Our Take: This Week in the News

culture Posted on Sep 25, 2018

Facebook Cuts the Third-Party Pipeline

The Media team has been closely following the fallout from Facebook’s election disasters. In its most recent attempt to combat the misuse of third-party data, the platform officially announced the termination of its Partner Categories portal, which ad buyers could use to automatically implement targeting parameters based on data collected from those parties.

From a buyer’s perspective, the problem is that all the data transactions within Partner Categories happened “behind the curtain,” with little information provided by Facebook to describe individual buys. With no way to know how much those data services cost—and often no idea which third-party was even providing the data—we’re now left to ourselves to calculate and negotiate replacement data transactions.

Ultimately, we agree with the stance that this will lead to good things for buyers, as increased transparency provides more flexibility for choosing data partners and setting budgets. Still, we’ll be monitoring the situation as it develops to ensure we’re able to continue getting the most out of our ad buys on the platform.

SiriusXM Upends the Streaming Wars

The Accounts team has been keeping an eye on the fight for dominance between Spotify and Pandora all year, but none of us expected the breaking news that SiriusXM has agreed to fully acquire Pandora by 2019. Though the satellite radio provider had bought a partial ownership stake in the streaming service in June, both sides managed to keep news of the acquisition negotiations under wraps until now.

It remains to be seen how this will impact Spotify’s strategy to steal the throne from Pandora within the next few years. For now, we’re eager to see what new marketing opportunities are opened up by the merger of the world’s largest satellite and digital streaming audio audiences.

YouTube Yields to Twitch

Abrupt finales to market wars are a theme around the office this week, as YouTube announced the cancellation of the YouTube Gaming app, signaling a probable end to its second-fiddle play for the lucrative game streaming market. Though long dominated by Twitch even before its acquisition by Amazon, the gaming streams sector remained large enough for YouTube to hope it could poach audience share with the YouTube Gaming app.
With this development, Twitch will probably remain the venue of choice for video game streamers—but there’s still plenty of market to go around for YouTube. Though the video provider will still facilitate content creators who choose to stream their game plays on the website, it’s likely YouTube is choosing to re-focus on its core strength in the sector: 200 million users logging on every day to watch pre-recorded gaming videos across hundreds of channels.

Fighting Prejudice One PSL at a Time

The anti-pumpkin spice (and anti-woman) prejudice that’s so widespread in popular culture has never made much sense, but the Creative team was gratified by this reminder that it’s also nonsensical in the numbers, too. Though painted as an obsession of women customers, Starbucks’ infamous Pumpkin Spice Lattes have always been a favorite of men, who make up 47 percent of in-store buyers.

With nearly $500 million in sales in the last year alone, we firmly agree that it’s time to ditch the outmoded slander against pumpkin spice products, and embrace the market opportunities instead.

XenoPsi says: Drink on, bravely spiced caffeinators, and long live autumn!

Drink Up and Save the Oceans

And finally, great news from the Creative team for anybody who wants to ditch the guilt when picking up a six-pack. With a flood of viral stories about the damage done to the world’s oceans with plastic waste like straws, we’re thrilled to see Carlsberg is ditching plastic can rings. Its news Snap Pack design simply glues the six-pack to itself, leaving no waste behind once revelers hit that last drop.