|News Round Up
Snap Crackle Cut
Snap on Thursday cut 100 employees, with this downsizing focused on the advertising team. The layoffs are the final step in a restructuring that began late last year, Bloomberg reports. Snap let go 120 engineers earlier this month and about two dozen employees on the content side in January. The layoffs are purportedly a reaction to Snap overhiring after the IPO to scale up its ad products. With a push toward programmatic [AdExchanger coverage], Snap likely needs fewer direct sales employees than it has in the past. “Tighter integration and closer collaboration between our teams is a critical component of sustainably growing our business,” says Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan in a statement. More.
Render Media, the digital media publisher of Cooking Panda and news site Opposing Views, is the latest casualty attributed to Facebook’s content quality algorithm changes. Render told employees Thursday it would close, blaming Facebook’s new branded content guidelines prohibiting publishers from paying other page owners for distribution. It also blamed the algorithm change limiting news content in user feeds, which caused Render’s traffic to plummet by 68%. But Render’s struggles began before Facebook’s policy updates. It’s laid off about 40 of its 46 employees since September, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Alex Bruell. In 2016, Inc. Magazine named Render the second fastest-growing media company in America. “The combined impact of several recent events have severely restricted Render’s cash flow and its ability to sustain its business,” the company wrote in a note to clients. More.
Data providers bear the brunt of the fallout from Facebook’s decision Wednesday to no longer directly offer third-party data for targeting. [Read AdExchanger’s coverage.] Perhaps the hardest hit was Acxiom. In a release, the company said that Facebook’s decision wouldn’t ding its 2018 revenues, but that it does expect “total revenue and profitability to be negatively impacted by as much as $25 million” in 2019. Read the release. Epsilon, by contrast, said it would suffer no detrimental effect, as it doesn’t have a “material relationship” with Facebook or any other social media platform: “Epsilon and its affiliates primarily help clients use their first-party data to more effectively reach consumers across many channels.” More. Meanwhile, no comment from Oracle or Experian.
Drop A Bundle
The Department of Justice’s case against the mega-merger of AT&T and Time Warner continued Thursday with testimony by John Hauser, head of the marketing group at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, who conducted surveys showing consumers are almost twice as likely to abandon a TV subscription if it includes a permanent Turner content blackout. AT&T says the research isn’t grounded in real-world precedents. Plus, according to The Washington Post, “AT&T has said it is not interested in permanently withholding Time Warner's content from other TV providers, because it benefits the company to have the content widely distributed. It has also claimed that wide distribution increases each channel's advertising revenue and relieves pressure on the channels to earn money from viewer fees.” More.
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