Signal, December 9: Automation Nation

This week in last week’s most interesting links: AOL’s automated creativity, anthropological thinking, ad supported phones, brand newsroom challenges, DRM removal = more sales, Mediadata startups, Amazon aims at Apple, Cyber Monday records, Apple + Topsy for search dominance, 2014 global dollars in media and entertainment, Native ads, barbells and Viacom staff merging, Ad Tech extrapolated, Adblock extortion? Twitter’s tailored audiences, Facebook’s strong arm and the FTC weighs in on native. Onward!

AOL Networks’ Bob Lord: In 2014, Marketers Will Fall In Love With Automation | AdAge AOL Networks CEO Bob Lord says that automation through programmatic is key for 2014 — and that automation allows marketers to be more efficient in more creative content expressions.

To Understand Consumer Data, Think Like an Anthropologist | Harvard Business Review Deriving meaning from all that quantitative data requires a change in thinking — here, using an anthroplogical approach to performance is recommended. “…Social-listening data is inherently qualitative. That means learning to appreciate the value of the stray remark and synthesizing bits of information into a higher-order sense of what’s going on.”

Why We’ll See The First Ad-Supported Phone In 2014 | AdExchanger Russell Glass from Bizo makes a case for ex-Facebookers or ex-Googlers going down the funded free phone funnel. With the average person seeing their lockscreen 110 times a day, those impressions could be put to good use.

The myth of the brand newsroom | The Guardian Although it is turned around much faster than it used to, real-time marketing isn’t there yet. To act like a brand newsroom, companies need to plan for three significant investments. They need flexible and anticipatory planning, relevance and permission and to plan for technological advances.

What Piracy? Removing DRM Boosts Music Sales by 10 Percent | Torrent Freak A new study comparing album sales of four major labels before and after the removal of DRM has been released. It finds (no big surprise) that digital music revenue increases by 10% when restrictions are lifted.

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The American Express Open Forum continues to engage small business owners for six years running. This time, with a forum connecting small business owners — to succeed together.


Here Come The Mediata Startups | LinkedIn Mediata companies — that pair up data and presentation — look to present data through a lens that is “hybrid, curated, lean, API-hungry, open and multi-faceted, built at the intersection of design and user-experience.” Building revenue and speed to market both enable this growth.

Amazon Kindle Fire commercial mocks the iPad Air with a Jony Ive parody | The Verge Matching Microsoft’s Apple potshots, Amazon’s Kindle Fire commercial takes on the iPad in a “startling” point by point comparison.

Cyber Monday Sales Surge to Record $2.29 Billion | USA Today So far, it seems Cyber Monday was a record breaker, IBM’s Digital Analytics Benchmark, put the sales increase at nearly 21% compared to last year.

Apple+Topsy: It’s Not About Twitter (And Twitter Is Probably Cool With That) | Battelle Media “Apple most likely bought Topsy because Topsy has the infrastructure to address one of Apple’s biggest problems: the iOS interface. Let’s face it, iOS (and the app-based interface in general) is slowly becoming awful. It’s like the web before good search showed up. To move to the next level, Apple needs a way to improve how its customers interact with iOS. Topsy will help them get there.”

Media Execs Bullish on Deals in 2014, Survey Says | Hollywood Reporter There’s more money loosening up globally in light of positive spending sentiment. Some of the industry’s biggest executives predict more investment in media and entertainment. Great news for all.

Report: ‘Native’ Ads to Drive Digital Media Growth | NYPost The IAB released a white paper looking at different forms of native marketing investment — and finding significant growth in paid search, advertising and recommendations — namely, content.

Putting Some Weight On Your “Barbell” Strategy | AdExchanger Steve Goldberg, senior adviser at EmpiricalMedia writes that simply, “Programmatic is bought, not sold.” For premium publishers, this is not business as usual and can lead to unconventional solutions.

Viacom Merges Ad Staff to Sell Across Platforms | Broadcasting Cable Merging television, digital and mobile ad sales teams, Viacom has made a big shift at its music and entertainment networks. Jeff Lucas, Head of Sales for Music and Entertaiment says, “For a client-centric organization like ours, a convergent structure will keep us on the leading edge of marketing innovation.”

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Rachel and the family behind FM site Handmade Charlotte creates a thrilling video for Subaru featuring a two-in-one adventure.


Can Ad Tech Really Change the World? | Digiday  From real-time pricing used to help large retailers maximize inventory, to the way doctors treat hospital patients, to better traffic management to the environment, the way real time auctions work could have a huge impact.

Is it ethical to block adverts online? | BBC Technology A look at AdBlock’s practices consider whether their whitelist is extortion or smart business.

Twitter opens up ‘tailored audiences’ so brands can target their Promoted Tweets using browser cookies | The Next Web After experimenting, it’s ready for action. Businesses will supply browser cookies to Twitter — and then Twitter will match that information to corresponding Twitter users for a Promoted Tweet, making sure that promoted tweets are seen by users who have visited a brand’s web site.

Facebook Admits Organic Reach Is Falling Short, Urges Marketers to Buy Ads | AdAge Forcing the hand of many marketers, Facebook states: “We expect organic distribution of an individual page’s posts to gradually decline over time as we continually work to make sure people have a meaningful experience on the site.” Marketers will soon see the organic reach of their posts reduce significantly.

U.S. says online ads should be clearly marked, undeceptive | Reuters FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez says, “By presenting ads that resemble editorial content, an advertiser risks implying, deceptively, that the information comes from a non-biased source.”