09/22/17: Facebook announces political ad transparency rules

Good morning. It’s Friday September 22, 2017 and this is your your first early morning Digital briefing!


Dynamic Pricing: Dynamic pricing is the practice of setting specific prices for individual customers based on consumer data. Companies often rely on AI and deep learning programs in order to arrive at dynamic prices. Under a dynamic pricing model, a consumer would be offered a price that’s based on the consumer’s specific circumstances, such as their financial situation, the time of day, or other factors.
Google announced an agreement to buy parts of the consumer tech company HTC. Specifically, the tech giant will acquire parts of HTC’s smartphone division, and will license HTC’s patents on a non-exclusive basis. One crucial aspect of the deal is that many of HTC’s designers and engineers will now become Google employees. All told, the acquisition will cost Google $1.1 billion. The move comes as Google ramps up efforts to turn its Pixel smartphone into a bigger player on the mobile hardware market. Indeed, a number of the HTC staffers who are now moving to Google have already worked to help the company build its Pixel phones. Google is expected to roll out the new Pixel 2 model in early October.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced some changes to the company’s political advertising policies. Most significantly, the social giant is taking steps to provide increased transparency. In the future, Facebook will require all political advertisers to disclose which page paid for an ad. And political ad buyers will also have to make all of their ads available to review; in other words, users will be able to click on an ad and see what other types of messages the same advertiser is using to target different audiences. Finally, Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will provide Congress with thousands of 2016 election ads that Russian advertisers purchased last year.
About 430 employees of Vice Media just unionized. The staff members in question work on video content for Vice.com, as well as programming for the  Viceland cable channel and HBO. They’ll be represented by the Writers Guild of America East and the Motion Picture Editors Guild.
Inaugural Judges Selected for Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival
Jurors include execs from AwesomenessTV, CNE, Dick Clark Productions, Scripps & more . The Cynopsis Short Form Video Festival & Conference will recognize outstanding work in this emerging space, showcasing fresh and surprising storytelling across platforms. The winning videos be screened at this one-of-a-kind festival, that also includes though-provoking discussions with producers, directors, actors and marketers.

If you’re talking to a friend on Facebook’s Messenger app, and you say you’d like to see a movie, the app will now usher you toward a ticket purchase. The update, available to U.S. users, comes as part of a partnership with NBCU’s Fandango. If a Messenger user, either in a group or one-on-one chat, expresses interest in a film, the app will automatically suggest opening Fandango’s chat extension. From there, users can get more information about showtimes or even buy tickets. Facebook is using M, its automated AI bot, to power the new feature. Of course, there’s a serious concern that some users will balk at a perceived invasion of privacy. That’s why Facebook is making it possible to mute the suggestions, or even prevent Facebook’s AI from reading their chats altogether.
Facebook’s Messenger app rolled out some other AI-driven updates as well. Following in the footsteps of Google and LinkedIn, the app will now provide brief suggested responses that users can tap on to quickly reply to messages.  Like the new Fandango feature, the automated response suggestions come courtesy of Facebook’s “M” AI tool. 
Adblock Plus is now letting users block more than just ads. If you’re a Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Android user, you can now add a new filter to Adblock Plus that will prevent third parties from using your device to mine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The move seems to be a direct response to an event that took place over the weekend, when a number of users of The Pirate Bay noticed someone using site-visitors’ computers to mine the cryptocurrency Monero.
As a couple of players in their thirties continuing to dominate men’s tennis, it can be tough to remember that there are plenty of youngsters who are trying to break in. In a deal with the ATP World Tour, Amazon Prime Video picked up the live-streaming rights to the Next Gen ATP Finals men’s youth tennis tournament. The deal, which runs through next year, begins with the inaugural event this November. Excluding China, Amazon will hold the worldwide online streaming rights to the event, as well as full exclusive rights in the U.S. The one exception is the ATP’s own OTT channel, Tennis TV, which will also broadcast the event.
Facebook is rolling out a new ad product that lets advertisers target consumers who previously visited their brick-and-mortar stores. The tool works by accessing data from people who have the Facebook app on their phone (with location services enabled). As AdAge points out, one of the biggest challenges for advertisers will be figuring out whether their ads actually had anything to do with a customer’s purchase. (After all, if a customer visits a store and later buys a product from the company, that customer may have been planning to buy said product in any event.) At launch, ad buyers include Dick’s Sporting Goods, Macy’s and KFC, according to Facebook.
According to a new analysis from RBC Capital Markets, the cord-cutting problem could be even worse than many suspect. In a survey of 1,200 U.S. consumers, 55% respondents told RBC that they will continue subscribing to traditional pay-TV. (That’s tantamount to about 68 million homes, if applied nationally.) But 21% of respondents said they were considering a switch to a lower cost virtual service. It’s just one study, of course, but it isn’t an anomaly; eMarketer recently increased its 2017 projections for cord-cutting, estimating a 33% increase among U.S. adults this year. In a research note, RBC analyst Steven Cahall wrote that it “does not seem impossible” for the pay-TV sector to start losing more than five million subscribers annually. Last year’s number, by comparison, was 2 million.
Snap Inc. has been reshuffling the top executives in its hardware unit. As first reported by Bloomberg, Steve Horowitz, a former Motorola exec who had been overseeing the Snapchat parent’s hardware efforts, has reportedly lost his position. Former Googler Mark Randall is now reportedly running the division instead. Snap’s hardware team is behind Spectacles, the company’s video-recording glasses. The company’s hardware interests have also touched on drone technology; Snap bought the drone startup Ctrl Me earlier this year. According to Bloomberg’s report, about a dozen people have been fired under the new restructuring.
Arkadium has made a new hire. The company, which works with publishers to build online content such as polls, games, and interactive data visualizations, has named Dan Martin as its new SVP of Sales and Business Development. He’ll oversee the company’s client acquisition efforts through the introduction of InHabit, a new Arkadium product offering AI and interactive content tools. Martin most recently served as VP, Head of Global Business Development at TripleLift, a specialist in native programmatic advertising.
Our Last Trivia Question: Season one, episode 2 of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale prominently features a well-known board game. Which one? Answer: Scrabble, AKA the greatest game on the planet. (Okay, there’s some bias here – the writer of this newsletter is a tournament Scrabble player.) Kudos to Stephanie Blair-eMarketer/NY, Bill Graff, beIN Sports/FL, Gabrielle Pedro Fredrick-National Geographic/Washington, D.C., David Westberg-SAG-AFTRA Federal Credit Union-CA, Tom Moore-Kalt Productions/CA, Alejandro Sacasa-Albavision/FL, Keely Walker Muse-Crazy Legs Productions/GA, Christine Allen-McGee Media/NY, Lourdes Valdez-Pantaya/CA, and Stephanie Ann-Inside Lacrosse/MD
Amazon’s first Indian original series, set in the world of pro cricket, debuted in July. What’s it called? (Email [email protected] with your answer and be sure to include your name, company, city and state.)
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CNET is out with a review of the new Apple TV streaming box, which can stream content in 4K HD and High Dynamic Range (HDR). If you want to learn more about it the device’s strengths and weaknesses, it’s worth watching the video; check it out here.

