As we near August, the relentless digital news cycle is slowing slightly. However, we’ve still got juicy updates from Twitter, Google and Samsung.

Elsewhere, there are some interesting nuggets from the world of publishing and agencies. Tuck in…

Verizon buys Yahoo!

$4.83bn gets you a faded internet pioneer in today’s market.

The deal didn’t include the still successful Yahoo! Japan or Yahoo’s valuable stake in Alibaba.

Verizon sees the chance to break up the mobile advertising hegemony of Google and Facebook, by providing value ad inventory across news, finance and sports.

Google’s Expanded Text Ads are now live

Two lines of headline are now possible on mobile PPC ads. An 80 character description line (rather than two 35 character lines) is also possible.

This might seem like fine detail but as the GIF below shows, it will certainly improve UX and assist advertisers.

In other news, device bidding is live, too, allowing PPC advertisers to make base bid adjustments for tablet, desktop, mobile in isolation.

Further reading:

google expanded text ads

Twitter to partner with Sky Sports on Premier League video

Twitter continues to forge sensible partnerships - teaming up with Sky Sports to provide real-time video clips of Premier League soccer.

Starting this season, goals and key moments from every broadcast game can be viewed on the @SkyFootball account. Post-match analysis will also be presented by the same account.

The move could massively increase soccer fan engagement and also solve a tricky problem for Twitter – that of illicit Vine videos.

Advertisers are also set to get involved, as part of Twitter Amplify (making money for broadcast partners as well as the social network).

Samsung is killing it

Samsung saw an 18% increase in second quarter profit, up to $5.46bn.

Demand for its S7 models has seen the smartphone manufacturer reassert its power in the market, amidst an iPhone sales slowdown.


Guardian pioneers programmatic

The publishers new Pulse ads will target surging stories (over 300 views per minute).

Combined with first-party data (the Guardian’s knowledge of its audience interests), the new tool should be an effective and popular one.

Further reading:

Ogilvy Vietnam gives back Cannes Lions awards

Ogilvy Vietnam’s work for the Rhino Rescue Project earned it a pair of Cannes Lions awards.

The agency, however, has handed them back, with a statement that began as follows:

‘We determined that some elements of the campaign material created to support the NGO’s efforts to reduce Vietnamese consumer demand for rhino horns did not run in-market as stated in our submission video to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.’

Whilst not quite a scandal on the level of Grey’s I SEA app (see previous news roundup), this does represent another regrettable story for APAC creative agencies. Props to Ogilvy for owning up.

rhino rescue

John Lewis is back in the lab

Not content with one retail startup incubator in JLab, John Lewis has partnered with TrueStart, another retail accelerator.

TrueStart lists some other recognisable brands as partners (River Island, Accenture, Morrisons and more).

Watch this space for innovation.

Sky is killing it

Sky has seen 12% profit increase in the last year in the UK, adding 445k new customers. The picture is rosy across Europe, too.

With the broadcaster regularly launching new digital products, it is set to play a big part in the transformation of TV and video on demand (VoD).

Recent products include the Sky Kids App and Buy and Keep, which allows customers to purchase films and box sets to stream but also to store to watch again.

Further reading:

uk vod

Brexit boom for the Financial Times

It was reported earlier this week that the FT did very well off the back of its Brexit coverage.

The FT’s poll tracker garnered 4m and the publisher as a whole saw a 600% increase in subscriptions on the weekend after Brexit.

Hailo merges with MyTaxi

Hailo has merged with Daimler-owned MyTaxi. The company will keep the MyTaxi name and now boasts 70m passengers and 100k drivers.