The Week’s Digital Highlights – 30 June

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 9.59.22 pmWith the South East of Australia in the midst of winter, our attention turns to Europe where things are heating up for Google. The search engine was hit with a record Euro fine for anti-competitive behaviour totally 2.42-billion-euro ($3.57 billion AUD) for abusing its market dominance. Google has been accused of prioritising their Google Shopping ads at the top of Google search results over their competitors.

EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager described the action as “illegal under EU antitrust rules“. EU regulators took action after receiving scores of complaints from rivals including Yelp, TripAdvisor, UK price comparison site Foundem and News Corp. Competitors complained Google was manipulating results to benefit their shopping ads. In response, Google stated that online shoppers want to find products quickly and easily, and their Google shopping ads provided this service.

Google Shopping offers users a quick selection of the best prices for a particular product, advertisers pay to be featured in the results. Competitors, including comparison sites which offer a similar service, were claiming their website listings are being pushed all the way down to page four of the search results. As we know the majority of Google search users don’t click past the first page of results. Google’s ego has taken a battering over the allegations and is fighting the charges.

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 10.00.04 pmThe other digital news to grab my attention this week was Facebook’s continued push into live TV streaming. Facebook has signed an agreement with Fox Sports in America to broadcast live Champions League Football (soccer) games next season.

Soccer is the most watched sport on Facebook. Last year 3.7 million users tuned in to watch a Wayne Rooney-sponsored charity match. The recent Champions League final attracted 34 million people who had 98 million Facebook interactions. These numbers are pretty impressive, but it would be good to understand how long users viewed the videos. What is surprising is that I thought NBA or NFL would have larger audiences on Facebook than football. Amazon’s Prime is live streaming Thursday night NFL games next season. They paid $50 million for 10 games, which was five times more than what Twitter paid last season.

Last week I wrote about how Snap and Facebook are becoming more aggressive with their live TV streaming services. The above news by Facebook is more proof that social media websites are becoming media channels. It will be interesting to see if users will embrace watching live TV on Facebook, Snap and YouTube in the same way people use Netflix and Amazon Prime.

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Brazil 2014 World Cup TV Commercials

In just over 24 hours time we’ll be glued to our television sets for a month of football action from the FIFA World Cup. The global TV audience for the World Cup is estimated at 4 billion viewers, making it more popular than the summer Olympics. FIFA will make $4 billion AUD from this tournament with the bulk of money coming from advertisers.

For advertisers the World Cup is a big opportunity to create buzz and excitement in their products. Adidas has paid $215 million to be a partner for the last 4 years in the lead up to the World Cup. Visa, McDonalds, Coke, Emirates, Bud, Hyundai and Sony have all paid large sums of money to be involved in the event.

In my last blog post I touched on the fact that I hadn’t seen many ads. As expected this has changed the closer we get to the event. Present and past football stars dominate the commercials with many of them being brand ambassadors.

What TV commercials will we be watching this year?

SBS’s The World Game has posted a lot of the World Cup commercials on their website. See below for my top 5 commercials. Some of the ads released are quite long so am expecting shorter versions to appear on TV. What’s your favourite ad?

    1. Adidas –  Becks, Zidane, Bale and Lucas Moura bring new meaning to indoor soccer 
    2. Kia – Adriana Lima Transforms a Man Cave. A great way to convert non football fans. 
    3. Beats By Dre – Staring Neymar the ad feels more like a mini movie with an awesome soundtrack. 
    4. Nike Football – one for the Football purists 
    5. World Cup on Twitter – Will Twitter dominate the social media landscape at this World Cup?