WSJ Keeps Facebook At Arms Length; Agencies Are Slow To Adopt SaaS Models

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The Holdout

Unlike other news heavyweights such as CNN, Buzzfeed, WaPo and The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal is keeping Facebook at arm’s length. The WSJ has no deal to produce live video content and publishes only tech coverage to Instant Articles. Raju Narisetti, SVP of strategy at News Corp (The WSJ’s media owner), told Ad Age that the company must “not mortgage our future for the latest ‘new-new’ seductive feature, dangled as a come-hither by those who have no desire to pay for the creation and sustenance of vital journalism.” It was only two weeks ago that Facebook hit publishers in an algorithmic about-face [AdExchanger coverage], favoring personal news over publisher news. More.

SaaS To The Rescue

Is SaaS the answer to the transparency debate? As marketers crave ownership of their own data and more visibility into their ad spend, licensing tech becomes more attractive. Agencies, however, are slow to respond, since SaaS hinders the media pass-throughs that can be so profitable for them. “When you look at SaaS in its purest form, agencies have [a] hard time passing through that technology cost to their clients,” said one anonymous ad tech executive. Despite possibly wanting to perpetuate nontransparent practices, agencies aren’t set up to create long-term relationships with technology companies as they work with clients on a transactional basis, said Ari Paparo, CEO of Beeswax. More on Digiday.

Still On Top

Hold your horses, folks. Snapchat isn’t going to surpass Facebook’s advertising prowess any time soon, according to Deutsche Bank. Yes, Snapchat rakes in billions of video views per day and a young audience while engagement tails off for both Facebook and Instagram, but there’s no dent in Facebook’s ad products. And when it comes to data, Facebook is nearest to closing the loop. “If FB can aggregate enough data, it should be in a position to take share in all stages of the purchase funnel from other ad channels,” one investment analyst says to Lara O’Reilly of Business Insider. More.

The Prime Of Life

Amazon’s Prime Day is over for the brands that partner on special deals for the promotion. Now the company is busy turning Prime Day into Prime Lifetime. Two of the big sellers this year were the Amazon Fire TV Stick (an OTT streaming product similar to Google’s Chromecast) and the Amazon Echo speaker, its connected home device. “If more Prime members shop more with Prime, it pulls users away from everyone else,” said Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Poonam Goyal. Amazon also relied on more third-party sellers as opposed to retail brands. More at Bloomberg.

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