Target ups its ad efforts with revamped media company, Roundel


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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A surprise addition to this year’s NewFronts, first-time participant Target today announced its plans to rebrand its media network formerly known as “Target Media Network” to be called “Roundel.” The goal with the repositioning is to better communicate to clients that its focus goes beyond display ads on Target.com. Instead, Roundel will create campaigns and content for its clients, who include brands and agencies — including brands that aren’t sold in Target’s stores — and deliver them to either to Target’s own website or to “brand-safe” external channels like Pinterest, PopSugar, and NBC Universal.

To date, Target’s pitch has been that its data on consumers and their habits can help it to create better campaigns and content for interested brands. Target Media Network had already been working with national advertisers, including those who didn’t sell products in Target, ahead of this rebranding. But the prior

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Spotify launches voice-enabled ads on mobile devices in a limited U.S. test


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Spotify is increasing its investment in voice technology, as hinted at earlier this week on the company’s earnings call with investors. The streaming service today is announcing the launch of voice-enabled advertisements, which will encourage the listener to say a verbal command in order to take action on the ad’s content. Initially, the audio ads will direct listeners to a sponsored Spotify playlist or a podcast, the company says.

One of the first voice ads being tested starting today comes from Unilever’s Axe and Spotify Studios.This ad will direct users to the Spotify Original podcast, Stay Free: The Story of the Clash. Another will promote a branded playlist on Spotify related to a Unilever Axe ad campaign.

For now, Spotify is only focused on content promotion within its own service — not anything outside of its app.

These voice ads will only be available to a subset of Spotify’s

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Walmart acquires ad tech startup Polymorph Labs to scale up its ad business


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Amazon has a large and growing advertising business, but rival Walmart’s own ad business is much smaller. It’s now working to change that. Earlier this year, the retailer consolidated ad sales for its stores and websites and said it was ready to start monetizing its shopper data on a grander scale. Today, its efforts continue as Walmart says it has bought the advertising technology company, Polymorph Labs, to help it better compete via online digital ads, targeted using shopper data.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The San Francisco-based startup’s technology and assets will allow Walmart to deliver more relevant ads to online shoppers, the retailer says. Meanwhile, Polymorph’s team will join Walmart’s in-house advertising business, the Walmart Media Group.

Specifically, Polymorph;s technology includes a high-speed ad server, a self-serve interface, and server-side header bidding. This, says Walmart, will make advertising easier for thousands of brands and will

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Spotify’s new ad metrics show what listeners do after they click


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Spotify is launching new analytics tools to help artists and their teams better understand how well their ads are working. The company today says it’s rolling out new streaming conversion metrics that will show how Spotify listeners reacted to a particular ad campaign – whether they clicked through to listen, saved the music, or added it to a playlist for example.

The new tools can also detail whether they campaign did better with existing fans who have been streaming the music already, or if an ad worked to hook new fans.

The conversation metrics are being introduced to the Spotify Ad Studio. First launched in 2017, the ad studio is a self-serve platform allows artists and their labels to share their music by way of short, 30-second or less audio ads that are played for the free users on the Spotify app. These ads are served during ad breaks

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eBay to shut down the eBay Commerce Network, its third-party ad network, on May 1


This post is by Ingrid Lunden from TechCrunch


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As eBay continues to restructure its business, it’s shuttering one of the efforts it had made to expand its commercial footprint outside its own marketplace and walled garden. The company announced today that on May 1 it will be shutting down the eBay Commerce Network — a network that it ran across some 2,000 publishers for merchants to advertise products that matched content people browse on those third-party sites — as it puts more of an emphasis on some of its other advertising efforts, namely affiliate marketing and advertising on eBay itself.

“Thank you for your partnership with eBay Commerce Network,” the company said in a statement. “We’ve been proud to see our platform evolve over the past two decades. We want to continue providing customers with the best possible selling and buying experience. As a result, we are focusing on business that complements our core marketplace and discontinuing eBay

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Pandora to test interactive voice ads later this year


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Radio ads broadcast a message to listeners, but Pandora’s new voice ads will allow listeners to respond by speaking aloud – either to get more information about the product being advertised, or to skip the ad if it’s not of interest. The company confirmed it has an agreement to test interactive voice ads where listeners engage by speaking back to the ad. The test will be powered by the San Francisco-based ad tech company, Instreamatic, and will launch into beta sometime later this year.

Unlike web and mobile ads – which can be measured through things like impressions and clicks – traditional audio ads aren’t clickable. That means advertisers don’t know for sure how many people who heard the ad later went seek out more information, or make a purchase.

Interactive voice ads could change that. And they arrive at a time when consumers have grown comfortable interacting with voice

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How the Tech Giants Make Their Billions


This post is by Jeff Desjardins from Technology – Visual Capitalist


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How the Tech Giants Make Their Billions

How the Tech Giants Make Their Billions

At a glance, it may seem like the world’s biggest technology companies have a lot in common.

