European Mobile Carrier Will Begin Testing Network-Level Ad Blocking; Alphabet And Facebook (Still) Lead The Pack

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Shine On

The European mobile carrier Three will begin testing the network-level ad blocking deal it signed with the Israeli company Shine three months ago [AdExchanger coverage]. It’s going to be a key test of Shine’s technology, which gives the telco control over web and in-app ads served to a subscriber’s smartphone. Caribbean telco Digicel also deploys Shine, but its limited market and user base makes it a nonconcern. In case the tension wasn’t high enough already, the Hong Kong investor Li Ka-shing, the richest man in Asia, owns the telco Three and finances Shine. How’s that for synergy? More.

Platform Takeover

Alphabet is the world’s largest media owner and Facebook is the fastest growing, according to ZenithOptimedia’s “Top 30 Media Owners” report released Thursday. Zenith ranked companies by their media revenues. It found Alphabet is now 166% larger than its closest competitor, Disney (up from 136% larger last year). Facebook is the fifth largest media owner in the world, and has outpaced all others with revenues up 65% since last year. “The big five digital media owners (Alphabet, Facebook, Baidu, Microsoft and Yahoo) control most of the world’s internet ad market, and its rapid growth is propelling them up the ranking of biggest global media owners,” said forecasting head Jonathan Barnard. More on Campaign.

Preach

In an Ad Age column, Google advertising and commerce VP Sridhar Ramaswamy says the advertising industry can improve itself in three ways: Make better ads, set clear controls and demonstrate zero tolerance for fraud. Better data can offer deeper insight into what kinds of ads annoy consumers. Standard protocols for different technologies will make it easier to set user-friendly controls. And an open dialogue, harsher punishment for fraudsters and greater scrutiny on too-good-to-be-true results can help eradicate bad players from the market. Read it. Google is known to be working on an answer to the ad-blocking trend, and in particular to Adblock Plus’ acceptable ads program. Is Ramaswamy laying out the cornerstones?

Buy And Return

Twitter has disbanded its commerce team and ceased product development on commerce-related initiatives (like its buy button). “People are not buying on social media right now. They are still buying, for the most part, on mobile web,” an unnamed Twitter source tells BuzzFeed’s Alex Kantrowitz. The move speaks to Twitter-specific needs – “part of Dorsey’s effort to realign the company’s resources in service of the platform’s core experience” – but also to the general disappointment of social commerce, with Facebook’s shopping pages and Pinterest’s affiliate linking product still taxiing for liftoff. More.

Oh, Snap

Snapchat closed a $1.8 billion funding round, at a valuation around $18 billion to $20 billion. Considering Snapchat brought in less than $60 million in 2015, according to a revenue deck leaked to TechCrunch, that valuation comes at a staggeringly high multiple, even for a tech company – proving investors care about nothing more than audience growth and engagement. More.

Branded Playlists

Spotify will allow brands to target audiences with sponsored playlists on its platform. The music streaming service will match an advertiser’s first-party audience data with its music database to create a catered playlist (which prominently features the brand’s logo). Spotify will promote the playlist natively on its app and provide brands with tools to promote playlists on their own sites and social platforms. More.

But Wait, There’s More!

You’re Hired!

 

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