Streaming Service Frenemies; Display Ads Not Going Anywhere

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TV’s Royal Rumble

When streaming services like Netflix and Hulu took off, they were just the dumb pipes for broadcasters (a nice recurring revenue stream beyond TV syndication). But digital players are fueling a huge increase in scripted programming – nearly doubling since 2009 – which is ratcheting up the competition, according to a WSJ report from Joe Flint. But it’s the quality, not quantity, that hurts in the end. Netflix, HBO and AMC have seen that if they produce the top-rated shows, their leverage over traditional broadcasters jumps by multiples, and paid media will follow.

Can’t Shake It

Digital media companies would love to imitate BuzzFeed and make their money through sponsored content. But try as they might, display remains the meat-and-potatoes revenue stream. Mic CEO Chris Altchek said in late 2014 that his site would quit display ads, but in fact Mic has expanded its display offerings. Mashable CRO Seth Rogin tells Ad Age’s Jeremy Barr that “[d]isplay advertising works, and we know that because advertisers who buy with us are voting with their dollars and coming back time and time again.” More.

Pinterest’s Wish List

Pinterest will use email alerts to notify users of price changes for products they’ve saved on its platform. Blog post. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have struggled as shopping platforms, but that’s Pinterest’s unique forte. Pinterest’s ecommerce rival isn’t social media, it’s email retargeters. This is why the company can turn its back on whole advertising categories – when it starts really making cash, it’ll come in the form of DR sales.

Mobile Turf Wars

Lyft recently teamed up with some of Asia’s most powerful mobile and transportation players (such as the ride-hailer Didi, which is owned in part by WeChat), in a deal that was more about boxing out Uber than elevating their own products. And Uber is responding in kind, with a Facebook partnership announced Wednesday that gives Uber prime real estate on Facebook’s Messenger chat app. Facebook, which is banned in China, is tacking closely in WeChat’s wake. “The question is which ones of these will be core,” Gartner analyst Eric Blau tells The New York Times. “We are still in relatively early days for messaging platforms.” More.

But Wait, There’s More!

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