Meredith Will Sell Time Inc. Titles; YouTube Music To Annoy With Ads

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Time To Go

Meredith laid off 200 employees Wednesday and plans to eliminate 1,000 more positions over the next 10 months in an effort to maximize its acquisition of Time Inc. The layoffs will help Meredith realize $400 million to $500 million in cost synergies with Time Inc. by reducing duplicative positions and creating central org structures, like the sales brand and go-to-market strategy it will unveil to employees next week. Meredith also plans to sell off Time Inc. titles such as Sports Illustrated, Time, Fortune and Money to align its portfolio more closely with Meredith’s female-centric audience, and to “improve advertising and circulation performance of the Time Inc. properties to industry norms.” Read the release.

Play It By Ear

YouTube is going to launch a subscription music service to rival Spotify and Apple, global music head Lyor Cohen announced at SXSW. But here’s the rub: In order to drive more subscriptions, YouTube is going to show more ads to certain users. The hope is to annoy passive music listeners into paying for an ad-free experience. “There’s a lot more people in our funnel that we can frustrate and seduce to become subscribers,” Cohen said, according to AdAge. “Once we do that, trust me, all that noise will be gone and articles people write about that noise will be gone.” More.

Uncle Sam Or Uncle Juncker

The European Commission has proposed a 3% tax on digital revenues from large enterprises – specifically companies with at least $920 million in annual worldwide revenue and $62 million in taxable revenue in the EU. The tax, writes Reuters reporter Philip Blenkinsop, is “designed to apply to activities in which users play a role in value creation – whether via online advertising, such as in search engines or social media, via online trading or in the sale of data about users.” Naturally, Google, Facebook and Amazon would shoulder the most burden. There’s a long way to go before that idea becomes law, however, as many EU leaders are opposed to it, despite support from Germany and France. More.

Out With The Old

The death of the RFP continues. In an Advertiser Perceptions survey, 65% of brand marketers and 55% of agency execs said they plan to stop using RFPs in the next year. RFPs are mostly transactional, and programmatic has automated the more transactional aspects of media buying, Andy Sippel, EVP of client solutions at Advertiser Perceptions, tells MediaPost. “What’s left over is the human, high-touch ideation.” For some agencies, it’s a great opportunity to showcase strategic value. Other business may face painful changes, like downsized sales teams. More.

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