Twitter’s Next Release; Amazon’s Big Bet


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Amazon’s Big Game

The commerce brand that transformed retail without much advertising at all has embraced a decidedly old-school ad format: the 30-second Super Bowl spot. Amazon spent about $5 million to drive awareness of Echo, its voice-controlled personal assistant, in a placement expected to be seen live by more than 100 million people. That’s a helluva contextual buy. Watch it at

Verizon’s Horizon

Verizon is keeping the Yahoo dream alive. The telco’s CEO, Lowell McAdam, said on CNBC that “[w]e have to understand the trends. But then at the right price, I think marrying up some of (Yahoo’s) assets with AOL … would be good.” While numerous global wireless companies have now staked a claim in ad technology (Telenor, Singtel), and others are waiting in the wings, Verizon is the only one to make a big bet on media ownership.

Feed Me, Seymour

Twitter is poised to introduce an algorithmic feed, pivoting from the chronological format the social media network is known for. Alex Kantrowitz of BuzzFeed reports that Twitter set the product rollout for this week, though to quell the inevitable backlash CEO Jack Dorsey posts that the algorithmic update will be neither this week nor mandatory (meaning you can opt back to the live feed). As Facebook has shown, an algorithmic feed improves engagement (and hence monetization) by demoting lower lower-quality content and increasing time spent. More.

Outside The Box

What smartphones did for the mobile phone industry (and the way people communicate in general) is about to happen for linear TV. The Washington Post takes a deep dive into this tempestuous moment in TV, as the FCC, legacy cable companies and digital streamers all stake out new positions centered around connected television and the set-top box. Some want TV to be the hub for the new connected home, others want more consumer options for viewing (such as apps or personalized channels) and the FCC seems ready to hold TV access providers to account. More.

But Wait, There’s More!

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