Dentsu Is Pleased With Merkle And Accordant; Facebook Adds Some Sound To Video Ads

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Acquisitive Year

On its Q4 earnings call, Dentsu pointed to its Merkle acquisition as a “step change for the group providing immediate scale, talent and new capability in top-quality data, analytics and CRM.” It also called out Accordant as a “significant investment” in programmatic. Read the earnings release. Dentsu reported strong FY 2016 earnings with organic growth of 5.1%. Gross profit was roughly 167 billion yen, up 11.3% since last year. The group will continue to pursue M&A, with digital services, commerce and performance marketing as prospective targets.

Videobook

Ad buyers have always bristled at Facebook’s muted autoplay videos. Now Facebook is extending automatic sound on to more users, though the twist is that sound goes in and out as you scroll through the news feed. In other Facebook video news, the social media giant also plans on releasing an app for Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Samsung smart TVs, which will be available “soon.” The app will have no ads at launch, according to Recode. Likely that’s only temporary. Facebook don’t go where ads don’t show. Read the release.

Brick By Brick

Seattle has deep retail roots (Starbucks, Nordstrom’s, Costco and REI all started there), but Amazon may be the real brick-and-mortar beast. The ecom titan keeps its early-stage projects quiet, but its first physical bookstore, a roaming bus for flash sales, a drive-up grocery store and a cashierless retail business called Amazon Go are in testing in Seattle. The rollouts are small, but Amazon skunkworks often start that way. It took the better part of 10 years to roll out AmazonFresh, which is now the strongest American grocery delivery service and threatens retailers in markets where it’s active. More.

AirBuyN’Build

Airbnb is pursuing multiple potential deals that would expand its footprint in the travel and hospitality funnel, anonymous sources tell Bloomberg. Specifically it’s toying around with airfare aggregation, luxury tourism packages and guest management services. As with other tech wunderkinds (think Uber and Snapchat), Airbnb needs to prove to investors it’s more than a one-trick pony even if its core revenue stream is profitable. Especially for a business that faces such potentially steep regulatory hurdles (some major cities limit Airbnb’s revenue and growth through local zoning laws), a diversified revenue stream is a necessary step in graduating from “exciting startup” to “sound enterprise.” More.

But Wait, There’s More!

 

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