By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: The C-Suite is not just starting to accept AI, but it is embracing and acknowledging its power and potential. AdWeek reports on a new IBM report which finds, “73 percent of CEOs predict AI will play a “key role” in their companies’ future. And more than 50 percent of the chiefs said they plan to adopt such technologies in the next two years.” The technology continues to develop. Just this week Wired reports, “Google’s DeepMind is developing an AI capable of ‘imagination’, enabling machines to see the consequences of their actions before they make them. … Its attempt to create algorithms that simulate the distinctly human ability to construct a plan could eventually help to produce software and hardware capable of solving complex tasks more efficiently.”

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In the administration: This week has been billed “American Dreams Week,” while most attention will be on incoming chief of staff General Kelly, who is expected to be sworn in on Monday. President Trump will hold a cabinet meeting the same day and head to West Virginia Thursday for a campaign-style rally. Nick Ayers was sworn in Friday as Vice President Pence’s chief of staff and Jarrod Agen, Pence’s communications director was named today as deputy chief of staff to the Vice President. Deputy Homeland Security secretary Elaine Duke will serve as Acting Homeland Security secretary. The president is expected to sign the Russia sanctions bill this week.

Elsewhere in the administration: The FCC holds its monthly meeting Thursday.

On the Hill: House members are home in their districts for the August work period. The Senate returns to the Capitol on Monday evening. Focus remains on the path forward on FY2017 budget reconciliation, health care, and tax reform.   

In the Media: CNBC reports that Facebook is on the brink of joining “a very exclusive club. … If Facebook rises to another high next week to close at or above a $500 billion valuation, it will join AppleAlphabet and Microsoft as the only U.S. tech stocks to be so valued.” Recode adds that the social media platform continues to evolve. “Facebook says it wants to help publishers sell subscriptions. But Facebook says it doesn’t want a piece of the revenue those subscriptions generate, or any of the data involved in the transaction. Those details are emerging as Facebook talks to publishers about a subscription tool it wants to launch later this year, in conjunction with its Instant Articles program, where Facebook hosts publishers’ articles on its own mobile app.”

BONUS: S-3’s own Amos Snead talked to Axios’ Sara Fischer about the evolving public affairs trends: “We approach everything like a political campaign. … The narrative is moving quickly so it is essential that your media team understands the policy and knows the influential players. It only makes sense to have each of these expertise represented on one team.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Amazon delivered tough news to Blue Apron this week when it announced plans to break into the meal kit industry. Morning Consult polling finds high prices are the biggest challenge for existing meal kit companies, CNBC adding, “Amazon — known for keeping prices competitively low — could be looking to solve this problem, seeing opportunity in an evolving and expanding market. Amazon’s stock was climbing slightly higher Monday morning.” Blue Apron’s stock meanwhile has been tumbling since its IPO. CNBC shares a bit of optimism after trying each. “It felt like each kit was for a different kind of consumer. Amazon is selling meal kits for dummies. Blue Apron is selling meal kits for foodies. There may be room for both.”

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In the Administration: This week the White House will focus on American Heroes Week with visits and events with the American Legion Boys Nation and American Legion Auxiliary Girls Nation as well as for first responders later in the week. President Trump heads to Jamboree West Virginia on Monday, visiting the Boy Scouts of America, then to Ohio on Tuesday where he will hold a “Rally in the Valley.”

On the Hill: The final week before the House beings its August work period will be a busy one. The House will consider a Russia, Iran, and North Korea sanctions package as well as continued progress on appropriations and a number of other bills pertaining to Veterans. The Senate, which is not leaving town for a few more weeks, continues to focus on health care, with a vote as early asTuesday.

In the Media: Millennials are on the way out and “generation Z now represents the largest potential TV audience of any age demographic.” Fast Company shares insights from Nielsen’s latest report on how different generations consume media. Of note, GenZ are younger (born between 1997-2015) and likely still live at home. Fast Company notes their habits are likely to change when the move out on their own, but it is not clear exactly how or what the landscape will look like at that time. AdWeek adds, “The report overall shows how the age of a diverse generation presents new opportunities for marketers. New technologies and forms of content continue to spread across generations, and there will be more to learn about how users interact with media down the line.”

