You're invited: Axios will be hosting our first Media Trends event next week. Join me on Tuesday, 9/19 at 6:00pm for a dialogue on the changing media landscape and what that means for publishers, platforms, agencies and brands. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the invite list.
New revelations show hyperawareness of Russian actors, some potentially backed by the Russian government, using mass media to influence the American public and in some cases imperil the American democratic system.
Why it matters: These new disclosures from the government probes raise the question: What else happened, or is happening, that we haven't yet uncovered? To answer that question, lawmakers and watchdogs are calling for changes in media regulation to be able to better survey potential media manipulations of our democracy:
Go deeper: I look at the regulatory big picture, especially for Google and Facebook, on the Axios stream.
Spain's data regulatory body announced Monday that it's fining Facebook $1.4 million for using consumers' data without legal and explicit consent to help advertisers target ads.
One big issue that was specifically addressed was Facebook's storing of data via cookies for up to 17 months after a user deletes his/her profile.
Our thought bubble: European regulators introduced General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) last year, which will put major restraints on how these companies can use consumer data to sell ads beginning in 2018. Facebook's struggle to comply with current standards could mean trouble as more aggressive laws are implemented next year.
A new Pew survey asked people the degree to which certain resources would help them access information to make better decisions. Not surprisingly, consumers say they would benefit most from more mobile data, as opposed to library access or digital training.
Why it matters: The demand for mobile data has transformed the telecom industry and has put more pressure on media companies to create lighter experiences on mobile that won't eat all of consumers' data.
Across every age demographic, people are most likely to get news from Facebook, followed by Twitter and Reddit, according to a new Adobe study provided to Axios. Most respondents say they receive news consumption through social media as opposed to to television, news sites or print.
The Adobe survey also shows that fewer than 10% of respondents indicate that they are very likely to pay for the ability to access news via social media. According to the poll, females (83%) and those over 35-years-old (86%) are particularly unlikely to do so.
Why it matters: Facebook and Google have been tinkering with ways to help drive subscriptions to publishers' websites on their platforms, but according to this data, news consumers may not be so willing to pay for news products on social media sites.
The Federal Trade Commission filed its first-ever case last week against social media "influencers." The FTC says that two popular gamers posted messages endorsing an online gaming service without disclosing that the two gamers owned the company. It also sent 21 warning letters to prominent social media influencers that it had previously warned about their potential violation of FTC standards.
Why it matters: The ambiguity around "influencers" hawking products on social media sites has created an advertising frenzy on social media, with no clear distinction between who is sponsoring what. FTC acting chairman Maureen Ohlhausen says the Commission's first-ever action against individual influencers, "should send a message that such connections must be clearly disclosed so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions."
The Media Rating Council (MRC), a self-governing industry body responsible for auditing media companies, and the China Media Assessment Council announced Tuesday that they will jointly audit three digital audience measurement services that have applied for MRC's stamp of approval in China: AdMaster TrackMaster, Miaozhen AdMonitor and Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings (DAR).
Why it matters: These initial accreditations will form the basis for how we measure and audit Chinese media. This is especially crucial for major international advertisers.
Meanwhile, ComScore announced Monday that the majority of its board would resign as a part of a major company-wide shakeup being done to address investor concerns over financial transparency problems, including problems that led it to be delisted from Nasdaq earlier this year. The company cut 7 of its 12 board members, announced an interim CFO and said it will form a special committee to reevaluate its business.
Sound smart: The media measurement industry has become just as convoluted and competitive as the media industry it seeks to monitor.
C-SPAN is traveling the country next year with its "Next Generation" bus. In an effort to help guide its coverage, C-SPAN journalists will interview government officials and citizens from all 50 states over the course of the next year as part of its "50 Capitals" tour. Axios got an exclusive look at the bus and a schedule of the tour:
The bus tour trend: Media outlets like renting busses to explore the country and talk to local communities.