Spotify has a new branded podcast and video accounts for $30B

Read on for some insight into the world of marketing, social and tech in Collider’s Weekly Musings.

Lego turns to Alexa

Lego has been experimenting with emerging technology like Amazon Echo as it tries to stave off a sales slump amid growing competition from more modern toys, and the internet. Since May, Lego and Amazon have been working together on their ‘voice’ strategy, bringing several Alexa skills to the Echo for its pre-school Duplo blocks, allowing parents to access voice-guided instructions for toddlers as well as stories and audio prompts that guide physical play. The move marks a bigger concentrated effort for Lego as it aims to figure out how best to appeal to the changing media and playing habits of kids by enhancing its experience with digital play and virtual worlds. In Lego shorthand, this is called ‘fluid play’. Innovation is a key focus for Lego with an 80 person strong team. It’s a sign that the world waits for no brand, let the tale of Kodak be a lesson in that. To survive you need to innovate or else you’ll be left behind. Find out more.


Are we too liberal?

This Rightmove campaign was heavily criticised on Facebook for completely missing their audience struggles to rent/buy in London.

The Brexit vote showed how divided Britain really is. The result was a shock to many in London’s adland, revealing an industry increasingly out of touch with consumers. But why is this the case? According to a new study by Trinity Mirror 48% of agency folk identified as left wing, compared to 28% of the modern mainstream; 19% described themselves as right-wing, compared to 28% of the modern mainstream. What was more revealing was how ad folk saw a greater need for belonging, which means self-image is very important to them. This was in contrast to the wider public. What are the implications? For a start, it means advertisers are projecting brand relationships onto people who don’t really care. We’ve also become too obsessed with the expression of individual identity, what does your shampoo say about you? The average consumer doesn’t care. We may try and layer deep meaning into our products but this rarely translates. Often the best idea is the simplest. Read more.


Gartner details the future of technology 

Last week Gartner pulled out the crystal ball and released their annual ‘Emerging Technologies Hype Cycle’ whitepaper, a prediction of which technologies are set to make it big and the others which are set to fail.  In this year’s cycle, the key breakthroughs occurring nearly every week are around AI with technologies like autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence, autonomous robots and quantum computing on the cusp of revolutionizing society. However, nine emerging technologies identified last year by Gartner have vanished. Some of these are quite significant, Machine Learning was two years away from the safety of the Plateau. But that’s disappeared. Its cousin Deep Learning is hanging perilously on. What is set to emerge according to the latest report is the emergence of the ‘transhuman era’, a time when people will hack biology dependant on their lifestyles, interests and health needs. It’s an exciting future but one which poses worrying ethical challenges with regards to the future of the species. Read in full here.


Spotify launches a branded podcast

Spotify has launched its first branded podcast, an original series with New Amsterdam Vodka called Ebb & Flow. With 83 million subscribers Spotify is betting big on podcasts. In June the firm announced a deal to exclusively bring comedian Amy Schumer’s ‘cast, 3 Girls, 1 Keith, to its platform. Speaking to MBW on a call ahead of Spotify’s Q2 earnings, the firm’s CFO Barry McCarthy noted that podcast content offers the unique monetary benefit of having audio sponsors (like New Amsterdam Vodka on Ebb & Flow). It’s also great news for advertisers. According to research conducted with Ypulse, Spotify found that half of podcast listeners say podcast ads are more relevant, seamless, or entertaining than other ads found placed online. The internet has given birth to a new radio star. Full read here.


Global video ad spend to reach $30b

It’s not been a great year for YouTube and other video-on-demand platforms. Ad fraud and challenges around brand safety have been at the forefront of the news agenda. Yet despite all this negative coverage brands are still investing significantly in online video advertising. That’s according to new data from marketing intelligence service Warc. It predicts brands will spend $30bn globally this year on video ads – a rise of 27% on the year before. In the UK, online video is expected to account for 38.2% of all video adspend this year. With over 60% of daily online video viewing now on mobile devices, most of this money is going to mobile-optimised social platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. However, there are some serious concerns with regards to online video. According to one study by the Guardian US and Google, 78% of video spend is susceptible to fraud if the publisher does not employ the ads.txt script within their website. More here.


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