Boom. Amazon are recruiting for someone to head up their Free to Air TV advertising. (Interestingly in the few days since we first saw this the title has changed to Head of Prime Video Partner Channels)
As we have pointed out, it makes perfect sense for Amazon ( and Netflix) to offer some of the huge amount of content they have on an ad supported service. It’s a good way to have people sample the service and to try and upsell them to the premium (ad free?) service. And done properly they will make a lot of money as they solve the biggest problem in TV — attribution.
P&G would love the chance to advertise Gillette against a Signal defined audience in their Premier League matches and Top Gear etc. It’s what Mark Pritchard said at ISBA a few weeks ago — they want to move from a wasteful mass blasting to mass reach with one to one precision.
And then offer P&G the ability to track how many of those reached go on to visit the Gillette page on Amazon and to see how many actually buy.
Amazon drive more sales and take a bigger slice of the promotional spend. And amortise their content investments across more people. It’s our Advertising Trinity — people get to see ads for products they are interested in, brands can be more efficient ( and effective) with their spend and content creators are paid more.
When we did our VC conference on this topic in New York a few week ago speakers like Terry Kawaja, some of the top East Coast VCs and the leaders of the firms driving OTT advertising made it clear huge changes are imminent with newTV.
The tech and the opportunities it unlocks change every aspect of the business. Listen to what the Sky CEO say about targeted ads at another ISBA event last week;
Take AdSmart for example. When viewers are served ads relevant to them through our addressable platform, channel switching during targeted ad breaks reduces by a third — giving viewers a more engaging viewing experience.
One third less channel switching — just because the ads are more relevant. And C4 are finding ways to use context to select where and when ads go.
From our work with Spirable we know that better ads — targeted and contextual — work incredibly well on Facebook and other social channels. We see huge improvements in completed video views, which means the FB algorithm rewards the client with lower cost media. So the creative and adtech are essentially free — and quite often profitable. The same will be true with newTV.
The challenge is who can best help brands navigate this. Big Media Agencies that have always relied on size and worship at the altar of Station Average Price — so quantity tends to be valued over quality? Or more nimble firms that really understand Signals and how to blend data and creative?
Social Video is the sandpit for learning how newTV will work. What we learn from Facebook video ads will help video evolve across all devices. Shorter ads are already spreading.
We keep going back to the Mary Meeker charts — ecommerce referrals from social are up 300% over the last 3 years and clickthroughs are up 300% over the last 2 years. We believe this is driven by relevance. Show people things they may like and they want to know more.
Facebook recognise the importance of this space and they have a school teaching brands and influencers how to make the most of Instagram as a commerce platform. The people at BTIG research see Instagram as a key factor on growing the mobile time spent on the platform and have raised the target price to $275 — its now close to the current high of $203.
Snap is keen not to be left out and have kissed and made up with Kylie Jenner — whose tweet cost them $1bn when she slated their redesign
The GAFA push into football is picking up pace. Facebook have bought their first British Premiership rights — for Thailand, Cambodia Vietnam and Laos. They have previously had the US rights for the Champions League and just a few days ago secured the Brazilian rights for the Champions League. Their new Sports guy is earning his keep.
As well as the Amazon hire, the recruitment drive for content talent continues. Apple hire the C4 head of programming last year and Jay Hunt has now hired another brit to run international content for Apple.
The Economist goes deep on Netflix — with some good insight. The general view is that subscriber growth is driven by new content and its that mantra which drives the frenzied activity by everyone else
We covered the thoughts of Hitmakers author Derek Thomson a while back (when he was interviewed by Scott Galloway) and he was more bullish about Spotify than he was Netflix; his argument was that Spotify have great distribution and can add more / different content to that. So it’s no surprise Spotify have hired a Chief Content Officer with a TV background. Most recently Dawn Ostroff was running the video division of Conde Nast so she has that learning of what works in digital.
If you want a masterclass in how digital video is different take a look at Tanacon. We mentioned that a chunk of the industry was in Anaheim California last week for Vidcon. It seems there was some drama over a creator putting on a rival event and it all went wrong. But what’s fascinating is a top creator Shane Dawson ( no, me neither but he has 14m YouTube subscribers and over 6 million Twitter followers) put together what is essentially a documentary about the debacle. It’s around 90 minutes long in three seperate YouTube Videos, each of which have racked up 10m views and well over 100k comment. In just 3 days.
