The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has been given five years to complete a report on competition in the digital platform. 

Australia’s federal government required the ACCC to do an 18-month inquiry to the advertising technology. The inquiries will be focused on the technologies that manage the supply of online advertising to consumers. The ACCC will also research what data is being used to create personalized advertising campaigns.

The Australian writes, “These inquiries are in response to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s final report into digital platforms handed down in December 2019, which found their market power had grown substantially.”

The inquiry will include the availability and transparency of information about digital and advertising markets. The research will include internet search engines, social media, online private messaging, electronic marketplaces, ad tech services, digital content aggregation, and other related entities. The concentrations of power and the effects of mergers and acquisitions will also be explored. 

Inquiries on large tech companies 

Companies like Facebook, Apple, Google will be required to explain how they use user data when personalizing marketing campaigns. These companies will be forced to hand in their ad revenue data. Additionally, information regarding pricing for promotion and services in the platforms will be required. Using this government-issued inquiry, the ACCC now has the authority to examine how tech companies give ad opportunities to specific businesses. 

Other scopes include: 

  • Distribution of digital display advertising expenditure between publishers
  • The competition in the market for the supply of digital advertising services 
  • Auction and the bidding process
  • Behaviors of the suppliers in the digital marketing space
  • Competitiveness and efficiency of digital marketing pertaining to the supply of digital advertising technology

The federal government of Australia gave the ACCC approval to conduct the inquiry on digital platforms starting this year. The first report is due on September 30th and will carry on every six months into 2025. 

What can an Inquiry do?

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that with the huge role that digital technologies play, it is important to ensure that there is balance in the digital economy. The regulatory inquiry will help digital platforms, consumers, and small businesses as it ensures grave issues are always in check. 

For social media giants, this inquiry will aid them and free them from the burden of public concerns. This will keep them in check and help them avoid getting fined billions of dollars from antitrust issues, breaches of privacy, competition laws, and so on.

Acquisitions, cost of advertising, advertising opportunities, are among other things that will be explored. These things are big issues for smaller businesses. 

Adidas finds a new lucrative way to reach their audience

Adidas is making the move away from social media ads and towards more one-to-one communication by using WhatsApp for direct marketing. Despite Facebook’s decision to halt plans for advertising on WhatsApp, Adidas is still gaining traction through the messaging platform. 

Halts Facebook Video Ads

In 2018, Adidas stopped purchasing video ads on Facebook due to questioning their visibility. Along with several other brands, Adidas noted a lack of transparency when advertising through Facebook. This caused the company to withdraw ad spend on Facebook and invest in other digital platforms.

Growing Influence Through Direct Messaging

Since their withdrawal from ads on Facebook, the brand has utilized WhatsApp. This has led to relationships with influential people in smaller groups. It has created a sense of growing influence rather than needing to buy it. 

The influence groups have given the brand the ability to build a community with users across the world. It has impacted the way Adidas communicates and the strategies they use. In the recent campaign “100% Unfair Predator,” Adidas sponsored football players to play for teams who needed substitutes for unreliable teammates. Through a Whatsapp hotline, teams can submit details about their games directly to Adidas.

By the time the team was given a player, Adidas had already had a direct conversation and gathered information. These people would later have the possibility of being added to groups for exclusive events or gear. According to Digiday, the use of direct messaging has resulted in relationships with influencers that have even become salespeople for Adidas.

Messaging apps as a Marketing Channel

James Whatley, of Digitas, explained the power of direct messaging. Whatley cited that DM will have higher open rates than email. Stats show that messaging platforms are becoming the dominant way individuals are communicating on mobile devices. 

In fact, the number of messaging app users grew by 12.1% in 2019. Marketers have the opportunity to optimize relationships and grow their influence through new forms of direct marketing. Doing so successfully can create a new wave of brand recognition and increased ROI.

The Federal Trade Commission is asking for public comment on whether to change its Endorsement Guides for influencers. 

