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May 18 2018

Why fascism is so tempting -- and how your data could power it | Yuval Noah Harari
In a profound talk about technology and power, author and historian Yuval Noah Harari explains the important difference between fascism and nationalism -- and what the consolidation of our data means for the future of democracy. Appearing as a hologram live from Tel Aviv, Harari warns that the greatest danger that now faces liberal democracy is that the revolution in information technology will make dictatorships more efficient and capable of control. "The enemies of liberal democracy hack our feelings of fear and hate and vanity, and then use these feelings to polarize and destroy," Harari says. "It is the responsibility of all of us to get to know our weaknesses and make sure they don't become weapons." (Followed by a brief conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson)
"You Found Me" | Helen Gillet
Cellist and singer Helen Gillet mixes her classical training, New Orleans-based jazz roots and free improvisational skills to perform her own eclectic music. In a powerful, melodious performance, she plays her song "You Found Me."

NBCU’s iSpot Deal Uses ACR To Prove TV Ad Value: Muller

If only broadcast owners really knew what ads viewers were watching, maybe then they could prove the value of their advertising to brands.

But that prospect is no longer just a possibility, it is a reality, and NBCUniversal just became one of the latest to undertake the practice.

It inked a deal with iSpot.tv, a real-time analytics company, has a panel of eight million from Vizio’s Inscape business unit, which uses automated content recognition (ACR) to figure out what viewers are really watching.

For iSpot.tv founder Sean Muller, it is part of a new era.

“We’ve been working with hundreds of brands in the marketplace to really move TV into the age of audience-based and business-based outcomes, and now we’re bringing it to the sales side,” he tells Beet.TV.

“(The partnership) allows any Audience Studio advertiser at NBC to have validation that the segments that NBC’s building from are, in fact, providing a lift in business outcomes.”

Traditionally, television has been seen as a top-of-funnel branding medium, but the increasing ability to track viewers from exposure to action and purchase may change that.

Several companies are trying to turn television in to a performance marketing channel.

“Really, what’s going to happen is the same segments that are being built in the digital world, they’re going to be planned and bought against in the TV world,” Muller adds.

This video was recorded at the annual DMS conference presented by LUMA Partners.

May 17 2018


Samba’s Navin Skeptical Of ‘Surreptitious’, ‘Over-Hyped’ TV Listening

When you just took $7.5mn from one of the world’s leading pay-TV operators, you can afford to be bullish.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, a founder whose company helps deliver one of the new-wave methods of measuring TV audiences says one of those in the crop of techniques is “over-hyped”.

Samba TV CEO Ashin Navin was referring to audio-based automated content recognition (ACR), the technique through which some data providers leverage nearby devices to literally listen to viewers’ programming choices in order to report back to broadcaster and advertiser systems.

“The data set that we’re a little bit skeptical of is the data set that you capture through a listening device that’s surreptitiously listening to a consumer’s TV viewing behavior,” he says.

“We’re very skeptical of that as a source of granular, accurate data, and we’d be questioning any decision that is made around surreptitious listening of TV. We would put that category of data as kind of over-hyped right now. I know there’s a lot of companies that claim it has more value, but we’re skeptical of that.”

San Francisco-based Samba was set up to help advertisers and broadcasters know, with certainty, which TV shows viewers were watching, for how long and how attentive they were?

Launched in 2008 and backed by investors including Mark Cuban, the outfit works by having software embedded on some 180m viewing devices globally from 14 smart TV manufacturers and cable operators.

The April investment from Liberty Global, which operates Virgin Media, UPC and others in Europe, gives Samba TV a European footprint to scale on.

Navin declares his team of 250 people is “actively looking for talent in all the major media markets in Europe”.

We interviewed him earlier this week at the DMS LUMA Partners conference

This video was recorded at the annual DMS conference presented by LUMA Partners.

How Pakistani women are taking the internet back | Nighat Dad
TED Fellow Nighat Dad studies online harassment, especially as it relates to patriarchal cultures like the one in her small village in Pakistan. She tells the story of how she set up Pakistan's first cyber harassment helpline, offering support to women who face serious threats online. "Safe access to the internet is access to knowledge, and knowledge is freedom," she says. "When I fight for a woman's digital rights, I am fighting for equality."
The age-old sharing economies of Africa -- and why we should scale them | Robert Neuwirth
From rides to homes and beyond, we're sharing everything these days, with the help of digital tools. But as modern and high-tech as the sharing economy seems, it's been alive in Africa for centuries, according to author Robert Neuwirth. He shares fascinating examples -- like apprenticeships that work like locally generated venture capital and systems for allocating scarce water -- and says that if we can propagate and scale these models, they could help communities thrive from the bottom up.

