Verizon’s Yahoo-Centric NewFronts Presentation Leans On Tech, Original Content

Verizon Media hosted its 2019 NewFronts presentation for advertisers on Tuesday that leaned heavily on original content, Yahoo platforms and emerging technology, especially AR/VR and 5G.

Verizon is taking full advantage of its 2017 $4.48 billion Yahoo acquisition with a new slate of programming across several platforms.

“We’re more focused than ever on ​transforming powerful intentions into real connections, performance and quality through data insights and content, deepening the connection between brands and consumers,” said K. Guru Gowrappan, Verizon Media CEO.

Stories, Shopping And Sound Bytes

Yahoo Play currently has over 20 original series on its platform and over 10 series in development including Room of Doom and Beat the Street: Los Angeles.

A new 5G-enabled series called Hypezilla is coming to the Yahoo Play app that features weekly products and consumer technology. Augmented reality integration allows users to preview featured items and make purchases inside the app. Hypezilla will be produced by Verizon Media’s ​RYOT 5G Studio in Los Angeles, the first 5G-enabled content studio in Hollywood.

Yahoo Finance will debut a new series called My Three Cents, on which host Jen Rogers will interview influencers, athletes and celebrities about money. This summer, Yahoo Finance will launch three new podcasts—Ballots and Dollars, The Art of the Exit and Illegal Tender.

Verizon Media expanded its DSP audio inventory through a ​global integration with private audio marketplace AdsWizz. The platform draws audio inventory from Pandora, iHeartRadio and other publishers. This integration is an extension of Verizon Media’s programmatic audio inventory that launched in 2018, which allows users to buy, manage, and measure audio inventory alongside display, video and native programmatic campaigns.

Actress and activist Julianne Moore presented advertisers with a documentary called 5B, which tells the story of the first AIDS/HIV care unit in the US. Verizon Media will distribute and support the film’s world premiere, citing investment in “prolific storytelling that impacts communities around the world.”

Fantasy Football And ‘Experiential Reality’

New York Jets quarterback ​Sam Darnold and Yahoo Sports Fantasy Football expert Liz Loza took the stage to announce that for the first time, Yahoo Sports is extending NFL streaming rights to the Yahoo Fantasy Football app.

Mobile and tablet users will be able to watch all local and primetime 2019-2020 season games free and unauthenticated in the Yahoo Fantasy Football app, the Yahoo Sports app and other Verizon and NFL media properties.

For journalists, Verizon introduced a new Yahoo News XR Partner program that grants access to the RYOT 5G studio and the company’s 5G Labs. The company has already partnered with USA Today​, ​Reuters, The Associated Press, TIME and ​NowThis to produce interactive news content for viewers.

“Through the Yahoo News XR Partner Program, we want to accelerate the development of extended reality content from our trusted news partners and offer our audiences the best-in-class next-generation journalism,” said Alex Wallace, general manager of news, entertainment and studios at Verizon Media​.

Partners will also be given access to “new forms” of XR media inventory for advertisers, some of which were demonstrated at Cannes Lions 2018. The company also recently announced programmatic VR offerings and mobile AR ads.

Sargento Launches World’s Slowest Pizza Delivery Service

Sargento announced its new Reserve Series by delivering pizzas—but hungry consumers will have to wait up to 18 months because that’s how long it takes the cheese to age.

The “World’s Slowest Pizza Delivery” is a partnership with Chicago pizzeria, Big G’s, offering free pies to the first 100 consumers to sign up on Tuesday. The promotion was open exclusively to those within Big G Pizza’s delivery radius and quickly sold out.

Patient fans were given the choice of four pizza flavors, each made with a different cheese from the Reserve Series. The flavor they chose determined how long they have to wait, depending on the age of each cheese. Options included Margherita (4-Month Aged Italian Blend), Apple Bacon Gouda (6-Month Aged Gouda), Chicken Parmesan (14-Month Aged Parmesan) and Mac ‘n’ Cheese (18-Month Aged Cheddar).

While they wait, pizza recipients can track the progress and watch their cheese age via Sargento’s live cheese cam. They, along with anyone that missed their chance at free pizza, can also visit the microsite for a coupon and pizza recipes to make at home.

Sargento is touting its new aged cheeses as “premium,” which has different meanings for different consumers. According to Nielsen research, the most commonly cited reasons for a product being perceived as premium are that it has exceptional quality (54 percent of respondents) and 42 percent said that they were “very willing” to pay a premium for products made with organic or all-natural ingredients.

Sargento has touted itself as “real cheese people” in marketing campaigns that appeal to consumers’ health and authenticity-conscious appetites. This particular activation is designed to illustrate how natural foods like cheese often take a long time to make, which adds to the flavor and quality.

“At Sargento, we believe that good things come to those who wait—especially cheese,” said Stuart Manning, senior marketing manager of Sargento Shredded Cheese in a press release.

The 65-year-old, privately-owned brand reported net sales of $1.4 billion and is in a good position to take advantage of growing consumer appetites for protein. According to Nielsen, dairy sales reached $953 million in the US as of July 2018. Groceries containing an “excellent source,” of protein have become a $22.6 billion industry.

Global cheese sales are expected to reach $118.44 billion this year, according to Transparency Market Research. This growth, compared to $72.5 billion in 2012, is driven by consumer demand for more nutritional cheese and increased sales from the fast-food segment, the report stated.

Pizza, meanwhile, is another growing market, according to PMQ. The US appetite for a hot slice yielded an estimated $45.1 billion, with 41 percent of that income going to independent restaurants like Big G’s Pizza.

