By S-3 Public Affairs

Fact of the Week: Podcast popularity continued to grow throughout 2017. AdWeek notes, “In 2017, podcasting exploded into a seemingly bottomless ocean of content that Edison Research dubbed “the Infinite Dial,” with an estimated 15 percent of Americans listening to podcasts each week.” AdAge gives a look at what 2018 has in store for the medium: “As Spotify’s spotlight offers a high-profile listening platform for Android users, Google will engage to become a true cross-platform destination for podcasts. With both services gathering deep data, their recommendation algorithms will step up discovery and enhance the playlist culture. Next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is likely to confirm 2018 as the Year of Voice. Communicating with robots through voice-activated devices will become passѐ. With 70 percent of smart speaker owners listening to more audio since buying the devices, the industry will continue to benefit in the broader audio-on-demand context.”


In the Media: TVNewser reports, “As Nielsen ratings continue to decline for the cable entertainment networks, there’s one genre that thrived in 2017: Cable news.” The year-end review had good news for all three major cable news networks, with Fox News topping the list in prime time and total day, MSNBC showing the most growth, and CNN showing “year-over-year audience growth in total day.”

Nevertheless, streaming continues to be a trend to watch for 2018. Pew research this year found, “About six-in-ten Americans ages 18 to 29 say the primary way they watch television now is with streaming services on the internet. … Overall, just 28% of Americans cite streaming services as the primary way they watch TV.”

In the Administration: President Trump next weekend will host Senate Majority Leader McConnell and House Speaker Ryan at Camp David to map out the 2018 agenda.

On the Hill: The Senate will return to the Capitol on January 3, and the House is scheduled to return to Washington on January 8. Reuters reports, “On Wednesday, Trump’s budget chief Mick Mulvaney and legislative affairs director Marc Short will meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan – both Republicans – and their Democratic counterparts, Senator Chuck Schumer and Representative Nancy Pelosi, the White House said.” On the agenda: “immigration policy, government spending and other issues that need to be wrapped up early in the new year.”

2018 Calendars:

The House

The Senate 

WATCH: Bipartisan praise from Congressional leadership for newest S-3 Public Affairs team member, Matt Bravo! 

S-3 wishes everyone a happy, safe, and restful NYE. We’re looking forward to a great 2018!

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: Fact of the Week: When your teenager family members are glued to their phones over the holidays, chances are they’re on Snapchat. Recode reports, “Some 79 percent of U.S. 13- to 18-year-olds surveyed said they have a Snapchat account, more than any other type of social media. Of that age group, 73 percent have an Instagram account, and just 57 percent say they are on Facebook. Respondents had to choose only one social network they could keep if they were ‘trapped on a deserted island.’ This time, 44 percent of teens picked Snapchat.” The most popular feature: messaging – which Instagram is now working to replicate as well, after having already implemented the stories feature.


In the Media: The Wall Street Journal reports on a new trend in which social media “influencers” leverage their following to market a product, event, or service. The WSJ notes, “Regulators say such financial rewards—even those given to influencers without explicit demands in return—can run afoul of longstanding rules against deceptive marketing if they aren’t disclosed. Authorities in the U.S., the U.K., France and elsewhere are policing social media to ferret out potential offenders. FTC officials say that merely tagging a brand or business on social media is a form of endorsement that falls under its purview.”

In the Administration: Reuters reports, “President Donald Trump will lay out a new U.S. national security strategy on Monday based on his “America First” policy and will, among other items, make clear that China is a competitor, two senior U.S. officials said on Saturday.”

On the Hill: Congress returns for a busy final week of the year with tax reform and government funding legislation both on deck.

