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By Abhay V
Google introduces audio ads in YouTube, targeted at music streamers
by Abhay Venkatesh
Google is today introducing a new format of ads for YouTube – audio ads. The firm is touting this format of ads as a way to reach users that leverage YouTube for listening to music, or what the firm calls “ambient listening”. The format targets users that may not be watching music videos or concerts – but listening to them in the background, leading to visual ads not being as effective.
The company says that such ads will have a static image or a still frame of a video, with the “audio soundtrack plays the starring role in delivering your message”. The firm added new audio ads features to the Ad Manager platform a few months ago that lets advertisers better tailor and analyze the consumption of such content. The Mountain View giant says that it noticed that 75% of audio ads “drove a significant lift in brand awareness” as part of its alpha testing. It adds that testers like Shutterfly saw a 14% lift in ad recall when used for influencing purchase considerations via audio ads.
It also touts the popularity of YouTube as a source for music streaming. The video streaming platform saw more than 50% of logged-in users stream at least ten minutes of songs every day. For this reason, the company is also introducing dynamic music lineups for video campaigns, providing a way for marketers to target specific music genres, channels, or even events for their ad campaigns to improve the effectiveness of the marketers' messaging.
Audio ads will be available in beta through Google Ads and Display & Video 360 for marketers. You can head to the support article here for more information.
By News Staff
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by Steven Parker
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By Usama Jawad96
Pulling an EA: NBA 2K21 now has unskippable ads during loading screens
by Usama Jawad
EA received a lot of flak last month for introducing advertisements in UFC 4 a month after launch, and the company eventually had to remove them following backlash. While fan outcry should have been a clear indicator to other companies that gamers are not a fan of this tactic of being forced to watch ads in a premium game, it appears that 2K Sports has done exactly the same with its latest release, NBA 2K21.
NBA 2K21 launched on current-gen consoles, PC, and Stadia on September 4, 2020, and is slated for release on next-gen consoles next month. Depending upon which version of the game you buy, you could end up paying a base price of $60 all the way up to $100. Regardless of it being a premium title, it appears that the publisher has decided to introduce unskippable advertisements in the game, a month after launch.
Stevivor recorded adverts for the Oculus Quest 2 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC editions of the title, during pre-game loading screens. The site says that sometimes these ads run even longer than it takes for NBA 2K21 to load, which is quite ridiculous, as it indicates that you're essentially being forced to watch an ad even though the game has fully loaded.
See one of the jarring ad in the video below:
The move is certainly despicable considering NBA 2K21 is a full-priced AAA game and that advertisements have been suddenly introduced a month after launch, without warning. That said, the publisher did the same with last year's entry in the franchise so while these ads are not entirely surprising, it's understandable that players are outraged that the company is continuing this practice.
Source: Stevivor via IGN
Facebook rejected two million ads that obstruct voting
by Paul Hill
Nick Clegg, the former deputy Prime Minister of the UK but now Facebook’s vice president of global affairs and communications, has revealed that the social media firm has rejected 2.2 million ads on Facebook and Instagram for trying to obstruct voting. He also said that 120,000 posts on the two platforms had been withdrawn for the same reason.
According to Clegg, more than 150 million false information warnings have had to be issued too on content posted on Facebook and Instagram to help users avoid being tricked. After the 2016 elections, Facebook was one of the companies that was rebuked for allowing fake news to flourish on its platforms.
Discussing the measures that Facebook is taking in the run-up to the 2020 US Presidential election, Clegg said:
Aside from Facebook’s army of workers who moderate content on the platform, the company also employs artificial intelligence that deletes billions of posts and fake accounts before they’re even reported by users.
Facebook is under pressure to moderate different types of content; not only does it have to ensure that posts about the upcoming election are accurate but it also has to ensure that content about issues such as COVID-19, Climate Change, and 5G is accurate too as they’re issues that conspiracy theorists like to latch onto.
Source: Agence France-Presse (The Guardian)
By Jefferson Mangubat
Facebook bans ads that discourage vaccination, but not anti-vaccine posts
by Jefferson Mangubat
Facebook has unveiled a new global policy around ads related to public health. The social networking giant is banning ads that dissuade people from getting vaccinated for any reason.
The company noted that it already bans ads containing hoaxes about vaccines as debunked by health authorities such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The latest move expands Facebook's efforts to clamp down on health-related ads that spread misinformation, which could undermine public health initiatives.
Facebook will implement the new policy in the next few days, with some exceptions. For instance, it won't cover unpaid posts by anyone trying to discourage vaccination. It also does not apply to advocacy ads about government policies on vaccines. The company maintains that it will still have to approve these ads before they go live and that they must include a “paid for by” information to identify who funds them.
In addition, Facebook is working with global health organizations like WHO and UNICEF to disseminate information on vaccines to various communities. The goal is to help increase the number of people receiving vaccines.
Also starting this week in the U.S., the social network company will run an information drive that will encourage people to get their flu shots this year. This campaign will appear both in the News Feed and through Facebook's COVID-19 Information Center. The company says it will expand this effort to more countries in the next few weeks.