Tag Archives: Facebook

Media and Tech Moguls’ ‘Rare Displays of Mortality’ Will Make You Feel Better About Your Mistakes

Jeff Bezos is #1 on Vanity Fair's listWeighted way-too-heavily with tech platform executives, journalists and media moguls, Vanity Fair’s New Establishment list (out today) is basically a who’s-who of people I idolize… But my favorite part of the list is how they recap their picks and in particular, an occasional category dubbed “RARE DISPLAY OF MORTALITY” which highlights one of their colossal missteps in 2017, instead of how they continued to dominate.

I’m a perfectionist. I’m an asshole to myself when I make mistakes. So it helped me a ton to read a laundry list of mistakes and embarrassments made by a usually infallible elite. They’re just like us! Here are some highlights:

  • Peter Thiel would have $6 billion if he hadn’t unloaded his Facebook stock soon after the IPO
  • Two of Shonda Rhimes‘s new shows were cancelled this year
  • The joke was on Stephen Colbert and Showtime’s Election Night Special when the election results upended the entire show
  • Remember when Mark Zuckerberg said it was “crazy” that Facebook might have swung the election?
  • Larry Page‘s own CFO is giving hell to his pet-projects like Fiber
  • Tim Cook helms a company about to be worth a trillion dollars… but his latest innovation is an Echo rip-off and their first original program was Planet of the Apps which one reviewer said “feels like something that was developed at a cocktail party”
  • Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet/Google, made a $2.7-billion-dollar anti-trust mistake in the EU
  • The New York Times is firing hundreds of employees
  • Snap’s stock is down 40% and it was probably the most-anticipated IPO of the year
  • Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and DB Weiss announced their next project was about an alternate-history where the Confederates won the Civil War and it was naturally hosed into submission online
  • Head of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy has had to fire 3 directors of Star Wars installments
  • Marc Andreessen has never hired a female partner at Andreessen Horowitz
  • But of course Jeff Bezos, #1 for the second year in a row… is perfect

The Google/Facebook Digital Ad Duopoly by the Numbers – 2017 Advertising Revenue by Company

Digital ad revenue by company 2017People keep saying that Google and Facebook get 90% of digital ad spending… though still a concerning stat, this is somewhat of a distortion. The rumor started with Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends report and has been paraphrased and rounded up. The real stat is that the duopoly gets about 90% of digital spending growth. So, as advertisers and agencies spend more on digital ads, Google and Facebook are gobbling up most of the new money. That doesn’t really make them a monopoly… it just means they’re doing a great job at keeping other companies from growing in a white-hot space.

eMarketer released some reports giving us real insight into their dominance. Turns out, the duopoly has about 63.1% of the spending. Again, this should still be concerning to you if you work in advertising for anyone but Google and Facebook… but it paints a slightly more optimistic picture.

Check out their data below. Since I’m mostly concerned with market share, I’ve compiled that nicely here:

  • Google 42.17% (YouTube 4.67%)
  • Facebook 20.93% (Instagram 3.71%)
  • Microsoft 4.34% (Linkedin 0.98%)
  • Verizon 4.34%
  • Amazon 1.99%
  • Twitter 1.46%
  • Yelp 0.87%
  • Snap 0.77%
  • IAC 0.54%

Here are my observations:

  • Google has twice the market share of Facebook – When we say the word “duopoly” or call out 90% of growth and 60% of market share, we’re missing the fact that Google has more than twice the market share of Facebook. Put another way, Google has more market share than Facebook and all the other significant digital ad companies combined.
  • Instagram vs. YouTube – By the same token, Facebook has one asset that’s whooping Google: Instagram. Without much of a video product, Instagram is still only $800M behind YouTube in terms of net revenue and the eMarketer predictions have Instagram surpassing YouTube next year.
  • Photo finish for 3rd – I’m really interested in who has the best chance of eating away at the duopoly and it’s a photo-finish for third place with Microsoft and Verizon holding 4.34% of the market each. But they might not really be competitors because AOL/Verizon actually reps a lot of Microsoft’s inventory and why wouldn’t they partner to take down the Goliaths? It would be interesting if these two could start to chip away at either.
  • Snapchat is slightly better off than they look – I’m bullish on Snap because I like a good underdog. eMarketer points out that while they only have .08% of the overall digital ad market, they have more than 1% of mobile and a lot more teens than Facebook and Instagram.
  • And Amazon is lurking at 2% and they just started trying.
  • Apple isn’t on this chart.

SnapChat’s Viewability Advantage Over Facebook

What’s one of today’s prime digital advertising concerns? Viewability.

In case you’re out of the loop: Viewability is more or less a measurement of whether or not a video ad is actually viewed by an audience. (Seems odd, right? A marketer can buy and pay for an ad that was never “viewed.”) A number of factors contribute to the dwindling of this number from fast-scrolling users to bots and videos played “under the fold” or hidden in banners or buggy units.

That is why it should be very concerning that Facebook was recently accused of a less than 30% viewability rate by agencies using third-party measurement firms. Viewability is never going to be perfect and that’s OK — viewability is really just a proxy for “how much is my ad dominating that consumer’s attention” and that’s why agencies are measuring it. Some products and platforms will always perform better in this way… we love TV because that’s a big-ass screen with sight, sound and motion and I get all of it for a 30-second spot.

SnapChat’s ad product, by comparison, is extremely viewable. This is one reason that Snap has a huge advantage (esp. in terms of shifting TV ad spend), even though Facebook and Instagram have potentially slowed their growth. Snap’s ad product takes up the whole screen. It can’t be minimized, ignored or “tuned out.” Further, its users are completely engaged in the content — they’re burning the screen, skipping anything they deem unworthy of their attention. They’re leaning forward, right into your ad. Earn their consideration and you get a never-before-seen level of “dominating the consumer’s attention” for 10 seconds. It’s probably BETTER than TV.

Here’s SnapChat continuing to master product design and UI — it’s all about the user first… and just so happens to whet the advertisers’ demand for viewability.

Social network showdown

I published this piece in the Los Angeles Loyolan as part of a Myspace versus Facebook debate — indeed, a hackneyed topic. I think we both bring new things to the table. You can read the Myspace article here and mine below.

facebookcartoon

Let’s talk about our campus as though it were a social network like Facebook or MySpace. The students are represented by their profiles, McKay is like a Facebook group and John O’Connor is kind of like Tom. The confines of the bluff are what make this geographic location into its own social network. Our particular geography makes us feel safe – we’re bordered by a bluff on one side, a quaint neighborhood on the other and there’s only two gated entrances to this cute little compound. When I stand out on the bluff and watch from afar as a helicopter beams its spotlight on a burglar (hacker) in the streets below, I feel safe – which is just good enough. I feel safe, but in reality, this is Los Angeles, where people will come from off-campus. People get harassed right on Loyola Boulevard, or shot right outside the back entrance.

…Read the full story in the Los Angeles Loyolan