Angst is running high in digital media as Google plots a change to its Chrome browser that could cut off certain types of ads. Many in the ecosystem are unsure about what’s going to happen and when. They’re also asking a surprising question: Who is behind all this?
To review: Google plans a new Chrome browser, coming next year, that will automatically block certain ads, such as video ads that play automatically with sound. Google says it’s acting on the recommendation of a cross-industry group called the Coalition for Better Ads, which it says has identified 12 ad types that people find highly annoying. The coalition says publishers and ad-tech companies need to ditch them fast.
But many in the industry aren’t clear who’s driving the plan to eliminate certain ads — Google, the coalition’s leaders, or someone else.
To read more about how this is fuelling rumours and conspiracy theories in the industry, click here.
In other news:
Google’s parent company Alphabet topped Wall Street’s Q3 financial targets, bringing in $US27.77 billion in revenue, up 24% from the year before. The company said that its mobile search advertising business and YouTube video site were major contributors.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that YouTube is growing on TV during the company’s earnings call yesterday. People are watching a reported 100 million hours a day worth of YouTube content on television specifically, which is a 70% increase from last year.
Amazon too reported strong results in its Q3 earnings. Revenue was up 34% year-on-year, at $US43.74 billion, beating the $US42.1 billion projection, while net income was $US256 million, which all sent the stock surging up over 7%.
In fact, Amazon’s “other revenue,” which includes ads and its co-branded credit card agreements, grew 58% in the quarter to $US1.12 billion, Digiday reports. Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said ad revenues continue to grow “very, very quickly” and the year-over-year growth rate is faster than any of the company’s other revenue line items.
Netflix’s ‘Stranger Things’ makes a comeback today, and the streaming giant is running a first-of-its-kind Snapchat lens to promote the show’s second season. The lens serves as a portal into the infamous living room from the show, bringing to life various elements in it through augmented reality.
Speaking of Snapchat, the company is cracking down on sexual content in its Discover section again. The change is a new iteration of the Discover policy introduced back in January that bans “profanity, overly sexualized content, and violent content.”
Twitter has banned all ads from accounts owned by Russia Today and Sputnik.The company announced that the $US1.9 million (£1.4 million) it expected to make from RT and Sputnik advertising will be donated to misinformation research.
Spotify is reportedly cancelling original video series on the service. That includes all the show it hasn’t released, as the company needs to “rethink its video strategy.”
The iPhone X is available for preorder, and the first customers will receive their device in a week. There are two colours, Space Grey and Silver, and two models, 64 and 128GB, selling for $US999/£999 and $US1,149/£1,149 in the US and UK respectively.
McDonald’s has decided it’s time for a shakeup for its media business after more than a decade with Omnicom’s OMD at the helm, The Wall Street Journal reports. Bob Rupczynski, the fast-food chain’s vp of global media and customer relationship management, wants the company to move away from having a single global agency and instead wants to work with a small number of firms.
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