It Takes An Engineer
I'm a huge fan of the MIT Media Lab. The contributors are an amazing consortium of scientists and artists and ethnographers and biologists, who bring to life innovative societal solutions. I once saw a prototype for a mobile app to detect eye disease in remote parts of the world. You know who else is at the MIT Media Lab? Engineers. But it's not just the MIT Media Lab looking to technologists for innovation. It's media agencies. Even yours truly, Mediastruction, which has hired a mechanical engineer to oversee an advanced media mix modeling offer. How do marketers fund innovative, nascent ad opportunities? By finding efficiencies in ad spend. Building models and tech stacks to make that possible, sometimes requires engineering. Interesting take on engineering's contribution to media and marketing here.
As Big As A Google
While on the subject of innovation in technology, let's talk Google. This week the Missouri Attorney General launched an investigation of Google for consumer protection violations, mostly around its surreptitious collection and dissemination of personal data. But also because of its self-enriching search engine algorithm. Google is so big and powerful, that the US, following Europe's lead, is starting to take a more careful look under the hood. "No entity in the history of the world has collected as much information on individual consumers as Google," Attorney General Josh Hawley said.
Ironically, Missouri's attorney general, although of the same political party as the White House, doesn't align with the Federal Communications Commission, which is ready to allow broadcasters to track consumers, their preferences and behavior, much in the same way that digital companies do.This week Bloomberg.com wrote that Next Gen TV will provide sharper pictures and video on demand. It will also provide better consumer data collection, since the technology is internet-dependent. Good news according to broadcasters, desperately in need of innovative revenue streams. Bad news according to consumer groups, desperately holding on to some semblance of privacy protection.
Wish I'd Thought of That
File under the "Why didn't I think of that?" YouTube and Ticketmaster announced a joint venture this week, allowing YouTube music-video viewers to more easily purchase concert tickets. YouTube will surface tour dates directly beneath the artists' videos. I'm betting on a nice uptick in impulse purchases for those YouTube viewers discovering a new artist and simultaneously discovering an upcoming live performance. Next iteration should include a recommendation engine with similar artists and their impending concerts, maybe a nearby restaurant. Add in a babysitter and you've got date night.