Ben Young
Ben Young
March 8, 2019

One big thing
Will everything online move to a pure pay for performance model? It strikes me that as retargeting has taken a hit on publisher revenues it’s been buoyed by affiliate content drives. This precision reduces the take but will keep focus on what actually works.

Notable stories this week

  • Mark Zuckerberg penned quite the long piece on privacy. It is worth reading, to get it straight from the source.
  • ^ Unrelated but at the bottom, change comments from the default ‘most relevant’ to ‘new’ to get a sneak peek at the challenges they have in moderation.
  • Lexus produced a 60,000 hour film (how do you even edit that?!) the shortened 54 hour version will be launched on Prime Video. Worth noting that Prime is increasingly becoming an OTT outlet for branded content.
  • This take on Luminary (the $100m funded podcast subscription company) is a good dive in to the state of podcasts.
  • BuzzFeed did a print edition this week, Adweek did a write up and our own Ari Levine did a walk through. I think this makes a good insert, in maybe the NYTimes? Just throwing it out there.
  • Instagram has a new format for branded content, this move will streamline the efforts to promote and amplify branded content.
  • Mic opens two roles in branded content – the first post since the Bustle acquisition.
  • BuzzFeed pushes its commerce + content offering. “Everyone is getting into the commerce game — it’s a wise thing and it’s something we are definitely watching,” Boulos said. “Anything that’s going to shorten a consumer’s pathway to purchase is going to be interesting for any marketer, right?”
  • ^ The content + commerce movement highlights that all content does (and should have) calls to action. Upper funnel content is mid and lower funnel with a simple call to action for audiences which choose to take it.
  • AT&T plans to revamp CNN’s digital arm – investing in content and data. In tandem saying to Xandr, no more M&A for now.
  • [Long read] Big media isn’t ready to fight back. Really good from Matthew Ball former head of Amazon Studios. Via Axios: Big Media vs Netflix.
  • In celebration of International women’s day 2019 The Native Advertising Institute have created a global list of 100 significant women in native advertising.


  • Comcast looks to acquire ad tech to keep up with AT&T.
  • Taboola acquired lock screen company Start Magazine.
  • Following last weeks note on consolidation, Sizmek could be forced into sale after 2018 revenue miss.
  • FT acquires a majority stake in The Next Web.

Campaign of the week

The Yacht Week on The Tab

Smartest commentary

  • “Thanks to continued technical innovation, easily traded programmatically, with video and display capabilities, the future is strong for native ads in general. Native advertising will be the number one digital advertising format of the 2020s.”Julian Verdier, CEO, AdYouLike

Datapoints of note

  • Facebook lost roughly 15 million users since 2017 and saw a drop in usage among people age 12-34 from 79 percent in 2017 to 67 percent in 2018 to 62 percent in 2019.
  • AdYouLike predicts native advertising will exceed $402b by 2025.
  • Less than 10% of US marketers think their attribution is excellent.
  • Bidtellect reported that Mobile advertising engagement continues to increase; in Q4 2018, Mobile CTR was 150% higher than Desktop and 19.2% higher than Tablet.




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