The United States Digital Service Faces Uncertainty; Snapchat Partners With Oracle Data Cloud

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Politicizing Innovation

President Obama’s United States Digital Service (USDS) is, like many others, uncertain about what a Donald Trump presidency might mean for its organization. While Obama nurtured USDS and acutely understood the importance of technology and innovation, Trump hasn’t made it clear whether he’ll continue to support USDS with government money. In interviews with Backchannel, USDS members expressed “an existential dread that Donald Trump would either pull the plug on one of the great achievements of the last eight years,” or “order the best and brightest to work on projects that violated their moral codes.” Read it.

Snapping Up Data

Do snaps drive sales? Snapchat’s looking to find out and is following in Facebook’s footsteps. A partnership with Oracle Data Cloud will let marketers match and target audiences based on loyalty or credit card data. The Wall Street Journal’s Mike Shields points out that this marks the first time Snapchat has greenlighted targeting based on third-party data, and builds on its debut of an audience match program last fall. More.

The Publisher Agency

Publishers are pushing further into consultative selling. Bustle, a site geared to millennial women, launched a research arm called Bustle Trends Group to produce white papers and custom projects for brands. Bustle CRO Jason Wagenheim acknowledged that the goal is to sell more ads, but the Trends Group will operate like a research firm disconnected from ad sales. This model seems to pit publishers against legacy research companies, but that’s not really an issue, according to Atlantic Media Strategies, The Atlantic’s consulting arm. “We’re what someone might consider a consulting firm and an agency,” said President Jean Ellen Cowgill. Digiday has more.

Slow Boat To Streaming Audience

AT&T’s streaming service, DirecTV Now, peaks at around 35,000 simultaneous viewers, according to Frost & Sullivan analyst Dan Rayburn. Rayburn confirmed the number with AT&T’s third-party video suppliers, and some back of the napkin math pegs DirecTV Now subscribers at around 100,000 overall (including those who are just testing the service). Technical and service issues may have added friction to AT&T’s growth plans. Read Rayburn’s blog post.

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