The Full Monty

By Scott Monty | Virtually everything. Curated links for those interested in digital, customer experience, leadership, communications and more.

IHeartRadio Parent Warns It May Not Survive Another Year

iHeartMedia Inc. , the operator of radio and television stations, is planning to include language in its next quarterly report warning investors that it may not survive another year, according to a regulatory filing. The company, which owns iHeartRadio and outdoor advertising company Clear Channel …

Markets

Waymo Says Uber Concealed A Secret Technology It Copied From Waymo From The Court

Waymo, Alphabet’s autonomous car company, alleged in a court filing on Friday that Uber has been developing a secret, secondary self-driving technology that is a more direct copy of Waymo’s autonomous driving designs — and that the ride-hail giant intentionally concealed this project from the court.<p>…

Uber

The Guardian pulls out of Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple News

Publishers aren’t happy with the deal platforms are cutting them. Now, the Guardian has dropped both Facebook’s fast-loading Instant Article format …

Digital Media

In-Stream Video Ads Just Launched on Twitter

Twitter is taking aim at a larger chunk of the video advertising market with Tuesday’s launch of in-stream video ads.<p>Senior product manager, revenue</b> …

Advertising

Uber is extending its internal investigation into sexual harassment claims and workplace culture

Here’s the memo from board director Arianna Huffington on the state of the investigation.<p>Uber has extended its internal investigation into sexual harassment claims at the company, according to sources.<p>The investigation, led by former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, was sparked by charges of …

Uber

Facebook’s plans to augment reality are as dystopian as they are smart

Our AR future could be an advertising and social hellscape<p>Gary Shteyngart's <i>Super Sad</i> <i>True</i> <i>Love Story</i> feels more prescient every year. The 2010 dystopian fiction novel imagined a world where holographic, smartphone-like devices called äppäräts project everyone’s personal information all of the time, …

Augmented Reality

Oracle will pay more than $850 million for Moat

A big bet on ad tech.<p>Oracle will pay more than $850 million to acquire Moat, a company that tracks digital ads, according to a person familiar with the deal.<p>Oracle announced its planned acquisition earlier in the week, but didn’t disclose a price. The company declined to comment.<p>Moat has had …

Advertising

Why Facebook Keeps Beating Every Rival: It’s the Network, of Course

The tech world just witnessed a robbery. The heist was so brazen you kind of had to admire it, even if it was pulled off with all the grace of a gas station stickup.<p>Facebook barged into Snapchat’s happy Venice Beach, Calif., mansion, took a solid inventory of the goods, then lifted the crown …

Facebook

Google Plans Ad-Blocking Feature in Popular Chrome Browser

Alphabet Inc.’s Google is planning to introduce an ad-blocking feature in the mobile and desktop versions of its popular Chrome web browser, according to people familiar with the company’s plans.<p>The ad-blocking feature, which could be switched on by default within Chrome, would filter out certain …

Digital Advertising

Facebook is lining up its developers to destroy Snapchat

At Facebook’s F8 developer conference today, Mark Zuckerberg spoke expansively about the future of communication—how it would be more visual; how we could leave digital markers in physical spaces for friends and strangers; how the lines between physical and digital were beginning to blur.<p>Using …

Facebook

Facebook launches beta of Spaces, its goofy and fun social VR platform

More than three years after its acquisition of Oculus, Facebook is a product even more deeply intertwined with people’s online identities. Today, Facebook is reaching an important milestone as it launches the first significant integration of social virtual reality into its core product.<p>Facebook …

Virtual Reality

Snapchat adds world lenses to further its push into augmented reality

Menlo Park, start your photocopiers<p>Snapchat today is rolling out world lenses, a new twist on its popular face filters that continues the company’s exploration of augmented reality. Starting today, tapping the camera screen while using the rear-facing camera will bring up new 3D lenses. A cloud, a …

Snapchat

Snapchat is launching a self-serve platform for Snap ads

After sponsored geofilters, Snapchat is working on launching a new self-serve platform for its Snap ads product, according to sources.<p>The platform is …

