Tag Archives: verizon

Next to Now for August 11


Highlights of the week: New announcements from Hulu, Instagram, and Nielsen released in the high heat of summer—with changes coming to the competitive landscape of  video, social, and email marketing that are so vital to book advertising.



With this announcement that Time Warner has taken a 10% stake in Hulu, the major cable player takes a stake in the platform that’s a redoubt for cord-cutters everywhere. It’s a smart move by Time Warner, and provides more cash for Hulu to invest in areas that are ripe for expansion including live events and new content.

#hulu #streaming #timewarner



This article in USA Today reveals that Nielsen is now adding Facebook to its social ranking of TV shows. While Twitter remains a major player as a second screen to TV, any mention of social has to include Facebook. This shift makes the Nielsen social rankings much more relevant.

#social #tv



ClickZ has a good article on how the combination of AOL and Yahoo’s email data is a boon to marketers:

“Scale in users is great. That’s more eyeballs for ads served via AOL technology on the plethora of media properties the combined companies own.

“Scale and depth of data are even better. Verizon will have ownership of consumer data not only on phones and mobile devices; it will be able to pair that with consumer behavioral data from the media sites that AOL and Yahoo own.”

There are dangers with any merger that a confused transition can alienate customers, but Verizon’s acquisition of AOL has proceeded relatively smoothly. So this will certainly be a merger to watch for email marketers everywhere.

#email #verizon #aol #yahoo



According to this insightful article from The Next Web, Instagram’s “Stories” spells trouble for Snapchat: Instagram’s bigger, better monetized, and easier to use for both consumers and advertisers. That said, there is something to Snapchat’s difficulty from a teenager’s point of view, precisely because  parents can’t figure it out. As long as the Generation Z can claim Snapchat for their own, they’re unlikely to give it up.

#instagram #snapchat



User tracking is a major part of any marketing toolkit. As tracking has gone beyond desktop cookies to reach user log ins via Google, Facebook, and email, it has become easier to track users with a greater degree of confidence in the data. Digiday has a useful primer on the state of the art of user tracking across devices.




Email marketing platform Return Path reports that fewer emails are making into consumers’ inboxes:

“In the second quarter, the average inbox placement rate was 79% in the second quarter, down from 81% in the same quarter a year ago and 82% in the third quarter of 2015.”

As email marketing grows in prominence, this is to be expected. It’s worth noting that Verso email marketing partner LiveIntent only  counts emails that are actively opened and downloaded–making a LiveIntent buy the surest way to reach consumers by email.

#email #liveintent


Next to Now for August 4

The tomatoes are plentiful and perfectly ripe at the Union Square Greenmarket and the Olympics are set to start in Rio. It’s peak summertime and a terrific moment to think about great books, passionate readers, and finding new ways to connect them.


A recent Atlantic article on book readers looks at recent Pew data and finds both good news and bad: The bad news is that the number of American who opened a book last year (any book: paper, e-book, audio) declined . . . again. The good news is that the number of kids who read for pleasure has stopped declining and more American than ever are going to college. Book buyers correlation to education is very strong. It’s interesting to note that while education strongly correlates to numbers of books read, HHI above $50k a year is in the same ballpark for books read as HHI above $75k/year.

#readers #data #demos #HHI #education



In this New York Times article on Verizon’s purchase of Yahoo, Tim Armstrong, head of Verizon’s AOL unit, points out that the long-term advertising landscape does not have to be entirely owned by Google and Facebook. The article is a good overview of why Verizon’s been on a buying spree recently, and how their purchases line up with their efforts to become a viable third option for advertisers.  It’s also good on the potential conflicts of interest and privacy concerns that could have the FCC putting breaks on any effort to combine mobile, Web, and broadband user tracking. Watch this space.

#verizon #advertising #data



The United States Olympic Committee has put non-sponsors on notice that only approved USOC sponsors can use the “official” hashtags #Rio2016 and #TeamUSA. This is patently ridiculous and shows how the old “lock-it-down” marketing mentality is persisting even in new open social channels. If you want to participate in crowd-sourcing your message and communicating on open social channels brands (including the USOC) have to relax their commitment to “owning” 100% of the conversation. There’s no other way to have a conversation unless you want to take the world back to the U.S.S.R.  If you want to own the message, that’s perfectly understandable, but then you have to restrict your participation to the kind of marketing channels that let you have a one-way conversation with your audience. The Olympics are theoretically an event that’s about global openness and free competition. To try to reshape your message of the event with old-fashioned legal bullying is anti-Olympic, anti-American, and bad marketing.

#soapbox #olympics #social  #Rio2016 #TeamUSA



The IAB has released a study that shows how advertisers can win back the 26% of users who have turned on ad blocking. Not only are these users open to turning off ad blockers, the path to encouraging them to do so is simple to follow:

“Respondents who use ad blockers stated that the adoption of the LEAN principles (Light, Encrypted, AdChoice supported, and Non-invasive ads), which address a number of the tactics outlined above, would have the greatest influence in getting them to turn off ad blockers. For instance, results showed that men ages 18-34, who are the main ad blocking demographic on desktops, are also the group most inclined to turn off blocking if sites adhere to LEAN.”

Here’s Digiday’s detailed and helpful report on the study. The message is clear for advertisers: deliver ads that are contextually relevant, respectful of users, and fully transparent. These are principles Verso has believed in from the founding of our agency, and they remain best practices for advertising now.

#adblocking #iab



Instagram is feeling the heat from Snapchat. To combat the rising new social platform, Instagram has just introduced “Disappearing Stories” Now you can post an image to Instagram that will disappear after twenty-four hours, a direct crib from their competitor Snapchat. eMarketer has an article about the new program:

“’The temporary nature of Stories—on Snapchat and now Instagram—is just part of their appeal,’ said eMarketer senior analyst Cathy Boyle. ‘The way the short video clips and images are strung together chronologically over the course of a day allows users to step into the lives of their friends, a few seconds at a time. The visual and near-real-time nature of Stories makes it a compelling way for friends to connect, not to mention another way for advertisers to engage mobile users.’”

#snapchat #instagram


Tomatoes at the Union Square Greenmarket photo 2016 (c) Martha Otis