Hot on the heels of the rumoured Netflix ad funded service come more stories about Amazons plans for ads. Reports say they plan to give the almost 50m users of the Fire TV Stick or Dongle an ad supported TV service. Others suggest they plan a new settop box like device that will enable Fire users to record live TV and stream it to smartphones. Details are scarce but it is no surprise that Amazon are looking to expand their share of TV viewing. And using ads to fund these new ventures is pretty obvious too.
As we keep saying advertising lets Amazon double dip - they get paid to run the ads and then take a cut on sales those ads drive on Amazon.
The FT point out that the growth of Amazon and Netflix will continue despite the belated efforts of national broadcasters across Europe to create rival services. Had Project Kangaroo not been blocked by regulators a decade ago things might be different but the tangled web of financing TV shows now inextricably links the trad broadcasters with the new money of Amazon and Netflix.
At the other end of the scale Young Turks - who raised $20m from Jeffrey Katzenberg - have 27k paying subscribers showing if you have distinctive content and the right distribution you can get people to pay.
Facebook Watch which hopes to become a viable platform for creators like the Young Turks is going international and is now live in the UK and other markets. Facebook have also rolled out Ad Breaks to the US and UK and so creators can monetize their content with video ads. Creator Studio is now available globally too.
Watch is a key strategy for Facebook and this analysis from IHS is worth reading. My first Watch experience was quite good - an old Leeds game where we made a stunning comeback, Spike Lee on Trump and an Aretha tribute.
Given Facebook and You Tube are doing so well it’s surprising that connected tv is yet to take off. We believe the shift to addressable TV will also see budgets move away from the big spending agencies who use volume to drive pricing advantages in favour of those who can best use Signals to find real value for their clients
Accenture are looking at the move to ecommerce from established CPG firms as the ‘move to modern’ and see 3 levels of maturity, all of which involve getting Search and Programmatic right as well as optimising the customer experience through data. Your agency should be doing this already.
Building these businesses is not quick or easy and this story by an ex entrepreneur talks though the stages. In many ways it’s similar to building a tech business - product comes first - but the big difference is that many DNVBs never take outside money - they fund their growth through sales revenue. And given the appetite from big established brands to buy their young upstart competitors, it can be very lucrative when you don’t have VCs to pay out.
This acquisition frenzy looks to continue with Morgan Stanley suggesting Walmart up the battle with Amazon by buying a bunch of the leading DNVBs; Allbirds, Warby Parker and Outdoor Voices in particular.
We continue to believe that context and relevance are undervalued. Fashion brand Diane von Furstenberg credits 11% of sales to personalized ecommerce. One of the Spirable clients has seen staggering improvements in engagement (on both YouTube and Facebook) and in sales, through contextual video. And this article makes the sensible point that by ignoring the nature of individual programmes the opportunity for the TV creative to have real impact is reduced.
We all now get the benefits of using Signals to improve the media process, how long before we all use the data to make creative work harder too?
China now has over 800 million people online - and 98% are mobile users. Penetration is less than 60% and the habits are really interesting; 70% have used online payments or ecommerce and 30% have used bike sharing apps.
Local press giant Johnston Press have hit back at Google and Facebook over algorithm changes that have adversely affected their business. I spend too much time on some of their sites, reading football news, and the user experience is dreadful; ads everywhere, making the page jump about as they load, videos popping up and really poor Taboola content. None of that is the fault of Google or Facebook.
Twitter is pretty active with video and their collaboration with Buzzfeed on the #What2Watch on TV looks promising given how much Twitter conversation is driven by TV. And Twitter have some good research showing how important Twitter is in driving audience for TV shows.
We occasionally run into email gremlins with sending Fix and last week had a low open rate, so we did a resend on Saturday. If you missed last week all the good stuff on Advertising / AppStore tax / Netflix / Media Brands and more can be read here.
Finally... There are still some tickets left for the talk I am doing on the Future of Media at the next TNN breakfast on September 25th. And am delighted that Fix friend Neil Perkins has asked me to take part in a stellar Google Firestarters on Monday 10th. This ones a sellout but if you are there, do come and say hello.
In the meantime I am stealing away for the last of the summer with a week in Sicily so no Fix next week. But if you think we might be able to help you profit from the digital and mobile opportunities we cover in Fix do let me know.
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