News Corner January 10, 2018

News Corner

Contact lens seller 1-800 Contacts is appealing a finding that it violated antitrust law by preventing rivals from using its name to trigger search ads (Response This Week, Nov. 1, 2017). The company, which filed its appeal to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last month, is asking the agency to vacate a judge’s ruling that 1-800 Contacts' efforts to prevent its trademark from being used by rivals in search ads probably resulted in higher prices for consumers.

Conviva, a measurement and analytics company, reports the number of hours consumers spent streaming over-the-top (OTT) video was up more than 100 percent in 2017 compared to the prior year. Conviva measured 12.6 billion viewing hours in 2017 and reports those hours were spread across 2.4 billion devices, with 58 percent of OTT viewing occurring in North America.

WideOrbit, the programmatic media-selling company, now offers programmatic local advertising inventory on more than 1,000 TV channels. The company claims to offer the largest pool of local broadcast TV advertising inventory. 

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai cancels an appearance at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show. Pai has reported receiving death threats related to his vote to scrap open internet rules.

Apple admits that all iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers worldwide are affected by the Spectre and Meltdown processor security flaws but said no customers so far had been affected. The company is working on iOS patches and updates to address the issue.

Dentsu Aegis Network acquires HelloWorld, a digital marketing firm. Insiders say HelloWorld will support Dentsu’s Merkle arm and has rebranded the shop as HelloWorld, a Merkle Company. The acquisition intends to help Merkle continue to scale its marketing capabilities, which include loyalty solutions, performance media, customer relationship marketing, customer experience, and enterprise technology services. 

Kroger is in talks that could lead it to adding smaller “express” Ace Hardware stores inside its grocery stores, according to The Street. Started in 2012, these express formats average 5,000 square feet and appear in supermarkets and other retail locations. 

BrightLine, an advanced TV ad business, debuts DataCast, a unified over-the-top data platform that will connect mobile, desktop, and TV screens so advertisers can target specific audiences and measure them across those three platforms. Network partners will be able to incorporate their own viewer data and other data sources, targeting common purchase segments, such as potential car buyers. After identifying those target households, the data is fed to ad servers that send the ad to the consumer

Gene Munster, managing partner at venture capital firm Loup Ventures and a former Piper Jaffray analyst, predicts Amazon could buy Target in 2018. He said Target is the ideal partner for Amazon because of shared demographics and a manageable but comprehensive store count (roughly 1,830 stores).

A Business Insider Intelligence report says mobile commerce retail sales may account for about 28 percent of all e-commerce retail sales this year and about 45 percent of all e-commerce sales by 2021.

MoffettNathanson Research reports its overall estimate for traditional U.S. advertising will decline 1.4 percent in 2018, with digital media climbing 17 percent. The overall U.S. advertising market will improve 6.7 percent this year, up from a 2.5-percent increase in 2017. U.S. advertising gains are expected around the Winter Olympics and political advertising from mid-term elections.

Tech company Alphonso TV claims it can "listen" to TV shows and ads that play in consumers' living rooms via microphones in consumers' smartphones. CEO Ashish Chordia tells MediaPost News the snippets are immediately fingerprinted and matched to the original content. Any fingerprints that don't match known TV shows or ads are discarded. He says the fingerprinting occurs on the phone, and that only the digital "signature" – and not the actual audio file – is sent to Alphonso.