For starters, all five of the Big Tech companies (Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, and Alphabet) have emerged as some of the most valuable publicly-traded companies in the world, with founders such as Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates sitting atop the global billionaire list.

These tech giants also have a consumer-facing aspect to their business that is front and center. With billions of people using their platforms globally, these companies leverage user data to tighten their grip even more on market share. At the same time, this data is a double-edged sword, as these same companies often find themselves in the crosshairs for mishandling personal information.

Finally, all of these companies have a similar origin story: they were founded or incubated on the fertile digital grounds of

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Animation: The Top 15 Global Brands (2000-2018)


This post is by Jeff Desjardins from Technology – Visual Capitalist


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Animation: The Top 15 Global Brands (2000-2018)

Time travel back to the early-2000s, and a list of the world’s most respected brands might be surprising.

Tobacco company Marlboro is still one of the top 15 global brands with a value of $22 billion, while companies like Nokia and AT&T also help to round out the group.

Aside from Microsoft, the tech companies at the time were mostly focused on hardware and services. HP was considered a top global brand at the time, and even IBM was still making PCs until the year 2005.

The Platform Revolution

How times have changed.

In today’s animation from TheRankings, you can see how the list of the top 15 global brands has evolved over the last two decades or so.

The visible shift: as soon as Google hits the rankings in 2008 (2:21 in video), it becomes clear that the money is on

Top 15 Global Brands in 2018
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TikTok spotted testing native video ads


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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TikTok is testing a new ad product: a sponsored video ad that directs users to the advertiser’s website. The test was spotted in the U.S. TikTok app, where a video labeled “Sponsored” from the bike retailer Specialized is showing up in the main feed, along with a blue “Lean More” button that directs users to tap to get more information.

Presumably, this button could be customized to send users to the advertiser’s website or any other web address, but for the time being it only opened the Specialized Bikes (@specializedbikes) profile page within the TikTok app.

However, the profile page itself also sported a few new features, including what appeared to be a tweaked version of the verified account badge.

Below the @specializedbikes username was “Specialized Bikes Page” and a blue checkmark (see below). On other social networks, checkmarks like this usually indicate a user whose account has gone

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‘Amazon Live’ is the retailer’s latest effort to take on QVC with live-streamed video


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Amazon is taking on QVC with the launch of Amazon Live, which features live-streamed video shows from Amazon talent as well as those from brands that broadcast their own live streams through a new app, Amazon Live Creator. On the live shows, hosts talk about and demonstrate products available for sale on Amazon, much like they do on QVC. Beneath that sits a carousel where shoppers can browse product details and make purchases.

More than one video streams on Amazon Live at the same time, so shoppers can tune to the one that most interests them.

For example, Amazon Live is currently streaming a Valentine’s Day Gift Shop show, a cooking-focused show (In the Kitchen with @EdenEats) and Back to Business Live, which is showing off products aimed at daycare centers and schools.

You can tap on the different videos to change streams, scroll down to watch recordings of

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Spotify’s increased focus on podcasts in 2019 includes selling its own ads


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Having established itself as a top streaming service with now over 200 million users, Spotify this year is preparing to focus more of its attention on podcasts. The company plans bring its personalization technology to podcasts in order to make better recommendations, update its app’s interface so people can access podcasts more easily, and broker more exclusives with podcast creators. It’s also getting into the business of selling ads within podcasts, as a means of generating revenue from this increasingly popular form of audio programming.

In fact, Spotify has already begun to dabble in podcast ad sales, ahead of this larger push.

Spotify, we’ve learned, has been selling its own advertisements in its original podcasts since mid-2018 year, including in programs like Spotify Original “Amy Schumer Presents: 3 Girls, 1 Keith,” “The Joe Budden Podcast,” “Dissect,” “Showstopper,” and others. With more exclusives planned for the year ahead, the portion

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Spotify will now let brands sponsor its Discover Weekly playlist


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Spotify has begun testing a new type of ad in Discover Weekly, its personalized playlist of music that’s the streaming service’s flagship feature. The company says that, for the first time, it will allow a brand to “sponsor” this playlist as opposed to just running ads. It believes many advertisers will be interested in this opportunity due to the playlist’s ability to reach heavily engaged Spotify users, and because it allows advertisers to “own the personalized listening experience” on Spotify.

According to Spotify, Discover Weekly listeners stream more than double the amount of users who don’t listen to the playlist because of the personalized experience it offers. That will make the ad product more compelling, compared with brands’ existing ability to sponsor other editorial playlists on the service.

With Spotify’s Sponsored Playlist ad product, brands can surround Spotify’s free listeners with audio or video messages in ad breaks, and

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New York Times & Digital Double Standards


This post is by Om Malik from OnMyOm: Om‘s Blog


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The New York Times has been a pointy edge of the coverage on Facebook, Google and Big Tech domination of our daily lives. They have often presented (relentless) wonderful reporting only to counterbalance it with hyperbolic opinions.

