LinkedIn's Revenue Surges; Comcast's Peacock Hopes To

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LinkedIn is growing like gangbusters. The Microsoft-owned job platform saw “record levels of engagement” this quarter, CEO Satya Nadella told investors during the company’s earnings call this week. Read the transcript. Microsoft reported a 25% YoY revenue increase for LinkedIn, but didn’t share specific revenue numbers. Nested within that uptick is Marketing Solutions, a subset of LinkedIn’s business that includes advertising, lead generation, sponsored content and sponsored InMail. “Marketing Solutions remains our fastest-growing segment, up 44% year over year, as marketers leverage our community-based tools to connect with LinkedIn’s nearly 600 million members,” Nadella said.

Peacockin’

Comcast is betting that its ad-supported streaming app, Peacock, will pick up customers faster than SVOD services. “I think we’re going to get to cruising altitude much more quickly than a subscription service,” CEO Stephen Burke told investors during a quarterly earnings report on Thursday. But he declined to share details about marketing spend until one to two months before launch for “competitive reasons.” He highlighted content, such as “The Office” and the Olympics, that will be streamed through Peacock. More at Forbes. Related: Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told a Vanity Fair summit this week that shows like “The Office” and “Friends,” which are both being pulled from Netflix, remained so popular because they were carried by Netflix, not syndicated on TV. Indeed, the value of syndication is dropping day by day. Sky, now owned by Comcast, lost 99,000 customers post-“Game of Thrones,” and Comcast as a whole lost 238,000 cable subscribers during the quarter.

Spoilt For Choice

Google made some concessions to other search engine providers to mollify EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, who was recently promoted and given broader powers over the region’s cybersecurity, digital taxation and data policies. Google is making it easier (and cheaper) for other search engines to appear on a “choice screen” that all Android users will see when they set up a phone. There will be four choices – Google plus three others based on popularity in the country, with an option to pay for placement. The new choice screens will go live in March 2020, though they’ll only apply to new phones, not existing users, The Wall Street Journal reports. Still, when Google gave Android customers in Russia a similar choice in 2017, the Russian search engine Yandex said its share of mobile searches in the market increased by 10%. DuckDuckGo, a search engine that positions itself as a privacy-focused alternative, said it’s seen similar response rates in surveys of how European Android users would respond to the choice screen. More.

Insta Fake

Facebook’s election interference issues stem beyond its core app. Instagram is relying on its parent company to root out misinformation during the 2020 elections. “We are just as big a target as Facebook if not a larger target,” Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said at an event in New York on Thursday. While more people at the company are dedicated to issues on Facebook’s core app, Instagram is increasingly leaning on Facebook’s resources to solve issues unique to its app as the platforms have become more tightly integrated over the past few years, Bloomberg reports. While Facebook is prone to misinformation campaigns, Instagram is rife with memes and communities that sprout up around hashtags. Users were more engaged with fake Instagram content in the lead-up to the 2016 election than they were with Facebook, according to a 2018 report by New Knowledge for the Senate Intelligence Committee. “This isn’t a problem that ends,” Mosseri said. More.

Up Against The Wall

The new crop of digital media startups are less focused on the church-and-state divide between editorial and revenue than their predecessors. “In fact, I think you could flip it,” said Merrill Stubbs, co-founder and president of Food52, a hybrid recipe site and kitchenware shop valued at more than $100 million. “A big reason that we wanted to create this brand, this comprehensive 360-degree resource for people, was because we started to feel that the wall was weird,” she told Business of Home. Digital media companies are eyeing Food52 closely because it’s done the best so far in evolving from recommendation articles and affiliate links to owning a marketplace and successful product lines. More in Business Of Home.

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