Why does this matter? Advertisers and content creators alike will have to continue to think creatively about how to package ads, news, stories, and entertainment so it is easily consumed across a variety of screens.

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call(202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Amazon Prime Day set new records growing, “by more than 60 percent compared to the same 30 hours last year. … More new members joined Prime on July 11 than on any single day in Amazon history.” Recode adds, “Within a couple of years, more U.S. households could be subscribers of Amazon Prime than cable or satellite TV, according to recent estimates of Amazon’s popular shipping and entertainment service. According to estimates from Morningstar, nearly 79 million people in the U.S. now have an Amazon Prime membership*, up from around 67 million at the end of last year. Based on Morningstar’s estimates of the average number of Prime memberships per household, that suggests about 66 million households have Amazon Prime memberships in 2017. That compares to a projected 90 million U.S. households that will pay for cable or satellite TV this year, according to S&P Global.”

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In the Administration: President Trump approaches six months in office this week as the nomination process continues in Congress. The administration is expected to tomorrow (July 17) publish its objectives for NAFTA renegotiation if it hopes to begin renegotiations on August 16This comes just ahead of a House Ways & Means Committee hearing Tuesday on NAFTA modernization. Additionally,The Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis reports that Jared Kushner will head to Capitol Hill to address interns.

Nominations:

On the Hill: As Senator McCain recovers from surgery in Arizona, Senate Majority Leader McConnell has postponed consideration of the Senate health care bill. Still expected this week: a CBO score on the revised Senate bill. Meanwhile the House is expected to release and mark up its budget and Appropriations remains busy, completing the rest of its 12 funding bills. Additionally, the House is expected to consider a number of Energy and Commerce bills regarding energy infrastructure and pipelines.

In the Media: The Wall Street Journal reports on continued efforts by traditional magazines to break into online video. “Condé Nast and other legacy magazine publishers are redoubling their efforts in online video after learning from their stumbles over the past few years. Those who tried unsuccessfully to build centralized, destination-websites for their brands are now more concerned with distributing their work on platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and MSN. … As magazine print advertising revenue continues to weaken, video has become more critical. Advertisers are expected to spend $15.4 billion on video ads next year, according to eMarketer, up nearly threefold compared with 2014.” For Condé Nast, the shift is working. In May, it’s online video platform, the Scene, “attracted 98.3 million video views across Facebook, according to video analytics firm Tubular Labs—nearly triple the 36.4 million online video views the Scene generated in October 2016.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call(202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Emojis are increasingly being used for search online as their use among smartphone users remains incredibly high. Digiday reports on a, “MojiLaLa study that found 86 percent of smartphone users in the U.S. regularly use emojis, and that number jumps to 96 percent among those 18 to 34.” Kayak is one of the latest companies to embrace emoji search, even allowing users to vote on which emoji corresponds with which trip destination, turning the feature from not just modern search, but also user engagement. What’s next? “Ad agencies believe it’s likely more brands will begin to experiment with emoji search. VML is one agency that is advising its clients to do so, mostly because they could take advantage of organic search on social platforms. Twitter, Instagram, Google, YouTube and, as of last week, WhatsApp, have all added the capability to search using emojis in the past two years.”

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In the Administration: President Trump will return to Europe, heading to Paris on Friday for Bastille Day, at the invitation of President Macron. A CBO score of the president’s budget request is expected Thursday.

Nominations: Axios’ Mike Allen noted Friday that President Trump sent “87 nominations to the Senate in the month of June alone.”  

  • MondayThe Senate is expected to confirm Neomi Rao to head the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs within the Office of Management and Budget, aka regulatory czar. The Senate is also expected to invoke cloture on David Nye for US District Judge for the District of Idaho, with a final vote expected Wednesday.

  • TuesdaySenate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee is expected to vote on David Glawe’s nomination to be under secretary for intelligence and analysis at the Department of Homeland Security. The committee will also vote on David Pekoske to head the TSASenate Foreign Relations Committee will hold confirmation hearings for David Steele Bohigian, nominee for president of the Overseas Private Investment Corp., and Jay Patrick Murray, nominee for alternate US representative in the UN. Senate Armed Services Committee hearing for Navy Secretary nominee Richard V. Spencer.

