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The GOOG, The Fad and The Fugly

The buying, selling and general manipulation of people’s attention is a tricky business, folks. And keeping up with all the latest? Almost as hard! Here are some developments from Amazon, Google (YouTube) and Facebook that have us thinking right now.

Amazon’s price tag of $2.8 million for ad packages tied to NFL Thursday Night games shows that Bezos isn’t afraid to try Whole Foods pricing.  Zing! Seriously, we have questions. Does Prime have enough juice? How will this really differ from Twitter’s (meh) attempt? And perhaps most important, will these ad buys include targeting users based on Amazon purchases? Ads from Tide because I am due? 

In Wolk’s recent contrast of VidCon and Cannes, we see the tension between media forces. In our houses we feel the same. YouTube is what the kids prefer but when they go to sleep odds are the TV is on something from the TV and movie industrial complex, even if it’s on Netflix.

When YouTube is an $11B annual (topline) business heading for $24B in 2021 and reports say they can’t break into TV ad market one wonders, WTF is the difference? Association with premium, that’s what. Brand safety is more than just knowing the ad is running against something heavily regulated by the FCC, it’s knowing it will at least get seen by millions of people on a 70-inch screen. That’s why GOOG is betting on Red.  And maybe why Vimeo put an RIP on its paid OTT.

To compete, YouTube needs true narrative storytelling produced by professionals who make a living wage. (Take nothing away from the market forces driving video game narrators to celebrity status, of course).

Speaking of (un)safety for brands and investments in the TV business, Facebook hit 2 billion global users this week.  Sources (re-)confirmed an originals strategy this time with a $3mm price tag to get some heat going in Beverly Hills.

via TechCrunch

And amid a sea of more Facebook world-domination news, including leaking of secret censorship rules allegedly weighted to protect white males, an iceberg looms around its video future.

Facebook may have a way of making sure you see something that whizzes by but ad viewability is poor, as low as 20%. Meanwhile some true innovation on the horizon with retail focused dynamic overlays that include video and e-commerce.  

Let’s just hope the rumors of auto-play video with sound AKA “shouting at users with video” aren’t true. As if thumbs couldn’t get any faster now they have to figure out how to shut off sound and not accidentally click into a dynamic offer.