SRAX Recap: Facebook Explores Ad-Free Subscription Option

In this week’s digital news, Facebook eyes subscription option and distributed ledger technology, Instagram announces native payments, and digital ad revenue surpasses TV ad revenue.

New report shows digital ad revenue surpassed TV ad spend in 2017.

According to a new report by PwC, digital advertising revenue rose 21% to $88 billion in the U.S. last year. Also, for the first time, online ad spend surpassed TV, broadcast and cable advertising spend, combined. More highlights from the report include:

  • Social media increased 36% to account for almost 25% of digital revenue, while search revenue decreased 2%.
  • Mobile video grew to $6.2 billion, finally surpassing desktop video, which grew to $5.7 billion.
  • Banner ad revenue was up 22.6% to $8.4 billion in the fourth quarter.


Instagram announces native payments and new Stories stickers.

Instagram is diving deeper into social commerce with the launch of native payments, which allows users to make purchases via business profiles. Users can register credit or debit cards as part of their profile so they can buy movie tickets or book services without leaving the app. For now, the option is available through a limited set of partners and businesses. New Stories stickers include the “emoji slider” and music clips. Emoji slider lets users poll their Stories viewers on a rating scale using an emoji. The music sticker is reportedly in testing, but it gives users the ability to add audio to their story.

Facebook looks into ad-free subscriptions and new technology.

Sources say that Facebook is entertaining the idea of offering an ad-free subscription option. While many people currently pay for ad-free experiences on platforms like Spotify, Hulu, and HBO, it’s tough to determine how many would pay for a platform that’s already free. And if this option becomes available, Facebook would be going back on their “always free” promise. The company also recently announced a major restructure of its management team, giving David Marcus, former head of Messenger, a new role overseeing how the platform could integrate with blockchain technology.



Published on May 11, 2018

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