The FTC is set out to release a new Endorsement Guide that will explain all the recommendations for influencer marketing. Its intention is to include and consider public opinion. The FTC wants to provide guides for various issues on influencer marketing such as the manner and cost of promotional posts on social media platforms advertisers and endorsers pay.

The issue of advertising platforms 

Several companies make pseudo accounts on various social media platforms including YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and others. According to the released statement, some companies launder advertising by paying influencers and asking them to pretend that the endorsement is not in any way financially beneficial for both sides. FTC wants to address the dishonesty that’s prevalent in influencer marketing. Another thing is about underage influencers and as to whether they truly understand what the disclosure agreements mean. 

The FTC has long required the influencers to disclose sponsored posts. Despite these guides, advertisers are dismissing the regulations that are in place. For example, a Lord & Taylor campaign paid 50 influencers to post a dress on their Instagram accounts. However, there was no disclosure for the sponsored post. Lord & Taylor was later lightly reprimanded, but the FTC isn’t convinced it was enough.

FTC wants to make the punishment official 

The Endorsement guidelines as of now the FTC isn’t putting much pressure on the influencers and brands. To date, there is no exact punishment that can fit each infraction. To combat the dismissal of the guides FTC is considering a change in the guidelines/official rules. This would enforce the punishments in case influencers and brands do not adhere to the stipulates rules. 

As per Chopra’s suggestion, the FTC will focus on platforms and advertisers pool. Smaller and starting influencers aren’t much in FTC’s radar just yet. They will be putting attention on companies that violate the law. 

What does this mean for you?

Advertisers need to be careful including influencer marketing within their strategy. Influencers, brands, media outlets, have to use clear language and to disclose whether the brands they promote have financial benefits. 

Both the advertisers and influencers have a responsibility to convey promotions honestly to their audiences. Their social media posts must not affect the credibility of the brand and impact the purchasing decisions of the customers. Influencer marketing is effective but it must be used in an honest way. 

Reddit content can now be transitioned into a wider audience.

Reddit made a deal with Tagboard that is the first of its kind. Tagboard is expected to help companies get more of their content by transitioning content to mainstream platforms such as TV broadcasts, stadiums, and other platforms. The NFL Network and TEGNA are already using this integration. 

Reddit isn’t the only social media that tagboard is partnering with. Tagboard is also working with other tech companies such as Twitter, Eventbrite, and Snapchat. Tagboard was rolled out in 2011 and is now at the 147th on the GreekWire 200 list for the startup companies in Pacific Northwest. 

Reddit expands its reach beyond the web page

Partnering up with Tagboard allows Reddit to show its unique content outside the web. This includes its infamous AMA (Ask me Anything) recaps, popular comment threads, memes, and others. Reddit is famous for its breaking news stories. Tagboard’s broadcasting capabilities, the news can be transitioned to the masses even quicker.

Tagboard has a wide web of connections. TEGNA on its own has 62 stations across 51 markets. It reaches up to 39% of TV households in all of the U.S. 

According to Reddit, this partnership is the first effort of the company in content sourcing space. This team-up allows over 250 big global broadcast entities to capitalize on the ideas of Redditors.

What does this mean for Reddit?

Reddit has been steady with its popularity among users. It’s continually evolving to cater to the interest of its users and to encourage other people to use it. Due to this partnership, it seems like Reddit could see a boost for its platform.

This could be good news for marketers and advertisers as well. Just last year, Reddit announced that it’s ready for advertisers and had plans for improving their video ad-offering for their advertisers. Don’t count Reddit out, they may be an older platform but they aren’t going anywhere.

(Advanced Match and Conversion Windows) for advertisers to measure their conversions accurately. 

Quora’s new feature was announced last Wednesday. Quora now gives advertisers the opportunity to connect with their audiences more. It is best to generate demands and interest in businesses’ products. With two new features, Quora enables advertisers to measure their mid-funnel ad performance. 

