Audiences Flock To Social Video; MEC Poaches Amanda Richman

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Cord And Discord

Millennials may abandon old-school TV, but there’s a healthy appetite for social video beyond 90-second clips and recipe run-throughs. In its first month, NBC’s “Stay Tuned,” a twice-daily news program on Snapchat, has been seen by 29 million people and passed 1 million subscribers, a source tells Axios. Meanwhile BuzzFeed has laid claim to a broadcast-sized tune-in audience. “Early on, we were building a business around ‘non-intentional’ videos, or videos that people were not necessarily seeking out,” BuzzFeed’s Matthew Henick tells Mike Shields at Business Insider. “But all of a sudden, over the past six to nine months … people are setting aside time for shows and coming back.”


Starcom investment head and 12-year Publicis vet Amanda Richman is heading to MEC as US chief executive. Richman will oversee the US merger of MEC and Maxus, the two media-buying agencies consolidated by parent GroupM in June. At the new entity, Richman will be tasked with meshing two distinct agency cultures while smoothing the transition for clients. “Creating a culture and a united culture has got to be our first focus,” she said, but a close second priority is “to define what your brand is, what you stand for and how you differentiate yourself in this very cluttered marketplace.” She’ll report to MEC global CEO Tim Castree. More at WSJ.

The Cookie Jar

A team of Princeton IT researchers investigated how online tracking signals like cookies and transactions are affected by blockchain-based systems like Bitcoin. Analyzing 130 ecommerce sites that accept Bitcoin, the team found that in most cases a Bitcoin wallet (or a registered user on a blockchain) could be tied to a real-world persona based on data leaked to ad trackers – or exposed unintentionally – by the online seller. “Our findings are a reminder that systems without provable privacy properties may have unexpected information leaks and lurking privacy breaches,” writes Steven Goldfeder, a Princeton Ph.D. candidate. More.  

Steering Clear

Weeks after Facebook changed course by allowing publisher paywalls on Instant Articles, Google has taken the same tack. The platform is giving publishers more control over its “first click free” feature, which lets search users access articles behind subscription paywalls, and is developing publisher tools for a news subscription funnel. “It’s clear from news publishers that they can’t live on advertising alone,” said Richard Gringas, VP of news at Google. The New York Times and Financial Times are testing the product, which could target readers and subscription price points. More at Bloomberg.

But Wait, There’s More!

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