YouTube Sweetens The Pot; Marketing Services Crop Up Around Amazon

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YouTube is sweetening the pot for publishers by bundling its back-end video player with free video streaming and analytics, as well as control over ad inventory for videos streamed on, Ad Age reports. Consolidating video services with YouTube will also mean visibility on the platform, and Google search queries will improve. The move is a strike against third-party video players like Brightcove, Ooyala and JW Player that have taken big pieces of the market. More. But not everyone is sold. “We did get approached [with the YouTube offering] but decided not to [do it],” says one media exec. “We don’t need more Google on our site.” Previously in AdExchanger: The Atlantic’s new video strategy is to focus on YouTube.

The New Shopper Marketing

Like Google and Facebook before it, Amazon’s influence on the advertising industry is giving rise to a new crop of marketing services centered around the platform. Agencies are launching service divisions to help marketers design product pages, generate consumer reviews and reach audiences through voice activations on Echo. They’re also increasingly buying media on the platform through Amazon’s own media group to be able to close the loop on purchases. “Ecommerce is nothing new, it’s been going on for decades, and Amazon is nothing new, it’s been successful for decades – but now they are becoming much more of a dominant force in brand discovery,” says Sarah Hofstetter, CEO of Dentsu digital agency 360i. “Amazon is the new shelf space, and if you’re not on it, you may be rendered invisible.” More at The New York Times.

Hardware Is The New Software

Facebook is pushing into devices with a video chat screen for home use, Bloomberg reports. The size of a laptop screen, it will be the first product to come out of Facebook’s hardware incubator, Building 8. Facebook hopes the device’s AI-powered camera technology will help people feel like they are in the same room and build on its mission of connecting the world. Facebook is also reportedly building a smart speaker à la Amazon Echo and Google Home and hiring ex-Apple vets to build an OS similar to Siri. More.

Art Vs. Commerce

When Etsy IPO’d two years ago, it positioned itself as a tech platform providing add-on ecommerce and advertising services to retailers and craftspeople. But Etsy’s marketplace now accounts for less than half of of all revenue, and the high engineering costs are outpacing gains. “We have invested too much in building our version of things that already exist in the market,” said CEO Josh Silverman when he took over in May. Engineering is important, Etsy Chairman Fred Wilson tells The Wall Street Journal, “but we don’t need to build technology for technology’s sake.” More.

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