Advanced Match 

This new tool enables advertisers to change and modify their Quora Pixel code to secure hashed email from Quora ads. Advertisers now have the choice to follow conversion across various devices and Quora won’t track cookies. Using the advanced match, advertisers’ cost for conversion decreases and they will have a better chance of optimizing their campaigns. 

Quora did a pilot test for the said feature and the results have shown positive growth in their conversions. 

This tool is especially helpful for businesses with complicated sales cycles or companies with higher costs per acquisition. These companies will be able to accurately measure the effectiveness of their campaigns and see how they can improve optimization While also having the ability to create strategies that would cater to larger audiences. 

Conversion Windows 

The next tool allows businesses to get a good grasp of their customers’ journeys. It also lets advertisers measure their ad interaction and the time it took for every ad interaction to counted as a conversion. The conversion windows show a 1-90 days click-through or 1-30 day click-through. There is also the default 28-day click-through which is automatically applied if the advertisers don’t pick a specific conversion window. 

As per its advertising policy, Quora aims to give a better experience for its users and advertisers. The platform wants to help advertisers to create effective campaigns that reach their target customers. The goal is that businesses’ products and services can be shown to people who truly need it. Keeping this in mind Quora continues to look for ways to offer better services for its advertisers. 

Quora has 300 million active users monthly and to capitalize on this the site released three additional targeting options last year. The company’s ad platform is smaller and newer than others, but it’s becoming more competitive with updates and new features. 

What does this mean for you?

Both tools are important to measure how your business is doing in terms of tracking conversions and will additionally be helpful when advertisers are making ad campaigns. Quora’s new feature can give marketers have a better idea of how to improve and optimize their campaigns. 

Pinterest’s fourth-quarter earnings report exceeded almost all of Wall Street’s expectations. 

Social platform Pinterest released its fourth-quarter report last Thursday and the company shares rose for up to 17.1% in the after-hours trading. Based on the financial report, the company’s revenue grew to 46% in its y-o-y amounting to $400 million. Aside from that, Pinterest’s monthly active users also increased to 26% and it now has 335 million users globally. Pinterest’s trading increase has been attributed to Pinterest’s advertising additions to its platform.

The company’s report surpassed the expected results from WallStreet and other entities. For its earnings per share, Pinterest increased to 12 cents as opposed to the expected 8 cents forecasted by Refinitiv. The same is true with the revenue, which was expected to grow to $371 million but went even higher to $400 million. FactSet also forecasted for Pinterest to have an average revenue per user of $4.14 but the company reported a $1.22 instead. 

Ben Silbermann, the company’s CEO, and co-founder said in their strong results for the fourth-quarter encouraged them more to keep pursuing goals on “delivering relevant content, ads and shopping experience for its users.”

Pinterest versus other social media platforms 

Facebook, Snapchat, and other platforms have released their revenue reports for the past few days. Snapchat reported a 44% growth from its 2018 report and its revenue rose to $561 million. Although it’s a significant rise, it still fell behind the expected $563 million. The company also reported global daily active users of 218 million users in the fourth quarter. Facebook, on the other hand, reported a revenue of $21.1 billion, that’s a growth of 24.6% growth from the previous quarter. Facebook beat Wall Street’s estimate of $20.89%. 

What’s in store for Pinterest?

Pinterest’s last quarter’s report was quite a blow to the company. The revenue fell and analysts’ expectations may have been lighter. However, Pinterest is able to turn it around. Through Pinterest’s Advertising options the platform has the chance to increase profits through even more avenues.

Pinterest has been busy improving its platform for the past year. Just recently, Pinterest added several new features that would help brands understand the consumers’ behaviors in the platform. Example of which is the Pinterest Trends Tool which shows the most search terms in the U.S. for the past 12 months. There’s also the Pinterest shop to improve users’ experience during the holiday season. 

Marketers, advertisers, and brands are given much thought in the development of Pinterest as an advertising platform. This makes it a huge competition from other advertising platforms. 