  • Monday (December 18): Senate vote on the confirmation of J. Paul Compton to be general counsel of the Department of Housing and Urban Development and Owen West to be an assistant secretary of Defense; House Rules Committee hearing on the Systemic Risk Designation Improvement Act;
  • Tuesday (December 19): House expected to vote for final passage of tax reform, with a final Senate vote either in the evening or on Wednesday; Senate Banking Committee executive session to vote on the nominations of Scott Garrett to be president of the Export-Import Bank, Kimberly Reed to be first vice president, Spencer Bachus, Judith DelZoppo Pryor, and Claudia Slacik to be members of the board of directors, and Mark Greenblatt to be inspector general of the bank; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the nominations of Peter Hendrick Vrooman to be ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda and Joel Daies to be ambassador to the Gabonese Republic and the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe; Senate Rules and Administration Committee hearing on a resolution by Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) to change the procedures for consideration of nominations in the Senate; House Administration Committee markupof the House resolution implementing mandatory anti-harassment and anti-discrimination guidelines each session of Congress; House Rules Committee hearing on the Senate amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Blue Campaign Authorization Act (further Continuing Resolution); Senate amendment to the further Continuing Resolution; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee markup of pending legislation;
  • Wednesday (December 20): House Education and Workforce Committee hearing on the policies and priorities of the Education Department, with testimony from Secretary Betsy DeVos; Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee hearing on the freight movement.

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: We’ve shared a lot about the trend toward video – and shorter video at that. AdWeek this weekend shared YouTube’s top 10 watched videos of 2017, “which amassed 633 million views, an 83-million increase from 2016’s top clips.”

In the Media: AdWeek reports, “Three months after ESPN transitioned to Nielsen’s total live audience number—which combines streaming and out-of-home viewing with traditional linear ratings—the sports network is sharing its first seven weeks of data, which sees millennial audience increases for its live sports broadcasts by as much as 33 percent. … While the new metric combines streaming and out-of-home data, ‘streaming is the vastly more meaningful number,’ said Meyers [ESPN’s svp of fan and media intelligence]. He noted that around half of all streaming occurs on connected TV or smart TV devices, which means that audiences are still watching that content on a TV screen even though it’s being streamed.”

Meanwhile The Wall Street Journal notes that Nielsen is feeling pressure from networks to update its definition of “live” viewership from online streaming. The “policy set in the early days of digital video recorders” is such that if you are more than 25 seconds behind “live,” you are not accounted for in live viewership – which is a key figure in setting ad rates, particularly for sports programs. “Nielsen said it’s working with clients to change its processing systems to redefine ‘live’ viewing for streaming content on TV sets to within three minutes.”


In the Administration: The administration remains engaged and focused on congressional progress on tax reform, with the president expected to, “deliver a closing argument for the proposed Republican tax overhaul in a speech on Wednesday,” per BloombergAdditionally, the Fed is set to hold its final meeting of 2017 with an interest rate hike expected.

On the Hill: Congress this week will continue work on the tax reform package with the conference committee holding an open meeting on Wednesday.

