Set-Top Box Wars; Facebook Focuses On Quality

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Cable Boxers

The FCC’s effort to unlock the TV set-top box market got quick results. (Comcast almost immediately released a non-OTT service.) But the ANA is pushing back hard, reports Ana Radelat at Ad Age. For TV buyers, “A fair marketplace exists in which advertising interests are protected and where the financial underpinnings for content creation are not undermined,” said ANA lobbyist Dan Jaffe. In the digital world… not so much. More.

Rewarding Journalism

Facebook changed its algo to surface a wider range of compelling news content. “The core change in the Facebook paradigm is that engagement will become more valuable as opposed to just click-through rates and the quantity of clicks. They’re starting to talk about quality,” Moti Cohen, CEO of Apester, told Digiday’s Garett Sloane. Long-form content with original reporting will have a leg up. Articles with interactive content such as polls and videos, as well as publishers who already drive significant traffic, will also be favored. And Facebook will cap the number of posts a user sees from a single publisher. So speaketh the algorithm. More.

Old Guard

Back in 2007, media investor Sam Zell bought Tribune Media for more than $8 billion. Yesterday, Gannett made an offer to acquire Tribune (which publishes the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, among other dailies) for $815 million. Once upon a time, this arrangement would have set off anticompetitive alarm bells. Now you could put just about every newspaper publisher in the country under one banner and barely marshal the forces to storm Google’s parking lot. More at USA Today.

Home Sweet Homescreen

Aussie startup Unlockd, which offers telcos a way to give subscribers perks in return for viewing ads, raised an $11.6 million round with the goal of expanding into the UK market. Ads display after the home screen unlock, and mobile carriers can leverage their billing relationship with users by offering incentives such as cash back or discounts toward upgrades. Telcos have been looking at ways to block marketing platforms from owning smartphone real estate [AdExchanger coverage], but it's not because they believe in an ad-free model – they just need their cut. More at VentureBeat.

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