This is part of a series of briefings made internally by our staff researcher Dakota Sky Bloom and released on our blog.
Pinterest Entering Mobile AR Fray
Pinterest built a visual search engine, Lens, that allows you to take a picture of a product and it will find the Pins that match it. For reference- pins are the picture + caption + tag format that is the basic building block of Pinterest, like the post is on Facebook or the Tweet is on Twitter. Pins can easily get lost in the shuffle of the tens of millions of pieces of content.
If you define mixed reality as bridging the gap between analog and digital, this certainly counts. It also is an interesting edge in the online shopping space, and a welcome sign that Pinterest is willing to compete with the titans of shopping. It is nearly guaranteed that Google and Amazon will try to create their own versions. Given Pinterest’s product photo based platform, it has the same kind of built in data advantages that the Fearsome Five platforms usually wield.
FB Live Midroll Ads Finally Arrive
If you have 2K+ Facebook Page Likes and 300+ concurrent viewers for your FB Live broadcasts, you can turn on mid-roll ads for FB Live. A mid-roll ad is like a 15-second TV commercial break. First commercial at 4 minutes, another at 9 minutes, and you take 55% of the ad revenue. First wide-scale ad revenue share Facebook has done so far. Given that Facebook has stopped making FB Live production deals, this might provide a way to keep Live shows semi-profitable.
MCN Instability Should Be Expected
A lot of buzz has been in the air following instability at a number of Multi-Channel Networks, like Maker and Awesomeness, and what it means for online video. This comes at the same time as rumors of trouble swirl around a number of online/media/tech sectors, most notably adtech and VR. This instability, however, marks most new, high-growth industries. An example of this is the early film industry:
“In the U.S., the motion picture industry became the internet of the 1910s. When companies put the word motion pictures in their IPO investors would flock to it. Many of these companies went bankrupt, were dissolved or were taken over. A few survived and became the Hollywood studios most of which we still know today: Paramount, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Warner Brothers, Universal, Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO), Twentieth Century-Fox, Columbia and United Artists.”
Rapid Fire Roundup
Each week you see independent new companies and older media companies try to stake a space in the digital sphere and compete with the Fearsome Five platforms. These insurgent media companies need all the edge they can get.
- AOL is trying to turn into a major content player by leveraging its partnership with a 2000-strong publisher/advertiser network and creating medium-length content. It wants to compete with Netflix & Amazon. Combined with Verizon and Yahoo, they just might have the scale.
- NBCUniversal put $500 million into Snapchat– and in an employee letter, lays out their $1.5 billion in digital investments over the last 18 months. A dozen digital media companies, including Hulu and Vox.
- Roku has 13.4 million active accounts (Hulu is at 12 million, for scale), and grew by 46% year-over-year in accounts. Gets investments from companies (News Corp, Viacom, etc) that want to have an independent streaming device on the market.
- Cinedigm, the largest independent content distributor in the US, now has 4 SVODs which cover documentaries, family-friendly films, convention fandoms, and eSports. If these SVODs flourish is an open question- see the early Hollywood section above for my concerns.
- Vice inks deals with 8 mobile providers around the world, expanding Viceland’s reach to 80 territories. Shane Smith is bullish on provider-created and -funded content.
This is part of a series of media news briefings made internally by our staff researcher Dakota Sky Bloom and released on our blog.