Link: On the Rise of Digital Addiction Activism – Study Hacks – Cal Newport

“At the core of almost everything negative about the smartphone era is the attention economy business model, which depends on getting a massive number of people to use free products for as many minutes as possible. This model, of course, dates back to the beginning of mass media, but the combination of big data and machine learning techniques, along with careful attention engineering, has made many modern apps too good at their objective of hijacking your mind — leaving users feeling exhausted and unnerved at their perceived loss of autonomy.”
Original source: On the Rise of Digital Addiction Activism – Study Hacks – Cal Newport

Podcast market estimated at over $220m

As covered by Axios, in a report from IAM/PwC. As noted in the notes below the chart, these figures are based on a sub-set of the market, 20 advertising outfits. No doubt, they represent a huge part of revenue however. It’s hard to imagine that there’s many more millions in podcast advertising.

Also as highlighted by Sara Fischer:

Edison Research and Triton Digital estimates 98 million U.S. adults listen to podcasts.

Link

Programming the human mind to operate in the market, or just buy shit

More from The Attention Merchants

First, on advertising as a decision making lubricant:

Information cannot be acted upon without attention and thus attention capture and information are essential to a functioning market economy, or indeed any competitive process, like an election (unknown candidates do not win). So as a technology for gaining access to the human mind, advertising can therefore serve a vital function, making markets, elections, and everything that depends on informed choice operate better, by telling us what we need to know about our choices, ideally in an objective fashion.

And then an example of that principal in place to sell ads at CBS, early on:

“Here you have the advertiser’s ideal—the family group in its moments of relaxation [listening to the radio] awaiting your message,” said CBS. “Nothing equal to this has ever been dreamed of by the advertising man.” It is, as we shall see, one thing to sell access to the minds, quite another to predict reliably the audience’s frame of mind; and by dictating the moment of infiltration, radio claimed to do just that. At the time and place of CBS’s choosing, the audience would be “at leisure and their minds receptive.”

Overall, The Attention Merchants is good stuff so far.

Verizon + Yahoo = #3 online advertiser, though distant

Assuming the company still wants to buy Yahoo after a massive hack of 500 million of its email users, Verizon will own properties generating about $4.6 billion a year in digital ad dollars, according to eMarketer research. That’s still just a fraction of Facebook’s $12.1 billion and Google’s $53.1 billion.

And unlike its forecasts for Facebook and Google, eMarketer projects no growth for Verizon’s piece of the pie even while the overall pie is growing—by as much as 20% a year, based on an estimate from Pew Research…. What’s worse for Armstrong, and everyone else competing for ad dollars, is Morgan Stanley’s assertion (paywall) that 85% of every new digital ad dollar in the first quarter of 2016 went to Facebook and Google.

Source: The biggest job in media is at the phone company 

Verizon buying Yahoo!’s core businesses for $4.83bn, a third place .com contender?

Verizon is acquiring most of Yahoo! $4.83bn in cash, to be combined with their AOL purchase. As a wet finger in the wind reckoning, this feels like it’ll put Verizon as a distant third place in eyeballs and ad revenue: that’s probably what the business case is targeting.

  • Yahoo! was at ~$4bn runrate (based on $1.09bn in revenue last reported quarter). Revenue has been declining steeply, down 11% q/q.
  • Valuation here is tricky, since Verizon is only buying “core assets.” One back of the envelop analysis put the “core assets” at $1.7bn, suggesting a valuation of ~2.8x.
  • Combined with AOL and other Verizon properties, the company says this will result in “global audience of more than 1 billion monthly active users — including 600 million monthly active mobile users.”
  • There’s fierce competition from Facebook and Google: “According to data from e-marketer in March, Yahoo’s worldwide net digital ad revenues will fall nearly 14% this year to $2.83 billion, from $3.28 billion in 2015. In contrast, Google will see a 9% increase while Facebook will be up by nearly a third year-on-year (31%).”
  • Despite this small pot of marketshare-by-revenue, at least in the US, the combined company will be in the top three of marketshare-by-eyeballs. If you were an i-banker looking at that in your spreadsheet, you’d think: we just need to increase eyeball-to-cash conversion productivity and – POW! – synergies!
  • As a reminder, AOL includes “The Huffington Post, TechCrunch, Engadget, MAKERS and AOL.com.” Yahoo! Mail has 225m monthly active users.
  • It keeps getting described as an “assets sale,” because Yahoo’s stake in Yahoo! Japan and Alibaba will stay with Yahol! As the NY Times puts it: “a 15 percent stake, worth about $32 billion based on its recent share price, in the Chinese internet company Alibaba and a 35.5 percent stake, worth about $8.7 billion, in Yahoo Japan.”
  • This will create some interesting post-deal structure for the numbers. The entire Yahoo! company is much bigger than that 1.1x valuation: “Yahoo! stock, which is up 18% this year, had a total market value of $37.4 billion at its close on Friday of $39.38.”
  • It’s pretty clear that the company wants to sell the remaining assets.
  • Rival bidders: “Suitors included Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, communications giant AT&T and private equity firms Vector Capital Management and TPG.” AT&T seems to have been the main competitor. More from Kat Hall: “The telco was one of 40 suitors rumoured earlier this year to be interested, including Google parent Alphabet, Time and even Daily Mail parent DMG.”
  • It increases Verizon/AOL’s advertising marketing share, but Facebook and Google still dominate: “Verizon with AOL currently holds 1.8 per cent of the $69bn US digital ad market, according to The Wall Street Journal. Yahoo controls about 3.4 per cent, while Google and Facebook combined make up half of the total.”
  • Timing the sale of a declining asset is everything: “back in 2008, it turned down a $44 billion offer from Microsoft”
  • See some in-depth history and analysis from Timothy Lee over at Vox. The thesis seems to be: the company could adapt beyond it’s initial success in the 90s and never found a new identity beyond being a “media company.”

Facebook ads don’t work too well for “enterprise” types

I am going to sound incredibly churlish here but why on earth Lionel Messi could possibly like our stuff is well beyond my imagination. Flattering though it might be. The same goes for the 20 year career short order cook who posts cat pictures, the retired person who joined Facebook last week, the nurse with a heavy religious bent. On and on it went.

Long ago I tried some ads for RedMonk on Facebook. I think I targeted them at people who worked for IBM. It was hard to figure out if anything “worked.” As with most things in work-life, I think you need to have a highly targeted, simple plan in place. Otherwise, you’re casting a broad net and doing classic advertising.

The other issue is the fact that “enterprise tech” is very niche-y. One would think LinkedIn would be a better place for ads, Techmeme, or even parts of StackExchange. Maybe TechTarget or the occasional ZDNet and such. I think sites like The New Stack have a good chance to assemble (you could also say “aggregate” in this context) a hard to find tech audience and server up better ad space. We’ll see.

Facebook ads don’t work too well for “enterprise” types

The $158B data-driven advertising market

I guess this why companies like Oracle and IBM keep buying advertising SaaSes and such:

The report estimates that in 2012, the data-driven marketing economy added $156 billion in revenue to the U.S. economy and fueled more than 675,000 jobs. To put that statistic in perspective, that’s nearly half of total U.S. expenditures on marketing and advertising services (estimated at $292 billion annually), more than half the size of the entire Internet ecosystem (estimated by the IAB at $300 billion) and more than two-thirds the size of the entire e-commerce market.

The $158B data-driven advertising market