A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Google Tests Waters of Voice Ads on Speaker (WSJ)
Google’s smart home speakers on Thursday played an unprompted promotion for Walt Disney Co.’s new “Beauty and the Beast” movie, the first sign of how the world’s largest advertising company could shoehorn ads into its growing number of voice interactions with users.
Openings and New Hires at Empyr, Pitney Bowes, and Button (Street Fight)
Every two weeks, Geoff Michener covers some of the latest job changes taking place in this dynamic industry. This week’s edition includes moves and new openings at Netsertive, Vendasta, Speakeasy and Tapad.
Pinterest Goes After Visual Search Market Share (MediaPost)
In the coming months Pinterest will clarify how it intends to use its roots as a social network to take a bigger piece of search advertising and marketing by teaching brands and consumers how to search outside the box.
Street Culture: Cuebiq’s Aggressive Growth Bolstered by Candid Culture (Street Fight)
“We are a company that values transparency,” says the company’s CEO, Antonio Tomarchio. “Every month we present to all the people across the company everything that’s going on. I believe that not only it’s the right thing to do, but also that it’s always the best long-term strategy for success.”
Alexa is Coming to the iPhone (Quartz)
Amazon announced today that Alexa, its voice-controlled digital assistant that’s usually found in its own devices like Echo speakers and its Fire TV streaming device, will be making the jump to the iPhone. Starting next week, US users will be able to speak with Alexa in Amazon’s main shopping app on iPhone.
Factual Aims for Scale, Partners with Adobe, Oracle (MediaPost)
Factual, a location data ad-tech company, announced on Thursday integrations with platforms including Adobe, LiveRamp and Oracle Data Cloud. This play for scale offers Factual greater reach across marketers and publishers interested in location data and geo-targeting.
Why Snapchat’s $24 Billion Valuation Was No Surprise to Mobile Marketers (AdWeek)
Terence Fung: Snapchat boasts 161 million mobile daily active users, and users interact with the app more than 18 times per day, on average. The company has shifted from being a provider of ephemeral messaging to a social entertainment hub, enabling family and friends to share videos, news and music.
eMarketer Releases New Report on the Declining Interest in Wearables (eMarketer)
eMarketer has significantly revised its estimates of wearable usage downward for the entire forecast period, due to the Apple Watch’s failure to generate mass appeal. By 2020, only around on in five US adults—54.9 million—will use a wearable device on a monthly basis.
Publishers’ Epic Battle for Media Monetization (AdExchanger)
Neil Lustig: The struggle that publishers are facing when it comes to monetization is so pervasive that many aren’t even bothering to hide the evidence. But it’s not earnings reports, revenues or the long-standing string of acquisitions that showcase the challenges – it’s publishers’ websites.