Expectations for Q4 were not a true snapshot of the results

Snapchat’s Q4 report shows increasing active users but still, its revenue fell short of expectations. The call transcript gave away the idea that the company may have suffered from continuous competition from other bigger digital media companies such as TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram.

In terms of revenue

In this most recent quarter, Snapchat’s Parent company, Snap reported $561 million in revenue. While this is an increase of “44% year-over-year,” the company also lost 49 million more than in the 2018 Q4.

However, revenue analysts were expecting Snapchat’s revenue to be at around $563 million for this period. Snap’s shares dropped more than 10% only hours after the Q4 report was released.

Snap CEO Evan Spiegel keeps his optimism in check as he placed an emphasis on the company’s core business. This core model is expected to grow the business and become more profitable in the future. 

Increased active users 

As recorded in the last quarter, snap had 210 million active users and has since increased to over 218 million monthly active users. This is the 4th consecutive year that Snapchat reported an increase to its user base. The number keeps climbing and this year, there’s a 2.58% increase in user growth. A little below the expected 2.62% increase. 

Despite the growth, there’s still a decrease in the ARPU (average revenue per user). The report has shown a 3% of the growth in ARPU. Though this was still under predictions.

Operating losses 

Business Insider reported Snapchat’s Q4 operating loss of $241 million. Compared to 2018 that’s a 49% increase. Much of this was due to a $100 million preliminary settlement agreement with the SEC on the company’s IPO. 

It’s time to put more focus on the ads

In regards to Snapchat’s ad platform, Spiegel stated, “we are getting better at increasing the value and relevance of each ad impressions.” crowded and anything snap can do to separate itself from the pack will be vital.

Snap’s Chief Business Officer, Jeremi Gorman, said that the company will now focus on diversifying its brand partners. Additionally, Snapchat is putting more effort into its AR-driven features that are expected to drive more brand partnerships. Snapchat has the ability to differentiate itself from other platforms due to its innate layout. It will be interesting to see how Snapchat reevaluates its ad platform moving forward. For more news like this subscribe to Holler Hustle.

ByteDance’s TikTok is opening a huge office in L.A. with over 400 employees. 

TikTok is creating its very first content creation studio. Coming summer, TikTok is finishing a creator space for the platform’s big personalities. TikTok is collaborating with Gensler, a globally known architecture and design firm.  TikTok’s creator space will narrow the competition between larger social media platforms and TikTok.

The new company building 

TikTok started organizational changes starting last year and their expected to keep expanding TikTok’s reach on into 2020. Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s U.S. general manager stated, “We’re proud to be bringing more jobs to the Los Angeles area and we’ve built a talented, passionate team here, including key leadership hires across functions like product, content, music, safety, and operations. They want to further their bond with local talent and companies.”

Pappas further added that TikTok‘s creator space is mindful of the environment. The social platform chose their building with the planet in mind. Tik Tok’s new space is LEED Gold-certified. This means that the space will exceed normal California building standards.

The internal offices and designs are focused on conserving energy consumption and reducing CO2 emissions. This promotes a healthy environment for all its employees and executives. 

The new content creation hub is expected to house collaboration, creators, and partners. The office will be located in Culver City and is intended to foster creativity and freedom. 

Growth of TikTok 

From a video sharing app with 15-second, TikTok has sure come a long way. Since its creation three years ago, TikTok has grown to an estimated value of $75 billion. TikTok has drawn a huge user base in the U.S. market. Companies such as Facebook and Youtube now consider TikTok a competitor.

With a new content creation studio coming to L.A., odds are they will be directly competing with YouTube and their YouTube Spaces. The area will encourage more quality content from its creators. 

Facebook-owned, Instagram also has an in-house production house in L.A. which offers creators with a space where they are just free to create their content for social media. 