How DTC Mattress Companies Are Conquering Social Media

Direct-to-consumer companies are continuously disrupting industries leaving long-standing brands scratching their heads about how to regain lost market share—about 10 percent—from fast-growing upstarts.

A picture of this has never been more clear than comparing direct-to-consumer mattress companies with legacy veterans’ activity on social media.

It’s not even that the products themselves are necessarily disruptive—these companies are simply being advantageous of leveraging digital channels and refreshing branding to appeal to status-oriented millennials.

As more and more DTC mattress companies are opening up traditional showrooms, it’s clear that the success of the direct-to-consumer model isn’t really just about cutting out the “middleman,” but about developing communities around these products and creating a bit of a halo of aspiration online.

AList shares How DTC Mattress Companies Are Conquering Social Media

With data from Soulmate’s ROI Reporter, we are able to compare what was happening across channels and how much earned media value was being generated by leading mattress brands.

AList shares How DTC Mattress Companies Are Conquering Social Media
AList shares How DTC Mattress Companies Are Conquering Social Media
AList shares How DTC Mattress Companies Are Conquering Social Media

The data shows a stark contrast and sheds light on how companies like Casper, Leesa and Purple have quickly become recognized brands.

Let’s take a look at a few companies on both sides of the mattress industry to dig into what is happening here with data pulled from March 9 to April 7, 2019.



Casper is likely the first example that comes to mind when thinking of DTC mattress companies, and it is not surprising—according to a report from Retail Dive in 2018, the mattress brand commands 50 percent of the total market share of the direct-to-consumer mattress space.

Primarily, Casper has focused on leveraging Facebook and Instagram to generate this massive growth, both of which continue to be its key platforms of focus today.

According to, Casper is the second-leading DTC mattress company in terms of follower earned media value and skews the highest with Facebook average earned media value ($1,070) and Instagram average earned media value ($156) of all mattress companies.


Of all the brands included in this report, Purple ranks the highest for earned media value. The direct-to-consumer mattress company has made these big gains by focusing on a channel most others have paid little-to-no attention to: YouTube.

For Purple, the average earned media value on YouTube posts is $2,090; the brand also produces quite a bit of review-based influencer content on the platform.

Beyond creating engaging content, Purple also succeeded in getting the highest earned media value for followers on any platform, worth an astonishing $2,300,517.18 in EMV for just a 30-day period.


Sleep Number

Aside from a rather dreary picture from the rest of the pack of legacy brands, Sleep Number stands out as one making significant strides on social media. As the second-best performing company overall from brands in this report, Sleep Number is also seeing this success translate to their bottom line.

Sleep Number performed consistently in 2018 with sales growth of 6.03 percent.

The company has also taken a diversified approach to platforms with high levels of growth across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube channels, partially driven by a partnership Sleep Number has with the NFL.

While the best performing platform for Sleep Number is Facebook ($1,792,599 in Facebook follower earned media value), the company is also far-and-away the top legacy brand on YouTube ($186,117 YouTube follower earned media value).

Serta Simmons

Now to provide some contrast: Simmons, a mattress company founded in 1870, does not appear to have capitalized on its legacy brand equity in the social space. One reason could be the company’s diversification of product brand names, like Beautyrest. The company has neither an Instagram nor a YouTube account and has just over 5,000 likes on Facebook, with the last post dated as May 2012.

Sister brand Serta, whose iconic counting sheep ads gained the company prominence in the early aughts continues to be a mainstay for the brand but has not translated to success in the social space with infrequent posts.

Tuft & Needle, another disruptive direct-to-consumer brand, agreed to a merger with Serta Simmons Bedding in late 2018, so it remains to be seen how the legacy brand will leverage newfangled DTC insights.

IAB: Digital Video Spend Up 25 Percent On Average; Original Content Surging

Marketing teams will increase their digital video budgets nearly 25 percent to $18 million in 2019, according to a new report by the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). While brands call original digital video content (ODV) “essential,” ensuring the quality of this content presents a challenge.

IAB’s Video Advertising Spend Report 2019 explores the spending plans of 350 marketer and agency executives, 17 percent of which representing direct to consumer (DTC) brands. Respondents had to be involved in digital video advertising decision-making at a company responsible for at least $1 million total ad spend in 2018 and have familiarity with the Digital Content NewFronts.

Sample groups represented the automotive, consumer packaged goods (CPG), fashion/apparel, finance, home furnishings, media/entertainment, retail and telecommunications industries.

Video ad spend has grown across all the aforementioned industry verticals but none more so than in Media/Entertainment, which will increase its ad spend by an estimated 75 percent this year. The next-highest estimated increase will come from Fashion/Apparel at 45 percent compared to spending in 2018.

Despite its small representation among those surveyed (17 percent), direct to consumer (DTC) brands expect to allocate more than half of their digital spend on digital video advertising. This is a 50 percent YoY increase. About half of this budget will be spent during Digital Content NewFronts, marketers said.

Nearly two-thirds of respondent budgets have been allocated to digital video, IAB found. A majority of that spend is allocated outside of social channels as brands invest in music video sites, user-generated content, online TV shows and others.

IAB notes that seven out of 10 digital video advertisers currently use influencers in their digital video advertising. Four out of 10 plan to increase spending this year on influencer partnerships.

Spending on original digital video content (ODV) will rise 31 percent year over year to $9.3 million. Respondents said they consider ODV to be “essential.” While “quality of content” remains the main deciding factor for investment, it is also listed as marketers’ biggest obstacle for ODV.

Brands will adopt new digital video ad formats at a higher rate in 2019, IAB predicts, especially stories and shoppable ads. Over half—59 percent—plan to increase their spend on advanced TV (ATV) over the next 12 months, with half reporting increases in OTT.

