Here are the items from the perpetually evolving advertising world that caught our eye this week…
In the theater that is Washington, one drama we are watching carefully is the FCC. Power plays, run last-minute leading up to the Congressional recess, have resulted in a deadlocked FCC – 2-to-2, Democrat-to-Republican. The deadlock won’t stick once Republican-controlled Congress approves another member. And most agenda items had already been put on the back burner. But any last-minute Democratic-leaning initiatives are smoked. One agenda item included set-top box rules, which help consumers avoid paying cable box rental fees by requiring pay-TV operators to create free TV applications. This means a huge win for the cable companies, who would have had to develop free applications for devices like Apple TV and Roku or anything that runs iOS, Windows or Android. It could also be argued a “win” for marketers, who are challenged with ad-limiting over-the-top devices. Then there’s the whole net neutrality issue, which would establish guardrails on how internet service providers handle web traffic, like not allowing providers to throttle speed. Rolling back net neutrality would hand marketers one in the “loss” box, since accessible, affordable, speedy data transfer is important for our prolific ad serving, search-engine marketing and tracking. Finally, with a Trump-backed FCC, it will be interesting to see what happens with TV ownership rules, which currently limit the ownership of multiple stations in any one market. With disintermediation and declining ratings, TV stations are threatened, and consolidation is one way to cut costs. We’ll file that issue under a “tie” for marketers, who want to see TV succeed, but don’t need to limit competition. (Here’s a quick read on why net neutrality is important to marketers.)
on a multi-screen usage roundup. Learn how many people use multiple screens and which ones; discover which channels Millennials are relying on to gather information.
Yahoo announced this week the largest data breach in history. Way back in 2013, the company lost personal details on a billion accounts. Billion, with a “B.” Keep in mind, there are around 3 billion worldwide users on the internet. So the scale is massive. Like a plot-twisting heist movie, apparently the thief made away with the data and the victim (Yahoo and its customers) never even knew. Until just this past November. Fortunately, the data doesn’t include bank account or payment details. But it did include emails, passwords, dates of birth, phone numbers and hashed passwords. If Verizon’s business model is to buy low and sell high, this could be good for business. Assuming the acquisition deal isn’t now off the table.
(Speaking of “words of the year”…)
Good news is that Clear Channel Outdoor is selling digital billboards programmatically. Which should make buying at scale a little easier for agencies. Bad news is that the outdoor industry hasn’t created a robust consortium, like Nasdaq, to target OOH buying. And it would be so much more efficient for marketers to have one stop for digital OOH.
Twitter Is the Rodney Dangerfield of Tech Companies
President-Elect Trump, who isn’t obliged to host a press conference since the news media simply reports on his daily Tweets, hailed a meeting this week with tech titans. Astonishingly, Twitter wasn’t invited. And this in the week where Trump could have a field day with Twitter’s latest offering, live streaming video, via Periscope, within a tweet. Twitter has never felt more relevant, yet its stock price appears to be inversely proportionate to its brand awareness. I hope it can find a footing.