Reading List: The Agency of the Future

Each day we provide a roundup of five stories from around the Web that our editors read and found noteworthy. Follow us on Twitter for updates throughout the day @digiday.

Fixing Agencies: There’s no doubt the agency of the model of the future remains hazy. There is no shortage of candidates. The real problem, according to former Y&R chief digital officer Tarik Sedky, is that agencies are the equivalent of albums in an iTunes world. In this, he means the agency business model is to bundle together services when clients increasingly want maybe one piece from a specialist agency. The wrinkle in this is that clients don’t want to pay for all the overhead at each agency they use. Sedky suggests the agency of the future might be more like a talent manager who coordinates the efforts of many specialists. It’s not that far off what Ty Montague and Rosemary Ryan are doing with Co. Onward —  Brian Morrissey  @bmorrissey
Playing the Race Chip: There are few blacks serving as CEOs in America, but even fewer in Silicon Valley. It’s not that there aren’t talented African Americans out there, they just, at least according to TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington, aren’t making themselves known. Only 1 percent of tech and Web startups have African American founders, but talking about it, writes author Hillary Reinsberg, makes everyone, including the press, a bit “squeamish.” Mogulite  –Carla Rover @carlarover
Page Gooses Google: Google CEO Larry Page is tyring to change the culture of a company that is known for its culture (and, as a co-founder of the company, a culture he helped create). From limiting meetings to 50 minutes and requiring that bathroom breaks be scheduled in, to eschewing email — even Gmail — as an inefficient means of solving problems, Page is trying to revive some of the nimbleness that made the behemoth so powerful in the first place. To do it, he has cut more than 25 projects at various stages of development and engineered the purchase of Motorola Mobility, getting the software giant into the hardware business. All this in order to keep Google, with its 31,000 employees, from becoming another AOL. NYT— Anne Sherber @annesherber
Tipping Point for Mobile Search: As smartphone and tablet use continues to grow, user-search patterns are changing drastically as a result. According to search-marketing-platform provider Efficient Frontier, mobile could account for as much as 22 percent of total search ad spending next year, as marketers attempt to capitalize on that behavior. The biggest driver for that increased investment? Tablets, of course. The devices now account for around half of mobile search spending through Efficient Frontier’s platform, despite the fact that they by no means account for half of all mobile searches. TechCrunch — Jack Marshall @JackMarshall

Still No CBS Hulu Pact?: When Hulu ended its public sales process a few months ago by deciding to stay as is, many speculated that CBS might finally end its stance as the lone big broadcast network not part of Hulu (other than the CW). But, according to Gigaom, CBS interactive head Jim Lanzone, speaking at Ad Tech any idea of a Hulu CBS distribution deal. But as the dust settles, don’t be surprised if CBS looks into working with Hulu on a Hulu Plus-only distribution deal. CBS CEO Les Moonves has hinted that the network could be open to such an arrangement. Moonves has been very vocal in the past with regards to getting paid for content — one of the reasons he was so opposed to allowing CBS shows to be streamed via Google TV. GigaOm — Mike Shields @digitalshields
Digiday Top Stories
  • Coalition for Better Ads experiences European growing pains

    The Coalition for Better Ads is putting more people on the ground in Europe to combat communication and resource issues.

  • The state of UK mobile ad spend in 5 charts

    People are spending more time on mobile, so advertisers are following. In the first half of 2016, the U.K. saw mobile ad spend rocket to £1.7 billion ($2.1 billion), more than double the same total for 2015. According to the stats, search and video formats are behind the boom. But while desktop is on the way out, TV has a firmer grip on advertiser purse strings.

  • China’s Cheetah Mobile eyes U.S. for growth

    App developer Cheetah Mobile is a global company with Chinese roots. It is focused on the global market because Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu are winning the speed-scale battle in China and copycat startups pop up overnight. The company started shifting its focus to the global mobile market with a focus on utility apps four years ago, and this year, it’s transitioning from utility to content apps.

  • Opinion: Ad blocking + telecoms = a match made at the bank

    The battle for free, high-quality Internet content just got heated. Mobile operator Three has declared itself the second wireless service provider to integrate ad blocking at a network level, courtesy of ad blocking company Shine. It's being waged under the banner of “a better consumer experience,” on mobile devices, but I believe the debate is less about the consumer and much more about the money. Specifically, who’s going to make more of it.

  • Why Telefónica is getting brands to pay for its customers’ data plans

    Spanish telecom giant Telefónica is betting on sponsored-data ad models as a key future revenue stream. The company, which is in the process of selling U.K. operator O2 to Hutchison Whaompa for £10.2 billion, has been testing several variations of sponsored-data packages for the last year and is now poised for a more widespread rollout, and it wants more advertiser partners. Telefónica's global ad director Dan Rosen spoke to Digiday about the benefits.