May 16 2018


Sir Martin Sorrell Ponders Government Intervention in Tech Giant “Monopolies’

Amazon is a  “monopoly.”   But whether it, and the other four U.S. tech giants (Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple) and the two Chinese (Alibaba and Tencent), will continue to grow depends on government regulation, says Sir Martin Sorrell, Founder of WPP.

While not predicting imminent government intervention, he notes that these companies are increasingly in the spotlight with issues around privacy, workforce conditions and industry competition.

This video was recorded yesterday at the annual DMS conference presented by LUMA Partners. It was taped after his fireside chat with LUMA’s CEO Terry Kawaja.

Scientists must be free to learn, to speak and to challenge | Kirsty Duncan
"You do not mess with something so fundamental, so precious, as science," says Kirsty Duncan, Canada's first Minister of Science. In a heartfelt, inspiring talk about pushing boundaries, she makes the case that researchers must be free to present uncomfortable truths and challenge the thinking of the day -- and that we all have a duty to speak up when we see science being stifled or suppressed.

MediaCom’s Capnerhurst on NewFronts’ Purpose

Is it a brand’s job to tap in to challenging and sometimes dark political times, or to help consumer escape the darkness?

Both, says one agency executive who was intrigued to see both opportunities presented to her at the recent NewFronts content shop.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, MediaCom digital investment associate director Heidi Capnerhurst says the content she saw, as premium publishers touted their upcoming slate to agencies and brands, ran the gamut.

“This time there was almost a polarizing Effect of ‘We have content that is so purpose-driven and then we also have content that is just fun and you can escape this politically charged world’,” she says.

“Each of the partners in the NewFronts kind of straddled the balance between that in that kind of polarizing way. They really did a good job of ‘We’re fun, and this is a place to just enjoy and be you and create’ and then ‘Also we have purpose-driven content.”

The mix of play and purpose is something that may come in useful to Capnerhurst. She works on the Sony PlayStation account, after MediaCom won the contract from rival agencies earlier this year.

“As a brand it’s kind of our job, and as marketers to understand where we fit in that and where we can also kind of be in-between and the conversation-leading culture,” she says. “But also have this idea of play and this idea of fun.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Digital Content NewFronts 2018. The series a co-presentation of Beet.TV and the IAB. Please see additional videos from the series on this page.


Hulu Leverages Oath To Help Build Subscriber Audience

It announced 20 million paying subscribers in May but nevertheless plans to offer advertising in its live TV offering this quarter. Hulu is on a growth curve.

But is the joint venture building its subscriber base, and what role does advertising play in a subscription-driven company?

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Hulu subscriber growth head Patrizio Spagnoletto opens up on his strategy. Part of the marketing mix is with Oath, he explains.  We spoke with him at the Oath NewFront event.

“Bringing subscribers in for any service is challenging in our world because there’s a lot of competition, and it’s a market that’s changing a lot,” he says.

“We look at our subscribers and who are the healthiest subscribers. Then … we’ll work with partners to do look-alike modelling to see where are those subscribers out in the wild. We also work very closely with our agency at UM to build what we call high-value audiences so we can know not only who they are but what they look like, what do they like, and what is their media consumption.”

At the NewFronts, where premium publishers like Hulu touted their upcoming content roster to advertisers, Hulu announced series orders for a Four Weddings and a Funeral TV series and Ramy would join upcoming Hulu Originals Castle RockCatch-22, The First and Little Fires Everywhere.

It is a year since Hulu launched its live TV offering, on top of its VOD service, with one of the newest and freshest user experiences in the market. Now advertising is coming to the live service, making Hulu look a lot more like traditional TV – but with all the extra smarts afforded by targeted addressability.

Its product announcements didn’t stop there. The company also announced advertisers would be able to embed their messages in the shows viewers download for offline viewing, and it revealed that Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) for OTT is its currency of business across the platform.

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Digital Content NewFronts 2018. The series a co-presentation of Beet.TV and the IAB. Please see additional videos from the series on this page.