Audience reach and campaign optimization were chosen as top benefits of advertising on OTT, with “cost” as its biggest obstacle.

Digital video programmatic spending is expected to rise four percent YoY and reach 53 percent fo buying methods. DTC brands allocate more funds to programmatic in-house buys than their incumbent counterparts, IAB noted.

A majority of respondents (83 percent) agree that a unified multi-platform buying solution across TV and digital video is “extremely/very important.”

“This year’s report clearly points out that buyers are looking for more unified approaches to planning, executing, and measuring video campaigns across platforms,” said Eric John, deputy director of IAB Digital Video Center of Excellence. “The more the industry pivots to make good on the promise of ‘video everywhere,’ the more we can expect digital video budgets to increase.“

Disney TV Hires Chief Marketer; Snap, Juul Appoint First CMOs

This week’s executive shifts include CMOs for Disney TV/ABC Snap, Juul, J.Hilburn, GumTree, Snag, Bass Pro Shops and B&Q. Also, Kraft Heinz hires a former AB InBev CMO to be its CEO and Nintendo of America promotes for SVP, marketing.

Check out our careers section for executive job openings and to post your own staffing needs.

Disney TV/ABC Appoints Marketing Chief

Disney TV/ABC Entertainment has named Shannon Ryan president of marketing. Ryan came to Disney in the Fox Networks acquisition, where she was previously chief marketing officer of Fox Television Group.

“Joining Disney, a company I’ve always admired and one of the most powerful brands in the world, is the opportunity of a lifetime,”said Ryan in a statement. “I’m beyond excited to begin this next chapter and look forward to collaborating with Craig and Karey and their incredibly talented teams to shine a light on the fantastic work being done at these creative companies.”

Snap Hires Chief Marketing Officer From McDonald’s

Snap hired Kenny Mitchell as the company’s first chief marketing officer. Mitchell begins the role in June and had been vice president marketing, brand content and engagement at McDonald’s.

Mitchell, who had only been with McDonald’s for about a year, previously lead consumer engagement at Gatorade and was the managing director of brand and consumer marketing at NASCAR for two years. Mitchell started out at PepsiCo in the early 2000s before joining Gatorade and working his way up to director of sports marketing.

“Kenny’s consumer marketing expertise and his deep understanding of our products will be a great combination for Snap,” said Snap co-founder/CEO Evan Spiegel. “Throughout his career, Kenny has demonstrated his ability to successfully execute innovative, global marketing campaigns, many of which have leveraged our own vertical video and augmented reality products. He’s a natural fit to join our team and lead marketing as we continue driving the positive momentum we have in the business.”

“Snap is a great company with strong values, an inspired vision and innovative products that are empowering its global community,” Mitchell said in a statement. “I look forward to helping Evan and Snap continue to tell their story to people around the world, and working with my new colleagues as we define the future of the camera and self-expression.”

Juuls Appoints First Chief Marketing Officer

According to the Wall Street Journal, Juul hired Craig Brommers, a veteran retail marketer, to be the company’s first chief marketing officer. Brommers was most recently the chief marketing officer at Gap.

Brommers also had senior marketing positions at Calvin Klein, Abercrombie and Fitch and Speedo.

In the WSJ article, Brommers says “I joined Juul Labs because I strongly believe in the company’s goal of eliminating combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in the world, based on personal experience within my family.”

J.Hilburn Appoints Chief Marketing Officer

J.Hillburn appointed Casey Shilling as the clothing brand’s chief marketing officer. Shilling was most recently CMO of Zoe’s Kitchen, from 2016 to January of this year. Before that Shilling spent 20 years at the Container Store, working her way up from PR supervisor to vice president of marketing and publication relations.

“I’m thrilled to join J.Hilburn and this dynamic, seasoned management team during such an exciting time for the brand,” said Shilling said in a statement. “Together, we plan to increase our stylist network and transform the company into an omni-channel business, increasing brand awareness to attract new customers and deepening engagement with our loyal base of clients.”

GumTree Picks Up Chief Marketing Officer

GumTree appointed Claire Howard-Jones as the company’s chief marketing officer. According to The Drum, Howard-Jones brings “two decades of experience with brands such as Amazon, Sainsbury’s and British Airways.”

In a statement to The Drum, Howard-Jones said, “Joining a brand at a time of growth as CMO presents an exciting challenge—one I can’t wait to get started on. Gumtree is a well-loved brand and I’m excited to bring my experience to help solidify the new brand proposition and elevate our growing motors offering.”

B&Q Hires Former House Of Fraser CMO

B&Q has hired Paddy Earnshaw, formerly of House of Fraser, as chief marketing officer. Earnshaw also had previous appointments at Doddle, Worldpay and Moneycorp.

GoBear hires Chief Marketing Officer

GoBear has hired Nelson Allen to be chief marketing officer for the company. In a statement, the company says, “Asia’s leading financial supermarket GoBear has appointed Nelson Allen as Chief Marketing Officer. Nelson is an accomplished Marketer, with two decades of experience mainly gained in the Asia Pacific region.”

Snag Appoints Chief Marketing Officer

Snag appointed Mathieu Stevenson as chief marketing officer. He comes ot the job search company after spending the last few years as CMO at Blucora and chief strategy officer at Catalina. He will “leads Snag’s marketing and communications efforts.”

Forrest Films Fills Freshly Carved Exec Marketing Roles

Forrest Films hired Lori Drazen, Liz Deutsch and Bryce Campbell as senior vice president of marketing, senior vice president of in-theater marketing and promotions and senior vice president of operations, respectively.

