Incentivizing Ad Unblocking; Netflix Now Available Worldwide

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Soft Diplomacy

Forbes shared results of a recent experiment in which a sample of ad-block users were asked to turn off the software in exchange for an ad-light experience. “The reaction to our testing was swift,” writes Lewis DVorkin. “A handful or two of our ad-blocking visitors who got the message took their criticisms to Twitter. Staffers, fearing fewer readers for their work, expressed worried confusion.” On the positive side, 42.4% of visitors who got the message ended up turning off their blockers, resulting in 15 million additional ad impressions – a good slice of revenue if it can be extended. More.

Revving Up

Netflix is now available around the globe, per an announcement from CEO Reed Hastings at CES. That in and of itself is significant (if it’s executed), but temper your expectations considering the broadband challenges abroad and the apparent plan to charge one price for membership worldwide. The real bragging point is a studio production roster (original series, kids programs, films, docs, etc.) that continues to outclass cable TV. Netflix has also opened the door a crack for branding opportunities in the past six months as it looks to grow revenue in 2016.


In an Ad Age column fraught with anecdotal evidence and a hyperbolic headline, Traction CEO Adam Kleinberg argues “why ad tech is the worst thing that ever happened to advertising.” Despite opening with a gun control metaphor that, uhh, backfires, Kleinberg does eventually connect with some pointed barbs. Industry insiders push back on the once-common claim that ad tech is a “Wild West,” but it’s undeniably true that mobile advertising is rife with deceptive clicks, auto-redirects and what eMarketer terms “the Fat Fingers Problem.” Ad tech has improved a lot online, but it needs to recreate those efforts for the mobile world. More.


Boston-based Toast, which produces Android point-of-sale systems for restaurants and venues, raised a $30M Series B round. Ken Yeung of VentureBeat sees a potential Google-centric Square rival in the making, seeing as one of the new investors is GV (formerly Google Ventures). Toast already has a mobile and in-store presence, but by connecting digital it can also build its brick-and-mortar software into online delivery or booking. More.

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