May 15 2018

The doctors, nurses and aid workers rebuilding Syria | Rola Hallam
Local humanitarians are beacons of light in the darkness of war, says humanitarian aid entrepreneur and TED Fellow Rola Hallam. She's working to help responders on the ground in devastated communities like Syria, where the destruction of health care is being used as a weapon of war. One of her campaigns achieved a global first: a crowdfunded hospital. Since it opened in 2017, the aptly named Hope Hospital has treated thousands of children. "Local humanitarians have the courage to persist, to dust themselves off from the wreckage and to start again, risking their lives to save others," Hallam says. "We can match their courage by not looking away or turning our backs."

NCC Media Hopes Its National Addressable TV Push Will Fuel The Spot Market

While NCC Media’s newly announced division will work to advance the national addressable television market, it will employ the same principles—better data, targeting and measurement—to grow the spot TV business. “It’s important to point out that NCC’s traditional business in the spot marketplace is not going to go anywhere,” says Andrew Ward, VP, Comcast Media 360.

In this interview with Beet.TV at the recent Cadent & one2one Media UpFront 2018 event, Ward pegs the spot TV universe at about $30 billion in advertising sales, with the NCC-aligned MVPD’s representing roughly $6 billion. “We actually think there’s a terrific opportunity to grow that spot business by bringing to the table many of the attributes that are going to drive the addressable marketplace around data, targeting and measurement,” he adds.

As with the new NCC division, which is expected to launch in June, the overall concept is to move away from traditional Nielsen age/gender audience measures and “deliver audiences in a more robust manner than traditionally has been afforded” to the local TV marketplace.

Across the 60 or so cable networks “that we insert advertising in each of our markets, that aggregate impression pool is about sixty to seventy percent of total viewing,” Ward explains. With two-thirds of viewing and one-fifth of dollars spent, “We think there’s opportunity to grow that core spot business by layering on increased levels of data, targeting and measurement focused in the spot environment.”

Although the sales structure of the new NCC division will rely on a “very much independent sales effort focused on the national addressable marketplace, we think the work we will be doing in that environment will also fuel the spot marketplace.”

This video was produced at the Cadent & one2one Media UpFront 2018 industry summit. You can find more videos from the series here. The sponsors for this series are Cadent and one2one Media.

May 14 2018


New Privacy Features and Updated Policies

We’re rolling out updates to our privacy features and policies in the coming weeks. You’ll have more control over your personal information and more detail on what information we keep and what we do with it. The updates will also make sure we comply with new privacy laws, and will help you do the same for your own website or store.  

Our New Privacy Features

Over the past several months, we’ve upgraded many of the privacy-related features on WordPress.com, Jetpack, WooCommerce, and other Automattic products. We want to give you more visibility into the personal data we use and more control over the data you share with us.

In recent weeks, we’ve added:

  • More detailed information on the data our products collect and use, like the information you’ll find in the new Jetpack Privacy Center, as well in-product notifications for privacy-related information.
  • Opt-outs for data uses, like the ability to turn off Automattic’s first-party analytics system on your Jetpack site.  
  • Additional contracts (Data Processing Agreements) for paid users who require them to comply with data protection and privacy laws. If you need a Data Processing Agreement, let us know by contacting support for your product.

Over the coming weeks we plan to launch:

  • A way for users to request access to their personal data.
  • Account closure for WordPress.com accounts.
  • Opt-outs for Automattic’s first party analytics system for WordPress.com users.
  • An updated cookie policy that explains the cookies we use in our services.

We’re also releasing features to help you and your site meet the requirements of new privacy laws, like Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) that goes into effect on May 25, 2018. You can read the full text of the GDPR, as well as the European Commission’s summary . Our new features include: a new “cookie and consent” notification that WordPress.com and Jetpack site owners can add to their sites, and tools for our WooCommerce.com merchants to manage data access and deletion requests from their customers.

These updates are in addition to the privacy protections we’ve always had in place to help you control your content, keep it secure, or even move your site to another WordPress host.

What’s New in Our Policies?

We also updated our Privacy Policy and our Terms of Service. Here are some of the updates you’ll see:

  • We GDPR-ized our Privacy Policy. You’ll now see sections explaining your data protection and privacy rights, how long we keep information, and how we handle transfers of personal data outside the EU.
  • We included WooCommerce.com and Polldaddy in our Automattic-wide Privacy Policy. No more fragmenting: we’re retiring WooCommerce.com and Polldaddy’s separate privacy policies — our privacy practices should be straightforward and easy to understand, so now you only have to understand one.
  • We included more real-world, concrete examples in our Privacy Policy to give you a clearer picture of how we collect and use personal information. There’s specific information about how we make Reader recommendations, how Gravatar works, and how we use information for our marketing.  
  • We added a new Privacy Notice to explain the data that we collect, on behalf of our users, about visitors to our users’ websites. 
  • We updated our Terms of Service to reflect the importance of data protection and privacy laws. Our Terms of Service (and those for Automattic Ads) require that our users comply with applicable laws and regulations as the site owners, and, for added clarity, we included privacy and data protection laws as one of the specific examples.