Drazen has previously served as senior vice president of theatrical marketing and worldwide advertising services and worked with independent production and distribution entities, as well as creative advertising agencies.

Deutsch launched her career at MGM Studios 15 years ago and at her last job with Open Road, she oversaw campaigns for many films, including Chef, The Nut Job, and the Oscar-winning, Spotlight.

Campbell, who also comes to Forrest Films from Open Road, started his career at Miramax Films, where he worked on such movies as No Country For Old Men. At Open Road, he served as a vice president of theatrical sales and operations.

Kings Food Markets And Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market Promote Within

Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market promoted Karen Roche to the role of vice president of marketing. She will report to Stephen Corradini, the company’s chief merchandising and marketing officer, but her new duties will include managing creative content, brand development, digital marketing, media and planning, budgeting and overseeing the retailer’s external agency team.

Def Jam Invites Jeff Burroughs To Join The Executive Team

Per Billboard, Jeff Burroughs will now be a Def Jam’s senior vice president of marketing.

Burroughs previously served as an executive vice president at Bad Boy Entertainment, senior vice president at RCA Records and head of commercial at Simon Cowells Syco Entertainment. He will be joining Def Jam from his own Los-Angeles-based consulting and brand strategy firm, Rise Entertainment.

“I’m excited to re-enter the major label system, and proud to be joining Paul Rosenberg, Rich Isaacson, Scott Greer and the talented Def Jam executives at the undisputed home of hip-hop. I intend to make sure that I add value at a critical and opportune time in the history of this legendary label,” Burroughs told Billboard.

La-Z-Boy Incorporated Senior VP Retires

AP News reported on Wednesday that La-Z-Boy senior vice president, chief commercial officer and president international, J. Douglas Collier, will retire on June 22, 2019. Collier first started at La-Z-Boy in 2002 as a vice president of marketing. He then left the company in 2005 but returned as a CMO two years later.

Kobalt’s AWAL Hires A VP Of Strategic Marketing

Thomas Fiss will join Kobalt’s AWAL as a vice president of strategic marketing, North America. Fiss had previously managed brand partnerships at the Life is Beautiful Music Festival. He is also a co-founder of, a software platform that simplifies the artist and brand partnership process.

AWAL President, North America Ron Cerrito said in a statement, “We are reimagining the construct and type of services artists and labels should have access to in the modern music industry. We sought someone with Thomas’ brand partnership expertise and agency approach to help us innovate what next chapter music marketing should look like and to help our artists create unique content offerings for their fans.”

Bass Pro Shops Appoints Chief Marketing Officer

Bass Pro Shops and parent company Great Outdoors Group announced the appointment of Jamie Sohosky as chief marketing officer. Sohosky comes to the companies from Walmart, where she leaves the position VP, customer experience. Sohosky had been with Walmart since 2006 and worked at Campbell Soup Company before that.

According to the press release, Sohosky “will lead the powerful marketing engine overseeing omnichannel customer engagement, digital, paid and social media, promotions, events, sponsorships, partnerships and additional facets of the marketing mix.”

Apple Hires TV And Film Marketer

Last week, Apple hired Danielle DePalma to be the company’s film and TV series marketing executive as the company ramps up its original programming for Apple TV Plus. DePalma comes to Apple from Lionsgate, where she was the executive vice president worldwide digital marketing & research. She’d been with the company for 10 years.

Kraft Heinz Hires AB InBev Chief Marketing Officer

Kraft Heinz appointed Miguel Patricio as the company’s chief executive officer. Patricio comes to the brand from AB InBev, where he was the chief marketing officer for six years. Patricio had been with Anheuser-Busch since 2005, and prior to that had senior marketing positions at Philip Morris, Coca-Cola and Johnson & Johnson.

“Kraft Heinz is an incredible company with iconic brands that are loved around the world,” Patricio said in a statement. “It will be a privilege and an honor to lead such a talented group of employees as we focus on the consumer to capitalize on the growth opportunities that exist in the rapidly evolving food industry.”

Nintendo American Appoints Marketing, Sales SVP

Nintendo of America promoted Nick Chavez to the position of senior vice president of sales and marketing. Chavez has been with the company for nine years and was previously VP of marketing. Prior to Nintendo, Chavez worked in brand marketing at Yahoo.

He announced his new position via Twitter.

Westwood One Appoints Head Of Marketing, Sponsorship Sales

Westwood One appointed Theresa Gage as vice president, sponsorship sales and marketing. Gage has prior positions at Music Audience Exchange, InMobi and Pandora.

Cannabis One Acquires Evergreen Organix, Appoints CMO

Cannabis One has acquired Nevada-based Evergreen Organix and in turn appointed the company’s president Jerry Velarde to the position of chief marketing officer at Cannabis One.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment is updated until Friday, April 19. Have a new hire tip? We’re looking for senior executive role changes in marketing and media. Let us know at

Job Vacancies 

Chief Marketing OfficerStila CosmeticsNew York, NY
Vice President, Film MarketingWarner Bros.Burbank, CA
Chief Marketing Officer ThirdLoveSan Francisco, CA
VP, Investment MarketingPrudentialShelton, CT
Vice President of Marketingsbe Entertainment GroupLos Angeles, CA
Vice President of MarketingBelkinPlaya Vista, CA

Make sure to check back for updates on our Careers page.

Some Users Would Pay For Twitter; Facebook’s Invincibility

Trying to keep up with every social platform’s latest updates, insights and campaigns? Keep reading, because we explain it all.

Some Twitter Users Would Be Willing To Pay For Service

According to a report from Morning Consult, some Twitter users would be willing to pay for Twitter as a service, eventually.

