Street Fight Daily: Amazon Creeps Up on Ad Duopoly, Facebook Invests in Conversational AI

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…

Advertisers Warm to Amazon’s Increasing Ad Pitch (Digiday)
The prospect of Amazon emerging as the main rival to Google and Facebook’s duopoly over digital media seems increasingly plausible, now that some of the world’s biggest brands are starting to consider it for their budgets. Recode: Mattress-maker Tuft & Need builds Amazon-powered store

After Some Challenging Pivots, Moz Digs Deeper for Growth (Street Fight)
After several years of fast growth pushing into a variety of different marketing products, the firm announced last August that it was laying off 28 percent of its workforce in order to refocus on its core competencies. We caught up with CEO Sarah Bird recently to talk about the changes and where she sees the digital marketing industry headed.

Facebook Buys an AI Startup to Turn Its Middling Assistant into a Siri Killer (Business Insider)
Facebook has acquired Ozlo, which describes itself as “an index of knowledge about the real world.” In practice, that means a technology that lets users ask questions about everything from restaurants to movie schedules.

Local SEO Guide Launches Tool for Tracking Google My Business Updates (Street Fight)
The company is releasing a tool to minimize unapproved changes to Google My Business pages. Although Local SEO Guide’s Locadium tool was originally developed for the company’s own clients, CEO Andrew Shotland says the decision was made to open Locadium up to the general public after a number of SEO firms expressed interest. 

inMarket Expands Audiences Segmenting Product in Bid to Fix Programmatic Location Accuracy (Street Fight)
In-store advertising vendor inMarket is expanding its offerings to agency trading desks this morning, with the announcement that it’s opening up its Audiences segmenting product as a self-service solution. Beginning today, agency bid desks will be able to use inMarket’s reservoir of first-party location data to enable hyperlocal targeting.

Autonomous Vehicles Projected to Drive In-Car Advertising (MediaPost)
The car of the future is poised to become yet another screen where publishers and advertisers compete for attention. A new report paints a picture of autonomous vehicles becoming a new frontier aggressively used by brands to build deeper digital relationships with customers.

Seed Funding Slows in Silicon Valley (Reuters)
The bloom is off seed funding, the business of providing money to brand-new startups, as investors take a more measured approach to financing emerging U.S. technology companies.

Fidelity’s Valuation of Uber’s Stock Static Since Kalanick’s Departure (Recode)
In its first holdings report since Kalanick was removed from his job, Fidelity Investments declined to either shave or boost its valuation of Uber, suggesting the chaotic transition may not financially rock the company as some had worried.

Agencies Build Crowdsourcing and Automation into the Media Plan (AdExchanger)
Agencies are adding new wrinkles to their media-planning processes to make sure campaigns are relevant and informed by expertise across many marketing disciplines.

Snap, Blue Apron Shake Confidence in Startup Valuations (WSJ)
Snap Inc. and Blue Apron Holdings Inc. were supposed to herald a return of the great technology IPO. They have instead become vehicles of market dismay.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]