  • Monday (December 11): Senate cloture votes on Circuit Court nominees Steven Grasz, Don Willett and James C. Ho; Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee business meeting to consider the nomination of Stephen Valden to be general counsel of the Department of Agriculture;
  • Tuesday (December 12): Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee business meeting to vote on the nominations of Linda Capuano to be administrator of the Energy Information Administration and Timothy Petty to be assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science and hearing to examine the permitting processes at the Interior Department and FERC for energy and resource infrastructure projects; Senate HELP Committee hearing on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine report on drug affordability; Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearings on U.S. interests and coercive Russian diplomacy in European energy security and the future of ZimbabweSenate Commerce Subcommittee hearings on the state of the National Ocean Policy and the role of machine learning and artificial intelligence in digital decision-makingHouse Financial Services Committee markup of 15 bills; House Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearing examining consequences of America’s growing dependence on foreign minerals; House Judiciary Committee markup of the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Strengthening the Department of Homeland Security Secure Mail Initiative Act; House Rules Committee meeting to consider the Iranian Leadership Asset Transparency Act, the Privacy Notification Technical Clarification Act, the Corporate Governance Reform and Transparency Act, and the Strengthening Oversight of Iran’s Access to Finance Act; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings on policies to support democracy and human rights in Cambodiaprotecting North Korean refugees, and the future of NAFTA; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings examining concerns of patient brokering and addiction treatment fraud and the Corporate Average Fuel Economy Program (CAFE) and greenhouse gas emissions standards for motor vehicles; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing to receive updates on implementation of the Forever GI Bill and the Harry W. Colmery Educational Assistance Act; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee hearing on addressing hurdles to economic development in Appalachia;
  • Wednesday (December 13): House-Senate tax conference committee meeting; Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the nominations of Elizabeth L. Branch (to be Circuit Judge for the Eleventh Circuit) and 5 district court appointments and subcommittee hearing on the consumer welfare standard in antitrust; Senate HELP Committee executive session to vote on the nominations of four top Labor and Education Department officials and hearing on implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act with respect to mental health needs; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee oversight hearing of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings on the strategic, political and legal considerations of using force and the examination of 4 treaties; Senate Commerce Committee executive session to vote on the National Transportation Safety Board Reauthorization Act, the National Integrated Drought Information System Reauthorization Act, the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program Reauthorization Act, Coast Guard promotions, and the nomination of Barry Lee Meyers to be Undersecretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere; Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee hearing about safeguarding American agriculture in a globalized world; Senate Armed Services Subcommittee hearing to receive an update on research, diagnosis and treatment for traumatic brain injury and concussion in service members; House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the Justice Department’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election with testimony from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein; House Oversight and Government Reform Committee oversight hearing of the Bureau of Prisons and Inmate Reentry; House Natural Resources Committee markup of 16 bills; House Homeland Security Committee markup of 12 bills; House Ways and Means Subcommittee hearing on the taxpayer experience with the IRS; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearings examining the drug supply chain and the impacts and future of North American energy trade; House Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee hearings on preventing head trauma and advancing solar energy technologyHouse Armed Services Subcommittee hearing addressing physiological episodes in fighter, attack, and training aircraft; House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee hearing on the effectiveness of Veterans’ Affairs and Defense Department pre-discharge claims programs;
  • Thursday (December 14): Senate Homeland Services and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on the nominations of Margaret Weichert (to be Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget) and John Dupuy (to be Inspector General at the Office of Personnel Management); Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. policy and strategy in the Middle East; Senate Foreign Relations Committee closed hearing to receive new counterterrorism guidance; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearing examining CFIUS operations; House Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearing on the Grand Staircase-Escalante Bill; House Foreign Affairs Committee markup of the End Banking for Human Traffickers Act and the United States-Jordan Defense Cooperation Extension Act.

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: Recode reports, “Three quarters of all mobile traffic will be used for video in 2023, according to a new report by telecommunications equipment company Ericsson. That’s up from just over half of all traffic today. Not only will that be a bigger share but also a bigger pie, as more people watch more video on their smartphones.” The report adds that video is growing faster than social media use on mobile. “Social media consumption on mobile is also rising, but not as fast as video. Therefore, social media will represent a smaller share of mobile traffic in 2023 — eight percent — than its current 12 percent of mobile traffic.”


In the Media: Spotify is taking data-driven advertising concepts off the internet and to billboards around the world. Talking to AdWeek, Spotify’s CMO Seth Farbman explains, “we’re not social media platform, but people do express themselves through music and through playlists just like they would express themselves through a tweet.” Once Spotify sifts through the “ridiculous amounts of data” it has, it works to make the ads concrete enough that people on the street will stop, read them in full, and laugh. “In general, the more concrete you can be, the the better it is and the easier it is to communicate. We take individual experiences, individual data points, and we use them to represent a broader feeling. If we just talked about how many people listened to this one song, or streamed this, or did this other thing, it stays up high. But when you get very concrete, so that in your mind you’re realizing this is a real person with real listening habits, real playlists, real playlist names, then it just cuts through the clutter.”

Note from S-3 PA: We are thrilled to welcome Andrea Riccio as we continue to grow our bipartisan public affairs team.

