The Sunnier Side of the Office – May 10, 2016

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As Podcasts Grow, Apple Does Little To Accommodate


The fact that podcasts have grown far beyond expectations in recent years should surprise no one at this point. Last year alone, some 46 million people listened to a podcast and this year that number will rise to 57 million. Despite some lingering weariness by some advertisers, podcast advertising has made hundreds of millions of dollars for the small industry. However, despite all that rapid growth, many see Apple, the home for the wide majority of podcasts, as being unresponsive and unhelpful with podcasting’s growing pains. Little has changed since Steve Jobs assuredly introduced the new medium to the world in 2005, a world that didn’t include social media or music streaming as we know them today. 

Also in the news: NYT on how podcast listening effects brain activity. 


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Re/code Re/brands, Drops the Forward-Slash
Recode, as it is now officially known, is one of the leading technology news and analysis website that plays a major role in modern tech focused media. A year ago, the company was bought by Vox Media and now they are in the process of a major rebranding that will include beefing up international coverage, as well as coverage of “robotics, food tech, artificial intelligence, the business of space and the future of work.” And also, they are losing the forward-slash.

This news is a major setback for Punctuation, who haven’t suffered an L this bad since Jay-Z dropped the umlaut back in ’96.


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Facebook Practices For Picking Trending News Brought Into Question
As Facebook continues to make its play to be the home for news consumption, many have wondered about the methods with which news is selected show up on its “Trending News” section. The section is some of the most prime real estate for news on the internet, as having a story linked to can increase traffic in the hundreds of thousands. It turns out that the news was written by a team of recent journalist grads who curated what is and isn’t news worthy, leading many to accuse the social network giant of suppressing conservative or right-leaning media, like Breitbart News or The Blaze. The team of now-disgruntled-employees had the power to veto stories that showed up as “trending” and had the ultimate say on what was displayed on the network. It’s unclear if the process has explicit political biases, but there is little doubt the process needs a public auditing to help people understand the origins of their news.

In general, this news has not been well received by people from all over the political spectrum. And it posits questions about how news is consumed and whether humans or algorithms will ever present the news in an “honest” or “unbiased” fashion, and if that is even possible. 


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Media Partner of the Week: CitizenNet

A leader in social prediction CitizenNet provides advertisers with audience expansion tools to increase results. Through the abundant of patents, CitizenNet has created a way to improve native targeting and predict new audiences most likely to have an interest to a certain type of brand, product or service.

They help solve the inevitable problem that majority of marketers run into, which is when successful strategies and targeting no longer have the same affect that they use to on their core markets. CitizenNet uses three tools to help change this problem, which are: affinity, optimization and influencers. For example, affinity targeting allows brands to reach a new audience who are predicted to respond well to certain brand advertising. While the optimization tool helps brands move budgets and ad sets to amplify spend on the top performing creative and audiences. Also, brands can use CitizenNet’s influencer tools to calculate the fanbase of an influencer that will be interested in a brand using the affinity tool. Using these three tools they have created a strong targeting strategy that will help change the way people market. 


This Week in Social

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First Place Doesn’t Always Mean You Win

Live streaming video is all the rage these days and it has been a hot topic in social media for a little over a year now with Facebook most recently jumping on the trend. Live streaming app, Meerkat, was the first to ignite this flame. They shined bright at 2015′s SXSW and were really the belle of the social media ball. Sadly, their reign was short-lived.

While Meerkat was still riding high at SXSW, Twitter had an announcement: early that year, they’d acquired a company called Periscope and would be rolling out a new feature: live streaming video. Twitter issued Meerkat’s death sentence: “it would no longer have access to Twitter’s social graphing capabilities, which allowed Meerkat users to automatically push their livestreams out to their Twitter followers without building a separate contact list in the Meerkat app.”

It seems being the first to market and the most buzzed about in the market does not lead to staying power, and in this Thunderdome of social media apps; the last one standing wins.

Big backers from key platforms can make or break a product, and the way Twitter limited Meerkat’s integration, while also making Periscope’s seamless, lead to the ultimate downfall of Meerkat. It’s not dead yet, but to keep this Mad Max reference going, two apps entered and only one had a successful exit. The Meerkat CEO announced a pivot in March, but there is still no info about what exactly that product or direction will be.

Maybe they’ll broadcast it live on Periscope or Facebook when the time comes.