Apple Nabs Shazam; Snap’s AR Tailwinds

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Abracadabra, Apple Shazam

Competition among music streaming platforms – already a cutthroat category – will heat up even more with Apple’s acquisition of ad-supported music recognition app Shazam. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but TechCrunch sources peg it below Shazam’s $1 billion valuation from a 2015 funding round. More. In recent years the 15-year-old Shazam has reshaped itself around ad revenue and marketing use cases [AdExchanger coverage]. The platform sells half of its inventory programmatically and works with brands on custom and unskippable takeover units. It can also close the loop on TV spots and physical products through QR codes that can be tied back to behavior in the app. With a footprint of 400 million mobile devices globally, Shazam will give Apple better insight into listener behavior.

Into Thin AR

Snap is aggressively pitching its augmented reality lens advertising product, which inserts images into real-life scenes. Snapchat senior ad leaders say “AR is the next internet,” one anonymous agency exec who’s been pitched the product tells Digiday. Snapchat’s AR lens costs between $500,000 to $1 million per day, depending on the activation and targeting. It’s a bespoke product, and can take up to six weeks to execute, but Snapchat is “also moving filters, stickers and AR lenses into an actionable bidding environment,” according to senior VP of social for IPG Mediabrands agency Society. More.

YouTube’s Winners And Spoils

For YouTube creators: It is the best of times, it is the worst of times. The top 10 YouTube stars had cumulative earnings of $127 million in the past year, up 80% from the same period last year, according to Forbes. And that’s just their YouTube revenue. YouTube stars also have affiliate commerce businesses, and have shown they can drive brick-and-mortar crowds as well. Meanwhile, YouTube’s working class is feeling the pinch. Brand-safety controversies have forced YouTube to quickly demonetize potentially controversial content – but not all of the creators caught in the dragnet actually have flagrant content, and some can’t make ends meet under the current standards. More at Bloomberg.

Lion Retires

In another shakeup to the ad trade show biz, Cannes Lions Chairman Terry Savage is stepping down after 33 years. Savage was “a figure many viewed as the heart and soul of the global creativity festival,” growing the number of award entries to over 43,000 at its peak from roughly 16,000 when he became CEO in 2003, Campaign reports. The announcement comes shortly after Cannes announced a sweeping set of changes to streamline what many industry leaders say had become a bloated festival. More. Related in AdExchanger: Dmexco’s future is murky, too.

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