Postponing The Olympics; Crisis Will Only Strengthen Big Tech

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The Games Must Not Go On

It’s official: The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be postponed, an International Olympic Committee (IOC) member told USA Today. It’s the first time that the Olympic games won’t be held since World War II, though brands and athletes may breathe a sigh of relief, since many feared the IOC would cancel the games entirely rather than reschedule. Countries such as Canada and Australia precipitated the announcement by saying they would not send athletes to the event if it was held this summer. “Since this is a global event it would be the height of folly to consider going forward, and that’s if the borders opened, travel restrictions lifted and the airlines started flying,” said Lawrence Gostin, the director of the World Health Organization’s center on global health law, to The Wall Street Journal. More. And AdExchanger has more on how sports marketing and sponsorships are dealing with the virus. (Hint: not well.)

Natural Immunity

Big Tech seems able to weather any storm, and a global pandemic is proving no different. While the world suffers with the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak, large platforms are thriving. Amazon is hiring 100,000 warehouse workers as ecommerce demand grows, video calls on WhatsApp have doubled in a week and Microsoft’s workplace software users grew 40% in seven days, The New York Times reports. The pandemic has accelerated consumer trends that benefit big tech, from streaming Netflix to ordering groceries online, as well as the need for services like cloud computing and tools that enable remote work and education. Even Apple, which relies heavily on the Chinese supply chain for device manufacturing, is holding steady thanks to increased device use and an ongoing pivot to services. Of course, Big Tech will suffer as the market crashes – Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Facebook lost $1 trillion in collective market value from over a month ago. But long term, Big Tech stands to benefit from permanent changes to people’s habits as a result of social distancing. More.

At Face Value

Facebook executives knew for years that the company was misrepresenting its potential ad reach metric, according to documents from a class-action lawsuit filed last year. The case hinges on the fact that Facebook presented its reach metric as a measure for how many individual people a brand could target, when really it was measuring the number of accounts that could be reached. And many of those accounts were fake or redundant. Facebook’s internal estimates for duplicate accounts was 11%, and outright fakes made up 5%, the Financial Times reports. Facebook has touted its efforts in the past year, with 5.4 billion accounts scrubbed in the first quarters of 2019. But those numbers are also a reminder of the dead air advertisers had been purchasing, in the form of expected audience reach. More.

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