Snapchat Falls Victim To Garish DR Ads; Tencent Is A Force To Be Reckoned With

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Gate Crashers

It happened: Snapchat’s self-serve function has opened the floodgates to garish DR ads, Digiday reports. Think Lowermybills.com. Control over creative production is a common concession for platforms seeking scale, and it’s also necessary for Snap if it wants revenue growth on the scale of the Duopoly. “It’s a natural growing pain for any kind of self-serve platform,” said Will Thompson, head of social at Giant Spoon. “Any highly curated one-to-one deal with a sales team will have creative directed closely.” Snap originally pitched itself as a branding play but is seeing strong results with direct response and app-install ads. More.

Power In Numbers

Tencent is best known for operating WeChat, China’s dominant social media platform, as well as mobile game publisher Supercell. But it’s also “building an empire whose reach in the entertainment business is practically unrivaled,” writes Li Yuan for The Wall Street Journal. In China, Tencent already owns, well, everything – it’s the leader in mobile gaming, animation, music, media, comics and TV-style online series. And it’s moving into Hollywood with stakes in “Wonder Woman” and “Kong: Skull Island.” US companies like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google/YouTube that could compete with Tencent are pretty effectively boxed out of the Chinese market, giving the holding company immense leverage with global brands and media studios. More.

Runaway Applecart

Apple App Store developer earnings have surpassed $70 billion, the company announced ahead of its annual developer conference next week. Read the release. Apple splits revenue 70/30 with developers, pinning its own gains at about $30 billion. App Store downloads have increased more than 70% in the past year, largely thanks to the gaming and entertainment categories, which saw breakout hits like Pokémon GO and revamped subscription services for the likes of Netflix, Spotify and news media. Paid subscription app revenue is up 58% year over year. Apple SVP Phil Schiller calls the growth “simply mindblowing.” More at 9to5Mac.

Urban Legends

The smart city market isn’t relevant for marketers. But it will be. An eMarketer report surveys the potential marketing applications for smart city technologies like video monitors, information kiosks, mobile beacon networks and interactive maps that are already being tested and deployed. The nexus of digital media, smartphones and smart city technology will be a lucrative place to sit when all of the pieces are in place. To take one instance, Marni Walden, the Verizon executive who championed the acquisitions of AOL and Yahoo, also oversees the company’s burgeoning connected car and smart city investments.

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