  • WednesdaySenate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing for FBI Director Nominee Christopher Wray; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is expected to vote on Annie Caputo and David Wright, nominated to join the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Susan Parker Bodine to serve as an assistant EPA administrator. Also expected Wednesday: cloture vote on William Francis Haggerty, nominee for US Ambassador to Japan.

  • ThursdaySenate Finance Committee confirmation hearing for Kevin McAleenan, nominated for US Customs and Border Protection commissioner.

On the Hill: Congress returns from a  July 4 spent at home with the focus remaining on health care in the Senate. All eyes in the Senate await a CBO score on updated language, expected later in the week. Focus in the House will be on NDAA. The House is also expected to consider H.R. 23, the Gaining Responsibility on Water Act, as well as a series of bills related to human trafficking. House Budget Committee Chairwoman Diane Black also raised the possibility of a markup as soon as this week.

Also this week:

In the Media: For all the talk of the declining popularity of traditional TV, particularly broadcast, AdWeek reports, “Last week, advertisers were all about prime time—585 of them spent around $100 million on broadcast placement for new creative, about 13 percent of the $783 million advertisers spent on national broadcast placement overall, according to Kantar Media. Nearly half of the spending on new ads was devoted to prime-time programming. Most of that (28 percent) placement went during reality TV and competition shows.”

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!

By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the WeekAxios’ Sara Fischer notes in her new weekly media trends newsletter, “Roughly 50% percent of ad dollars flow to Google and Facebook, America’s ‘Duopoly.’ Together they are expected to take 83% of every new ad dollar, according to calculations from Digital Content Next, the premium publishers association.” To put that in perspective, “Google’s ad revenue has almost caught up to all print ad revenue globally and Facebook’s ad revenue is quickly approaching all radio ad revenue globally.”

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In the Administration: President Trump on Wednesday heads to Poland ahead of the G-20 summit, which begins FridayFox News reports, “Trump will also attend a summit in Warsaw devoted to the Three Seas Initiative … The initiative’s focused on expanding and modernizing energy and infrastructure ties in a region of Central Europe from the Baltic Sea in the north to the Adriatic and Black seas in the south.” The president will give a speech on Thursday, “at the site of a memorial to the 1944 Warsaw Uprising against the Germans, a Polish official says.”

Friday, President Trump will head to Hamburg, Germany for the G-20 summit where he is also expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Reuters notes a recent speech from German Chancellor Angela Merkel raising the “prospect of an open clash” between Merkel and President Trump. “Asked about Merkel’s comments, Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said the U.S. relationship with Germany was ‘as strong as ever’ and played down the discord. ‘Of course there are going to be differences in relations with any country, and we’ll talk frankly about those differences. The president enjoys those conversations,’ McMaster told reporters.”

On the Hill: The House and Senate are at home for the July 4 holiday as Senate leaders continue to look for a path forward on health care. The APreports that Senate Majority Leader McConnell remains committed to a simultaneous repeal and replace strategy, despite a tweet from President Trump. “McConnell told reporters after an event Friday in his home state of Kentucky that the Republican health care bill remains challenging but ‘we are going to stick with that path’ … ‘failure has to be possible or you can’t have success.’”

The Hill explains one Senate Republican tactic: update the CBO benchmark. “They say the CBO used data from March 2016 in coming up with the analysis that 22 million people would lose health insurance. By using a more recent benchmark from this year, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) argues that number might come down by as much as 6 million.”

In the Media: Wimbledon was the first sporting event live-streamed by Twitter last year. As it gets underway this year, TechCrunch notes Twitter’s continued growth in this space. “In the year since, Twitter has delivered a slew of live streamed sports, sports-related programming, newsconcerts, and other events to its service, including streams from the NFL, MLBNBANHLNLLcollege sports, even esports, and many more. …the cumulative effect – or, at least Twitter hopes – is that people will begin to think to check Twitter to see if something is being live streamed. And if Twitter can gain mindshare around live video even without deals as big as NFL games, that could long-term help boost its other metrics – like signed-in users, ad dollars, and more.”

Have a wonderful 4th of July

As always, please feel free to contact Rob CollinsMike FerenceJohn Scofield, or Amos Snead or call (202) 600-2938 with any questions. Have a wonderful week!