Home Ad Exchange News AT&T Might Unload DirecTV; Walled Gardens Extend Olive Branch to Pubs

AT&T Might Unload DirecTV; Walled Gardens Extend Olive Branch to Pubs


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Satellite Down

Little over a week after activist investor Elliott Associates criticized AT&T’s operations, including its $67 billion DirecTV acquisition in 2014, the satellite unit might be on the chopping block. AT&T is considering “parting ways” with DirecTV, according to The Wall Street Journal. Options include spinning off DirecTV into another public company, or combining it with Dish. Certainly nothing is set in stone: AT&T might still keep the unit, as it brings in revenue and houses valuable customer accounts. But if AT&T unloads DirecTV, it would underscore CEO Randall Stephenson’s missteps in trying to diversify AT&T’s lines of business: “It also adds pressure for AT&T to deliver on the promise of the Time Warner deal.” The Journal also reports Stephenson might not be long for AT&T, possibly vacating the position next year. John Stankey, whom Stephenson promoted to COO this month, is a likely heir apparent. More.

Have I Told You Lately 

Google and Facebook have softened their stances vis-a-vis news publishers. A Google news search change favors original reporting, a concession to publishers that do real investigative journalism only to be frustrated when those stories are supplanted at the top of results pages by inane follow-ups or aggregated coverage. Facebook is considering a special news feed within its app, and is negotiating with companies about paying for the rights to publish stories. Some observers think the concessions could be a way to pre-empt arguments that the platforms distort or endanger news companies. “The platforms are finally recognizing the massive role they play in our ecosystem and that pretending that they are neutral distribution channels just doesn’t wash with regulators or with the public either,” said HuffPost Editor-in-Chief Lydia Polgreen. More

No Biggie

Remember back in August when Google temporarily blocked Adobe’s DSP from bidding on its exchange in Europe over malware concerns? According to Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, the disruption had no material impact on Adobe’s business. “That was one day in one part of Europe as a result of a customer who used it inappropriately, and we were back up and running,” Narayen said on the company’s Q3 earnings call this week in answer to an investor’s question. The advertising business is a top priority for Adobe, Narayen continued, and an important part of the Experience Cloud business. “It helps with customer acquisition as the onramp to a digital business, so it plays a strategic role,” he said. Despite solid earnings for the quarter – revenue was up 24% YoY to $2.83 billion – Adobe’s shares slipped on Wednesday thanks to soft guidance for Q4. TheStreet has more on that.

Making An Impression

Local TV stations are abandoning ratings points as their measurement metric of choice. Local stations are disadvantaged because they can be too small to register in ratings points and don’t have the kind of weekly shows that ratings systems measure best. So what’s the alternative? Yesterday, the Television Bureau of Advertising, an industry trade group, called on local broadcasters to switch to impression-based ad sales. But they don’t need a shove. Last week, NBC and Telemundo-owned local TV and radio stations started using CPM-based buys instead of traditional ratings, according to an agency document seen by Axios. And Hearst TV followed the TVB announcement by saying it will begin selling ads based on impressions and will use impressions as the sole currency for its cross-channel video inventory.

But Wait, There’s More

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