Snap's AR gamble, Verizon Media pitches advertisers, and 5G confusion


Lens Studio   New Lenses


Welcome to the Advertising and Media Insider newsletter, where we catch you up on all the big stories our team’s been working on this past week. If you got this newsletter forwarded, sign up for your own here. If you have tips or feedback, email me at

Snap has been having popularity problems with users, advertisers, and creators. Its stab at wearables, with Spectacles, was a flop. Last week Tanya Dua attended Snap’s first Creators Summit, a big step by the app to try to win over creators from the likes of YouTube and Instagram. Snap has also been on a charm offense with advertisers, enabling them to extend their Snapchat ads outside the app.

But as Tanya reported, Snap also may be onto something with its early foray into augmented reality. Some experts believe AR is going to be the platform of the future, and Snap could benefit. Its announcement of a slew of AR-related updates and features at the Summit was a decided step in that direction. Don’t count out Facebook, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Magic Leap, though, which have all made AR investments of their own.

The deadline for nominations for the most innovative chief marketing officers is coming up April 29, and we want to hear from you. Submit your nominations here.

Elsewhere, Abby Jackson has been reporting on the advent of 5G and potential winners and losers. Here are the takeaways:

  • Cable companies like Comcast and Charter could be positioned to take the lead in managing in-home broadband internet of things, according to Cowen analysts.
  • With the proliferation of smart devices like TVs, voice assistants, and thermostats, cable companies have big chance to handle people’s device management because they already have a direct relationship with them.
  • But for other companies further downstream, investment bankers tell us companies are confused about what 5G means to them, which complicates their ability to plan for it.
  • To the extent wireless carriers rely on other businesses to bring 5G’s benefits to fruition, 5G innovation may be delayed until these companies’ questions are resolved.

Abby and I also got the scoop on a private meeting that Verizon Media (formerly Oath) had with big advertisers to prove it’s still relevant. The key points:

  • Verizon Media has fallen short on advertisers’ wish for an alternative to rival Google and Facebook for digital advertising.
  • The agency execs are skittish themselves about using consumer data to target ads in today’s privacy era.
  • One theory of the agencies is that Verizon is so concerned about misuse of its customer data in this privacy-sensitive era that it won’t entrust it to its own media arm.
  • The company also shared content plans including a Yahoo Finance Premium subscription service that it’s testing at monthly prices of $35 to $55; more fantasy sports; and exploration of online sports betting, to mixed reviews from advertisers.

Here are other good stories we’ve been reporting. (To read most of the articles here, subscribe to BI Prime and use promo code AD2PRIME2018 for a free month.)

Accenture Interactive’s acquisition of Droga5 will fill an obvious hole in its lineup as the company tries to change the way products are marketed
The deal is about more than just having a creative agency in-house, Accenture Interactive CEO Brian Whipple said. The firm has been focusing on helping clients rethink the way their customers discover and interact with their products and services, and Whipple thinks Droga5 can help Accenture Interactive come up with imaginative new experiences for its clients.

David Droga reveals why he’s giving up his cherished independence and selling Droga5 to Accenture Interactive
Droga said he thought selling was the best way to increase his firm’s influence, widen the group of clients it works with, and broaden the scope of its work.

Ad-tech execs are betting big on OTT but worry that ad fraud and measurement challenges will hold back advertisers
Ad-tech companies are chasing money that’s moving from TV to streaming TV, but worry that ad fraud and measurement challenges are making their way into OTT, according to chatter at an industry event.

Send tips or thoughts to me at

Here are other good stories from tech, media, and entertainment:

Hulu has gained the most attention share among young people in the last 6 months of any major video service

The first quarter was likely another historic period for pay TV losses, with the steepest declines at AT&T and Dish

Former Twitter exec Adam Bain explains why internet-connected in-home fitness startups like Tonal and Peloton are a hit with investors

The Marvel Cinematic Universe will enter an uncertain era after ‘Avengers: Endgame,’ but experts see a path for it to dominate another decade of pop culture

Forget Amazon and Google. Apple could bring in $300 billion a year in healthcare, Morgan Stanley says 

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: A mathematician gave us the easiest explanation of pi and why it’s so important