Facebook Is Developing An OTT Video App; High School Sports Is An Untapped Market

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TV’s Rising Star

Facebook is developing a streaming video app for OTT devices, notably Apple TV, according to anonymous Wall Street Journal sources. With ad loads maxed out, Facebook has limited options for rapid growth. The two biggest are expansion into China and investment in television, where the vast majority of advertising budgets are found. The Journal also reports Facebook is “in discussions with media companies to license long-form, TV-quality programming.” More.   

Little League

Digital media’s next frontier? High school sports. Apparently, there’s a “rabid fanbase” of people who stream the 2.5 million school sports events played each year, according to sports streaming network PlayOn! Sports. As for targeting, "This is an audience that you know likes playing sports or is in the market for athletic equipment," said Vasu Kulkarni, CEO of sports software company Krossover. "You can't say that about the average NBA fan." Interested media companies include Monumental Sports Network (partly owned by NBC) and Pluto TV. Others are hesitant. "It's such a hyper local endeavor that it is really difficult to build a business," said Kyle McDoniel, head of Yahoo's Rivals.com. Reuters has more.

Parasitic

Publishers rely on platforms to distribute their content, and platforms rely on content to remain relevant. But pubs come up short monetizing on the platforms that feed off their content. Troy Young, president of Hearst magazines digital media, calls this imbalance “the new media war.” Pressure is on pubs to create the expensive, high-quality content that platforms want. And as the number of platforms proliferate from Facebook and Google to home devices like the Echo, publishers have to spend more time curating the right piece for each platform. As platforms listen to publisher concerns and build out teams to help with curation and monetization, publishers are demanding a larger slice of the pie. “What you’re seeing is a little bit of boldness to say we deserve a bigger piece of revenue,” Young said. More at Digiday.

A Little Good

Can ad tech platforms act as public servants? AppNexus is giving it a go via a partnership with the Federation for Internet Alerts, which has a database of official weather hazards. Since December, AppNexus has activated almost 15,000 real-time alerts on inventory across the web where it would normally serve ads, claiming to have served 471.8 million weather-related impressions this year. It’s not the only one. The liberal ad tech outfit DSPolitical stepped in to run a PSA campaign promoting health care enrollment when President Trump pulled the media plan. Also, PSAs are commonly served as a control group for ad impact studies. More at The Drum.

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