As a subscriber, who is (happily and) willingly paying for his digital subscription, I am at liberty to ignore those hysterical opinion writers, ignore the Times biases and instead focus on the reporting — which is the only reason I am delighted to pay for Times. (I am one of the four million digital subscribers.)

However, the Times is hypocritical, to put it mildly. While it talks about a surveillance advertising technology ecosystem, the company itself is a willing participant — its web pages and apps are jam-packed with advertising and tracking scripts. It complains about Facebook ads in the news stream, and yet it blasts large ads in your face on Continue reading “New York Times & Digital Double Standards”

The Future of Customer Rewards: Card Linked Offers


This post is by Jeff Desjardins from Technology – Visual Capitalist


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Every customer likes receiving a discount at the till.

Not surprisingly, businesses like customer rewards programs as well – they can be a way to drive loyalty, get repeat business, and ultimately increase customer retention.

But there’s one problem: creating a quality loyalty program has been traditionally quite expensive, especially for brick-and-mortar businesses. After all, most companies do not have the clout to market a proprietary rewards app like Starbucks, so how can customer rewards be tackled more cost effectively in the digital era?

Introducing Card Linked Offers

Today’s infographic comes from Mobi724 and it explains the concept of card linked offers (CLOs), as well as the benefits they confer to consumers, retailers, and even payment processors.

The Future of Customer Rewards: Card Linked Offers

As brick-and-mortar businesses look to the potential of the smartphone economy to help retain customers and increase store traffic, card linked offers (CLOs) present an interesting opportunity.

Card linked offers are relevant, personalized,

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New YouTube ads will push viewers to download apps, book trips, find movie showtimes


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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YouTube is expanding the ways advertisers can connect with their audience, thanks to an expansion to its TrueView in-stream ad format that will now push viewers to take actions when viewing ads beyond just a click. The company was already testing extensions that let advertisers add location elements or forms to their ads – to get viewers to sign up for a service or learn more via email. Chili’s tested this out to grow its loyalty program sign-ups, for example. Now, YouTube will add more extensions that let advertisers push other actions, like app downloads, travel booking, or buying movie tickets.

Early testers of these extensions included Vodafone, 20th Century Fox, Headspace, and Maybelline. Vodafone reported a 3.5% clickthrough rate, as a result, and a 2.3x incremental lift in ad recall, says YouTube.

With the new extensions, ads could become more useful to viewers who show interest. Instead

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Google’s blanket ban of cryptocurrency ads ends next month


This post is by Sarah Perez from TechCrunch


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Google is rolling back its ban on cryptocurrency advertisements – following a similar move made by Facebook earlier this summer, CNBC reports. Google in March was among the first of the major platforms to announce it would no longer run ban cryptocurrency ads, due to an abundance of caution around an industry where there’s so much potential for consumer harm.

Facebook, Twitter, and even Snapchat had also banned cryptocurrency ads, for similar reasons.

But Facebook moved away from its blanket ban this June, when it said it would no longer ban all cryptocurrency ads, but would rather allow those from “pre-approved advertisers” instead. It excluded ads that promoted binary options and initial coin offerings (ICOs), however.

Google is now following suit with its own policy change. The update was announced today, we’ve confirmed.

Google’s policy still bans ICOs, wallets and trading advice, CNBC reports, citing Google’s updated

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How Tech is Changing How Healthcare Must Communicate With Patients


This post is by Jeff Desjardins from Technology – Visual Capitalist


Click here to view on the original site: Original Post




Tech is Forcing Healthcare to Change How It Communicates to Patients

How Health Companies Must Communicate With Patients

From consumer-focused apps to groundbreaking 3d printing techniques, the healthcare industry is constantly in the process of being revolutionized by new technologies.

These changes are disrupting the status quo of how business has been done for years – and they are even forcing companies to pivot in the areas of business that aren’t as traditionally driven by innovation or R&D.

One such area: how companies communicate with potential and active patients.

The Pivot to Content Strategy

Today’s infographic comes to us from Publicis Health, and it shows that technology is changing the way that life sciences and pharmaceutical companies will need to market and inform consumers.

For an industry in which one-way communication has traditionally been the norm, a multitude of factors are converging to make it essential for healthcare companies to pivot to a new way of doing things. Instead of

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Visualizing the Social Media Universe in 2018


This post is by Nick Routley from Technology – Visual Capitalist


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View a high resolution version of this graphic
THe Social Media Universe

The Social Media Universe: 2018

View the high resolution version of today’s graphic by clicking here.

Billions of people around the world grew up during the age of social media, and mankind is slowly marching toward a future where nearly everyone will be a digital native.

For the one-third of humanity that now uses a smartphone, messaging and status updates are often more natural than having a live conversation. In a world where social interactions are peppered with emojis and funneled through a front-facing camera, the platforms we use become more than mere service providers; they are the connective tissue of our society.

What services are people using to communicate?

Monthly active users (MAUs) is a metric commonly used to evaluate how many people are using a service regularly. Here are the world’s top social and messaging platforms by MAUs:

Rank Social

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