Our new Privacy Policy and Terms of Service will take effect on May 25, 2018. We’re releasing them now to give you time to take a look at them. If you continue to use our services on or after May 25, 2018, you acknowledge that your use will be subject to our new Privacy Policy and you agree to be bound by our new Terms.

And there’s more to come! We’ll announce more detailed information about privacy features on privacy.blog — follow us there for the latest.


What Marketers Care About Most: Our NewFronts Compilation

In the weeks leading up to this year’s Digital Content NewFronts, we interviewed a number of industry leaders about what matters most: They cited quality storytelling, data and insights, authentic integration, accountability and brand safety.

This video is a highlight compilation our several of our conversations.

The first three are a related trio of concerns. Quality storytelling derives from consumer data and insights, the end product of which can be ripe for brand integration. Meredith Corporation’s extensive presence at the NewFronts was crafted to address all of these concerns.

“We’re trying to create advertising that becomes what people are interested in, rather than simply interrupting what they’re interested in,” is the way that Shane Akeney, President, Havas Media Group NA, sums things up in this video compilation, which Meredith presented in its NewFronts event on the big screen at Manhattan’s Hudson Theatre. “Big leaps can be made in creating content that is so compelling that consumers want to watch it, want to see it, want to actually be experiencing it.”

Rather than “insert” themselves into content, brand should be there “because they’re making the content better,” says Matt Seilor, President Brand Solutions, Dentsu Aegis Network.

Accountability means measurable returns on advertising spend. “I think the days of an advertiser just kind of spending money and hoping for the best are over,” says Jason Harrison, President and Client Partner, Essence.

Brand safety was a major theme during the week of NewFronts events, echoed by most participants and those featured in this video. They are:

Marla Kaplowitz, President & CEO, 4A’s.

Will Warren, EVP, Digital Investment, Zenith Media.

Yin Woon Rani, VP Integrated Marketing, Campbell Soup Company.

Christine Peterson, Managing Director, Digital Investment Lead, Mindshare.

Shane Akeney, President, Havas Media Group NA.

Matt Seilor, President Brand Solutions, Dentsu Aegis Network.

Jason Harrison, President and Client Partner, Essence.

Joe Barone, Managing Partner, Brand Safety Americas, GroupM.

Ben Winkler, Chief Investment Officer, OMD.

Joe Barone, Managing Partner, Brand Safety Americas, GroupM.

Louis Jones, EVP, Media & Data, 4A’s.

This video was presented on May 4 at the Meredith NewFronts presentation on the big screen of the Hudson Theater.

This video is part of a series titled The Road to the Digital Content NewFronts. It is a preview of topics to be explored at IAB’s NewFronts, which begin on April 30. This series is presented by Meredith Corporation. For the full version of videos from the series, please visit this page.


MediaCom’s Badigian On Studio71’s Content Vetting, Downloads From Hulu

YouTube certainly has reach, but its content doesn’t always lend itself to precise brand alignment. That’s where smaller digital players like Studio71 can differentiate themselves, according to MediaCom’s Renee Badigian.

In this interview with Beet.TV at the Digital Content NewFronts 2018, Badigian, who is Account Lead at the GroupM media agency, talks about why consumers are more sensitive than ever to brand alignment with content and the utility of downloadable video content from Hulu. And she predicts a heyday for audio.

“I think Studio71 actually had a really interesting approach” consisting of computer-driven text and image screening plus a third variable that’s not always found, says Badigian. “They actually have a human element, which I thought was really interesting because not all publishers or content creators are doing that. And it allows them to really understand what’s the difference between maybe a child holding a water gun versus an actual weapon.”

While she doesn’t think there’s a “solve” yet for the overarching issue of brand safety in digital environments, “It’s a very sensitive area and I think it’s one that we’re going to have to be more careful about as advertisers and people as consumers are going to be looking for.”

