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Scheduling: Recode's Code Conference kicks off this week from May 29 to May 31. Mary Meeker will present her annual internet trends report at the event, and Sheryl Sandberg, James Murdoch, Brad Smith, Evan Spiegel and Randall Stephenson are all slated to speak.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Europe's sweeping data privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), went into effect last Friday, triggering a flurry of multi-billion dollar complaints, the shuttering of news websites overseas and a programmatic (automated) ad-buying market crash in Europe.
Why it matters: There hasn't been any indication that enforcement will be that stringent — regulators have indicated they'll be more lenient in the beginning than businesses realize — but ominous press coverage and the fear of heavy penalties has been enough to rattle industry.
The big picture: The panicked reaction to GDPR is significant because U.S.-based attempts to clean up the advertising industry have basically been ignored by marketers.
Be smart: Expect enforcement in the U.S. to become a bigger priority now that there has been a full turnover of the five Commissioner positions at the Federal Trade Commission, which enforces consumer protection standards.
What's next? Digital advertising giants are already lobbying the next mega European law, a new ePrivacy Regulation that protects the confidentiality of electronic communications.
Photo: Fairfax Media via Getty Images
Satellite video companies like AT&T's Direct TV and Dish Network are having a tougher time navigating the cord-cutting crisis than some of their cable rivals.
Why it matters: Telecom companies once saw satellite TV services as a good way to expand their customer bases, leading to acquisitions like AT&T's DirecTV buy in 2015. But as viewers ditch their expensive pay-TV packages at a faster rate, those investments are becoming harder to quickly spin forward in a profitable way.
"Cord cutting is clearly affecting the satellite companies the most ... That segment of the market is in real duress."— Craig Moffett, lead telecom analyst and Founding Partner at MoffettNathanson LLC to Axios' Kim Hart
By the numbers: Satellite TV services (mainly DirectTV and Dish) had more net subscriber losses in 2017 than in any previous year, according to Leichtman Research Group, Inc.
What's happening: The main reason satellite companies are in a bind is because they lack widespread broadband services to recoup the cost of people ditching pay-TV packages.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Ad agency bosses are pushing back on the latest big move by a consulting firm, Accenture, to move into the automated ad-buying and placement space.
Why it matters: Some of the biggest advertising holding groups have been hit hard by a slew of changing market dynamics, including new competition from consultancies for digital ad buying and placement.
Accenture announced last week that it's increasing its focus and investment in the programmatic in-housing and media planning and buying arena with Accenture Interactive Programmatic Services. Ad agencies and interest groups argue this creates a conflict of interest, as Accenture also conducts audits of advertising companies.
Yes, but: Some of this competitive reaction could be overblown. Of the six major factors contributing to ad agency decline, Brian Wieser, Senior Research Analyst for Advertising at Pivotal Research Group doesn't think consulting competition is as damaging as brands taking digital businesses in house, or the slow growth of major brands to direct-to-consumer upstarts.
In response to their critiques, Accenture says its Media Management business is run independently and is not part of its marketing services business.
Photo: Solo Imaji/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
The latest Star Wars movie, “Solo,” is estimated to gross $101 million over Memorial Day Weekend, a record low for the franchise, CNBC reports.
The big picture: Star Wars films have historically been huge successes for Disney, but “Solo: A Star Wars Story” has performed far below expectations in the U.S. and overseas. Last week, Disney estimated the film would gross as much as $150 million over the holiday weekend, Axios' Stef Knight writes.
Why it's happening: Former Amazon Studios lead Matthew Ball tweets, "Much of the profit problem comes from Solo's costly reshoots, but the rapidly declining estimates suggest poor word-of-mouth, reviews and lackluster marketing (awareness not the prob)."
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
June will be a telling month for the future of media.
Why it matters: Most major media deals that analysts and experts thought would be sure bets have taken unexpected turns in the past month, introducing new possibilities of what the future of media could look like for decades to come.
The latest pieces of drama to unfold:
llustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
The entire country of Papua New Guinea will have access to Facebook turned off for a month in order to study the platform's impact on fake news and the spread of misinformation, according to the Papua New Guinea Post-Courier.
Why it matters: The directive from the Communications and Information Technology Department is meant to give the government the ability to the impact of the social media site on users.