Howard Stern Plugs Adblock Plus; Big Data In China

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Adblock’s Mainstream Moment  

Howard Stern discovered Adblock Plus on his Tuesday morning show, and Google registered a noticeable uptick in queries. “Gary, contact my IT person and tell ’em I want that,” he said. “I’m sitting through all these ads and you’re telling me there’s a way to avoid ’em?” In a post on Medium, Deep Focus CEO Ian Schafer shares the audio and opines, “I don’t think we’ll be able to convince people that ads are what makes the world go round, in the same way we couldn’t convince people that piracy is bad. What we need to do is find a better way.” More.

Big Country, Big Data

An article published by the South China Morning Post details the rise of big data use in the region. Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent are leading the big data charge in China, though each has cornered a niche (Alibaba in ecommerce, Baidu in search and Tencent in social media). “In the big picture, I would say big data and all of what that entails is being massively embraced by China, by the Chinese government, by the internet companies,” said David Sullivan, an analyst at Alliance Development Group. “They were and probably are a little behind Google and Amazon, but they started a little bit later. Right now, they’re starting to establish more R&D centers, they’re putting more dollars behind it.” More.

Beacon Chic

Fashion mag Elle has partnered with beacon firm Swirl to bring targeted messaging to consumers in brick-and-mortars. While that’s not novel, Elle’s approach is a departure from the norm. Typically, retailers control the ads launched from the apps they’re associated with, or at least are involved in design concepts. Elle, however, will act as an aggregator for brands looking to reach mobile shoppers. “The key here is that Elle has the ability to send mobile messages from brands to in-market shoppers when they’re within range of a store that carries that brand,” explains MediaPost’s Chuck Martin. Read more.


According to a document released on Monday, the SEC at one stage wanted to know how Twitter plans to measure user engagement and ad effectiveness in place of its abandoned “timeline views.” The WSJ’s Yoree Koh notes that the SEC has dropped its inquiry, though Twitter wouldn’t comment on the reasons for the change or if the inquiry affected disclosures. Twitter CFO Anthony Noto said on an investor call earlier this year that the company is looking to things like the number of private messages and the share of users who sign in daily (which is strong, as opposed to the overall user growth) as engagement indicators. More.

Haters And Creators

Facebook video views are up from 1 billion per day last September to more than 4 billion per day in April (and growing). Ironically, that burst of online video viewership has been a painful setback for digital video creators, explains Time’s Victor Luckerson. There’s been a steady drip, drip of creator blowback against Facebook for allowing copyright infringement on its platform. Google had a similar problem with YouTube early on, but addressed the issue when Viacom sued for a billion dollars. It’s possible that Facebook requires more prodding than angry tweets and Medium posts. Read on.

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