A new survey shows that 46% of companies with an annual budget of at least $50 million spend 60% or more of their ad budgets on Google, Amazon and Facebook, a trio that Factual and Lawless Research call "the oligopoly". Roughly two-thirds said they are worried that the oligopoly could limit their options and are looking for alternatives, although the other platforms they named most are all owned by the three tech giants.
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The number of people who primarily connect to the internet via their smartphones has nearly doubled since 2013, the Pew Research Center reports, with the trend especially acute among respondents aged 18 to 29. Pew says 37% use phones as their primary connection link, a figure that climbs to 58% among the younger demographic, with 23% of all responders saying they don't need a wired broadband link because of their phones.
YouTube has been out front at previous Cannes festivals, but this year parent company Google is taking the spotlight and highlighting features such as Showcase Shopping and Discovery Ads. Google will emphasize its analytics tools and machine-learning capabilities in what one strategist describes as a challenge to Amazon.
Advertisers can now use Studio Resonate from Pandora to develop audio marketing and sonic logos. Ashley HomeStore is one of the pilot partners, and the new audio consultancy arrives as an increasing number of people are expected to own smart speakers and listen to podcasts.
Companies including Mastercard, PayPal, Visa and Uber have agreed to invest in Facebook's cryptocurrency, sources say. Each company will invest about $10 million in a consortium that manages the coin, which will be backed by a portfolio of government-issued currencies to ensure stability, the sources say.
Google is testing a new ad extension to track weekly traffic on websites. The company has declined to comment or supply details, and it's uncertain whether the feature will work outside of brand searches.
Huawei has applied for trademarks for Hongmeng, its new operating system that will replace Android. The new OS is expected to be ready in a few months as the Chinese tech giant finds ways to work around the US ban of its technology.
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