Ben Young
Ben Young
February 22, 2019

This week is a full on edition, so buckle in as it’s full of gems, from datapoints on Amazon, DrainerBot, to Apple acquiring a digital marketing firm. ?

Notable stories this week

  • This News Corp Australia story is interesting, the Outbrain vs Taboola showdown. Ultimately Taboola won this round. This is a battle which goes on every month.
  • Hulu’s latest influencer marketing campaign should give you second thoughts about using one. Great read.
  • Medium is launching four of its own subscription publications. Having a second crack at building magazines on the platform.
  • [Long read] DTC brands are shunning digital for TV and real-world events.
  • Outstream video ads playing out of view leading to strife with advertisers. Why buy them then?
  • Bing has started integrating in to the Microsoft suite, i.e. showing results if you search from Word. These types of opportunities are additive to the ecosystem so I’m a big fan. Bid accordingly of course.
  • TikTok testing sponsored video ads.
  • Verizon Media builds out new native ad options to allow gaming, carousels and shopping.
  • NYTimes pauses its Snapchat activity.
  • Via Ari Paparo, the slowest ad scripts on the web.
  • Moat uncovers DrainerBot, another android bot network.
  • NBA and SAP partner on a long form tv show.
  • Media Ecosystem: It only works if everybody wins. This is a good read.
  • More on how 5G (arriving in 2020) will open up new opportunities for marketers. The key thing is speed and response time.
  • Did Burger King’s Super Bowl Ad actually work? CMO shares some insights into the planning, very robust. I liked pairing search, knowing that people would Google.
  • Here’s why we’re entering the golden age of podcasts.
  • Apple seeds update to ITP to patch some of the workarounds that have been developed.


  • Apple acquires UK based digital marketing startup. Very very curious. A focus on customer journeys. And they also picked up Pullstring, a startup that enables the design and publishing of voice apps.

Campaign of the week

Microsoft on The Hollywood Reporter, The Award Predictor

Smartest commentary

  • “Why is consistency so important in branded content? First of all, if you’re seeing inconsistent messaging, from a recall perspective it becomes really challenging. If you’re a consumer it’s just hard to follow and because of that friction you’re going to have less impact.”Grant Munro, Shutterstock Custom
  • ^ Often forgotten in a world where content lives in multiple places at once.

Datapoints of note

  • Payments to Medium contributors was up 168% in 6 months. 8% of participants earned over $100 in January. Homepage featured stories often earn up to $500.
  • CPVs in Buffer’s study of vertical vs square video were 68% lower with vertical video.
  • [A Verizon Media Study] Most people accepted advertising as a form of content, and with 79% of respondents agreeing that they would prefer to see ads blending in with the page.
  • 500 scripted original shows were developed in 2018. Up from 266 in 2011.
  • This year digital revenue is set to surpass all other media, last year it surpassed tv.
  • In 2018 an average of 575 podcasts were started every day.
  • 60m people listen to podcasts a few times a week, or 91m listen at least once a week.
  • How is Amazon faring against Google and Facebook? 54% said ROAS was better, 38% said CPMs were better and 44% said attribution was better. That’s a killer combo.


That’s it for this week, happy Friday!


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