15 October 2019 07:05

MediAvataar's News Desk

MediAvataar's News Desk

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The festivities are about to begin this October with Star Movies stirring things up more than a notch with an adrenaline pumping line up of classics and blockbusters the entire month.

Starting with a bang is the $5 Billion line up this “Dussehra Special” day with The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers Infinity War coming your way all on the same day back to back. Get ready to encounter the Faces of Evil with your favourite superstars and see good triumph over evil.

The festive fever rises with a daily dose of entertainment you can enjoy with your whole family Everyday at 1 PM with “Family Time”, the one time when the remote wars are settled. The evenings are covered with action packed blockbusters where the outlaws scurry for cover against our chosen heroes with Dabangg Diwali Blockbusters@9.

Pop up Theatre “Superheros Origins” is ready to mesmerize you again with a superhero explosion, this time taking you back to where it all began. Experience the magical moments where our heroes transition from T’Challa to Black Panther, Tony Stark to Iron Man, Logan to Wolverine and many more. This special line-up is all set to leave you at the edge of your seats wanting for more starting 17th Oct, 4 PM.

If you think this wasn’t enough, watch the most anticipated premiere of the year Marvels Studios “Antman and the Wasp”, First Time on Indian Television as Star Movies brings to you the most explosive superhero duo in the Marvel cinematic universe on 20th Oct 1 PM and 9 PM.

Mosquito borne diseases kill over a million people in India every year, yet little is done to improve the situation. Hindustan, India’s second largest daily, decided to raiseits voice on this pressing issue through a 40 day editorial campaign titled ‘Hindustan Machchar ko Takkar’ highlighting the issue of mosquito breeding across cities and the impact it had on residents.

This was accompanied with a first-of-its-kind poster innovation across top markets of U.P.& Bihar contributing to making cities mosquito free.

Hindustan, through its massive on-ground presence across cities in U.P. & Bihar, orchestrated multiple activities including 200+ School Activations with doctors raising awareness about the symptoms of mosquito borne diseases and the importance of clean surroundings, touching base with over 50 thousand children. This was combined with 15 days of Mobile Awareness Van drive and empowering residents to become Citizen Journalists, giving them an opportunity to raise their voice against authorities’ apathy towards mosquito breeding hot-spots which was in turn amplified by Hindustan. Additionally, 250 Samwaad sessions were also conducted across key locations of UP and Bihar with people of influence to engage them on the importance of clean surroundings especially during rainy season.

Along with these activities, Hindustan engaged with larger audience through deployment of over 2 lakh innovative larvicide induced posters across U.P & Bihar. These posters when mixed with rain water converted standing water into a deadly trap for mosquitoes for up to 60 days.

Talking about the initiative, Rajan Bhalla, Group CMO, HT Media Ltd. said, "Hindustan always believes in highlighting issues of core relevance and working towards providing efficient solutions. The ‘Machchar ko Takkar’ campaign was one such innovative effort in leveraging our reach and network to help our readers combat the menace of mosquitoes. Through the efforts of this campaign, Hindustan continues to deliver on its core brand promise – Tarakki ka Naya Nazariya."

Friday, 04 October 2019 00:00

Taboola and Outbrain to Merge

Meaningful Advertising Competitor to Facebook and Google

Combined Company Will Reach Nearly 2 Billion People a Month, Supporting Journalism Around the World

Companies to Merge in a Cash and Stock Transaction

Taboola and Outbrain, two digital advertising platforms, today announced that they have entered into an agreement to merge, subject to customary closing conditions. Both companies’ Boards of Directors have approved the transaction. The combined company will provide enhanced advertising efficacy and reach to marketers worldwide, while helping news organizations and other digital properties more effectively find growth in the years to come.

“Over the past decade, I’ve admired Outbrain and the innovation that Yaron Galai, Ori Lahav and the rest of the Outbrain team have brought to the marketplace. By joining forces, we’ll be able to create a more robust competitor to Facebook and Google, giving advertisers a more meaningful choice,” said Adam Singolda, Founder & CEO of Taboola. According to eMarketer, almost 70% of total U.S. digital advertising revenue in 2019 is controlled by only three companies—Google, Facebook and Amazon. “We’re passionate about driving growth for our customers and supporting the open web, which we consider critical in a world where walled gardens are strong, and perhaps too strong. Working together, we will continue investing to better connect advertising dollars with local and national news organizations, strengthening journalism over the next decade. This is why we’re merging; this is our mission.”

