Quibi Raises $750M; Snap’s Audience Network Enters Beta

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Big Checks For Quibi 

Quibi, the short-form mobile video app set to launch in April, closed a $750 million round of financing, bringing its total funding to $1.75 billion. The company raised $1 billion in its first funding round in 2018 and planned to bring in between $500 million and $600 million in this second round, The Wall Street Journal reports. Quibi declined to name its latest investors but said it includes both new and existing partners like Alibaba and various Hollywood studios. The service has already secured $150 million in advertising commitments from major brands, including PepsiCo, Walmart and Google. But it remains to be seen how consumers respond to a paid short-form mobile video service, especially as it competes with new offerings from heavyweights such as Disney, WarnerMedia and NBCU. “We always have to remember it’s a new brand, a new product offering, a new technology platform,” said CEO Meg Whitman. “We just want to make sure we have the financial flexibility and runway to build a long-term business.” More.

Late To The Game?

Snap’s audience network is finally entering beta. The messaging app first announced the network, which enables buyers to extend their Snap Ads creative off platform, back in April of 2019. Now it’s testing the network with a small group of brands, according to Business Insider. An audience network will allow Snap, which is hamstrung by its appeal to a narrow demographic, to boost reach beyond its own app inventory. But brands are concerned by a lack of transparency, since Snap doesn’t share where its ads run off-platform and offers limited tools to control placements. Buyers are also more skeptical of the audience network concept in general, as privacy laws grow stricter for user targeting and the third-party cookie disappears. “Laws are catching up, and it’s becoming more apparent to advertisers that the risks outweigh the benefits,” said Brian Meert, CEO of digital agency AdvertiseMint. More.

Helping WHO

Mark Zuckerberg published an update on Facebook’s effort to address the spread of the coronavirus. For one, Facebook is offering the World Health Organization “as many ads as they need” plus in-kind support (such as services to help them reach Facebook users effectively). “We’ll also give support and millions more in ad credits to other organizations too,” writes Zuckerberg. Another task for Facebook will be to block bad actors. Some of those bad actors will be running ads for products that claim medical benefits or that exploit panic to sell supplies. It could also be hoaxsters and conspiracy theorists spreading information that misleads people about the disease. Read the post.

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