Facebook May Be Pulling Back On Live; The New York Times Releases 2020 Group Report

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Is Facebook already pulling back on its Live video product? The platform, which spent $50 million last year paying publishers and celebrities to create Live video, is unlikely to renew those contracts, reports Recode’s Kurt Wagner. According to the report, Facebook may now have its eyes on long-form, premium content à la Netflix and Hulu. Facebook’s head of global creative strategy, Ricky Van Veen, is leading the push and is already chatting with creators about licensing TV-style shows on the platform. It remains to be seen if the digital pubs getting paid to produce Live video will fit into this strategy. More.

The Gray Lady, In Color

The New York Times published its 2020 group report, a newsroom-driven project that outlines the principles and priorities reshaping its business. The report details editorial issues – the cost-benefit equation of copy editing, the risks of holding news for print – but the message is all business. The Times’ 2016 digital revenue approached $500 million – far more than the likes of The Washington Post or BuzzFeed – but it needs to grow faster to compensate for print revenue losses. “For all the progress we have made, we still have not built a digital business large enough on its own to support a newsroom that can fulfill our ambitions,” the report’s authors write. “To secure our future, we need to expand substantially our number of subscribers by 2020.” Either that or find an ad yield windfall.

Location Agent

Startup Nikaza Inc. has some grand aspirations. It wants to link beacon networks, Wi-Fi networks and indoor locations, and then use that data to inform programmatic ad buying. The company released its Context Hub on Monday to apply that aggregated location data, which should add a tremendous amount of context around where a consumer is and what she’s doing. Here’s the rub: The strength of that data depends on whether or not Nikaza can develop the necessary relationships with all those different location networks. Obviously, that’s going to be a work in progress through 2017. Read more.

Strategic Creative

Management consultancies have conspicuously moved into agency territory. Likewise, traditional agencies have sprouted advisory services. Where do creative agencies stand? Adweek takes up the question. “I absolutely don’t believe agencies are dying, but some are complacent and must evolve to prove to clients that they can work in seamless, integrated fashion,” Debra Sercy, co-CEO of executive search firm Grace Blue, is quoted as saying. More.

Pocket Kings

Snap’s IPO won’t diminish the power held by co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy. The Wall Street Journal reports initial investors won’t receive voting shares of stock, while Spiegel and Murphy are expected to maintain a 70% stake. Bloomberg News, meanwhile, asks whether Snapchat’s culture of secrecy and strict management oversight could survive an IPO. It will be interesting to see how, or if, the bright lights of the public market change Snapchat. A mere two and a half years ago Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom was known to personally approve every ad on the platform.

Metric Wars

Is CPV the newest metric of choice for in-app advertising? IronSource CMO Omer Kaplan thinks current market conditions may give CPV an edge. With consumers spending more and more time in mobile apps, he sees competition between brands and app advertisers growing, with both racing to buy on a CPV basis to lock down in-app inventory. Performance advertisers have become adept at calculating the LTV of users bought via CPV, and brands will increasingly follow suit. Read more.

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