.
Help them escape by giving them a glimpse of the good life, inspiring them, and “reinforcing the millennial values of embracing life and finding happiness along the off-roaded path to adulthood.”
Fuel creativity and play with absurdist mash-ups, artistic installations and carefully curated memes that are the tight fit for a brand’s attributes.
Spotlight pop culture, especially using nostalgia nods, superfandom and celebrity musings.
Help them succeed with how-tos, lifehacks and any content experience that makes them feel smarter.
Help them discover things and see topics in a new light, which “taps into millennials’ desire for discovery.”

Tapping Millennial Political and Social Passions Ahead of the Midterm Elections These agencies specialize in Gen Y

Social Media, the New Press Release

The Times has a team of reporters, editors, and aggregators working on Watching as a part of the homepage team. But Watching is also a 24-hour affair, so reporters and editors in London, Paris, and Hong Kong also contribute and help manage the feed.

…Watching can highlight and display what we’d normally call “user-generated content”: tweets, photos, and other atomic units of social media.

The second interesting thing about Watching: It’s at least the third place where the paper created a job that could be called “staff aggregator” this year alone. Three new products from the paper in 2014—the NYT Now and Opinion apps, and Watching—curate stories from other publications for readers…(Though the paper announced…they are shuttering the Opinion app.)

But still: What’s emerged from the Times in the past year is a clear decision to use aggregation, curation, and the linky power of digital journalism.

Love it? BuzzFeed Wants to Help You Buy It Too

Below each GIF or illustration is a blue button that says “Love it? Buy It!” that directs readers to a L’Oreal retail page where they can buy the product used to construct that particular hairstyle.

L’Oreal USA’s Vice President, Digital Innovation, Content and New Ventures Rachel Weiss said the e-commerce integrated posts helps create a more seamless experience for a customer that wants to know how to get a particular look.

“We want to make beauty fun and accessible for everyone and create content that they care about for beauty,” Ms. Weiss said. “BuzzFeed can help us do it at scale like we’ve never done before.”

Not all of L’Oreal’s sponsored posts with BuzzFeed will be e-commerce enabled, but BuzzFeed said it will experiment with different types of posts to carry the “Love It? Buy It!” button. There are currently no plans to test the e-commerce capability with other partners, but if it proves to be successful the click to buy button could be extended to other brands, Mr. Wiedlin said.

Pinterest Pushing New Editorial Product With First Co-Marketing Campaign

Pinterest is rolling out its first co-marketing campaign on Monday to promote a new editorial product called Pin Picks. The social scrapbooking service has partnered with roughly 10 media companies, including eHow and Funny or Die, as well as YouTube star Michelle Phan.

“What we’re finding is not only that the content [media companies] create is helpful to us, but Pinterest has grown into being a place where we’re driving lots of traffic and interest back to them,” Mr. Rubin said. BuzzFeed has said that Pinterest is now its second-biggest traffic driver behind Facebook.

How BBC Worldwide views the shift to ad automation

The industry also needs a few more common standards about what constitutes an audience segment that works across different media owners from the buy side and the sell side. This will help build liquidity in the system.

If you let people drop cookies on your website and just let them use that data however they like, don’t be surprised if they use cookie-matching to model a look-alike audience and buy around you.

How (LinkedIn’s) Dan Roth became the most powerful editor in business publishing

Hacked Screenshots Show Friend-To-Friend Payments Feature Hidden In Facebook Messenger

The psychological addiction behind Facebook’s success

As David Cohn exits, Circa looks to double its editorial team
(Current team size is 11.)

Google’s Newsstand move may force the hand of Apple, leading to more aggregated content apps

Bloomberg has launched its new politics site

Daily Mail launches MyMail hub and membership scheme

Here’s What 8 Digital Execs Predict for Mobile in 2015 From new data-tracking tools to growth in video


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