Amazon Registry Ads Sow Confusion; YouTube Scales Back Original Content

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Mother Knows Best

Amazon has been called out by new parents for not clearly labeling sponsored products in its baby registry. Some couples receive gifts they didn’t register for since brands like Johnson & Johnson and Kimberly-Clark can pay for placement and its sponsored listings are hard to differentiate, The Wall Street Journal reports. Sponsored ads are proliferating across Amazon, at the top of search results and on product pages, and often look identical to regular products save for a small, gray “Sponsored” tag. Amazon said it’s phasing out product listings in its baby registry. But the company is “starting to see how far they can push things” in terms of advertising, said consultant Harry Brignull. More.

The Future Is Free (With Ads)

YouTube will scale back its original content production beginning in 2020, and next year Google will make its scripted programs available for free with ads, according to The Hollywood Reporter. YouTube spends hundreds of millions annually on shows and movies, but its $12-per-month subscription, which includes a new streaming music service and the YouTube TV live television bundle, never gained much traction. “If you look at our originals over the last few years, our main goal was to drive subscribers to YouTube Premium,” says Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s chief business officer. “But through experimentation, we’ve also learned that we can make a lot of the projects work incredibly well when we make them available free to users.” More.

Go Your Own Way

Amazon has historically used Oracle as its database provider, even as it built up its own cloud database business. But by next year, the ecommerce giant will have completely moved off of Oracle and onto its own services, Amazon Web Service’s CEO Andy Jassy tells CNBC. The unsurprising switch to Amazon’s own products is about more than the loss of a client. Other technology giants like SAP and Salesforce are trying to transition from Oracle to open-source database solutions, reports The Information. “It wouldn’t be surprising to see AWS package up this knowledge and offer it in a future product.”

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