Snapchat Has Video Chops; On The Publisher Spinoff Trend

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Video Leaderboard

Snapchat logs 6 billion video views per day, tripling activity on the app since May, Tim Bradshaw reports for the Financial Times, citing sources at the company. That’s not too far behind Facebook’s 8 billion and YouTube’s murkier “billions” of daily views. “Video is fast becoming one of the most popular activities on social networking apps, and the race for eyeballs comes as analysts predict huge growth in digital video advertising,” Bradshaw writes. Most astonishing of all? Video on Facebook and Snapchat still goes almost entirely unmonetized. More.

Publisher Schadenfreude

News Corp., Time Inc. and Tribune Publishing all were recently offloaded by corporate parents. As Ravi Somaiya reports for The New York Times, those splits were framed as “for the best” for the publishers, but it’s been a struggle. Heavyweights like The Wall Street Journal, Time, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune are seeing revenues crumble (with digital growth insufficient to replace print declines). Somaiya paraphrases news company CEOs on their earnings reports, who feel that “when the advertising market, going through its own turmoil, settles, (we) will be well positioned to take advantage of it.” Read on.

’Baba’s Bid For Video

If Amazon bought YouTube, you’d have a rough equivalent of the Alibaba-Youku acquisition. Bloomberg reports that Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce giant, has agreed to purchase a Chinese video portal with about 286 million unique visitors per month, in a deal valued at $4.8B. In a bid to bulk up on streaming video, billionaire Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma is looking to compete more head-on with competitors Baidu and Tencent for greater share of Chinese media – with resources for content and films. Contrast that with Amazon’s original series push. More on Bloomberg.

The Platform Age

In separate stories, USA Today and The Wall Street Journal examine how a handful of companies (all from Seattle or Silicon Valley) have consolidated power across hardware, cloud services, messaging, media, search and apps. Says one Deutsche Bank analyst, “All of these companies are operating in industries where scale is rewarded and where there is a very high level of capital intensity required to even hope to compete.”

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