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Mobile Fix - February 10

Snap files

Snap have shared their S1 – the rather formal document in which they tell potential investors in their imminent IPO the pros and cons of investing in Snap. Other than the unusual share structure, which guarantees the founders remain in control, the S1, has few surprises. Although its probably the first to have pictures. This is a pretty good summary.

They make the point that they need to continue to grow and that means a pipeline of cool new product feature to lure new users. And they need to monetise these users through advertising.

So far, so standard. But their product innovations get copied pretty quickly these days – this is a great comparison from the FT of Snap and Instagram Stories.

And as the disappointing results from Twitter show numbers don’t automatically get you ad revenue. Despite the leader of the free world relying on Twitter to share his wisdom Agencies have not been investing – even though people continue to achieve good results from what we hear.

We’re convinced the market wants a strong competitor to Facebook, and Snap has the zeitgeist and the talent in ad sales. But can they become big enough fast enough to satisfy Wall Street?

Snap are lending their name to an accelerator for adtech start up firms from Agency RGA. Without committing any investment this feels like another way for Snap to get close to Agencies, although to be fair to IPG they did make an early investment in a tech firm once before; in 2006 they paid $2.5m for .48% of Facebook and sold it for $380m – but the guy who did the deal apparently made nothing

Bad Ads

As the industry reacts to the P&G reset from last week – the IAB response was particularly good – the problems keep bubbling to the top. The Times this week had a front page story on how brands were funding extremists through ads appearing on their websites and videos. The piece also folded in how agencies were pushing brands into online to ‘boost their own profits’.

The sooner we can improve the plumbing and drain the swamp, we can make this sort of thing more easily preventable.

Measurement

The IAB response to P&G emphasizes how the UK has some good measurement initiatives. None are perfect but then again neither is the TV measurement system - this is an interesting look at the history of TV audience measurement.

There is lots going on in measurement. New players have new tools that could change the way TV is measured such as Symphony who use audio tracking through your smartphone to work out what you are watching. WPP have been trying to blend TV and digital measurement through their investments in Comscore and Rentrack But the news that Comscore could be delisted as they have not supplied the necessary financial info to Nasdaq, suggests something is wrong

Amazon & Retail

Rumours suggesting Amazon plan to open lots of physical stores keep popping up – this time it’s London where it is said up to 20 stores are planned. Their Seattle store is still getting lots of attention and a US story says this model will be rolled out – although Jeff Bezos was quick to tweet the story was untrue.

He then followed with this tweet..

Which is a little odd as the quote about 20% margins comes from this report written by retail consultant Brittain Ladd. And who does Ladd work for? Amazon – where his job entails – according to LinkedIn;

Design and implement strategies and programs focused on expanding Amazon Fresh and Pantry globally, the earth's most exceptional grocery delivery service

His report – written, he says, before joining Amazon - is a must read.

Amazon are making it easier for brands to develop Alexa skills, with a site listing agencies who have the chops to do this work – some of who are a little surprising - and workshops running in London and other cities.

GAFA & Content

Apple have hired a key Amazon exec who ran their FireTV business to strengthen their team on their set top box business.

Apple Music supremo Jimmy Iovine says the moves into video are about Music;

And fans keep streaming football matches – Crystal Place on Periscope - despite the authorities trying to crack down

Quick Reads

Mobile network operators data is becoming more widely used. Weve and Axonix have done well in getting the O2 data into the market and a new partnership with AOL means better reach and more inventory

Professor Scott Galloway on the winners and losers in digital. Informative and entertaining.

More on the demise of net neutrality – the end of the level playing field.

Snap talks of being a camera company – visual search is becoming a real thing and Lens from Pinterest is a great example

Finally ….The end of privacy – you know how every so often a Google vehicle drives down your street taking pictures and your house is on Google Maps. Imagine when autonomous cars are common and they are taking 360 video constantly.

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