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April 2019
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New Research Shows Marketers Who Focus on Subscriber Engagement Get More Email Delivered to the Inbox

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The State of Email Engagement report, released by Return Path in partnership with Demand Metric Email remains an effectiveand importantmarketing channel. Far from being an outdated or dead marketing channel, our research shows that email effectiveness is improving. In fact, almost 80 percent of the study's participants reported that email is holding steady or improving […]The post New Research Shows Marketers Who Focus on Subscriber Engagement Get More Email Delivered to the Inbox appeared first on Adotas.

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Appeals Court Says It's OK For Cops To Steal Stuff From Citizens

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Qualified immunity isn't a codified defense. Congress never passed a law granting public employees this exception to Constitutional protections. This exception -- one that allows public servants to avoid being directly sued by the public whose rights they've violated -- was crafted by the Supreme Court. The theory is it's too hard for the government to fully comprehend the rights it's supposed to be guaranteeing, so there needs to be an escape hatch for government employees.This escape hatch has allowed an amazing amount of abuse to go unpunished. As long as the government employees were the first to engage in egregious Constitutional violations, they're given a free pass. The free pass runs indefinitely if courts refuse to draw a bright line in published opinions. It doesn't seem like it would be that difficult to comply with the Constitution, but here we are.Qualified immunity has again been extended in a case where the behavior the government engaged in was not only unconstitutional, but criminal. (h/t Clark Neily)In this case, an illegal gambling investigation led to the search of property owned by the plaintiffs. The search warrant authorized the seizure of cash, gambling machines, and anything else the government determined was derived from illegal activity. So, the government did some seizing. But the inventory sheet didn't match up with what was taken. From the decision [PDF]:

Following the search, the City Officers gave Appellants an inventory sheet stating that they seized approximately $50,000 from the properties. Appellants allege, however, that the officers actually seized $151,380 in cash and another $125,000 in rare coins. Appellants claim that the City Officers stole the difference between the amount listed on the inventory sheet and the amount that was actually seized from the properties.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals says there was no Fourth Amendment violation because the officers were authorized to seize this property. As for the theft, the court says it won't even examine the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment implications of the alleged misconduct because it must consider the defendants' qualified immunity defense first. That leads directly to this jaw-dropping statement from the court:
The panel determined that at the time of the incident, there was no clearly established law holding that officers violate the Fourth or Fourteenth Amendment when they steal property that is seized pursuant to a warrant.
This dismaying conclusion was reached by examining similar caselaw from other circuits. The Ninth Circuit isn't the only circuit saying rights aren't violated when the government steals citizens' property… so long as the theft is accompanied by a warrant.
At the time of the incident, the five circuits that had addressed that question, or the similar question of whether the government’s refusal to return lawfully seized property violates the Fourth Amendment, had reached different results.
Four of the five circuits have stated the Constitution does not protect against theft by the government provided the initial seizure was legal. The only holdout is the Fourth Circuit, which stated theft of property (obviously) interferes with citizens' interest in the property they no longer have.Worse, the Ninth Circuit is unwilling to establish this right and put the government on notice that similar theft in the future will be considered a Constitutional violation.
The allegation of any theft by police officers—most certainly the theft of over $225,000—is undoubtedly deeply disturbing. Whether that conduct violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures, however, is not obvious. The split in authority on the issue leads us to conclude so.
Given that law enforcement is still allowed to steal property when executing search warrants, the court's final words to the plaintiffs are the appellate equivalent of "thoughts and prayers."
We sympathize with Appellants. They allege the theft of their personal property by police officers sworn to uphold the law. [...] But not all conduct that is improper or morally wrong violates the Constitution.
Sure, but we expect our government to engage in proper and moral behavior. Qualified immunity allows the government to do the opposite of that, and to violate Constitutional rights on top of it, all without having to answer for its misdeeds.

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Video Optimization - Q&A with Kevin Jones

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Contributor: Kevin Jones,Senior Director of Media Buying at Digital Remedy Where are advertisers failing when it comes to video optimization? A missed opportunity for advertisers is sticking to one KPI and not worrying about a secondary one. If video completion rate (VCR) is performing well, but viewability is low (or vice versa), the performance metric […]The post Video Optimization – Q&A with Kevin Jones appeared first on Adotas.

