Situational awareness: Myanmar's highest Supreme Court denied the appeal of two Reuters reporters serving jail sentences for Pulitzer Prize-winning investigations into the killing of Rohingya Muslims.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
E-commerce is colliding with digital advertising and forcing traditional ad agencies to embrace data and distribution around specific platforms like Amazon and Google.
The big picture: Today’s marketing landscape revolves around the major platforms (Google, Amazon, Facebook) that make money by offering brands a wide variety of advertising opportunities — from search and social media ads to sell to consumers directly, to video campaigns to improve a company’s reputation.
Amazon has become a major focus.
Between the lines: Ad agencies are having to retool to embrace the algorithm-driven platforms and features. That’s ushering a new era of consolidation in the sector as they buy data companies.
On the flip side, consultancies are acquiring creative companies.
Between the lines: Some agencies are taking existing assets and creating practice groups to focus specifically on managing e-commerce partnerships.
The bottom line: As one analyst put it to me, consultancies are trying to expand their influence in the corporate C-suite — to be able to be able to talk to the Chief Marketing Officer as well as the CEO.
The two biggest spenders on digital ads between the 2018 mid-terms and now are by far Donald Trump and billionaire progressive activist Tom Steyer, according to data given exclusively to Axios from Tech for Campaigns, the digital arm for progressive and centrist campaigns.
Why it matters: We know a lot more about digital spending in real time now that Facebook and Google post political ad data.
The big picture: Of the top 15 spenders overall on political/advocacy ads in 2018, five had links to billionaires, including Donald Trump, Tom Steyer, JB Pritzker, and Reid Hoffman.
Some of the biggest spenders on digital advertising since the midterms are issue groups looking to grow support around hot-button issues ahead of 2020.
The big picture: The broader efforts around advocacy messaging leading up to elections haven't changed too much, but political advertising has started much earlier.
TheSkimm, which started out seven years ago as a morning newsletter catered towards female millennials, has acquired the technology behind the texting platform Purple, Axios has learned.
Why it matters: With this acquisition, the company is continuing its expansion out of the inbox.
The big picture: theSkimm is investing to become a bigger part of the daily routine for its users.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
World leaders are scrambling to contain acts of violence and hate crimes by introducing censorship measures, or by shutting down parts of the internet:
Why it matters: Some experts argue that heavy-handed rules meant to curb the online promotion of violence could make the problems worse.
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings once called his company a “rerun TV" company. Its transformation into an original content machine is impressive — and really expensive, Axios' Markets Reporter Courtenay Brown writes.
Driving the news: Netflix expects it will burn a bigger-than-expected $3.5 billion this year. Hastings sees the epic cash burn as a good thing for the company; still, he has reassured investors that 2019 will mark be “peak” negative free cash flow for his company.
Sinclair Broadcast Group, the local broadcaster that's been criticized for pushing pro-Trump talking points, has been hiring a slew of high-profile news anchors as it pushes into national news coverage.
Why it matters: Sinclair's hiring spree suggests that it's looking to position itself as a national news competitor to Fox News ahead of the 2020 election, and as an overall competitor to big broadcasters with its foray into sports coverage.
Flashback: This wasn't always the plan. The company's efforts to push into national news and regional sports comes after an embarrassing defeat in its attempt to expand its local news empire last year after its bid for Tribune fell through.
Ahead of earnings, Axios has updated our quarterly revenue chart, showing that Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat continue to grow their businesses overseas.
Why it matters: Overseas growth is important for all three firms, but they need to recruit even more users in emerging markets to generate the same amount of revenue as they get from developed market users.
Luminary, the subscription streaming podcast service, will roll out later this month without key shows like The New York Times’ "The Daily" and Gimlet Media shows like "Reply All" and "Homecoming," The Verge's Nilay Patel reports.
Why it matters: "[T]he future of podcasts looks like the future of TV: dozens of different paid-streaming services with different, fragmented catalogs battling it out for your time."
Photo by Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Some of the extraordinary investigations and features from college and high school journalists over the past few months:
Go deeper: Read the examples on Axios.