Why it matters: Twitter seems to have turned a corner recently, having logged it’s first profitable year after many years of operating at a loss. But, all of this is ad revenue, would a subscription service work or would it push users away?

The details: According to the survey, “88% of Twitter users say they use the platform ‘mostly for fun,'” but “when asked which of the four major social media platforms they’d give up if forced to choose, youngest adults were least likely to pick Twitter. “

The report calculated the optimum cost for a Twitter subscription would be $4 a month and that 27 percent of each age group surveyed say “they would ‘definitely’ or ‘maybe’ pay for the social media service.”

Facebook The Invincible

Facebook’s Q1 2019 update shows an increase in daily users of 55 million since last quarter.

Why it matters: The Q1 report shows the platform’s healthy user growth, despite all the turmoil Facebook has been founding itself in lately. 

The details: According to the report, Facebook now has 2.37 billion monthly active users, 1.56 billion of which log in every day (this demonstrates a 39 million increase since Q4 2018).

Per the report, the social media platform’s growth in North America and Europe has slowed, but doubled in India since 2015 and continues in the Asia Pacific and other countries around the world. Facebook reported a 26 percent year-over-year increase in revenue, bringing in $15.08 billion for the first quarter.

The Shocking Facebook Stories Stats  

On Wednesday, following Facebook’s Q1 2019 report release, Mark Zuckerberg revealed some impressive Facebook Stories statistics during the call with investors.

Why it matters: After a rough couple of years, these new user numbers show Facebook has, to an extent, weathered the storm.

The details: According to the company’s CEO, Facebook Stories hit 500 million daily active users. Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said that 3 million advertisers have made use of the Stories format across Facebook’s overall app ecosystem. Financial information about the ads’ performance is unavailable at this time.

China’s Gen Z Doesn’t Care For Traditional Shopping

Bloomberg reported that traditional retail and ecommerce are not attractive to China’s Gen Z population.

Why it matters: To the generation born after 1996, social media is not just a place to connect, show off or get inspired, it’s the place, where they want to shop. 

The details: According to Bloomberg, China’s Gen Zs are interested neither in big brand names nor in traditional ad campaigns. Most of the time, they buy what’s recommended by influencers and make their purchases using messaging, short videos, livestreaming and social media apps.

The researcher, Frost & Sullivan, predicts that by 2022 in China,  $413 billion in goods will be sold through social ecommerce, compared to $90 billion in 2017. This trend is expected to quickly catch on throughout the world.

Twitter Increases Ad Payments To Publishers By 60 Percent 

According to Digiday, Twitter said they paid 60 percent more revenue back to publishers last year than in 2017.

Why it matters: Twitter sees 139 million “monetizable” daily active users, according to Merket.US data, and has 950 media partners. The platform has deals for original and exclusive content with media companies such as NBA, BuzzFeed and CNN. These deals, in fact, drive the lion’s share of the revenue that Twitter is sending back to publishers.

The details: “Since the business has hit its stride over the past two, three years, we have grown to more than 950 global content publishers. We’re doing more content through more partnerships and deals than ever before. Even with the people we were already working with, we have gone back to the drawing board to make those relationships bigger,” Kay Madati, Twitter’s head of content partnerships told Digiday.

Pew Survey Explains What Twitter Users Are Like

Pew Research Center surveyed 2,791 US adult Twitter users to get an insight into the platform’s demographic’s behavioral patterns and habits.

Why it matters: The findings of the survey show some characteristics and attitudes of Twitter users in the US and connect them to the users’ behaviors, such as tweet frequency and the number of accounts they follow on the platform.

The details: Here are the main takeaways:

  • 42 percent of adult Twitter users have at least a bachelor’s degree, which is 11 percentage points higher than the overall share of the public with this level of education (31 percent).
  • Twitter users are more likely to identify with the Democratic Party (36 percent) compared to US adults at large (30 percent)
  • 64 percent of Twitter users vs. 54 percent of Americans say black Americans are treated less fairly than white Americans. They are also more likely than the U.S. general public to say that immigrants strengthen the U.S. (66 percent vs. 57 percent) and that barriers exist in the society that make it harder for women to get ahead (62 percent vs. 56 percent).
  • The most prolific 10 percent of Twitter users produce about 138 tweets monthly. These active tweeters are also more likely to be female: 65 percent, compared with 48 percent of the bottom 90 percent of tweeters.

Twitter’s New Reporting Feature For Elections 

Twitter posted a blog post on Wednesday about strengthening its approach to deliberate attempts to mislead voters by creating a new dedicated reporting feature. 

Why it matters:The new dedicated reporting feature will make it easier for Twitter users to report misleading content. 

The details: According to Twitter, the feature is an addition to the already existing approach to control platform manipulations.

Misleading information about how to vote, register to vote or requirements to vote, as well as false information about the official date or time of an election, is considered content in violation. 

“We will start with 2019 Lok Sabha in India and the EU elections and then roll out to other elections globally throughout the rest of the year,” the company said in a blog post. 

Snap Is Shutting Down Some Sponsored Content 

Earlier this month, Snap added a new clause to its community guidelines, Digiday reports. A new bullet point under “Impersonation & Spam” section states, “We prohibit spam and deceptive practices, including content that imitates Snapchat ad formats.”

Why it matters: For many creators on Snapchat, this addition finally provided an explanation to why their sponsored posts have been mysteriously disappearing from the platform.

The details: Snap’s spokesperson told Digiday that the change was made to help preserve the integrity of its ad product. The company doesn’t want the users to be under the impression that the posts they see within a Snapchat story are official Snap Ads. A Snap spokesperson also said that as long as the terms and guidelines are followed, the company will not stand in the way of creators and stop them from monetizing.

