Every Friday, The Big Smoke looks at industry news curated by MediaScope. This week we gaze at Mary Meeker’s Internet trend report, where the tech giants will stand in the future, and Amazon’s shift into…investigative journalism?



Mary Meekers report just dropped: 12 key takeaways from Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report (Simon Dumenco – AdAge)

Recode rightfully calls Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner Mary Meeker’s annual Internet Trends Report “the most anticipated slide deck of the year.” At Recode’s CodeConference at the Terranea Resort in California, PowerPoint groupies watched the influential analyst speed through the 355 – yes, 355 – slides in her preso. Click through the whole thing here and/or skim our marketer/media-centric fast take, below, on the more general front half of her deck. (For more about the Internet in China and India, healthcare, the cloud etc, dive into the second half of her deck at your leisure.) – See Mary Meeker’s full report here.


In the land of the tech giants where do publishers fit into the e-commerce ecosystem (Chris Sutcliffe – TheMediaBriefing)

Growing e-commerce and affiliate revenue is a priority for the majority of publishers. Less than a third of respondents to our State of the Media 2017 report said they didn’t have plans to enter the e-commerce world, and who can blame them when it is estimated that nearly 15% of the $22+ trillion global retail sales will come from e-commerce by 2020. At the moment, many publishers are still getting their ducks in a row to be best able to take advantage of their prominent position for e-commerce purposes. Many are still building out their proposition by figuring out the best way of connecting their content to a retail opportunity, to, as we put it in our report, “move readers from inspiration to transaction.” What do all those e-commerce strategies have in common? They all sit in relatively narrow verticals, in which the expertise of their editorial content can both influence and create purchase intent.


Amazon jumps into investigative journalism with Berkley partnership (John Temple – The Monday Note)

Ever since the collapse of the advertising model that at one time made producers of news profitable, philanthropy has been the most obvious answer to the question of how to support investigative reporting. We see encouraging examples of that – ProPublica, the Centre for Investigative Reporting, the Centre for Public Integrity and others, including the IRP, a specialised institute within Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism sustained almost entirely by donors. Most try to sell their journalism in the marketplace, usually at prices well below the cost of production, or simply give it away. But it’s hard to believe philanthropy is a sustainable model for the long term, with the possible exception of a small number of organisations. We’ve seen a huge and encouraging surge of demand and financial support for investigative reporting from the public in response to the election of President Donald Trump and his attacks on the press. But how long will that last?


Could consultancies and media companies upend the holding company model on Madison Avenue (Avi Dan – LinkedIn)

The advertising industry has been consolidating for the last 40 years. In the mid-1980s the biggest agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, accounted for 2% of all revenues. With the formation of the holding companies, Omnicom, WPP, Interpublic and Publicis, marketplace fragmentation converged as they acquired hundreds of marketing service firms and, together with a relatively new arrival on the global scene, Japan’s Dentsu, just five firms now account for 70% of worldwide revenues. The advertising business has always been about creativity and return on investment for clients. But holding companies have added new pressures: share price. Not that the bottom line wasn’t important before with the individual agencies. It has always been. The trouble with holding companies is that they attract agencies at the mature end of the spectrum, which may be furthest away from those ideas fuelling an innovative approach. They also have a higher cost structure since they must draw profits out of the organisations in their ranks. Seeking to take on traditional ad holding companies, a nimbler and more digital-savvy model of consulting firms and technology companies, like Deloitte, Accenture, KPMG, IBM and PwC, are acquiring ad agencies.


Customer tech will turn the online marketplace into a Marvel-like universe in which all of us are enhanced (Doc Searls – Medium)

We’ve been thinking too small. What matters most to us online is agency, not data. Agency is the capacity, condition, or state of acting or of exerting power (Merriam-Webster). Nearly all the world’s martech and adtech practitioners assume we have no more agency in the marketplace than marketing provides us, which is kind of the way ranchers look at cattle. That’s why so many marketers assume, without irony, that it’s their sole responsibility to provide us with an “experience” on our “journey” down what they call a “funnel”. And that’s why it’s hard for them to imagine anything for people that isn’t a grace of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter and the rest of the marketing establishment. Assuming the Internet is a grace of big companies and marketing is the biggest con of our time. It’s time to stop falling for it.


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