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Brands, Publishers Stare Out Into the Abyss of Facebook’s Algorithm

All at once, brands and publishers are facing the future of an AI- and video-centric customer experience — something that’s posed challenges, but also opportunities. For some, they can explore the new possibilities of personalized video offerings together. Others allow the fates (Facebook) to determine their success — even if that’s a tough basket to toss ALL of your eggs at once. But everyone is up against similar questions around where and how to distribute video content, even if they’re choosing very different paths.

Your full rundown of video publishing and personalization happenings are below. See anything else we need to include? Let us know.

As Branded Content Pivots to Video, Publishers Will Face New Challenges [Digiday]

The video studios also often differ in their sales approach. Whereas publishers’ pitch is about how they can help the advertiser and are driven by the audience and publishers’ voice, talent agencies come to marketers with a big star and big idea, ready-made for a brand to integrate into. Publishers’ pitch is that they know their audience best, but that limits their pitch to advertisers that want to run on those publishers’ sites, which have their established editorial point of view.

How Facebook’s Oracular Algorithm Determines the Fate of Start-Ups [The New York Times Magazine]

Seeking to act like an intuitive matchmaker, the algorithm draws inferences from personal interests, current online behavior, the user’s potential value to each advertiser and the ad’s general appeal. Sometimes the winner is the advertiser that offered Facebook the most money. Sometimes the algorithm decides you are more likely to click a different ad and awards the space to that advertiser for less money.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Video Ad Campaigns [eMarketeter]

Although the body of research on video ad metrics is still limited, the noisiness in the data is remarkable given how concrete some of these metrics are. Nevertheless, those who have followed the industry understand that many complicating factors are at play. One such factor is that each company measures activity on its own platform, which is only a small sample of the broader universe. Lack of standards also has an effect.

Video publishers on what happens after Facebook stops subsidizing video content [Digiday]

Arthur Wang, CMO, Turner’s Super Deluxe: We would have to cobble together ways to find other revenue streams. Yes, Facebook is a big part of what we do, but we have other revenue streams. If Facebook makes the call [to stop funding content], then we’re going to determine whether we publish to Snapchat more, or YouTube more, or do our own [streaming] play. That’s just math.

This Project Aims to ‘Deflatten’ Digital Publishing by Matching the Best Content with Premium Ads [NiemanLab]

It’s a tricky topic, but one that Frederic Filloux (the founder of digital media business newsletter Monday Note, a 2017 Knight Fellow, and now a Knight Senior Research Fellow) is attempting to tackle through the NQS project. Filloux is designing a mechanism to assess news articles based on quantifiable and qualitative signals — like word count, freshness versus evergreen material, quote density, contextualization, and the presence of a byline — in order to surface higher quality content for both readers and publishers.

Personalization May be the Key to Competing With Amazon [Business Insider]

Specialized retailers have the ability to offer personalization that Amazon can’t, Michael Osborne, CEO of SmarterHQ, told BI Intelligence. Amazon carries a huge number of product categories, sometimes making it difficult to determine what products and discounts to highlight and when, hampering its personalization and product discovery capabilities. Meanwhile, retailers that offer a single product category can more easily correlate their behaviors, leading to more effective personalization tactics.

Publishers: Get More Value From Fewer Ads [MediaPost]

Christmas Advertisers Put ‘Safe’ YouTube Views at the Top of Their Wish List [Digiday]

Here’s Why Video is the Future of Content Marketing [TheNextWeb]

Ad Quality is ‘Elephant in the Room’ No One’s Addressing [MediaPost]

‘Facebook Views are a Vanity Metric’: Overheard at the Digiday Video Anywhere Summit [Digiday]

Amazon, Personalization and the AI Effect [AdExchanger]