The Amount Of Accounts Promoting Fake Luxury Products On Instagram Triples

Researchers investigating groups of organized criminals promoting fake luxury products on Instagram found that the number of accounts involved in this activity (linked to such luxury brands as Gucci, Chanel, Balenciaga, Louis Vuitton and Dior) nearly tripled over the past three years.

Why it matters: Instagram’s shift from social media to ecommerce platform created opportunities to conveniently shop, but it also created more opportunities for fraud.

The details: The team conducting the research used special logo-recognition tool along with hashtag and keyword searches, and scanned almost four million Instagram posts. The researchers found almost 56,769 accounts involved in scamming. To compare, in 2016, the same team found 20,882 accounts.

Andrea Stroppa, CEO of Ghost Data, who spearheaded the research, told NBC News, “The luxury brands I speak to are frustrated because it’s so easy to find these accounts, but Instagram is not very responsive.” 

Twitter Announces Q1 Results 

On Tuesday morning, Twitter released the report on its First Quarter 2019 results. 

Why it matters: Although, compared to the same quarter last year, the monthly user growth figure is not significantly higher, the user base is growing steadily (from 321 million last quarter to 330 million in Q1).

The details: According to the report, Twitter’s Q1 revenue totaled $787 million, an increase of 18 percent YoY or 20 percent on a constant currency basis. Advertising revenue totaled $679 million, an increase of 18 percent YoY or 20 percent on a constant currency basis. Total ad engagements increased by 23 percent YoY. Cost per engagement (CPE) decreased by 4 percent YoY.

Ad engagements increase on Twitter can be explained by the company’s recent efforts to make the platform less toxic and safer for brands.

“We are taking a more proactive approach to reducing abuse and its effects on Twitter,” Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s CEO said in the report.

Publishers Actively Use TikTok

According to Digiday, publishers are actively employing TikTok into their marketing strategies.

Why it matters: TikTok is among the platforms most suitable for reaching young audiences, as approximately 60 percent of its monthly active users in the U.S. are between 16 and 24 years old. These users are also very engaged with the app, spending about 46 minutes per day on TikTok.

The details: TikTok doesn’t have a way for publishers to directly monetize on the app yet (although they are testing biddable ads). But some publishers are still taking their chances with the wildly popular app. For example, since February, NBC News’ “Stay Tuned” has posted 26 videos on TikTok. And in March, ESPN joined the app with a video set to TikTok-sensation-turned-billboard-hit “Old Town Road.”

Vine’s Successor, Byte, Starts Beta Testing  

Business Insider reported that a new video-sharing app, Byte, developed by a co-creator of Vine, starts beta testing for 100 users on Tuesday. 

Why it matters: Taking into consideration that Vine was once a thriving company, attracting over 200 million active users, the venture might be successful.

The details: According to the former Vine co-creator and Byte app developer, Dom Hofman, Byte’s beta testing will most likely feel similar to Vine’s beta testing. However, the Byte app will change as it grows, he told Business Insider.

Twitter acquired Vine in 2012 but had to shut it down in 2016 because it struggled to make it profitable. 

“Hey Google, Play YouTube Music” 

YouTube Music is now offering free, ad-supported music experiences on Google Home speakers and other Google Assistant-powered speakers.

Why it matters: Ad-supported version of the service provides an opportunity for advertisers to invest their ad dollars and take advantage of unskippable commercials. 

The details: The free ad-supported version doesn’t allow for skipping tracks, playing a previous song, accessing YouTube Music playlists directly or downloading tracks, but can be upgraded to Premium for $9.99/month. 

The service is currently available in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Japan, Netherlands, and Austria. And is coming to more countries soon.

Credit-Card Companies Increase Spending On Social Media Ads 

Big credit-card issuers, like American Express and Capital One, raise spending on Facebook ads, Wall Street Journal reported.

Why it matters: Credit-card companies are slowly moving away from direct-mail promotions and invest more in social media to attract new borrowers.

The details: Capital One and American Express spent an estimated $18.6 million and $13.5 million, respectively, on Facebook ads designed to sign up new consumer-credit-card holders in 2018, up from $2.8 million and $4 million in 2017, and Discover spent over $1 million on consumer-credit-card ads aimed at new borrowers on Facebook in 2018, up from $426,000 a year earlier, WSJ reported.

Snap Announces Snapchat Shows Regional Ad Partners

Snapchat recently revealed advertising partners for its new ad product, “Commercials,” Digitalstudiome reported

Why it matters: The fact that some of the major global brands have already signed up for Commercials proves that publishers are able to monetize short-form original content created for social media digital platforms.

The details: Snapchat’s new six-second, unskippable ad format has already attracted Nestlé, BMW, Mini Cooper, Samsung, Louvre and Almarai. These companies were the first to try the new ad format, which will only be available in Snapchat Shows in UAE and KSA.

Snap’s Leadership Team Shifts

On Monday, Business Insider reported that Snapchat’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, appointed a new leadership team of seasoned deputies. 

Why it matters: In the past two years, Snap has faced many issues, with executive churn one of the main issues. Building a strong, permanent team of leaders is crucial for the company’s future success.

The details: The two major appointments to the team are Snapchat’s co-founder, Bobby Murphy, and Jeremi Gorman, a former Amazon executive, who is now Snap’s chief business officer.

Murphy served as Snap’s chief technology officer since 2012, leading engineering and research at the company. He is Snap’s second-largest shareholder with 46.4 percent total voting power and is a member of Snap’s board of directors. Gorman’s previous career achievements include building Amazon’s ad business as the head of global advertising sales. At Snap, she will be responsible for developing the company’s business strategy, including revenue and advertising performance. 

