MediaBizBuzz: ANA, Google, Disney, NPR, Verizon and Spotify

By MediaBizBuzz Archives
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A roundup of the week's key news from member companies and the wider media industry. This week, anticipation of "explosive" ANA kickbacks report (some say it could lead to "jail time"), Google widens lead over Disney for digital ad dollars, NPR expects big increase in podcast revenue, Verizon faces competition from AT&T in Yahoo battle, branded playlists to debut on Spotify, print media strategy under the spotlight and more.

An Explosive Report on Kickbacks in the Ad Industry is Coming out Next Month and Some Say It Could Lead to "Jail Time"

Report commissioned by Association of National Advertisers (ANA) is set to be more "explosive" than many people in the industry were prepared for, say sources. (via Business Insider)


Google/Alphabet Widens Media Revenue Lead Over Disney

In ZenithOptimedia's annual top 30 ranking, Alphabet/Google had $59.6 billion in digital media revenue, while Disney had $22.5 billion, followed by Comcast with $19.7 billion. (via Hollywood Reporter)


Google Makes Big Changes to Its Ad Products

Advertisers will have access to local search ads, promoted map pins and expanded text ads in AdWords -- and will be able to set individual bid adjustments for each type of device. (via TechCrunch)


AT&T's Surprise Yahoo Bid Puts Pressure on Verizon's Ambitions

"AT&T has to be nimble. Getting programmatic ad buying capabilities on mobile is probably one of the big reasons they are interested." (via Bloomberg)


NBCUniversal News Group Taps Taboola to Power Native Advertising,, and will work with Taboola to develop iterations around the Taboola Native ad server. (via MediaPost)


NPR Expects to "More Than Double" Its Podcast Revenue This Year

"We'll probably more than double this year, and the year before it tripled year-over-year, so we've been seeing really great growth over the past three or four years in podcasting." (via Adweek)

+ Podcast Sponsorships and Measurement, Part 2: An Art and a Science

+ Podcasts Experiment with Paid Subscriptions (via WSJ)


Spotify Will Now Let Brands Sponsor the Most Popular Playlists

Remember the old days when you'd give a girl or guy a playlist in the hopes of winning them over? Now, Spotify is letting brands try the same trick. (via Adweek)


Time Warner, Netflix Climb on Report of Apple Interest in Media

Shares boosted by FT report that a top Apple executive raised the prospect of buying the owner of HBO, CNN and Warner Brothers last year. (via Bloomberg)


Tribune Uses "White Squire" to Fend Off Gannett

Tribune sells 12.9% stake to investment firm Nant Capital LLC as it fends off an unsolicited $15-per-share cash bid from rival newspaper publisher Gannett. (via WSJ)


Newspapers Haven't "Cracked Code," Buffett Says

"The easy cutting has taken place. There's no indication that anyone besides the national papers has found a way." (via USA Today)

+ Newspaper Sites Deliver More Younger Millennial Mobile Exclusives than Facebook!


"Our Elegant Weapon": How Hearst is Building a Global Digital Network

It rolled out this so-called "media operating system" in the U.S. in 2014 and is now extending it internationally across its 300-some titles. (via Digiday)

+ Print Media: Conflicting Priorities for Sales Execs


People on the Move

MediaCom Promotes Jon Gittings to Run Strategy in Americas

Gittings, previously MediaCom's Global Business Development Strategy Officer, reports to Toby Jenner and Matthew Mee, Global Chief Strategy Officer at the WPP-owned network. (via Adweek)


Havas Becomes the Latest Agency to Hire a Chief Talent Officer from Outside the Ad Industry

"Our industry is under intense pressure to evolve the value creativity brings to brands, and we are increasingly hiring from outside of the advertising industry." (via Adweek)


Rubicon Project Announces Resignation of CFO; Appoints Chief Accounting Officer David Day as Interim CFO

Todd Tappin has resigned to assume the role of President at another company and David Day has been named interim CFO while the company conducts a process to identify a full time successor. (via Rubicon Project)

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