The Full Monty exposes you to the business intelligence that matters at the top of every week. Please sign up for our email updates to make sure you don't miss a thing. And please share this with your colleagues if you find it valuable.
Journalism is at an important juncture - its role and business model; the New York Times 2020 report addresses some of that; a major setback in trust; echo chambers, streaming issues and unbundling; teens increasingly use Facebook; Instagram is reinventing itself; Snapchat gets a makeover; the fight for live video; threats to Silicon Valley; Uber shares data; Amazon blazes ahead in AI; empathy is key to AI and CX; personalized audio; know your old philosophers; and more in this week's edition of The Full Monty. Trivia and the poem of the week are now exclusively on The Full Monty podcast.
Virtually everything you need in business intelligence. If you’re on Flipboard, you can get these links — and those that didn't make the cut for publication — by subscribing to The Full Monty Magazine at smonty.co/fullmontymag.
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
- I'll be keynoting at Social Media Marketing World 2017 in San Diego, March 22-24, 2017. See you there.
- Keynote at the CEO Communications Summit at Concordia University's John Molson School of Business in Montreal, June 13-14, 2017.
- Can I speak for your organization? Drop me a line.
- We've been addressing the fake news and post-factual world frequently. The news industry is at a crossroads and needs to step up to address these and other issues. Here are a handful of stories related to that.
- Journalism has been under extreme pressure in the digital era, with falling revenue and subscribership, and is under scrutiny from the new administration. But while Trump may be a threat to the news media, he may also be its biggest savior as journalism has an opportunity to create a sustainable business model.
- A recent survey of publishers indicated that monetization is not the top issue for journalism in 2017. The biggest concern is the role of journalism.
- Facebook is taking news more seriously, creating the Facebook Journalism Project that connects the news industry more closely with the social giant. Finally stepping up to the fact that it's a media site.
- Some view the incoming leadership as indicative of hope, while others see it as a dystopian farce. To the latter, they may have the utopian Silicon Valley vision to thank for that, as the bubble-dwellers missed what average Americans were experiencing.
- In its biggest report since its digital innovation report in 2014, the New York Times 2020 report focuses on the need to rethink editorial operations and produce more significant stories that will drive subscriber growth. To become a subscription-first business, the Times needs to prioritize engagement over pageviews, put more resources into new storytelling formats (including visuals), de-emphasize the print product and the workflow that caters to it, and expand training for reporters and editors.
- Seth Godin reminds us that "newspapers won Pulitzer prizes for telling us things we didn't want to hear. We've responded by not buying newspapers any more." The challenge of course is that "the decline of thoughtful media has been discussed for a century. This is not new. What is new: A fundamental shift not just in the profit-seeking gatekeepers, but in the culture as a whole." When you're on a candy diet for so long, is it surprising that your teeth rot?
- And on the whole issue of fake news, the bad news is flagging it won't work because of the way our brains think. When you read or hear a news story, you don’t retain every single detail. You get the gist of the story. You remember the main idea but forget the details.
- This shouldn't be a surprise, but the real story about fake news is partisanship. "Americans’ deep bias against the political party they oppose is so strong that it acts as a kind of partisan prism for facts."
- Given all of the above, it shouldn't be any surprise that the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer found that trust has sunk to a four-year low, as the public's trust in government, media, NGOs and businesses declined broadly. You can't have trust without truth, and the post-factual world doesn't seem to be cooperating with the need to rebuild trust.
- Across the entertainment business, from music to movies to video games, technology has flooded us with a profusion of cultural choices. And because of that, there's less that we have in common as Netflix deepens our echo chambers.
- Streaming video is looking more and more like traditional cable. So when will the great unbundling actually happen?
- Part 1 in a 7-part series on marketing trends for 2017. Keep your eye on this series from Christopher Penn.
- Six trends European marketers should watch this year include more knowledge, less time, and less brand loyalty than ever.
- Want to succeed at digital transformation efforts at your company? No matter how complex and multifaceted the technology may be, keep your eye on the experience of customers and employees.
SPONSORGet the scoop on what 500 marketers (budgets up to $10 million) believe and how those beliefs influence their behaviors when it comes to hiring and firing agencies just like yours.
Download this FREE 16 page report, full of information, insight and guidance on how to best approach prospects based on the findings.
Some of the results are going to really surprise you.
TWITTER / PERISCOPE / VINE
- Google is buying Twitter's Fabric unit that supports 580,000 mobile app developers. Twitter’s sale of Fabric follows its recent closure of its Vine video app and a 9% reduction of its workforce. Twitter continues to refine its offerings and focus in its turnaround efforts.
FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM / WHATSAPP
- Facebook is testing discussion topics within Groups. In my experience, Groups have been far more engaging and posts there have been easier to follow than Facebook in general. If Facebook can help with topics, it might enable them to sell more highly targeted ads.
- The Facebook Audience network now serves over 1 billion ads per month — 83% is native advertising, with video growing quickly.
- Nearly two-thirds of teens used Facebook regularly last year, up from 59% in 2014. Still think the younger generation is fleeing Facebook?
- With 150 million people using Stories every day, Instagram is putting ads inside of its Stories feature.