“We are excited to partner with Taboola. Both Outbrain and Taboola have a shared mission and vision of supporting quality journalism globally and delivering meaningful value to the open web marketplace,” said Yaron Galai, co-Founder and co-CEO of Outbrain. “Ori and I had a vision of helping people discover quality content online, and we see a tremendous opportunity in joining forces in order to bring the next wave of innovation to our publisher partners and advertisers. I’m confident that together, we will be able to further our mission, which we call our Lighthouse, of bringing the best, most trustworthy content discovery capabilities to users around the world.”

Upon closing, Adam Singolda, the Founder and current CEO of Taboola, will assume the CEO position of the combined company, which will operate under the Taboola brand name, with branding to be determined and to reflect the merger of the two companies. Under the terms of the merger agreement Outbrain shareholders will receive shares representing 30% of the combined company plus $250 million of cash. The Board of Directors of the combined company will consist of current Taboola and Outbrain Management and Board members. Eldad Maniv, President & COO of Taboola and David Kostman, co-CEO of Outbrain will work closely together on managing all aspects of the post-merger integration. Yaron Galai will remain committed to the success of the combined company, and actively assist with the transition for the 12 months following the closing.

“We are fortunate to have great talent at both Outbrain and Taboola,” said Eldad Maniv. “As soon as the merger closes, we will work to integrate teams, technologies and infrastructures so we can quickly accelerate growth across all dimensions. We have set aggressive goals for bringing value to our customers, driving technology innovation and delivering financial results to our shareholders through increased efficacy and innovation. By working with David and the Outbrain team, I’m confident we can achieve them.”

“For over 10 years, each company has built incredibly powerful solutions that have helped tens of thousands of publishers and advertisers thrive,” said David Kostman. “I look forward to working together with Eldad and his team to bring together the best of each company’s technology, product and business expertise to build a compelling global open web alternative to Google and Facebook.”

The combined company will have over 2,000 employees across 23 offices, serving over 20,000 clients in more than 50 countries across the North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Asia-Pacific regions.

Compelling Strategic and Financial Rationale for the Merger

Key strategic benefits of the merger include:

Increased Advertiser Choice: The combined company will be able to provide advertisers, from small businesses to global brands, with a meaningful competitive alternative to Google and Facebook—the companies currently known as the “Duopoly” that command the vast majority of digital ad spend.

Greater Advertising Efficiency: A unified and consolidated buying platform will provide advertisers with greater efficiencies, helping them reach their awareness, consideration and conversion goals.

Higher Revenue and User Engagement to Publishers, Mobile Carriers and Mobile OEMs: Through increased investment in technology and expanded reach, the combined platform will be able to increase revenue to publishers, mobile carriers and device manufacturers, and drive better user engagement.

Accelerated Innovation: By combining two of the strongest data science and AI teams in the industry, and by accelerating investment in R&D, the company will be able to better address the evolving needs of its partners and customers.

Better Consumer Experience: Increasingly, Taboola’s and Outbrain’s solutions are embraced directly by consumers to help them discover what’s interesting and new, at moments when they’re ready to explore. For example, Taboola News is now embedded in over 60 million Android devices worldwide. The combined company will be able to accelerate the development of such innovative solutions, improving people’s ability to enjoy quality journalism.

Friday, 04 October 2019 00:00

Facebook launches Threads

Facebook is launching Threads from Instagram, a new camera-first messaging app that helps you stay connected to your close friends.

Over the last few years, we’ve introduced several new ways to share visually on Instagram and connect with people you care about – from sharing everyday moments on Stories to visual messages on Direct. But for your smaller circle of friends, we saw the need to stay more connected throughout the day, so you can communicate what you’re doing and how you’re feeling through photos and videos. That’s why we built Threads, a new way to message with close friends in a dedicated, private space.

Threads is a standalone app designed with privacy, speed and your close connections in mind. You can share photos, videos, messages, Stories and more with your Instagram close friends list. You are in control of who can reach you on Threads, and you can customize the experience around the people who matter most.

Message Only Your Close Friends

Last year, we introduced Close Friends for sharing more personal moments with a select group of people you choose. Now, you can use Threads to message those people on your Instagram close friends list and you’ll have a dedicated inbox and notifications just for them. If you don’t have a list set up yet, you can make one directly from Threads when you download the app.

Share Photos and Videos Instantly

Threads is the fastest way to share a photo or video with your close friends on Instagram. It opens directly to the camera and allows you to add shortcuts, so you can share what you’re doing in just two taps.

