The oddness of social continues to fascinate. We now have StepChicken and Cult Wars. This is largely a Tiktok thing but has spread beyond that one app. The NYT go into detail and the renamed app is doing well on iOS. I get asked why this is important and it goes back to one of the key rules in advertising - done well it reflects popular culture. So as TikTok explodes as an ad medium the ads that work are ones that are informed by this ‘odd’ culture.
Emerging business models mean you don’t have to be that famous - as another example of 1000 fans or 100 fans being enough half forgotten athletes and celebs are making money doing dedications for fans.
Bloomberg believes TikTok parent Bytedance doubled their revenue last year to $17bn and made $3bn profit. Analysts think they could IPO for as much as $180bn - and it’s clear their new CEO has been chosen to lead the part to IPO
The FT asks whether former Disney executive Kevin Mayer can transform TikTok as CEO? With his deal making experience and the ByteDance check book we should expect some M&A. He thinks the superior tech - particularly their algorithms - give them huge advantages so will look at other places predicting what people like is valuable. Are they a likely Roku buyer?
Data from Sensor Tower shows that TikTok as the top non gaming app in terms of revenue - $78m in April - 90% of which is in China. As the new donate buttons kick in we should see the Western share grow. And Western ad revenue will show dramatic growth too.
Especially as overly cautious agencies are emboldened by an experienced exec talking over - and may finally get around to spending money. Smart marketers don’t need these crutches - they make decisions based on experience and expertise - as this Mars exec shows by imploring colleagues to invest in a TikTok challenge.
One of the data points he mentions is the app audience growing across older groups;
According to Comscore, which only tracks users 18 and over, the percentage of U.S.-based TikTok users age 18-24 fell from 41.1% in January to 35.3% in April, a 5.8% drop. During that same time period, the share of 25- to 34-year-olds rose from 22.4% to 27.4%, and the 35-44 demographic grew from 13.9% to 17.1%.
Adtech Perfect Storm
The problems for premium publishers continue to mount up. The print advertising revenue at the Daily Mail group dropped by 70% over April and May. Digital advertising also fell but ‘only’ by 17%. Interestingly print circulations have been nudging upwards but none of the newspapers now report circulation figures.
Advertising needs good content to attract the right audience and as this retreats it tends to be replaced - if at all - by poorer quality content.
Has everyone moved on from the ISBA report and the lost 15%? A good friend has written this well considered response and detailed how his Agency is going to change behavior - summed up by this quote;
Essence have a good response too
Have I missed similar responses from the bigger agencies?
One key factor in the Storm is identity and the debate over what replaces the third party cookies to enable addressability. I am delighted to be joining a webinar with Liveramp next week to discuss this topic - you can sign up for the Perfect Storm session here
Once asked about buying Friends, Tim Cook is on record as saying
Given Scorcese shopped the film to Netflix and MGM too, it’s hard to see how this qualifies as an Apple Original. Or what the point is of Apple playing in the streaming space.
Quibi can’t get a break. A WSJ ‘exclusive’ is headlined Advertisers Seek to Revise Deal Terms With Streamer Quibi and it’s been picked up as more bad news. But to be fair the brands listed - including Pepsi are pulling money from wherever they can, due to Covid.
Right now New York would normally be full of ad execs as the industry ran its Upfront extravaganzas. Instead some are doing virtual events and the Roku one had some interesting developments. More flexibility is vital for future spending commitments and Roku has extended this to creative too.
More on Samsung Ads now being available programmatically, with the buyers need for flexibility a factor in bringing forward this launch. With 50m smart TVs in the US (and 30m across key European markets) this is a significant move.
Apple want to play in audio too and - seeing podcasts as a way to promote TV shows - are looking for an exec to lead a team looking at originals. They are also looking at adding audio version of stores in Apple News but questions over rights and revenue may slow that down.
Amazon are getting involved too -- seeing podcasts as a natural extension of their Audible business. I talked about this at the London book fair a few years ago - the distinction between the audio version of a book, a podcast and a radio book at bedtime is pretty fluid. And fold in the fact your Kindle can read the 85000 ebooks to you, with WhisperSync.
Finally this is a good Bloomberg interview with Daniel Ek of Spotify - its a 20 minute video and covers lots of ground. His thoughts on Apple are particularly interesting. And on video he sees the Spotify strength as background moments - so audio rather than video.
Further evidence is the new Heinz DTC site - doesn’t feel quite as strategic as Pepsi but an interesting move. We’ll get a better idea of the plan when grocery retail gets back to more normal - is it long term or tactical. Finding ways of turning your customers from strangers to acquaintances can give you invaluable 1st party data. You just need a plan to use it well.
TheYes is a service where you tell them about your style and the brands you like and dislike and a recommendation engine gets to work. It’s a simple model that relies on the customer experience to delight and needs a wide range of brands.
Ultimately it is competing with Instagram and Facebook, and this Stratechery article looks at how Facebook and Shopify now fits with his Anti Amazon Alliance thinking. It’s a good read and I sort of agree with his conclusion that Facebook benefits the most. But i think that could change - as TikTok, Snap, Pinterest and Google get stronger in commerce Shopify wins as all those platforms drive traffic to Shopify sites. Will retailers just support their Facebook Shop or look at other platforms for potential customers?
To Do List
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