Each week, Padilla’s Insights + Strategy team stands at the intersection of people, culture and brands to bring you five stories that you can read in five minutes.

1. Amazon gives Google a run for their advertising spend

Amazon announced their advertising business has grown at a rate higher than 45% this past year. Why should you care? According to J.P. Morgan, Amazon is now ranked as the third largest digital advertiser after Google and Facebook. The company is focusing on helping businesses find, attract and engage with customers with the help of machine learning, a method that has contributed to advertiser satisfaction and the subsequent growth of Amazon’s advertising business. [CNBC]

2. Facebook partners with media outlets

Facebook has decided to pay media outlets who participate in their news service. Why should you care? In an effort to regain public trust, Facebook is supporting the publishing industry in hopes of setting a precedent for other companies and organizations. The site plans to host news from approximately 200 publishers, offering outlets anywhere from a few hundred thousand to tens of million dollars — in exchange for a licensing agreement. As local news struggles to succeed in the modern news landscape, this is something to pay attention to, and determine if this helps or hurts an outlet’s bottom line. [WSJ]

3. Porsches just a click away

Porsche is now selling its vehicles online in the United States and Germany. Why should you care? Buyers can select and submit an order for both new and used in-stock Porsche vehicles. Once ordered, buyers still have to show up in person to sign and pick up the car, but the most difficult part of purchasing a car — financing and payment calculations — will be handled online. In the U.S. in particular, Tesla largely wants to avoid complications with independent dealer partners and the inflexibility of state laws. While online automotive eCommerce isn’t particularly prevalent, it’s time to ask
— how long before buying cars online becomes the norm? [Tech Crunch]

4. Disney Plus emerges nearly unmatched

No one is underestimating Disney Plus anymore — and it’s all thanks to extensive marketing campaigns for brand recognition. Why should you care? UBS polled 1,000 consumers in mid-October, and 86% had heard of Disney Plus and 44% said they were likely to subscribe. The awareness is largely due to Disney’s tactics. For example, Walt Disney World in Florida has more buses than the city of St. Louis, making it the perfect “venue” for on-board sneak-peek screenings while guests are being shuttled between the airport, parks and resorts. Disney store employees wear t-shirts with barre codes that lead directly to sign-up pages. ABC, which is owned by Disney, mentions Disney Plus in their shows, including Dancing with the Stars, Live with Kelly and Ryan and The View. This, on top of discounts, may make this a textbook case study for leveraging native advertising and an owned communications strategy. [New York Times]

5. Coming soon(ish): space tourism

For a mere $250,000 you can travel to space…maybe in the next decade. Why should you care? Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin are the top-two space tourism companies aiming to cater to space tourists within the next decade. Virgin Galactic flew their first passenger to space in February and is now in the final stages of testing for their six-person, 90-minute trip to the edge of outer space. Currently, they estimate space tourism represents a market of two million people. As it becomes more affordable, it is expected to grow to more than 40 million. Companies like Under Armour are jumping on board and already working on creating a space suit in a partnership with Virgin Galactic, demonstrating it isn’t too early for brands to consider how their products could define the space experience. [CNBC]

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