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CYNOPSISJOBS – For More jobs, please visit Cynopsis.com
JOB OPENING: CFO/NYC Production Co: Direct financial planning & analysis. Corporate & production operating review, forecast & budgets. Manage systems, provide leadership & expertise to accounting dept. Must understand fast paced TV prod. 10+ yrs exp.  Resume/cover & for full info: HERE (9/29)

JOB OPENING: SENIOR JAVA SCRIPT ENGINEER/Fox News Channel/NYC: Lead dvlpmnt of high traffic JavaScript apps and implement front end user design defining behavior of visual element. Develop new software applications from concept to finish. 3+ year of expert level JavaScript dvlpmnt. Full info/apply HERE (9/29)

DIR, DIGITAL ANALYTICS/A+E Networks/NY: Oversee reporting & analysis for A+E Networks’ portfolio, drive growth in Digital business by delivering recommendations that influence content, prod. & distribution strategy across the organization.  Full Info/Apply HERE (9/29)

JOB OPENING: SALES ASSOCIATE PROGRAM/NBCU/NYC: Accelerated development exp for early-career sales professionals. This highly competitive program identifies outstanding aspiring media sales professionals who bring diverse backgrounds to the org. Min 1-5 yrs exp work exp, sales related pref’d. Full info: HERE (9/29)
JOB OPENING: SALES PLANNER, AD SALES/Outdoor Channel/CHI: 2 yrs exp. sales asst or media plan’r/buyer. Resp for dvlpmnt/fulfillment of integrated media plans, all platforms. Monitor/steward accounts, support Account Execs w/mktg, rsrch projects. Solid understanding of media math. Wide Orit exp a +. Full info/apply HERE (9/28)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL ACCOUNT MANAGER/FOX/Chicago: Ownership of post-sale client relationship. Responsible for creation of all proposals/media plans. 2-5 years’ operating in an Agency- Account Management role. Digital Advertising experience preferred. Full info/apply HERE (9/28)

JOB OPENING: MANAGER, S 7 ALES OPERATIONS/NBCU NBC Owned Stations/NYC: Responsible for managing various systems, tools and processes to support traffic, sales, research, finance & mktg users across our division. 2+ yrs at a station, similar sales operations function, or a related vendor role. Full info/apply HERE (9/28)

JOB OPENING: DIGITAL SPECIALIST/NYRA/NYC: Act as primary web editor for daily updates. Maint both NYRA.com & BelmontStakes.com. Asst Social Media team w/mngmnt of social media channels. BA deg & 2-4 yrs work exp req’d. Exp w/CMS Sys, SEO, SEM, basic HTML, Photoshop, InDesign & Illustrator. Full info/apply HERE (9/28)

: DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER/ASPIRE TV/ATL: Dev. content strategy across digital platforms; understanding of digitl analysis; exp. w/using digitl platforms to drive brand awareness; 4+ yrs strategic content plning & exec.; prof. w/Google Analytics, Photoshp, WordPress. Res: HERE (9/27)

JOB OPENING: AD SALES PLANNER/Baby First TV/NY: Reports to AE & EVP Ad Sales. Home office flexibility. 2-3 Years Direct Response experience required. Detailed & organized. Entrepreneurial environment. Must have Excel experience. Reply to [email protected] (9/27)

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