Facebook, Your Move; Spotify Lays Off In Ad Sales

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Disinformation Wars

Facebook is under new pressure to secure its ad platform against electoral shenanigans, following Google’s move to restrict targeting options in political ads and Twitter’s outright ban on such ads in October. One option on the table is to prevent advertisers from targeting very small groups, reports The Wall Street Journal. Specifically Facebook has considered increasing the minimum reach of a political ad buy from 100 to a few thousand, “in an effort to spurn the spread of misinformation.” Apparently deliberately false ad campaigns are often aimed at smaller groups, according to one source, perhaps in a bid to fly under the radar. Read on. Google’s policy solution – impacting search, YouTube and display – is more elegant. It restricted political ad targeting to three factors: age, gender and postal code. Read the blog post.


Spotify laid off 30 ad sales staffers Thursday after the company missed internal revenue goals during a rocky transition off of Google Sales Manager. It’s unclear if the layoffs were directly related to the transition, and Spotify said it eliminated some of the positions as it moves into new areas, according to Business Insider sources. But the switch off of Google Sales Manager caused the company to take a $10 million revenue hit in Q3 and led to a programmatic sales dip of 50%, demonstrating the perils of breaking up with Google. More

Sporting Chance

Hybrid publisher and ad tech company Minute Media is acquiring The Players’ Tribune, a sports news site known for stories written by athletes. It’s a natural pairing, since The Players’ Tribune brings serious sponsorships and content marketing muscle (star athletes such as Russell Wilson, Kevin Durant and Derek Jeter, who’s joining Minute Media’s board, have been involved with the site). But that star power doesn’t guarantee traffic, and Minute Media brings a traffic hose in the form of SEO services and cross-promotion with its other sports properties. Both Minute Media and The Players’ Tribune are among the many new media companies trying to wean themselves from a reliance on ad revenue. Press release.

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