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Best of the week: For some, the bloom is off the digital rose

March 03, 2017

By Brian Braiker

While you were busy meeting with the Russian ambassador this week, you may have missed some great content. Here are a few of Digiday’s hotter takes and more insightful analyses from the week that was:

The rise of the industry truther
Bob Hoffman, agency veteran and author of the Ad Contrarian blog, has a decade-old schtick: He roams the media badlands and calls bullshit on digital media hucksters. Online advertising is “lies and nonsense.” Marketers are “screwed blind.”  Facebook and Google? “Creeps.” Facebook metrics: “horse shit numbers.” And that’s all in one post he put out this month.

The bloom is off digital media, and Shareen Pathak goes deep. There’s more skepticism, more conspiracy theories, more contrarians and more truthers, decrying everything from the efficacy of programmatic advertising and ad targeting to the point of brands on social media.

“I don’t get nearly as much pushback as I used to,” said Hoffman. “The advertising and marketing industries have not been skeptical enough, but it’s changing.”

Inside Condé’s slow gradual digital embrace
So perhaps it’s not such a bad thing that Condé Nast has been … let’s say deliberate when it comes to digital. If Condé’s glossy magazines are first-class, its digital operation for years has been a distant second. With its strength in print ads, digital wasn’t a priority. Forget about being ahead of the curve: It took years just to get magazines their own websites; didn’t launch in earnest until 2010.

That’s changing, albeit slowly. In 2014 it named its first chief digital officer, Fred Santarpia. In the two years since, Condé Nast’s digital audience grew 76 percent while time spent on the sites has increased 132 percent, per the company. “It’s a great start,” he said.

Last June, Vanity Fair launched The Hive, its first vertical outside the storied magazine, with a roster of star writers and social-first strategy. But to Mike Hogan, the magazine’s digital director, the brand was significant in another, less obvious way.

“To launch it all internally and have it happen on time and without major glitches is a new experience for us,” he said.

Facebook is pitching a new video feature
Facebook is working on a feature that would spotlight original shows and other exclusive long-form content on its mobile and TV apps, reported our own Sahil Patel in a little scooplet this week.

The feature, described as a “spotlight module” during its meetings with potential content partners, would be prominently placed inside the video tab on Facebook’s mobile app, sources said. It would feature about half a dozen or so video series for a period of 24 hours, only to refresh the section with another crop of videos the following day.

“The idea is that this would bring a lot of traffic and attention and [as a result] a lot of revenue via ad breaks,” said one source pitched by Facebook.

The module would contain original series …read more

Source:: Digiday