It’s quiet out there and we’re in the south of France, so it’s a shorter Fix than usual his week, and probably next too.
We have been sharing our thinking for free for over 5 years with Fix. And now we are offering a concentrated Fix of our thinking with our first event; Do We Need to fix Programmatic?
We are curating this small event with a handful of very smart speakers and a format designed to give you some real insight into what's really happening in Programmatic and how brands can best take advantage of the huge opportunity. The speakers will each share a 15 minute presentation and then we will have a panel discussion and invite questions from the audience. So far we have confirmed Tom Bowman from BBC Worldwide, Gawain Owen from Nestle and Attila Jakab from Infectious. More to follow shortly.
We're very excited that Google is our first partner and they are kindly hosting the event at their offices. Early bird tickets are now on sale - and I look forward to seeing you there.
The unprecedented number of media pitches are starting to declare results. It's been hard to call whether this was just going to be the usual musical chairs - where accounts shift around between holding companies usually with a reduced fee- or whether something more fundamental was going on.
We are now starting to get some clues with Coke selecting UM as their North American agency and also opening the door to creature agency Ogilvy handling some media or connections projects. And Visa chose Starcom as their global partner - a switch from OMD. But the interesting part is that Visa has also hired Essence to handle their programmatic.
We understand that quite a few of the major brands running pitches have issued specific RFPs for programmatic and opened up the competition to some of the smaller specialist companies. In the UK around a quarter of all advertising is Programmatic and it’s only going to grow, so this is a big shift.
AI, Apps and Butlers
Building on our look at AI vs Chat last week we see Facebook enter the race with a Siri like service for Facebook Messenger. What it dies and how it works is a little vague but the idea of using both people and API makes sense. And it validates our view that we are seeing Apps evolve into Butlers –anticipating what you are likely to need and doing all it can to make that happen.
Amazon are doubling down on Artificial Intelligence too –hiring more talent and extending Machine Learning capabilities to the European companies that use their Cloud services through AWS
And sort of related is the fact Slack now lets you integrate other apps so you can share with your team more efficiently and faster. And now Google Mail will port content to Google calendar. The days of the single purpose - island - apps are coming to an end – and various technologies are providing the bridges that connect them. This is a good look at the plumbing of apps and how it is evolving.
Making hardware has never been easier. Finding the right partner in China is pretty straightforward and the various components are all available off the shelf. So it’s no surprise to see more startups looking at hardware products and this week we see two new mobile phones.
The OnePlus from a company ran by former Apple chief John Sculley gets a good review for it’s value, but it really isn’t going to steal many sales from Apple or Samsung. In Europe WileyFox is trying too.
With hardware, the challenges of marketing and distribution are critical no matter how good the product. And seeing that Amazon are giving up on their smartphone project, tells you how tough this market is.
Good date from Flurry on mobile usage – with acceptance that whilst apps win on time spent much of that time is spent reading web content.
This study also shows gaming in decline – which is supported by the news Rovi is downsizing. Gaming is a hits business and the appstore is flooded with new games every day.
Foursquare is still going strong – even though it is unclear what it’s future is – we think the tips are too random to be really useful.
Web guru Doc Searls sees adblocking as the Chemo for the Cancer of adtech. An essential read. Especially as US Radio shock jock Howard Stern has given Ad Blocking a boost in the US. Some research from Millennial Media shows people do get the value exchange of mobile advertising –at least in theory. How do we make the experience better for users?
Finally it’s the end of days - new US research into Mobile Etiquette shows people are happy to use their phones anywhere and anytime.
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