WARC: Internet in decline beyond Google and Facebook. “Total internet advertising spend – including desktop, mobile, and tablet – will decline by 7.2% this year, if you take the Google and Facebook ‘duopoly’ out of the equation…. Combined, the duopoly’s share of the global online ad market is expected to rise to 61.4% (up from 56.4% in 2018), with combined ad income forecast to reach $176.4 billion – an increase of 22%.”
Cornell University: Freedom on the Move launches database of fugitives from American slavery. “Freedom on the Move (FOTM), an online project devoted to fugitives from slavery in North America, is enlisting the help of the public to create a database for tens of thousands of advertisements placed by enslavers who wanted to recapture self-liberating Africans and African-Americans…. The free, open-source site has been designed to be accessible to the public. Users can quickly set up an account and begin working with digitized versions of the advertisements. Users transcribe the text of an advertisement and then answer questions about the ad and the person it describes. They can choose to transcribe ads from a particular state or specific time period, depending on their areas of interest.” I’m sure you’ve heard of this project before – it looks like I mentioned it in RB back in 2016 – but now it has officially launched.
Bloomberg Quint: Google May Employ More People Than the Entire U.S. Newspaper Industry . “Alphabet Inc., which is almost entirely Google, had 98,771 employees as of December. That news, contained in the annual 10-K report the company released last week, got me thinking. Google, you may remember, passed the entire U.S. newspaper industry in advertising revenue in 2010. The numbers are now not even remotely close.”
Windsor Star (Canada): Social media sites like Facebook take in lion’s share of federal ad dollars. “Of the $39.2 million spent on government advertisements last year, federal departments spent almost $18.2 million on digital ads — roughly 46 per cent of the total budget, which doesn’t include production costs. And, for the first time ever, social media ads made up the biggest slice of digital spending — 43 per cent, or roughly $7.8 million.” Please note this is Canada, not the United States.
Mozilla Blog: Open Letter: Facebook, Do Your Part Against Disinformation. “Mozilla, Access Now, Reporters Without Borders, and 30 other organizations have published an open letter to Facebook. Our ask: make good on your promises to provide more transparency around political advertising ahead of the 2019 EU Parliamentary Elections.”
B&T: Report: Google Now Snares One In Five Of Every Ad Dollars Spent (& It’s One In 10 For Facebook). “The study, titled State Of Digital Media Report, was based on each company’s recent earnings reports and deduced that there’s not one ‘digital ad market’ anymore but rather two media ecosystems – leaders and laggards. ‘Google, Facebook, Amazon, Verizon, Microsoft, Twitter and Snap combined have 80 per cent of the market and their market is growing 20 per cent. The laggards have the rest of the market, which will shrink 11 per cent,’ the report revealed.”
BetaNews: Spotify explicitly bans ad blockers on pain of account termination. “The company employs various techniques for detecting the use of ad blockers, and now anyone found to be using such a tool runs the risk of having their account terminated. The new Terms of Agreement comes into force on March 1.” I think this is the strongest pushback against ad blockers I’ve seen thus far.