- Five years after founding Instagram, CEO Kevin Systrom realized that the service was starting to feel less personal — and Snapchat was providing real competition. So Instagram reinvented itself.
- A feature on the team that runs Mark Zuckerberg's Facebook account. Verdict: even Mark Zuckerberg thinks it's silly to waste time on Facebook.
- You can livestream directly from the web version of Facebook now. An important development, as Facebook overtook YouTube as the most popular livestream video platform.
- And just in time, YouTube has launched a paid feature called Super Chat, which will let you pin comments on live streams.
- Marissa Mayer will be resigning from the Yahoo board as the Verizon acquisition closes and the company is renamed Altaba. Let's all recall the Dr. Seuss classic Marissa A. Mayer, Will You Please Go Now!
- WPP's ad spending at Snap was 3X expectations, or $90 million last year and could pose a threat to the Facebook advertising market.
- Snapchat is set to get a major redesign, with a search bar, new navigation and a global live story that will feature snaps from all over the world.
Collaborative/ Autonomous Economy
- Silicon Valley is notorious for solving Silicon Valley problems. And while that may bring in advertising money, there's a danger inherent there — specifically, four threats that could decay Silicon Valley.
- Uber has a new website called Movement, which gives access to anonymized traffic data in places it operates. The idea is to give cities information to help with urban planning decisions. It's also another revenue stream for the ride-hailing giant.
- Lyft reported its Q4 ridership at 52.6 million, more than doubling its ridership from the same period the previous year and on a path to profitability.
- Meanwhile, Uber is putting $20 million of its cash toward the settlement of a lawsuit from the FTC on misleading drivers about the pay they could expect.
- Google is giving drivers a sense of how difficult it is to find parking in their intended destinations by including that information in Google Maps.
- Uber has hired a Amit Singhal, a 15-year Google veteran. The hiring of Mr. Singhal, who left Google last year, is a coup for Uber, which has publicly stated its intention to fight Google’s substantial head start in autonomous-vehicle research.
ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE / BOTS / BLOCKCHAIN
- Amazon Echo is dominating the voice command / virtual assistant market, well ahead of Apple, Google and Microsoft. Its Alexa technology is at the heart of Echo.
- Microsoft is focusing its efforts on general artificial intelligence with the acquisition of Maluuba, a startup focused on natural language processing.
- "Alexa, please take the stand." It's not too far from the truth as Arkansas police seek the data from an alleged murderer's Amazon Echo where the crime took place. Big Brother is listening.
- “Empathy drives customer obsession, which should sit at the center of your AI strategy,” according to Charlene Li, who argues that artificial intelligence is nothing without artificial empathy.
Virtual Reality / Audio
- Facebook probably will have to invest more than $3 billion in the next decade to reach its goal of providing hundreds of millions of people with a good virtual reality experience.
- If you weren't able to make it to Washington last week for the festivities, you can take a tour of the White House in a 360 degree video.
- Personalized audio content. That's what's at stake with Otto Radio opening its API to businesses to allow them integrate with their products. Think automotive OEMs, wireless headphones, smart speakers, smart appliances, and content distributors, as examples.
- Pandora dominates the US streaming audio market with 78 million users, but it's becoming more competitive with the likes of Google, Amazon and Apple at its heels.
- SoundCloud is struggling and may not have enough cash to last the year.
- Program of the Week: Check out the playlists created by Moby to help you relax, meditate, and do yoga. The chronic insomniac was inspired. Do you have a program to recommend? Add yours to our Google Sheet: smonty.co/yourpodcasts.
- And don't forget to subscribe to ours via email or on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, Spreaker or SoundCloud.
Content / Customer Experience / Influencer Marketing
- Here are 10 ways to save time in creating content.
- If you want to get the customer experience right, start with empathy. Be a customer.
- Influencer marketing continues to be a hot topic, but it's not quite as simple as it looks. You'll want to understand these five things about influencer marketing.
Privacy / Security / Legal
- Donald Trump chose former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani to be his front man for cybersecurity. It may not at first seem logical, but Giuliani does have a consultancy that specializes in cybersecurity.
- Then again, one might question that firm when its website is incredibly insecure.
Measurement / Metrics / Data
- You're undoubtedly aware of confirmation bias. But hindsight bias is something that leads us to assign meaning or intent based on what already happened. And we all suffer from it.
Essential Watching / Listening / Reading
- Innovators should study the Venetian Empire to avoid its fate. Venice got too complacent with the way things always were and lost sight of new options.
- You'd be well served to read some old philosophy to get to the heart of what the philosophers were doing and thus put perspective on your own actions.
- Here's a perfect example: there's nothing like a little Marcus Aurelius to get you motivated to get out of bed in the morning.
At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?”
Do you like what you see here? Please subscribe to have trends on digital communications, marketing, technology and business delivered to your inbox each Monday.
Between this and the podcast, it's a lot of work. And it's not a team sport, either. If you join as a patron, it will show how much you value this kind of content. Won't you consider supporting me?
I speak to groups and advise brands and agencies to help them embrace the fundamentals of human communication in the digital age. You can join these other top-notch clients by reaching out if you'd like to put my experience to work.
Photo credit: Robert Ashworth (Flickr)