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Ironically, Too Many Video Streaming Choices May Drive Users Back To Piracy

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To be very clear the rise in streaming video competitors is a very good thing. It's providing users with more choice, lower prices, and better customer service than consumers traditionally received from entrenched vanilla cable TV companies. It's the perfect example of how disruption and innovation are supposed to work. And given the abysmal customer satisfaction ratings of most big cable TV providers, this was an industry that's been absolutely begging for a disruptive kick in the ass since the 1980s.But we've also noted that, ironically, the glut of video choices--more specifically the glut of streaming exclusivity silos--risks driving users back to piracy. Studies predict that every broadcaster and their uncle will have launched their own direct-to-consumer streaming platform by 2022. Most of these companies are understandably keen on locking their own content behind exclusivity paywalls, whether that's HBO Now's Game of Thrones, or CBS All Access's Stark Trek: Discovery.But as consumers are forced to pay for more and more subscriptions to get all of the content they're looking for, they're not only getting frustrated by the growing costs (defeating the whole point of cutting the cord), they're frustrated by the experience of having to hunt and peck through an endlessly shifting sea of exclusivity arrangements and licensing deals that make it difficult to track where your favorite show or film resides this month.In response, there's some early anecdotal data to suggest this is already happening. But because these companies are fixated on building market share, and this will likely be an industry-wide issue, most aren't seeing the problem yet.Others are. The 13th edition of Deloitte's annual Digital Media Trends survey makes it clear that too many options and shifting exclusivity arrangements are increasingly annoying paying customers:

But the plethora of options has a downside: Nearly half (47%) of U.S. consumers say they're frustrated by the growing number of subscriptions and services required to watch what they want, according to the 13th edition of Deloitte's annual Digital Media Trends survey. An even bigger pet peeve: 57% said they're frustrated when content vanishes because rights to their favorite TV shows or movies have expired.Consumers want choice but only up to a point, said Kevin Westcott, Deloitte vice chairman and U.S. telecom and media and entertainment leader, who oversees the study. We may be entering a time of 'subscription fatigue.'
As it turns out, people don't like Comcast, but they do ironically want a little more centralization than they're seeing in the streaming space. What that looks like isn't clear yet, but it's something that will slowly get built as some of the 300 options (and growing) currently available fail to gain traction in the space:
All told, there are more than 300 over-the-top video options in the U.S. With that fragmentation, there's a clear opportunity for larger platforms to reaggregate these services in a way that can provide access across all sources and make recommendations based on all of someone's interests, Westcott said. Consumers are looking for less friction in the consumption process, he said.
Variety's otherwise excellent report doesn't mention this, but a lot of these customers are going to revert to piracy. It's not clear why this isn't mentioned, but it's kind of standard practice for larger outlets to avoid mentioning piracy in the odd belief that acknowledging it somehow condones it. But if you don't mention it, you don't learn from it. You don't understand that piracy is best seen as just another competitor, and a useful tool to gain insight into what customers (studies repeatedly show pirates buy more content than most anybody else) really want.It's easy to dismiss this as privileged whining ("poor baby is upset because they have too many choices), and that's certainly what a big segment of the market is going to do.But it would be a mistake to ignore consumer frustration and the obviously annoying rise of endless exclusivity silos, given the effort it took to migrate users away from piracy and toward legitimate services in the first place. The primary lesson learned during that experience is you need to compete with piracy. It's not really a choice. It's real, it's impossible to stop, and the best way to mitigate it is to listen to your customers. Building more walled gardens, raising rates, and ignoring what subscribers want is the precise opposite of that.

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Marketing Madness: Advertising for the March Madness Frenzy

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A new study from social media competitive intelligence platform, BrandTotalanalyzedall of the paid social campaigns for some of the biggest brands (e.g.AT&T, Buffalo Wild Wings,Infiniti, etc)advertising for the March Madness frenzy - here are a couple of the findings from the report: Did you fill out abracket? A common question around the office this time […]The post Marketing Madness: Advertising for the March Madness Frenzy appeared first on Adotas.

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