Facebook Photo Filter For ‘Happy’ Series

According to Mobile Marketer, NBCUniversal’s cable channel, Syfy, added AR experiences to the mobile app for promotion of its dark comedy series, Happy!

Why it matters: The interactive AR experiences offered to the app users should bring additional engagement and extend the campaign’s reach to mobile-savvy fans of Happy!

The details: The mobile users are now able to see a digital version of Happy–the flying unicorn that haunts the thoughts of a hitman, Nick Sax. The best part is that the fans can now interact with Happy through the Facebook photo filter and get fun selfies for their social media.

Instagram Considers Hiding Like Counts

The reverse-engineering expert, Jane Manchun Wong, spotted a design change test, which shows that Instagram is testing the feature that would hide likes count.

Why it matters: Although the feature might upset many users, it should improve some Instagram practices. For example, it might encourage the creators to post content that is authentic and reduce the pressure of gaining as many likes as possible.

The details: “We want your followers to focus on what you share, not how many likes your posts get. During this test, only the person who shares a post will see the total number of likes it gets,” Instagram explained to Tech Crunch.

Editor’s Note: Our weekly social media news post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, April 19. Have a news tip? We’re looking for changes to and news surrounding social media platforms as they relate to marketing. Let us know at

Loyal Beauty Consumers Cite Reviews, Diversity, Women-Owned Businesses

Women prefer direct-to-consumer beauty brands that are environmentally conscious and use diverse representation, according to a survey by commerce marketing cloud provider Yotpo.

Yotpo surveyed 1,875 women who indicated that they do at least half of their shopping online and prefer to purchase beauty products directly from the brand. A majority of respondents (1,000) hailed from the US, while the rest were from the UK. Generation groups consisted of a 500/500/500/373 split of Gen Z, Millennials, Gen X and Baby Boomers, respectively.

A majority of those surveyed indicated an affinity for brands that use diverse models both in ethnicity (75 percent) and body type (84 percent).

A majority (65.8 percent) also bought beauty products directly from the brand via its ecommerce site even though it was available through third-party retailers. When asked why, respondents indicated a better selection, better price and convenience.

When selecting a brand to purchase from, the most important factors were that the product was organic/clean, eco-friendly and that the brand used diversity/inclusion in its marketing. Overall nearly half (49 percent) of respondents prefer brands that were founded by women. This is especially important among Millennials (aged 23-38) and Gen Z (aged 14-22) and among US respondents.

At 46.6 percent, reviews are listed at the most influential in making purchase decisions, followed by referrals and word of mouth at 43.7 percent. The next most effective channel is brand emails at just 18.8 percent. Influencers weren’t as influential as third-party referrals in the minds of consumers, with only 12.6 percent listing them as a motivating factor.

Yotpo’s findings are similar to a 2019 study by Atlantic Re:think that found approximately 55 percent of Gen Z consumers (aged 14-24) said they use products recommended by a friend. However, the study found a bit more (36 percent) used products advocated by an influencer.

Just over a third (36 percent) listed positive reviews as the top purchase motivator for products they “don’t really need.” The two youngest age groups, Gen Z and Millennials, preferred customer-posted photos and video content over owned channels.

Yotpo found that a majority of its beauty consumer respondents belonged to one or more loyalty programs. Amazon Prime was the most common, followed by “other retailer,” “beauty retailer” and “beauty brand.” Only 16 percent did not participate in a loyalty program of this kind.

In January, Sephora announced an update to its Beauty Insider program that gives members more perks, especially for their birthdays. The global beauty market is predicted to grow to $750 billion by 2024, according to Inkwood research, giving brands even more motivation to keep existing customers happy.

Airbnb Producing Original Content Ahead Of 2020 IPO

Airbnb will invest in original programming to establish itself as an authority on travel culture. With an initial public offering expected next year, the start-up has set its sights on rapid expansion in terms of services but also organic engagement with travelers.

The home-sharing platform already produced a documentary called Gay Chorus Deep South that will debut at the Tribeca Film Festival on April 29. The documentary follows the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus as they toured the Southeastern United States. The Gay Men’s Chorus will perform live at Tribeca following the documentary screening.

Airbnb isn’t stopping there, inside sources told Reuters. A TV show called Home is planned for the newly announced Apple streaming service, featuring unique dwellings and those who live there. Home will be executive produced by Joe Poulin, founder of the luxury vacation rental platform Luxury Retreats. Airbnb acquired Luxury Retreats in 2017.

“We are early in the R+D [research and development] phase of this process,” Chris Lehane, Airbnb’s senior vice president of global policy and communications said in a statement to Yahoo Finance. “While we are not looking to create a traditional 20th century model, as a global people-to-people platform with tremendous organic traffic to our site, we know that that experiential content in a variety of forms is important to engagement and we are focused on finding and supporting the kind of tastemaker content—like the Airbnb Magazine—that is consistent with our mission of belonging.”

Airbnb hosts nearly five million lodging options across 81,000 global cities and as of March 2017, was valued at $31 billion during its last round of funding. Forbes estimates that the company is now worth at least $38 billion. Last week, the company finalized its acquisition of HotelsTonight, an app that connects travelers with boutique and independently-run hotels for last-minute bookings.

Ahead of its IPO, which is expected sometime in 2020, Airbnb must set itself apart from other travel brands in a $7.6 trillion industry. The company is not the first travel and hospitality brand to venture into original programming, either, making this new venture even more challenging. is two seasons into A Sense of Place, a vacation rental show hosted by influencer Matt Landau. In September, Carnival Corporation compiled all its branded video content onto an app called OceanView Mobile. At launch, the app featured over 150 full episodes of popular ocean travel TV shows and short-form videos with the goal of increasing cruise vacation awareness.