Asked about tactics for brand alignment, Badigian says a client might be getting “great reach” out of YouTube but not all of the content the client is aligning with on the platform might not be relevant enough to the actual brand or product. “I think that’s where a lot of these smaller publishers or content creators are really important for us because their content might be more customizable to our brand,” she says.

“Studio71 has a lot of different content integration opportunities where you can more tightly weave your brand into that platform. They really do have a ton of very loyal followers.”

In this interview, Studio71 Media Sales EVP Matt Crowley explains the company’s vetting process.

Badigian says Hulu’s NewFronts announcement about viewers being able to download content, including programming containing ads, is a nod to the reality that people don’t always consume video in the same way.

“Sometimes we’re in our homes, sometimes we’re in a train, sometimes we’re in a plane. So downloadable content’s important because we’re not always online even though we probably always want to be online.”

More details can be found in this interview with Hulu’s Peter Naylor.

Badigian was surprised she didn’t hear much about audio content at the NewFronts, given the ascendance of podcasts and similar formats. “I think video had its heyday. I think audio is about to have one.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Digital Content NewFronts 2018. The series a co-presentation of Beet.TV and the IAB. Please see additional videos from the series on this page.

A healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not grow | Kate Raworth
What would a sustainable, universally beneficial economy look like? "Like a doughnut," says Oxford economist Kate Raworth. In a stellar, eye-opening talk, she explains how we can move countries out of the hole -- where people are falling short on life's essentials -- and create regenerative, distributive economies that work within the planet's ecological limits.

Transfer Your Existing Domain to WordPress.com

Giving your WordPress.com website its own custom domain has long been a powerful way to make your site stand out — a personalized web address helps you tell the world who you are and what you offer. If you registered your domain on WordPress.com, you already had the power to build a website and manage a domain all in one place. But what if you didn’t? The one missing piece was the ability to transfer existing domains you’d already registered elsewhere.

Today, we’re happy to announce that domain transfers from other providers are welcome at WordPress.com. If you’re already itching to move your domain, our support page will guide you through the process.

If you’re not ready to transfer your domain to WordPress.com, no worries. You can still leave your domain registered at your current registrar and map it here instead. Not sure which option is better for you? There are several advantages to moving your domain to WordPress.com:

  • It’s easier to manage both your site and your domain from the same place.
  • The domain credit that comes with any WordPress.com plan you buy can be used to transfer a domain. When your plan renews, so does your domain.
  • Instead of paying a registrar for your domain and paying us to map it, a single charge covers both.

If you’ve already used the domain credit to map your domain, we have good news: you can transfer that domain to WordPress.com for free!

Not sure whether you should transfer your domain here or map it? You can find more information to help you choose the best option for you.

If you’ve already transferred your domain to WordPress.com and want to share your experience, or have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.


IAB’s Bager Reflects On NewFronts New York, Looks Ahead Hollywood Debut

Sometimes with digital video, shorter is the best way to engage with viewers. With its just-completed Digital Content NewFronts 2018, the IAB “went back to its roots for a week” and had one of its best years yet, says Anna Bager, EVP, Industry Initiatives.

“Great presentations, the right amount of great content, sales, customer engagement. I really thought it was extraordinary,” Bager says in this interview with Beet.TV.

For the first time, the IAB will hold a second NewFronts event this year. Titled the Digital Content NewFronts West, it’s scheduled for Oct. 9 and 10 at NeueHouse in West Hollywood, a central location for all media presentations.

Of the New York event, Bager talks about common themes that were unique to 2018. “I think there was a clear tendency to talk about diversity, diverse content,” she says.

In her NewFronts speech, Bager told the audience that for brands these days, “It’s about creating movements, not just moments. And with digital video, you can really, truly do that. The platform is so impactful.”

Other highlights for Bager were themed events like Meredith Corporation’s Help Puerto Rico effort and Hulu’s Huluween programming, along with Hulu’s ability to dynamically insert ads into its live television service, as ADWEEK reports.

“You can kind of see that the industry through the lens of the NewFront is growing up and knows what it’s doing and really starting to think about the audience that’s out there,” says Bager.

In West Hollywood, the focus will be on branded and sponsored content and how brands and media companies can work together to “capture those moments that mean something to individuals that can help brands build more direct connections with their audience. So we’re really excited about that event.”

This video is part of Beet.TV’s coverage of the Digital Content NewFronts 2018. The series a co-presentation of Beet.TV and the IAB. Please see additional videos from the series on this page.

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