News digest 31.08.2020

Walmart is teaming up with Microsoft on TikTok bid


The retail giant confirmed to CNBC that it’s interested in buying the popular short-form video application.Walmart shares hit a 52-week high of $139.35 on Thursday. At the close, they were up nearly 5% to $136.63, bringing the company’s market cap to almost $387 billion.

TikTok’s Beijing-based parent company, ByteDance, is nearing an agreement to sell its U.S., Canadian, Australian and New Zealand operations in a deal that’s likely to be in the $20 billion to $30 billion range, sources say. It has not yet chosen a buyer, but could announce the deal in coming days, the sources say.

Walmart is pursuing the acquisition at a time when it’s trying to better compete with Amazon. It plans to launch a membership program, called Walmart+, soon. The subscription-based service is the retailer’s answer to Amazon Prime, which includes original TV shows and movies. In a statement, the big-box retailer said TikTok’s integration of e-commerce and advertising “is a clear benefit to creators and users in those markets.” It did not say how it would use TikTok or whether it would be part of Walmart+.

Facebook has warned developers that iOS 14 will disrupt targeted advertising


Apple's upcoming operating system update — iOS 14 — focuses a lot on giving back privacy controls to users. In fact, the changes are so drastic that it has made the largest social media platform, Facebook, nervous. In a recent blog post, Facebook has warned developers that iOS 14 will disrupt targeted advertising. This means iPhone users with iOS 14 may get to see ads that are irrelevant to them. Which ultimately will lead to lower clicks and thus less revenue.

Facebook has released a detailed notification called “Preparing Our Partners for iOS 14” to make everyone understand how more privacy for users may mean less business for Facebook partners. So, what has Apple changed in iOS 14? Apple has simply made it immensely difficult for app developers including Facebook to track users. Without proper tracking it is not possible to serve targeted ads.

Disney Leads Old Media Giants in Making Money From Streaming


Online video is becoming a serious business for some of America’s oldest and largest media companies, with Walt Disney Co. leading the pack.Disney will generate an estimated $11.2 billion in direct-to-consumer revenue this year, according to a report released Monday by Macquarie Research. That would account for 19% of its total sales -- a level rivals in traditional media haven’t matched.

Macquarie credits Disney+, which quickly snapped up more than 60 million subscribers, and Hulu, a business that the company gained majority control of last year.

Fox Corp. and Comcast Corp. are the new-media laggards in the old-media group. Fox sold the bulk of its entertainment assets to Disney last year, and Comcast is just getting started in streaming: Its ad-supported Peacock service debuted nationally last month.

Analysts expect Netflix Inc. to generate almost $25 billion in revenue this year, virtually all of it from streaming.

PubMatic’s Quarterly Mobile Index (QMI) report shows growth of advertising budgets globally Q2 2020


The following three key trends in Q2 2020, according to QMI findings: 1) mobile advertising takes the spotlight amid budget cuts; 2) app publishers embrace programmatic as in-app 02 engagement deepens; 3) mobile video proves to be a dynamic format during a 03 downturn.

As marketers invest in mobile as part of their omnichannel strategies, publishers must adapt best-in-class programmatic strategies for in-app inventory. For marketers, while some advertising investments may make sense only for mobile as a standalone, fanning out their ad strategies extends their reach, especially when trying to anticipate changing digital behaviors during an economic downturn. For publishers, addressing quality concerns and improving buyer transparency is pivotal to honing relationships and also maximizing revenues. 

With the convergence of OTT and digital video buying, publishers must prioritize delivering a TV-like ad experience across all platforms. Better end user viewing experiences produce better inventory monetization for publishers. With the accelerated shift of budgets from traditional ad-serving on TV to server-to-server based digital formats, ad inventory that alleviates latency, repetitive ads, and the lack of competitive separation are firmly positioned to follow revenue growth. 

China’s e-commerce giants get a boost as consumers continue to shift online after coronavirus


China’s e-commerce and food delivery giants are reaping the benefits of an increasing number of consumers shopping online and businesses trying to digitize, trends accelerated by the coronavirus outbreak. Chinese players have recently reported strong earnings for the second quarter as lockdown rules in the world’s second-largest economy relaxed. 

Meituan Dianping, China’s biggest on-demand delivery services firm, reported net profit of 2.2 billion yuan ($319.5 million), a more than 152% year-on-year rise. That compared with a loss of 1.58 billion yuan in the March quarter of 2020. 

Meanwhile, Alibaba reported revenue of 153.75 billion yuan for the April to June quarter, a 34% year-on-year rise. That growth rate was higher than the one recorded in the first quarter of the year. And like Meituan, Alibaba’s on-demand delivery service, also saw some improving numbers., Alibaba’s rival, also posted strong earnings. The company said net income for the June quarter was 16.45 billion yuan ($2.32 billion), rising over 2,500% year-on-year.

Pinduoduo Inc. continued to add more active users and saw the smallest net loss since IPO, according to its unaudited financial report for the second quarter ending June 30 released Friday. Average monthly active users this quarter was 568.8 million, an increase of 55% from 366 million in the same quarter of 2019.

Instagram Will Enable New Advertisers to Create Ads Without Linking to a Facebook Page


As reported by AdWeek, Instagram will now allow new advertisers in some regions to create Instagram ad campaigns without having to link to a Facebook Page.

As per Instagram: "You can now create Instagram ads without having a presence on Facebook. If you are promoting a post from your Instagram business account for the first time, you won’t have to connect to a Facebook ad account or Facebook Page."

The key proviso here being 'for the first time' - most Instagram advertisers have already connected their profile to Facebook Ad Manager, as has been required, and those businesses won't now have to option to disconnect their Instagram profile from their Facebook Page, and still have the capacity to run ads.

Businesses that do choose to run their ads on Instagram only obviously won't have the capacity to manage such via their Facebook ad account. Instead, they'll have to run their ad campaign, and track ad performance, on Instagram direct.

Indian Tata Group to launch ‘super app’ with a range of digital services


Indian multinational conglomerate holding company Tata Group is pushing into the country’s booming tech sector with a new “super spp” that will bring together its disparate consumer services for the first time.

The new platform “super spp” should be ready to available in India from December or January, is set to put Tata head-to-head with rivals including Amazon and conglomerate Reliance Industries in a highly competitive market.

According to the FT report, Tata’s plans come shortly after Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries raised $20bn from 13 foreign investors including Facebook and Google in its own tech push, with its mobile operator Jio expanding into everything from e-commerce to video conferencing. Tata, which also owns steel plants and carmaker Jaguar Land Rover, has so far lagged in its consumer-internet offerings.

The services that would eventually be available through Tata’s supper app, including food and grocery ordering, fashion and lifestyle, consumer electronics and consumer durables, insurance, and financial services, education, healthcare, and bill payments.