I wouldn’t recommend watching too much of it but it’s the construct rather than the content that is fascinating. Look at how it’s all shot on phones, with fast cuts to other videos and gifs throughout the narrative. Lots to learn here.
The consultancies want to play in Media. Accenture Global President ( & Ex OMD exec) Nicky Mendonca talks about their ambitions here — and it’s mainly about helping clients with inhousing but then industrialising the process. And this week we saw Vodafone take a big chunk of their digital media inhouse. We know some of the smart team there and have no doubt this will prove successful.
For many brands customer acquisition and communication is so crucial it needs to be a core competence and outsourcing it to an agency makes no sense. But I would argue handing the keys to a consultancy isn’t that smart either.
As my colleague Glyn explained so well at Firestarters the other week, the big consultancies are facing a similar crisis of confidence as the big agencies; their Factory model of tech outsourcing has ran out of steam.
We think taking buying in house can be a smart move. But you will still need smart media thinking, an experienced point of view on creative and good — agnostic — advice on the tech stack. Watch this video of the new products from the Trade Desk and you can see how Signals drives modern media — the data driven precision that is needed to make the most of GAFA ect..
Can the consultancies really deliver the same expertise? They have made some smart hires recently, but what’s behind that curtain? Maybe you would be better talking with people who are in the market, totally tech agnostic and experienced in marketing outcomes.
GDPR has arrived and the world has not ended. Given the ICO website uses a simple cookie consent pop up quite like the IAB recommendations that has been widely used, it would seem everything is OK. But some are not meeting the requirements.
More worrying is whether other regulators start to take action. In California the new Privacy bill would seem to have some implications — but it will be some time until we really know what they are. And in Germany there seems to be a desire to go after the big US tech players
Agency group IPG is to buy the Axiom data business for over $2bn. This has prompted some negative comment but many laughed when they were an early investor of $5m in Facebook — half of which they eventually sold for $133m. TMK alumni Darren Herman has a good analysis of the deal in his excellent OP newsletter.
The Ad Industry is cooling on Oath? I still think there is a possibility that AT&T TimeWarner will buy some of their assets.
More proof that QR codes are back — LinkedIn are using them to help people connect.
Despite the speed of programmatic and adtech, ads sometimes don’t appear where and when they are meant to. 5G is going to cure this. Until then it’s well worth looking at your whole customer experience to see what can be speeded up.
More good thinking from Andrew Chen — why AB tests aren’t as useful as they appear
There is lots of innovation around Media business models. Graydon Carter of Vanity Fair is planning a new business. Fix friend Matthew D’Ancona is launching Drugstore Culture Quartz has been acquired for $100m And serial media entrepreneur Rafat Ali has shared his thoughts on the space. And our friends at Vida Media are all over this space. Very inspiring.
Not everything Facebook buys turns to gold. A couple of years after buying thenMove and tbh apps they are closing them down.
As the big delivery chains launch Dark Restaurants this start up is doing the DNVB model for food. If we think of Deliveroo, Just Eat etc as platforms, the people providing the food are Apps. And anyone can launch their food app and have one of the platforms deliver it. So the core competence — other than cooking — becomes marketing.
Facebook are bringing more transparency to their Pages — go to any page and you can see all the ads they are running and also see if the page name has changed etc
A core asset of Netflix and Spotify is the data they have; on their customers tastes for recommendations and aggregated for trends. The Music business is trying to create its own Moneyball by using this to find the next big thing.
Finally…. the missing ingredient in mobile is still good Creative. Because creative is now the best way to optimise the media plan, this is a huge opportunity. So the IAB work on this with their Creative Lab is an important initiative.
What’s happening at The Media Kitchen?
We have great experience with tech stacks; all of our US clients have a bespoke tech stack where the contracts are between them and the vendor — so totally transparent. And we know all the good UK start ups so can find just the right partners.
Can we help you better understand what you have and whether its what you need? And whether you are getting the most from the stack. Tell us where you need help.
And for all our US subscribers recovering from the 4th, we are looking for a Managing Director for our New York office — full details and apply here.
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