Snapchat

New York Moves to Require Uber to Provide Tipping Option on Its App

New Yorkers have long been able to tip a taxi driver by adding a few dollars to their bill before swiping a credit card. But they cannot add a tip when they use the popular ride-hailing app Uber.<p>Now officials in New York City are moving to require Uber to provide a tipping option in the app.<p>The …

Uber

Instagram now lets you organize bookmarks into private collections

Instagram will make its bookmarking feature more useful, the company announced this morning, with the introduction of “collections.” The new feature will allow users to organize the posts they save into private groupings for easier access. The addition may further challenge Pinterest, which also …

Instagram

Facebook's Instant Articles promised to transform journalism — but now big publishers are fleeing

Inside Facebook's Menlo Park headquarters, the arrival of Instant Articles in the spring of 2015 was presented as a cause for celebration. Talking with reporters, executives described the fast-loading, natively hosted articles as a promising new creative format. A suite of publishing tools …

Digital Media

Inside the Hotel Industry’s Plan to Combat Airbnb

SAN FRANCISCO — Last year, Airbnb underwent a rough regulatory patch.<p>The short-term rental company became a Federal Trade Commission target last summer after three senators asked for an investigation into how companies like Airbnb affect soaring housing costs. In October, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of …

I couldn’t tell that this was a robot singing Duke Ellington’s signature song

Sometimes we hear something and can’t believe it. That happened to me today.<p>New research from Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University has trained an AI to sing better than I can after listening to just 35 minutes of audio. Speech generation has been drastically improving over the last few years, with …

Music

Crisis Communications – Andreessen Horowitz

A crisis is an opportunity to change one’s culture, to model scenarios and set up a crisis plan/process, to become a better company. But it’s also a …

Andreessen Horowitz

Fake news will be a topic at Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting

Facebook shareholders are calling on the company to study its role in spreading fake news.<p>A proposal that will be voted on at Facebook’s annual shareholder meeting asks the company to issue a report detailing how false new stories are a threat to democracy and Facebook’s own reputation. They also …

Facebook

Nextio Gives You An Incentive To Respond To Unsolicited Email: Cold, Hard Cash

This new job site lets you name the price strangers will have to pay to get your attention.<p>There was a period of time when I received roughly 1,000 emails per day. They weren’t pure spam. Instead, my inbox was jam-packed with emails from (mostly) actual humans who wanted me to hear about their …

LinkedIn

No-Sports TV? Viacom, AMC, Discovery Said Eyeing Web Bundle - Bloomberg

Cable programmers including Viacom Inc., Discovery Communications Inc. and AMC Networks Inc. are in talks with pay-TV distributors about creating new …

Hulu

Facebook ramps up efforts to quash fake accounts

Facebook is taking action to detect and delete fake accounts from their site. Susana Victoria Perez (@susana_vp) has more. Buzz60<p>SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook is ramping up efforts to kill off sham accounts used to spread fake news, pass along malware and falsely boost page rankings, activity that can …

Facebook

Instagram Stories passes Snapchat in users

"T-Mobile now has the largest swath of unused low-band spectrum in the country. That is a BFD for our customers!" — T-Mobile CEO John Legere

Instagram

The 7 Best Podcast Promotion Strategies (And How to Use Them)

With over 1 in 3 Americans now having listened to a podcast, it’s getting easier and more attractive to start and grow your own show.<p>The rise of …

Podcasting

A New Online Discount That Could Actually Spur Store Traffic | eMarketer Retail

In its cutthroat competition with Amazon.com, Walmart has come up with a unique discount formula that may appeal to its price-conscious shoppers and …

eCommerce

Judge suggests Uber is hiding top exec's work in trade theft case

Uber reportedly tracked Lyft drivers using a secret software program named ‘Hell’

Another day, another revelation of an ethically questionable business practice by Uber. This time The Information reports that Uber secretly tracked Lyft drivers using an internal software program it dubbed Hell.<p>Hell not only let Uber see how many Lyft drivers were available for rides and what …

Uber

Burger King’s new ad forces Google Home to advertise the Whopper

Oh no, Google<p>Burger King is unveiling a horrible, genius, infuriating, hilarious, and maybe very poorly thought-out ad today that’s designed to intentionally set off Google Homes and Android phones.<p>The 15-second ad features someone in a Burger King uniform leaning into the camera before saying, “OK …

Black Market