Verizon Is Days Away From Closing On Its Yahoo Purchase; Alibaba Gets Big Returns From Advertising

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There Can Be Only One (Portal)

Yahoo’s shareholders approved its sale to Verizon for $4.48 billion on Thursday, clearing the way for the deal to close on June 13. More. No surprise: Jobs will be lost in the process. Oath, the combined AOL-Yahoo entity under parent Verizon, will cut between 1,000 and 2,100 jobs, according to reports in Recode and TechCrunch. The downsizing follows a pattern. AOL undertook similar layoffs in the wake of its huge ad rep deal with Microsoft.

The Bull In China’s Shop

Alibaba’s earnings report on Thursday showed about 60% of its total revenue came from its Alimama advertising platform. That’s a big difference from Amazon, for whom ad revenue is gravy. However, there’s even more upside for Alibaba’s ad biz. “The pricing of online ad space in China has long lagged behind what it can cost in more developed markets,” writes The New York Times. “Alibaba’s high revenue growth target shows that gap may be starting to close, which is good news for a company that is in essence an advertising company.” More.

Facebook’s Plea For Complexity

In a blog post about video ads, Facebook published some new data showing how users behave while watching TV. While the results are not shocking (app use spikes during commercial breaks), the charts are still worth a look. Mark Rabkin, Facebook’s VP for core ads, writes, “Because people can watch virtually anything at any time, they’re only going to watch ads that grab their attention, reward their time, and are immediately relevant. As a consequence, even though aggregate ad view time is up, individual session times are down. People aren’t watching ads for as long as they used to, on any medium.” He then segues into a sly dig against the MRC’s viewability standard. “Be careful of false equivalences.” Tell it to Pritchard, buddy.

The New TV Titans

There’s a ripe opportunity for digital media to reach young consumers through TV watched on smartphones. Snap is seeing success with 14 short-form original series that air daily on Discover from legacy networks like A+E and NBCUniversal. It’s a win for both parties, as Snap rakes in TV-like engagement while networks reach younger audiences, Digiday reports. BuzzFeed sees TV as an opportunity too. Two $200 million investments from NBCUniversal help pay the bills, and the pub’s Hollywood studio produces 600 pieces of content per day. “You’re going to have shows emerge from the primordial soup of viral content that BuzzFeed is doing,” CEO Jonah Peretti told Bloomberg. “And all of the things you used to think, ‘That’s only a TV thing,’ you’re going to see on the internet. And that’s where we’ll be strong.”

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