YouTube Kids Goes Behind Paywall to Lose Inappropriate Ads

YouTube Kids, a standalone app that launched a year-and-a-half ago, has been a big success, with more than 10 billion video views annually and a position as one of the top five kid apps in the iOS and Android app stores. But although YouTube has vetted the content to be kid-appropriate, not so the advertising, which ranges from product placement to pitches for junk food. Last year, the Center for Digital Democracy and Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood asked the Federal Trade Commission twice to investigate. Continue reading YouTube Kids Goes Behind Paywall to Lose Inappropriate Ads

Google Prepares to Rollout AMP Project for More Mobile Sites

Six months ago, Google introduced its Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Project, an open-source initiative that enabled publishers to create mobile-optimized content that loads instantly on every device. AMP was initially rolled out for news publishers; now, Google plans to make it available for other mobile sites. The company just debuted a demo site that will let developers test out and fine-tune the AMP-enabled experience. Currently, over 650,000 sites are home to over 150 million AMP documents in Google’s index. Continue reading Google Prepares to Rollout AMP Project for More Mobile Sites

Instagram Adds Snapchat-Like Features in Social Media Battle

Facebook tried and failed to acquire Snapchat, and now Facebook-owned Instagram is having a go at beating Snapchat at its own game. The photo-sharing company just debuted Instagram Stories, which in format is very similar to Snapchat Stories: users can share photos and videos that last no more than 24 hours. This might spark a battle between the two apps, which have never been in direct competition. Both mobile apps are now trying to increase digital advertising, which could bring the issue to a head. Continue reading Instagram Adds Snapchat-Like Features in Social Media Battle

Social Platforms Offer Ad Revenue Share to Lure Influencers

To compete with YouTube, social platforms Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have set their sights on attracting Internet celebrities, also known as creators, to their sites. Internet stars with millions of followers bring audiences and ad dollars, a major incentive for all three platforms to rethink their current business models. They all want original, unsponsored content, but also have to deal with sponsored content that doesn’t generate revenue for them. The solution all of them are arriving at is to split revenue with creators. Continue reading Social Platforms Offer Ad Revenue Share to Lure Influencers

Facebook Live Tests Mid-Roll Ads as Potential Revenue Model

After hinting for months that it might introduce commercial breaks inside live video streams, Facebook has started testing this concept with some of its top publishers. This marks the first time the company has served ads directly from inside videos, and follows on the heels of its new policy of paying some publishers and digital influencers to post video. The payments provide a financial incentive to post on Facebook since the platform so far lacks an advertising model that could generate shared revenue. Continue reading Facebook Live Tests Mid-Roll Ads as Potential Revenue Model

Verizon to Ramp Up Telematics with Purchase of Fleetmatics

Following its $4.8 billion acquisition of Yahoo, Verizon announced it is purchasing Dublin-based telematics company Fleetmatics for $2.4 billion in cash. Fleetmatics will become part of the subsidiary Verizon Telematics, which primarily handles fleet management, mobile enterprise solutions and Internet of Things initiatives. Verizon’s AOL and Yahoo purchases will help build its media and advertising businesses, while the Fleetmatics acquisition points to the company’s enterprise mobility ambitions. The deal is expected to close by Q4 2016. Continue reading Verizon to Ramp Up Telematics with Purchase of Fleetmatics

Facebook Touts Major Growth, Driven by Mobile Advertising

Facebook added 220 million monthly users in the past year, for a current total user base of 1.71 billion people. More than 90 percent of those users access Facebook via their mobile devices, where Facebook reaped 84 percent of its $6.2 billion in advertising revenue in the last quarter. The company saw 80 percent growth in Q2 from mobile ads, from an overall 59 percent growth rate in advertising. WhatsApp and Messenger, both of which have 1 billion users, are part of the company’s next move into video. Continue reading Facebook Touts Major Growth, Driven by Mobile Advertising

Google Reports Strong Quarter Based on Strength of Mobile

Google’s quarterly profit rose 24 percent, while revenue increased 21 percent to $21.5 billion, thanks in large part to its advertising and push into mobile, according to The Wall Street Journal. Google is also experiencing success with its cloud services division. Parent company Alphabet reported 33 percent growth of its non-advertising business over the previous year, surpassing Wall Street expectations. “The strength of the quarter is about mobile,” said Google chief exec Sundar Pichai. “Our investment in mobile now underlines everything that we do today, from search and YouTube to Android and advertising.” Continue reading Google Reports Strong Quarter Based on Strength of Mobile

