Amazon to Google: “Shoulda put a ring on it”
Despite a flurry of rumours that Google would be buying Twitch.tv and integrating it with YouTube, Amazon has announced it will be acquiring the live-streaming platform for $970 million, an amount similar to the alleged $1B Google was offering. Twitch will be Amazon’s first foray into live streaming, and will likely be integrated with its Fire TV set-top box to create a key differentiator in a competitive market. Twitch essentially owns the global 18-34 video game viewership demographic, streaming everything from gaming tutorials, reviews and pro-gaming tournament coverage to 55 million unique visitors per month. In other Amazon news, the company is developing a keyword-based ad platform that will challenge Google AdWords’ dominance in search advertising. The new product, Amazon Sponsored Links, is expected to launch later this year.
Read more about Amazon’s acquisition at Ad Exchanger
Majority of digital consumption takes place on apps
We’ve heard lots of estimates that more than half of online consumption comes from mobile, but a new study from comScore said the majority of U.S. online consumption comes just from mobile apps. Apps make up 52% of total digital consumption, comScore said, and mobile browsing makes up another 8%, for a 60% majority mobile share of digital usage. As the report noted, “The days of desktop dominance are over.” Another fun fact: users are spending 22% of all their time online on just their most-used app (and for most of us, that’s Facebook).
Read more at Tech Crunch
Yahoo gets into the content recommendation game with Outbrain
Building on its commitment to in-stream native ads, Yahoo has launched a content recommendation widget similar to those offered by Taboola, Outbrain and nRelate. Yahoo pays publishers like Vox Media and CBS Interactive to run the widget at the bottom of their articles, and advertisers or other publishers pay Yahoo to promote their content with “recommended for you” links inside it. Of course, that means Yahoo is jumping into a hotly controversial space — just last week Fortune looked at consumer backlash against Taboola and Outbrain over the sexed-up, “one simple trick” content they promote. According to that report, recommendation widgets can pay up to tens of millions a year to major publishers — which may explain why they’ve been reluctant to kick them to the curb.
Read more on Yahoo’s new unit at Ad Age
Tired of camouflaged native? There’s an app for that
Much of the friction between readers and publishers over native ads is the inconspicuous and misleading labels that identify them as “promoted” or “sponsored” rather than as advertisements. In steps AdDetector, an add-on for Chrome and Firefox that slaps a big red label across the top of your browser screen to tell you when you’re reading sponsored content and what brand is behind it. AdDetector’s creator, Ian Webster, told the Wall Street Journal he’s more interested in making native ads more transparent than outright blocking them, like the infamous AdBlock Plus. “I would rather [publications] be upfront about the messaging and leave the user to decide whether the quality matches the standards of the publication that is showing it,” he said.
Read more at the WSJ’s CMO Today
Acquisitions and partnerships shaping the industry
- Video platform TubeMogul hooks up with fraudbuster Integral Ad Science
- Business Insider builds in-house private exchange with Rubicon
- Mindshare North America signs up for content marketing platform Percolate
Around the web
Must-read features and opinion
- Ad staffers are going back to school to learn digital skills (Wall Street Journal)
To keep up, agencies have had to push digital education even amongst their most senior creatives
- Making measurement matter at Kellogg (Media Post)
One of digital marketing’s earliest and most innovative adopters shares insights about technology and data
- Meet the small digital agency doing arbitrage (Advertising Age)
Colorado-based independent agency IMM is trying to fight the stigma against arbitrage, i.e. buying media for bulk rates and re-selling it to brands
- Dstillery CEO: ‘Dirty data’ in mobile ads as serious as click fraud (Street Fight)
Ad tech exec Tom Phillips said data quality is just as big a problem as bots