A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Apple is Working on an AI System that Tops Google’s and Everyone Else’s (Business Insider)
Apple now has the tech in place to give its digital assistant a big boost thanks to a UK-based company called VocalIQ it bought last year. According to a source familiar with VocalIQ’s product, it’s much more robust and capable than Siri’s biggest competitors like Google Now, Amazon’s Alexa, and Microsoft’s Cortana.
Facebook Set to Foster Popularity of Branded Content (TechCrunch)
At its annual conference, Facebook said it would allow publishers to include branded content in their Instant Articles posts, using a new tag and ad unit as part of broader efforts to encourage more high-quality content of all kinds, especially live video. The changes provide a path for publishers to both tap the huge Facebook audience and, for the first time, make money doing it.
DoorDash CEO: Opportunity in Local Delivery is ‘Vast’ (Street Fight)
“The core thesis … is to build a new type of logistics company where we’re using software that makes a lot of decisions previously made by humans,” said DoorDash CEO Tony Xu, who will be a keynote speaker at Street Fight Summit West. We spoke with him about scoring funding in a cooling investment market and the future of delivery as the company’s primary service.
The Facebook Papers Part 4: What’s a Publisher to Do? (Recode)
Tony Haile: The single most important thing media companies can do is to nurture the growth of as many different platforms as possible.
Sussing Out Google’s Master Plan in the Post-App Era (Street Fight)
Michael Boland: Google’s counter-attack to the world of apps can be seen in several places. In fact most Google moves are to drive mobile behavior through its front door. This principle underpinned nearly every announcement at Google I/O.
What Does It Take to Be a Full-Service Digital Media Organization? (Nieman Lab Journalism)
Discourse relies on philanthropic and nonprofit partners and collaborating media outlets to fund much of its work. It also generates some revenue through workshops, speaking engagements, and other events.
Sponsored Post: Infographic — How SMBs Need to Do Local Marketing (Street Fight)
There is no better way for a local business to get its digital marketing in place than through a full understanding of key tools; by linking up with a digital agency; and focusing efforts on one channel that delivers powerful results. For the past four weeks in this space, LocalVox has delivered those insights and hands-on tactics, plus resources to provide SMBs a clear path to getting started and succeeding
Rise of Ad-Blocking Software Threatens Online Revenue (New York Times)
Many of the world’s largest Internet companies, like Google and Facebook, rely heavily on advertising to finance their online empires. But that business model is increasingly coming under threat, with one in five smartphone users blocking advertising on mobile. That represents a 90 percent annual increase, according to a new report from PageFair.
Search Isn’t Just on Search Engines Anymore, and Google Knows It (Skift)
Google used to own search. Now 65% of consumers start searching for products on Amazon or other retail sites – bypassing search engines completely. As a result, the Alphabet, Inc subsidiary has made moves to a) win back this product search traffic, and b) move down-funnel to become a bigger part of the shopping process.
7 Essential Google Analytics Reports Every Marketer Must Know (Search Engine Land)
Khalid Saleh: For marketers, there are few skills more important than a deep understanding of Google Analytics and its conversion measurement capabilities. Unfortunately, mastering Google Analytics can be challenging, even for experienced marketers. There is far too much data and too few easy-to-follow dashboards to sort it out.
Amazon Echo and Alexa Can Now Be Tried in a Web Browser (Mashable)
If you’ve heard about the Amazon Echo and have been wondering what it’s like to use it before committing to buying one, there’s now an online tool that lets you test it out as much as you want, right in your browser. It’s called Echosim, and all you need to use it is an Amazon account to log in.
Suddenly, National Newspapers Are Heading for That Print Cliff Fall (The Guardian)
Roy Greenslade: Sales aside, the main problem has been the gradual retreat by the major funders of the press: advertisers. Publishers of local and regional titles have been facing that drama for several years. Nationals, however, have done better … until now.
These 2 Tech Companies Are Combining Market Research and Programmatic Ads (AdWeek)
Advertisers target consumers all the time online, but they don’t always survey a sample of the actual target segment to figure out their mindsets in real-time. Krux and Survata aim to make that tactic easier to execute.