THINGS TO KNOW IN MEDIA – December 22, 2017

Bitcoin, Blockchain and TV Ads
Bitcoin, a form of virtual currency reliant on a technology called “blockchain,” had its trading debut in the futures market this week. Which makes the following report timely. As if there wasn’t enough disruption in the advertising industry, a company named MadHive is developing a blockchain tech stack to buy and sell ads. What makes blockchain technology interesting is its ability to detect fraud. Rather than having one, centralized entity connecting buyers and sellers, blockchain is a digital ledger that is shared across a peer-to-peer network and continuously reconciled. Before a “block” of transactions are added to the blockchain, network participants provide consensus that the transaction is legitimate. You hear about blockchain’s use in banking. What isn’t realistic is MadHive’s contention blockchain will be used to sell linear TV. Many entities have tried and failed to move linear TV arbitrage to an electronic platform. The trick is that networks benefit from opaque sales models. And linear TV inventory is finite, unlike the web. Why join digital’s race to the commoditized bottom?
Like Peanut Butter and Chocolate
Twitter needs the gravitas; Bloomberg needs the content and immediacy. Enter “TicToc,” a joint venture of Twitter and Bloomberg. Besides content by Bloomberg’s own journalists, verified tweets will be included in the Bloomberg stream. It’s like democratizing news, while experts make sense of it. Interesting, evolving news paradigm.
Google Deadline
Google is giving notice to websites with annoying ads. They have until February 15 to clean up their act, or Chrome will block them. So long auto-audio; prestitials with countdown timers and other frustrating, (but probably very effective click-rate) ad units. Read more here. 
2017 A Very Good Year for Digital Ad Growth
And speaking of digital media, quarterly growth of digital ad revenue grew 23% YOY, with digital advertising reaching a record $40 billion. Search, while still the largest digital ad category, was down two percentage points year over year, and I suspect attribution had something to do with it.
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