Mobile Fix — May 11

5 min readMay 11, 2018


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The annual Google I/O got lots of headlines — mainly for the AI phone call that will make spam callers so much more productive. This video captures the key announcements in around 10 minutes — or read about them here.

The business as usual ads that pay for this AI exploration continue to do well — new research suggests local search in the US will reach $19bn this year

But the fall out over the GDPR inspired changes continue to perplex publishers; only being able to work with 12 vendors is a dramatic shrinkage. And the withdrawal of the DoubleClick ID is causing similar consternation amongst agencies and brands.


Last weeks F8 — the Facebook equivalent of I/O — was a little flat. Probably as the Privacy fallout meant the content of the event may have been chopping and changing right up to the event. Some good stuff was announced but it seems odd that a week later a major focus on BlockChain gets announced — with a big staff change around

On their core ad business the push to align Facebook video with traditional TV continues and a new report looks at how to plan effective video campaigns across screens. This is an interesting report — especially their data on what people do in ad breaks;


Instagram did get its fair share of attention at F8 and this quote stood out;

“The increase in the Stories format is on a path to surpass feeds as the primary way people share things with their friends sometime next year.”

This article looks at how Stories have become the dominant format on mobile. Invented by Snap, it is now huge on Instagram, Facebook and WhatsApp. And there are smart startups making the format available to any publisher.

Adding Music to your stories looks to be coming soon — making sense of the big licensing deals Facebook has been signing with major labels. With payments coming real soon, the capabilities of Stories as business tool are impressive


Lots going on with content and GAFA. Scott Galloway gets into the possibilities of content in this video interview with the author of HitMakers. Some really interesting views about who will win out between Netflix, Spotify, Disney and Amazon. Some very smart thinking in here and well worth 20 minutes. And what about Apple? This long piece on their content ambitions, by the former head of strategy at Amazon Video, is a must read.

One of the key themes in this video is about the switch from ad supported TV to subscription and both speakers seem bullish about that. I disagree and think we will continue to see ad supported content alongside some premium subscriber content.

If cord cutting teaches us anything it’s that people don’t like paying for content if there is an lower cost alternative. In western markets, middle class incomes are static and the notion that they will keep putting more and more money into content and connectivity seems unlikely.

But as the Facebook report mentioned above shows, TV will need to have the tools to allow it to be measured against business outcomes. Dave Morgan talks about the TV attribution problems here and points to some of the people trying to solve this.

And as the way we measure TV changes, so too must how TV ads work. Long breaks annoy users and — as the chart shows — encourages them to switch their attention away. NBC want to cut their ad breaks down from as long as 5 minutes but the economics need to change.

If we can apply the same level of signal planning to linear TV as we can to digital video, things start to change; wastage is dramatically reduced and as we buy against outcomes the cost per thousand may rise but as long as the cost per action reduces we are OK.

The pace of change continues though. Facebook have added another sports exec to their London team and a Snap show has been picked up by FoxTV

Quick Reads

Amazon have launched Blueprints to encourage people to make Skills for Alexa

Boston Consulting Groups have looked at the prospects for Augmented Reality as the next big thing in advertising. And Nike are testing the AR tool in Facebook Messenger

What is a CDP and who is doing it?

Remember we mentioned Sony had sold half their Spotify shares? Now Warner have sold 75% of theirs. There is some logic to the sales in that they need to pay their talent, but it seems odd the music industry appear a little uncommitted to the streaming business model.

Digital Media firm the Outline have raised $5m — there does seem an appetite to support smart new media/ content businesses. It is a vote of confidence in ad supported business models that focus on quality of audience rather than quantity.

Chinese super app Meituan is doing really well. More to learn from China

Amazon trying to buy Waitrose? We have long thought Morrison is a more likely target as they have the most vertically integrated supply chain. And they already supply Amazon Pantry with lots of own label goods.

Finally this Twitter thread on how hard it is to get your digital marketing right really resonated. It covers most of the challenges and makes some good points — especially about really understanding your metrics. If you find any of this familiar we should be talking about how we could help.

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Pattern Recognition / Strategy / Consulting / Creative Thinking from Simon Andrews — Sharing knowledge through our email newsletter Mobile Fix every Friday