Monday, May 1, 2017

Google, FB attract a fifth of global ad spend; Twitter plans 24-hour news stream; Empowering women through shoes

1 Google, FB attract a fifth of global ad spend (Julia Kollewe in The Guardian) Google and Facebook attracted one-fifth of global advertising spending last year, nearly double the figure of five years ago, research shows.

Online advertising has overtaken television to become the world’s largest ad medium, according to data and analysis agency Zenith. Twitter is the fastest-growing media owner, increasing ad revenue by 734% between 2012 and 2016. Internet-only media companies are grabbing the biggest slices of the online advertising market, while traditional news publishers have fallen far behind and been forced to make cutbacks.

Google, owned by parent company Alphabet, is by far the biggest media owner in the world and attracted $79.4bn in ad revenues in 2016, three times more than the second-largest, Facebook, which pulled in $26.9bn. The previous year, Alphabet took $67.4bn of ad revenues and Facebook $17.1bn.

Together, the two companies accounted for nearly 20% of global advertising spending last year, up from 16.3% in 2015 and 10.6% in 2012. The largest traditional media owner is US broadcasting and cable television company Comcast, which was third with $12.9bn in ad revenues in 2016, up from $11.5bn the year before.

Despite its large share of the ad market, Google faces a growing boycott from major advertisers including the UK government, Marks & Spencer and McDonald’s, and has promised an overhaul of its advertising policies. Many of the companies involved in the boycott discovered their advertising spend was being used to place banner ads over YouTube videos from groups such as Britain First, indirectly funding extremists.

Aside from Alphabet and Facebook, there are five pure internet media owners in the ranking: Baidu, Microsoft, Yahoo, Verizon and Twitter. Between them, the seven digital platforms generated $132.8bn of internet ad revenues in 2016, accounting for nearly three-quarters of all internet ad spend, and nearly one-quarter of total ad spending.

2 Twitter plans 24-hour news stream (BBC) Twitter is working with media firm Bloomberg to create a 24-hour rolling news channel for the messaging service.  The live video stream will be made up of original programming as well as feeds from Bloomberg bureaus.

The deal builds on the live-streaming deals Twitter has done with others that spreads content via the social network. The deal could also help Twitter compete more with giants such as Google and Facebook, which already make a lot of money from video ads.

Bloomberg's chief executive Justin Smith said the video stream would be "broader in focus" than its existing output. He said it would build on the habits of many Twitter users who send tweets as they watch live events.

Twitter's chief operating officer Anthony Noto said the stream would be designed for mobile audiences so people can focus on it when they see something interesting to them. In the first three months of 2017, Twitter broadcast about 800 hours of live video. Many of those streams were connected to specific events.

3 Empowering women through shoes (Jessica Abo in San Francisco Chronicle) Brooklyn mom Nicole Shwirtz decided she wanted to do something to help women with the challenge of finding shoes with the right size and width.

This month, Shwirtz launched a Kickstarter campaign for her line, NicoNine. Says Shwirtz: “I took classes at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology and continued with one-on-one workshopping at the Brooklyn Shoe Space. I learned everything from pattern-making to lasting. There are so many steps that go into making a pair of shoes.

“All my shoes come in half sizes, 5 through 13, and in narrow, medium and wide widths. It's all made by hand, in Brooklyn. My first style, The Athena, comes in two color variations and is my modern take on the ankle boot. It actually takes about 20 hours and 20 individual steps to make a single pair.

“For the consumer, the brand makes available more sizing options than most other brands. As a person with narrow feet, I always felt cheated by the one-size, one-width model. I wanted to empower women of all shoe sizes and widths to find a better fitting shoe for an affordable price.

“On the shoe production side, once the Kickstarter is successfully funded, all shoes will be made to order, by hand, at the Brooklyn Shoe Factory, which is a women-owned, minority-owned factory. They focus on small-batch manufacturing and hire and train talent through a non-profit organization called CEEDS, which employs underserved immigrant women to provide them with meaningful work and fair wages.”

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