THINK: The Four Ideas That Matter in Digital Media This Week
Your 60-second read for 10/4: TV ads are...decreasing?; Why Facebook is winning; I heart AI and Westworld; plus more. This is what matters this week in digital media.
1/Some broadcasters are airing fewer (!) commercials.
You aren’t dreaming. Maybe broadcasters have realized that if they don’t change something with their bursting, too-frequent ad pods, they are going to lose viewers permanently, who are already leaving linear TV because of oh-so many new choices for viewing - even Snapchat. So Saturday Night Live actually aired 30% fewer commercials during its season premiere this past weekend. It is the era of cord cutting after all, with another 800,000 viewers projected to cut the cord in 2017. Turner is doing the same thing. Will it work to stem the tide, or is cord cutting the beast that cannot be stopped? More from WSJ.
2/Facebook’s big stick.
Except for that average video view reporting kerfuffle last week, it seems Facebook is very, very good at whatever it does. With new products, even when they aren’t first, they quickly dominate. Think video vs. YouTube. Think live streaming vs. Meerkat (farewell Meerkat, who died this week). And now, Facebook is launching Marketplaces, taking on Craigslist and eBay for buying and selling merchandise. Its secret sauce: its 1.7 billion users, a vast, entrenched audience addicted to the service and unlikely to leave anytime soon. Any new product Facebook thinks of, they can seamlessly integrate and pitch to hundreds of millions. Facebook knows what it’s doing. More from TechCrunch.
3/Is Westworld in our future?
There’s a quote I attribute to Jeff Bezos (at least in my head) that goes something like: it’s more about the businesses we don’t know we’ll be in ten years from now vs. the ones we do. And so it goes with voice recognition software. Hello Siri, Cortana, Alexa and Google Assistant (part of Google’s new Pixel phones). Feeling affection for a device made of metal and glass comes surprisingly easy, and I think voice recognition software has us on the road to um, real artificial intelligence, with countless capital implications. Even if a Westworld android theme park sounds like a farfetched business venture, who could have predicted that a 1995 bookseller named Amazon would be dabbling in AI, and making billions off of web services, twenty years later? The future ain’t what it used to be.
4/Social media is simply, media.
Just ask Twitter, who would like you (and Wall Street) to think of them as a news company. Or Snapchat - I mean Snap Inc. - who is now a camera company. And Facebook, which is many things to many of us across Instagram, Whatsapp and more. I think the term “social network” has become outdated; social networks have just become part of our lives, like electricity, TV and wifi. Same with marketing - social media is marketing, too. The phrase “social media” has its humble beginnings in MySpace and Kim Kardashian, but it is very serious business now, permanently changing industries. And like everything else, it all comes back to Facebook’s 1.7 billion users, which makes it the largest publishing and marketing platform in the history of the world. More from Adweek.
Todd is the head of marketing at CakeWorks Video and the head of digital strategy at Hastings Digital Studios. Sign up for CakeWorks’ Worth Reading Video News, the once-a-week must read video newsletter!