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Heading to the Consumer Electronics Show? I'll be speaking at the Future of News panel today at 1 p.m. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want grab coffee in Vegas.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios
Chinese internet giants like Tencent, Baidu and Alibaba are ramping up investments in U.S. tech and media companies. They're also building data servers and acquiring ad tech businesses in the U.S. that can help them monetize media engagement from citizens living in America, like students or tourists.
Why it matters: There's a misconception that the Chinese push into the Western media tech market is to target new American users or to compete directly with U.S. tech companies. In reality, they're looking to expand their Chinese user base abroad and make money from Chinese expats who would rather use their own social, messaging, and commerce apps in the U.S.
There's a lot of revenue to be made: Chinese tech companies can sell much more expensive ads to Chinese citizens using Chinese apps in the U.S., the world's largest and most mature digital advertising market, than they can in China.
Humphrey Ho, managing partner at Hylink, China's largest independent digital advertising agency (and the only one that's not state-run), says his firm estimates that the number of Chinese citizens traveling to the U.S. will jump from four million unique visitors to 10 million by 2021.
What's next? U.S. lawmakers are weighing ways to clamp down on some Chinese investments and acquisitions in light of concerns that they could give America's biggest rival access to sensitive technologies that that are crucial to the U.S.'s economic and national security priorities, especially user data.
In the meantime, look for all of these companies to have a major presence at the Consumer Electronics Show, with sponsorships, speeches and showrooms.
CES kicks off today in Las Vegas, and this year, there's a bigger focus than ever on the intersection of technology, media, entertainment, marketing and advertising.
The three big product wars you should be following:
The Washington Post will celebrate its second consecutive year as a profitable company by adding to its business and technology teams in 2018, according to a memo to staff from Post Publisher Fred Ryan obtained by Axios.
Go deeper: Read the full memo
Mediaocean, the 50-year-old TV-buying platform used to purchase an estimated 75% of all TV ads in the U.S, is partnering with Adobe's Marketing Cloud to integrate digital ad buying with TV.
Why it matters: Just a fraction of TV ads today are bought digitally, even though the technology is there to serve digital TV ads to more than half of Americans.
Until now, media buyers haven’t had much access to the programs that would allow them to buy TV ads in a way that could integrate all of the data sets they need to buy TV ads digitally.
Bottom line: It will take ad buyers some time to integrate the technology into their TV buying habits, but this partnership will make it significantly easier.
There's a growing backlash against Google and Facebook over their conflicting interests in the digital video space. Both are investing heavily in their own video content (YouTube and Watch), which they will need to sell ads against, yet both are also trying to provide ad-buying solutions for other marketers.
Why it matters: Some ad-serving companies see Google and Facebook's positions on both the demand-side and supply-side of digital video space as a conflict of interest.
Sinclair Broadcasting Corporation's proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media would give the conservative-leaning company control of an additional TV station in Des Moines, Iowa — one of the most important presidential primary media markets in the country.
Why it matters: Sinclair's possible acquisition of an NBC affiliate in Des Moines (WHO-DT) underscores Democrats' worries about the deal giving a right-leaning company significantly more control over local news. The Sinclair-Tribune deal is expected to be approved by regulators this quarter.
Sinclair also already has a significant footprint in other major primary states. It owns a station in Portland, Maine that covers parts of New Hampshire, and stations in four different South Carolina markets, as well as Savannah, which reaches southern parts of state.
Of all television news, local TV still has the largest audience by far compared to national and cable TV, but it's been hit with the greatest decline among the three types of TV channels.