YouTube Lowers The Bar; Coors Goes DTC

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Engagement Above All

YouTube’s leadership has knowingly let misinformation and toxic content run rampant on the platform to rake in higher engagement from viewers and sell more ads, a Bloomberg investigation revealed. Conversations with more than 20 former and current YouTube employees uncovered multiple quashed attempts to bring misinformation to leadership’s attention and suggest fixes for the issue. Employees said CEO Susan Wojcicki has largely ignored the problem and prioritized engagement over all else since 2012, when the platform set a goal of hitting 1 billion hours of viewing each day. YouTube leadership was fully aware that its algorithm rewarded outrageous content, but it didn’t take action on the issue until 2017. Even then, it continued to reject proposals from employees to stop the spread of misinformation – such as limiting video recommendations to verified news sources – as recently as 2018. YouTube’s lawyers also discouraged employees from looking for incendiary content on their own. More.

DTC Beer

Ecommerce … for beer? Molson Coors has launched shoppable sites for its Blue Moon and Coors Light brands in what is both a “data and brand visibility play,” Digiday reports. The beer manufacturer will not only sell directly to its consumers and monetize the sites with ads but will also collect valuable data on its audience. Building direct consumer relationships is especially difficult for alcohol brands, because in many places it’s illegal to sell booze through home delivery. Molson Coors got around that by partnering with alcohol delivery apps like Drizly and Minibar, which also provide anonymized data back to the brand on post-purchase engagement. “A direct-to-consumer website allows us far deeper insights around clickstream data, consumer behavior, how they operate and where they live,” says Trey Harshfield, Molson Coors’ global director of ecommerce. More. Anheuser-Busch is investing heavily in ecommerce, too, but it’s focusing on merchandise instead of beer because it wants the transaction and audience data more than the actual ecommerce beverage sales.

Dem Data

The Democratic National Committee is preparing to pull the plug on its old, unreliable data platform and replace it with a new one, Wired reports. Called simply the “Data Warehouse,” it will be backed by a Google analytics service called BigQuery. “One of my top priorities has been to overhaul the party’s tech and data infrastructure and make sure we put the 2020 nominee and all of our candidates in the best possible position to take on the GOP and win,” DNC Chair Tom Perez tells Wired in a statement. “The DNC’s Data Warehouse is the centerpiece of our tech efforts and will allow campaigns and committees to better store, access and analyze their data.” More.

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