Borrowing the same concept, TikTok is creating a model of their own for a community for its creators. Creators on TikTok are gaining more followers faster than similar platforms have. Influencers have brighter chances in making it big on TikTok than in YT and IG. While this strategy for growth is similar to that of its predecessors TikTok provides a new audience and a new take on the social platform.

Tom Brady is the face of Hulu’s Superbowl ad

Hulu went ahead with its 30-second commercial featuring Tom Brady. The intent of the ad was to promote live sports streaming, and the Super Bowl is a huge advertising opportunity. It was a perfect combination of audience, content, and message.

Hulu explores their options in the Live Sports arena

In May last year, Hulu executives announced that based on their research, 65% of the live-sports viewers are checking in on Hulu’s library of on-demand content. This is huge, most of Hulu’s revenue is derived from its on-demand viewing, and only 15% of revenue comes from streaming ads. Live Tv is the more expensive offering of Hulu as its subscription usually costs $54.99. This includes 65 live and on-demand channels.

Hulu Live Sports Streaming

Brands and the biggest ad industry stage

Brands are aware of how their investment for their ads in Super Bowl spots will help with their campaigns and brand awareness. This year advertisers were willing to spend $5.6 million for 30-second ad space. Despite the price point, advertisers have high expectations for returns of the investment.

With the ads flooding the Super Bowl, it was difficult for the audience to even pick one that made its mark. Streaming services, such as Hulu and Disney +both had 30-second ads.

Disney + advertised all of its coming series and Amazon featured their show entitled, Hunters. Though Hulu has an advantage over some popular streaming platforms with the addition of live-streamed sports.

Massive market 

SuperBowl ads are promising. The ads give advertisers the chance to showcase their products in front of close to 100 million viewers in real-time. The Superbowl is the biggest event in the world of TV commercials. 

Modern advertising is experimenting and exploring many strategies to best utilize 30-second ads. Donny Deutsch, a long-time ad executive, and shared that when it comes to Super Bowl ads and the simplest ads with human stories are the ones that make an impact, and that is exactly what Hulu did.

Apple is cross-promoting it’s Arcade

The iPhone creators are using their products to advertise their video game subscriptions on their main website. Apple using its main site to cross-promote and encourage users to subscribe to Apple Arcade. If you’ve seen Apple’s site recently you’d find Apple Arcade characters such as Sonic and Frogger have taken over Apple’s homepage.

Arcade characters are here 

This take over is designed to promote Apple’s arcade service. You’ll see Hot Lava’s Hazard leaping in your screen and bouncing from one iPhone to another with lava following closely. There’s also Sonic the Hedgehog driving around his classic blue racing car casually driving over a MacBook Pro’s keyboard. 

Other characters are the Lego Minifigures who are watching themselves in character in Hd on Apple TV. Since it’s launch back in September, Apple’s Arcade has now included more than 100 games in its server. There are original games and there are also classic games from which you can choose from. 

Apple Arcade is Apple’s new subscription that comes with no games an in-app purchases. It’s ad-free as well, so players can play their games with the fear of distractions. Apple has priced the platform at $4.99/month and $49.99/year. Getting the annual subscription means having two months of your subscription fee waived off. Apple has not released any information on the number of subscribers for Apple Arcade. However, Apple continues to promote it and various platforms, including retail stores. 

The mobile gaming industry

Apple said that its gaming platform has no ads and no in-app purchases. Your subscription fee gives you access to their gaming library. You can play online or offline – just make sure that you’ve downloaded your game beforehand if you are planning to keep playing it even if you’re not in the city. 

Due to that premise, Apple was able to push through to its aim of wanting the games to be accessible anywhere you are in the world. Mobile players around the globe are slowly switching from their Nintendo Switch to the new Apple gaming business. There are so many plays and games one try giving ago. Give the game catalog a visit and see which ones you want to play and download. 

Little is known as to when this special ad promo featuring Arcade characters end. Go check it out now before they’re all gone. By using its main site, and family of products to promote each other, Apple is creating a demand for both products.