In the Administration: Axios reports, “President Trump is giving a speech Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, according to two sources with direct knowledge. A White House spokesman refused to confirm the report: ‘The President has always said it is a matter of when, not if. The President is still considering options and we have nothing to announce.'” The president is also expected to hold a campaign-style rally on Friday, December 8, in Pensacola, Florida.

On the Hill: Congress returns this week with continued progress on tax reform, after the Senate passed its measure over the weekend, as well as plans for a short-term government funding package to keep the government open until December 22. House and Senate leaders are expected to name conferees for the tax reform negotiations early this week. The Wall Street Journal has a helpful chart outlining the differences between the House and Senate packages.

  • Monday (December 4): Senate cloture vote on Secretary of Homeland Security nominee Kirstjen Nielsen;
  • Tuesday (December 5): Senate Banking Committee executive session to consider the nomination of Jerome Powell to be chairman of the board of the Federal Reserve and the Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief and Consumer Protection Act; Senate HELP Committee hearing on four top Education and Labor Department officials; Senate Foreign Relations Committee business meeting on 5 bills and 2 nominations and hearing on shared authority over international accords; Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on the nominations of Dr. Timothy Petty (to be Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science) and Dr. Linda Capuano (to be Administrator of the Energy Information Administration) and subcommittee hearing to receive testimony on 7 bills; Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on prevention, treatment and recovery in addressing the opioid crisis; House Rules Committee hearing on the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act;
  • Wednesday (December 6): Senate Judiciary Committee hearing about firearm accessory regulation and enforcement of federal and state reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System; Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on the nomination of R.D. James to be assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works and subcommittee hearing on challenges facing Superfund and waste cleanup efforts following natural disasters; Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing on adapting to defend the homeland against the evolving international terrorist threat, with testimony from representatives of the Defense Department, the Justice Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee hearing about countering terrorism, radicalization and promoting stability in North Africa, with testimony from Ambassador-at-Large and State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism and David Satterfield, the acting Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs; Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing on opportunities and challenges for America’s aging workforce; House Rules Committee hearing on the Small Business Mergers, Acquisitions, Sales, and Brokerage Simplification Act; House Natural Resources Subcommittee legislative hearing on the Endangered Fish Recovery Programs Extension Act; House Science, Space & Technology Subcommittee hearings on NASA’s next four large telescopes and the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearings about advancing human rights to combat extremismBrexit negotiations, and U.S. policy toward TibetHouse Financial Services Subcommittee hearing on private sector perspectives of housing finance reform; House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee hearing examining opportunities and challenges of workplace leave policies for employers and working families;
  • Thursday (December 7): Senate Judiciary Committee executive business meeting to vote on 3 circuit court nominees and 7 district court nominees; Senate HELP Committee hearing on progress and the path forward for medical innovation in implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act; Senate Armed Services Committee hearing to receive testimony on Defense Department acquisition reform efforts; House Administration Committee hearing examining reforms to the Congressional Accountability Act and preventing sexual harassment in the congressional workplace; House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing of the FBI with testimony from Director Christopher Wray; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing on the mission of the EPA, with testimony from Administrator Scott Pruitt; House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee hearing on counterterrorism efforts in Africa, with testimony from Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan and Mark Mitchell, the acting assistant Secretary of Defense for Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict; House Natural Resources Subcommittee oversight hearing of the Interior Department and legislative hearing on 4 bills; House Financial Services Subcommittee hearings examining the Office of Financial Research and legislative proposals for “a more efficient federal financial regulatory regime”House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing examining the Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to counter weapons of mass destruction; House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee oversight hearing of IT and cybersecurity at the Department of Veterans Affairs; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee hearing on the VA Medical Surgical Prime Vendor program; House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee roundtable on emerging technologies in the trucking industry;
  • Friday (December 8): Government funding and debt ceiling deadline; House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee hearing examining the role of the Department of Energy in energy sector cybersecurity.

Click here for a full look at the December schedule. 

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!