Spotify Targets Auto Advertisers With Oracle Data Cloud Partnership

Spotify has announced a collaborating with Oracle Data Cloud that will offer custom audience building tools for auto advertisers. Recent data suggests that Spotify users purchase new vehicles at a higher rate than non-listeners.

Auto advertisers can now build custom audiences of potential car buyers across the US using Oracle Data Cloud’s solutions alongside Spotify’s streaming intelligence tools. The collaboration is designed to reach desired listeners at the appropriate segment and stage of the car buying cycle, then measure how those audiences purchased a vehicle.

Ford has already begun utilizing the service, Spotify says, using niche Polk Audiences powered by Oracle from IHS Markit’s automotive dataset.

Spotify cites recent data from Polk Measurement at IHS Markit, indicating that Spotify users purchased new vehicles at a 26 percent higher rate than the national average of car buyers in 2018. In addition, the study found that Spotify users purchased 38 percent more Entry/Economy/Compact vehicles and 24 percent more luxury SUVs than the national average.

“Oracle Data Cloud can help auto advertisers identify and reach the ideal audiences on Spotify,” said Patrick Thomas, Oracle Data Cloud’s head of partner management for consumer platforms in the announcement.

“Beyond audiences, Oracle Data Cloud also helps auto advertisers close the loop by measuring the result of their campaigns back to sales using Polk Measurement from IHS Markit, so they can analyze and improve their campaigns and get even more Spotify listeners on the road again.”

The Spotify-Oracle Data Cloud collaboration won’t be limited to automotive categories. Audience and measurement tools are available for brands across a variety of verticals including retail and CPG.

Spotify is emphasizing the importance of data-driven advertising by offering new tools aimed at a myriad of potential industries.

Earlier this month, Spotify Ad Studio unveiled a new set of streaming conversion metrics that reveal how listeners responded after listening to an ad. The addition was made in response to labels and artist teams who requested more insights into how a campaign impacted consumers.

New metrics available inside Spotify Ad Studio include how many listeners listened to the artist after hearing the ad, whether the ad performed better with existing listeners or new ones, songs saved to playlists and more.

Spotify ended 2018 with 96 million paying subscribers globally, a 25 million increase year over year. For the fourth quarter, Spotify posted its first-ever quarterly operating profit of €94 million ($105.5 million) and closed out 2018 with €5.26 billion ($119 billion) in revenue, up 28.6 percent from 2017.

Q1 Spend Trends In Latest Digital Marketing Spending Report

Paid search spending slowed for the fifth straight quarter ending Q1 2019, while organic and social traffic held steady, according to Merkle. Google and Amazon’s investments in Shopping Ads paid off, Facebook saw an unusual decline and DuckDuckGo shows organic promise on mobile.

Marketing agency Merkle released its digital marketing report for the first quarter of 2019, using samples of its own clients operating in the North American region.

Shopping Ads Rise To The Occasion

Google spend growth slowed to 16 percent year over year (YoY), showing a decline in cost per click (CPC) but growing in terms of clicks themselves. Clicks have grown since the second quarter of 2018, driven by Google Shopping. Merkle’s clients spent 40 percent more YoY on Google Shopping ads in the first quarter.

Client spending on Showcase Shopping Ads grew from three percent of Shopping clicks in Q1 2018 to eight percent in Q1 2019 for participating advertisers. Google Shopping Ads appear to be cannibalizing its own text ad revenue, the agency observed, as the tech giant prioritizes shopping placement. Text ad spending declined 12 percent YoY.

Paid search spend declined three percent YoY across Bing and Yahoo. In March, Yahoo began drawing exclusively from Bing’s ad inventory. The report notes that the Search Network, with which Google served ads on Yahoo, accounted for only six percent of Google Shopping traffic, indicating a “relatively minor” impact going forward. Bing, however, may see a boost in second-quarter traffic as a result of the transition.

Marketers are pouring more money into becoming a Sponsored Brand or to highlight Sponsored Products on Amazon, Merkle noted. Sponsored Products accounted for 85 percent of all Amazon spend, while spending on Sponsored Brands (formerly Headline Search Ads) was “roughly steady” in Q1.

Google Is King Of Organic Reach . . . For Now

In terms of organic reach, Google continues to dominate visit share, but DuckDuckGo is showing a lot of promise. The search engine saw visits increase 54 percent overall and 78 percent on mobile—not an easy feat considering that Google is the default search browser on most mobile devices.

Paid social spend growth continues to outpace that of traditional display advertising, growing 24 percent YoY compared to 12 percent for display advertising.

Instagram saw the largest visit growth at 114 percent and saw a 44 percent increase in ad spend during the first quarter. Excluding Instagram revenue, Facebook spend growth dipped into negative territory for the first time since Merkle began generating its quarterly reports.

Website visits attributed to social media accounted for over four percent of all site traffic in Q1 and five percent of all mobile visits, both new highs for this report.

Instagram and Facebook topped paid social investments for the quarter among a larger group of advertisers, but Pinterest budgets proved “meaningful” relative to what brands spend on Facebook.

“The pool of brands that are active on Pinterest is significantly smaller than that of Facebook or Instagram, as the use cases of the platform are typically isolated to retailers and because Pinterest campaign management tools are still coming together,” noted Merkle in the report. “However, for those brands that are active on Pinterest, the median advertiser spent more on Pinterest than on Facebook proper in Q1 2019, and garnered significantly more impressions at a lower CPM.”