Facebook Takes Aim at YouTube with Mobile Video Features

Facebook is testing new mobile video features for its Android app, including subscription-based video channels and a dedicated video tab that incorporates video search, which would provide brands with the opportunity to target ads based on keywords. Enhancing the mobile viewing experience is the next step toward making the social platform more video-centric and ramping up competition with YouTube. However, Facebook needs to convince its users to watch video mixed with other content and, especially for advertisers, show successful video completion rates. Continue reading Facebook Takes Aim at YouTube with Mobile Video Features

MIT Prototypes Glasses-Free 3D for Motion Picture Theaters

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL), with Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science, released the prototype of a 3D display technology, for use in movie theaters, that doesn’t require glasses. Other glasses-free 3D displays have been available, most notably with the Nintendo 3DS, but they are designed for use by a single user and only work when the content is viewed at a specific angle. A research paper on the technology, dubbed “Cinema 3D,” will be given at the SIGGRAPH conference this week. Continue reading MIT Prototypes Glasses-Free 3D for Motion Picture Theaters

How Sponsored Content Transforms as It Moves to Facebook

Publishers have gravitated to sponsored content — stories, videos and podcasts that mimic journalistic content — to cope with rapidly changing online advertising. The Atlantic, Slate and The New York Times are among the publications that count sponsored content as a significant portion of their revenue. Companies such as Vice and BuzzFeed have created businesses centered on focused content. But the definition of sponsored content is shifting as viewers move from news sites towards Facebook and other social media platforms. Continue reading How Sponsored Content Transforms as It Moves to Facebook

Twitter Struggles with Worst Quarterly Revenue Growth Ever

Twitter announced lackluster Q2 earnings, with $602 million in revenue for a net loss of $107 million. While the company improved over Q2 2015, when it lost $136.6 million, and monthly active users increased from 310 million to 313 million, its numbers fell short of Wall Street expectations and the company’s stock dropped more than 10 percent in after-hours trading. Despite new deals for live-streaming sports in the near future, the platform is not keeping up with the growth of social rivals such as Facebook, WhatsApp, Messenger, Snapchat and LinkedIn. Continue reading Twitter Struggles with Worst Quarterly Revenue Growth Ever

Twitter Continues its Push to Become Live-Streaming Service

Twitter is looking to strengthen its status as a social destination for sports fans by striking deals with Major League Baseball and the National Hockey League to host live video of games for users who are in out-of-market regions. The move follows a similar agreement with the National Football League that will bring “Thursday Night Football” to Twitter this fall, a partnership with the National Basketball Association to live-stream original programming (but not games), and deals with Pac-12 Networks and Campus Insiders to stream college sports during the 2016-2017 season. Continue reading Twitter Continues its Push to Become Live-Streaming Service

The Wait Is Over: Verizon Will Acquire Yahoo for $4.83 Billion

Verizon announced it would acquire Yahoo’s core operating business in a $4.83 billion cash deal expected to close in the first quarter of next year. Yahoo will join Verizon’s growing stable of digital properties, including AOL, which it purchased last May for $4.4 billion. The deal should help Verizon ramp up its mobile efforts and combine AOL’s ad tech with Yahoo’s online sites and services. AOL chief Tim Armstrong and Verizon exec Marni Walden spearheaded the deal. “This culminates a rigorous, thorough process over many months, and yields a great outcome for the company,” wrote Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer in a letter to her employees. Continue reading The Wait Is Over: Verizon Will Acquire Yahoo for $4.83 Billion

Jukin Media Creates Variety of Opportunities for Viral Videos

Jukin Media has created a business model that leverages social media and the financial possibilities involving viral videos. The company searches for popular online videos, pays the video creators, “and then licenses clips out to digital media companies, brands and morning news shows,” explains The Wall Street Journal. “Think of it as Getty Images for viral videos,” said Jukin CEO and founder Jon Skogmo, who has also launched social channels that feature the unique content. The clips are becoming popular for advertising as well. “Brands are very attracted to this type of user-generated content,” said Skogmo, “especially when they’re seeing everyday people playing with their products.” Continue reading Jukin Media Creates Variety of Opportunities for Viral Videos

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