Find Out What Friends Are Up To With Status

We’ve heard that you want an easier way to keep up with your friends throughout the day – especially when you don’t have the time to send a photo or have a conversation. That’s why we created status.Only your close friends will see your status, and it’s completely opt-in.

Status was created with your privacy in mind – you control whether you share your status and with whom. Learn more about privacy and Threads here.

Continue Using Instagram Direct As You Do Today

Threads offers a new, dedicated home for your favorite conversations. Messages from your close friends list will appear in both Threads and Direct, so you have full control over how and with whom you want to interact.

Threads will begin rolling out globally today. We hope that Threads can bring you a little closer to the people you care about.


Written By Robby Stein, Director of Product, Instagram

Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020 Reveals a Reversal in Marketing Budget Growth, Yet CMOs Remain Optimistic Their Fiscal Health Will Bounce Back

Marketing budgets have shifted downwards, dropping from 11.2% of overall company revenue in 2018 to 10.5% in 2019, according to a survey of chief marketing officers (CMOs) by Gartner, Inc. Findings from Gartner’s CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020 report reveal this is the first time since 2014 that marketing budgets have dropped below 11%.

“In the face of perplexing external and internal environmental signals, CMOs remain confident about economic and budgetary outlooks, with almost two-thirds (61%) of CMOs expecting their budgets to rebound in 2020,” said Ewan McIntyre, vice president analyst in Gartner’s Marketing practice.

“However, that same percentage of marketing executives believed their budgets would increase in 2019, indicating their optimism is misplaced. While we’re not yet witnessing a precipitous drop in budgets, this year’s downtick presents a counterintuitive scenario. You could call this confidence in the face of adversity. Or you could call it hubris,” Mr. McIntyre said.

The CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020, conducted with more than 340 marketing executives in North America and the U.K., tracks the critical areas marketers are investing in from people, programs and technologies. The report looks at how much companies spend on marketing, how those budgets are built, how they will change in 2020 and why. Key findings from the CMO Spend Survey 2019-2020 include:

Martech Investments Dropped, But Agency Spend Remains Steady

Gartner’s 2019 Marketing Organizational Survey reported that 63% of marketers have moved some aspects of their delivery from third-party agencies to in-house teams. However, while there may have been a shift in volume of output, it has not eroded the significant value CMOs still place in external service providers. In fact, spending on marketing agencies still accounts for nearly a quarter (22%) of total marketing budgets.

“While in-housing may be à la mode, agencies still offer an unparalleled breadth of scope, economies of scale and an ability to offer much-needed, external strategic input,” added Mr. McIntyre.

Meanwhile, marketing technology (martech) investments dropped 3 percentage points year over year, falling to 26% of marketing budgets in 2019. While martech still commands a major slice of the marketing budget, it has proved to be a more volatile investment area.

Furthermore, established technologies such as personalization engines and account-based marketing (ABM) have fallen into the Trough of Disillusionment in Gartner’s Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising 2019. Of note, Gartner’s 2019 Marketing Organization Survey reveals that 24% of marketers believe martech strategy, adoption and use is one of their top three weaknesses in their company’s ability to drive customer acquisition or loyalty. More than 25% of marketers blame those martech strategy weaknesses on insufficient budget, resources or capabilities.

Paid Media Spend Increases, Doubling Down on Digital Channels

Marketing spend on paid media has increased from 23% in 2018 to 26% in 2019, with digital channels taking up the lion share at 16% of overall marketing budgets. Confidence in digital ads remains strong, with 78% of CMOs expecting to increase investments in 2020. “As organic reach on social platforms plummets to zero, and confidence in influencer marketing is challenged, paid media presents more pros than cons for CMOs,” said Mr. McIntyre.

However, digital ads are not the only areas experiencing continued support. Across paid, owned and earned channels, CMOs are still investing in a range of channels. Offline advertising and TV spend remain strong, both commanding a share of 7% each of total marketing budgets.

Analytics Remain the Most Strategically Important Capabilities

CMOs have staked their claim in competitive insights and analytics, reporting these areas as the two most important capabilities supporting the delivery of their marketing strategies over the next 18 months. Marketing analytics is the single largest area of investment, making up 16% of the budget allocated to marketing programs and operational areas.

Despite all these investments, marketing maturity levels are still lacking, according to Gartner’s Marketing Maturity Assessment 2018. This presents a significant risk to ongoing investment prospects. Strong investment in data and analytics raises expectations of the experimentation and learning that is being undertaken to transform marketing experiences. “Failure to deliver against inflated expectations in data and analytics may come at the expense of future funding commitments,” added Mr. McIntyre.


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