Ad-supported Netflix could be around the corner

Around four years ago we speculated in GroupM's annual Interaction report that a single pre-roll ad ahead of a Netflix show would be among the most desirable items of advertising inventory. It could be targeted addressably as Netflix knows the logged-in account of each user (inference would take care of password sharing) and that, after a bit of harrumphing, the audience would learn to live with it1 percent would desert in droves. In the last couple of days there has been a certain brouhaha round Netflix running skippable program promos for Netflix Originals ahead of other selected content. Inevitably this leads to speculation about Netflix prepping its audience for the cherry-popping moment when ads come to the platform. The speculation ranges from the good ship Armageddon hoving into view, to thoughts that introducing ad revenue is the harbinger of a slowing growth narrative, to the anointing of the new challenger Continue reading "Ad-supported Netflix could be around the corner"

Activision consolidates global media with OMD

Activision, the Santa Monica, California-based video game developer, has consolidated its global media planning and buying with Omnicom's OMD without a review. The change comes about a month after Activision opted to stick with creative incumbent 72andSunny after a competitive review. The media assignment is effective immediately, according to a statement from OMD. First-person shooter game "Call of Duty" is scheduled to release its next version, called "Black Ops 4," on Oct. 12. Activision's other titles include "Destiny" and "Crash." Continue reading at

Spotify tests letting listeners skip any ads they want, as much as they want

Spotify is hoping to deliver another blow at rival Pandora, all in an effort to dominate the fast growing, $1.6 billion market that is digital audio advertising. The company says it's running a test in Australia that will allow listeners to skip audio and video ads any time they want, as often as they want, allowing them to quickly get back to music. Listeners who don't pay for a subscription currently can't skip ads at all. Danielle Lee, global head of partner solutions at Spotify, says she compares the move to Spotify's "Discover Weekly" feature, which tailors a playlist to users' established listening habits. Unlimited ad skipping means Spotify users will be able to hear or watch just the ads they actually like, informing Spotify about their preferences in the process, she says. Continue reading at

This app lets consumers sell their data directly to brands

Although it's early days, brands such as McDonald's, Staples and GM are paying cash and purchasing data direct from consumer, giving literal meaning toward the notion that "data is the new currency." Between regulation such as GDPR and scandals like those plaguing Facebook, consumers are aware more than ever of the so-called value exchange when using online services. At the same time, they're also tuning in on how companies such as Cambridge Analytica are plundering their data without their consent. To that end, Freckle IoT recently launched Killi, an app that makes explicit value of data by actually paying consumers with cash for sharing their data, location, or providing insight about what ads they'd like to see. Even more money is on the table if users scan the back of their driver's license with their phones, for example. Continue reading at

If Alex Jones screams on Google+, will anyone hear him?

If Alex Jones is screaming on Google+, will anyone hear him? Major distribution and markting platforms such as Apple, Facebook, Google's YouTube, LinkedIn and Spotify this week removed content and pages by Jones, long known for claiming that the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre was staged and more recently for accusing Robert Mueller of pedophilia. They cited violations of their terms of service. He remains active on Twitter, however, because that platform says it hasn't detected a violation of its terms. And he has remained busy on other channels as well. His message might not capture the same audience as it did on YouTube and Facebook, but he retains avenues to generate revenue from the tech platforms, ones that that aren't necessarily as visible to the public eye. Continue reading at

Robert Redford’s retiring from acting, but hey, we’ll always have his Burger King ad

Well, we're almost positive this is Redford, I mean, it's hard to miss that face. But you almost couldthat is, blink and you could miss his little turn for Burger King. The spot is about 29 seconds worth of skiing shots interspersed with burgers and fries, and it's not until the last second that the skier is revealed to be none other than Redford. United Airlines Redford lent his recognizable voice for this animated United ad back in 2004. It's paired with George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue," a mainstay of United commercials. Continue reading at

Watch Charlotte Rae squeeze the Charmin and just generally sell the hell out of stuff

Rae plays a cheeky housewife enjoying a hot shower she says wouldn't be possible without her home's oil heat: "Only oil heat can give me so much, so fast, and it's so dependable!" Brought to you by the National Oil Fuel Institute, of course. Charmin In this spot, Rae is Ms. Flagg, a floor supervisor at the Charmin plant charged with ensuring employees don't squeeze the "squeezably soft" Charmin on company timeuntil she herself is caught in the act. Continue reading at