The New York Times Overhauls Video; Spotify Rolls Out Its Programmatic Ad Offering

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Get With The Times

The New York Times has carved out a subscription revenue stream that other publications can only admire, but “video still hasn't become a significant revenue driver for the company,” according to Politico. And the result is a wholesale digital video overhaul. According to Joe Pompeo, the Gray Lady is offering buyouts to its video department and making new hires. We’ll see if the new talent leads to a shift in focus from video and photojournalism production to a sponsored content studio. Read on.

Looping In The Audio

Spotify is rolling out its programmatic ad offering. Ronan Shields reports for The Drum that Spotify’s first-party data will allow advertisers to target genre or moods (i.e., R&B or ‘Workout’). The company’s head of programmatic, Jana Jakovljevic, said there are disadvantages since Spotify doesn’t enable cookies, retargeting or post-view attribution. But still, according to Jakovljevic, "The missing piece of the puzzle has been programmatic, and that's now here today.” More.

RFPeace Out

GE CMO Linda Boff pens a column for Ad Age arguing that the traditional RFP and media buy should be replaced with a more dynamic partnership model. Boff points to recent GE-sponsored segments on “The Tonight Show,” a content hub at Quartz and a series on National Geographic as prime examples of how marketing is improved by brands and media working directly together. Now, those are hardly fair examples for the industry, as GE is one of the few brands with pockets deep enough to pull off that roster. But it is a reminder that exciting campaigns are still all about the content, not the tech. Check it out.

Acxiom Connects

Acxiom’s Connectivity unit (That’s LiveRamp!) led off the marketing data giant’s Q2 with a 65% YoY increase, to $22 million. Gross margins in Connectivity also shot way up, from 19% to 62%. Don’t expect that to last, however, as Acxiom is explicitly in “investment mode,” meaning it’ll toss money where it sees opportunity, which might affect those margins. Connectivity also oversaw $82 million in gross media spend in Q2. Acxiom’s Marketing Services and Audience Solutions unit (which will split in Q3) didn’t fare quite as well at $185 million, down 3% YoY. However, in the US that revenue was up 2% YoY to $168 million. In total, Acxiom’s Q2 revenue was $207 million, up 2% YoY. Check out the release.

FIN And Tech vs. FinTech

A new lobbying group, Financial Innovation Now (FIN), combines the efforts of rivals like Google, Amazon, Apple, eBay and Intuit to represent new technology in policy debates over financial security and regulations. The statement from FIN President Brian Peters said, “A technological transformation is going to make financial services more accessible, more affordable and more secure.” Mobile payment leaders know they need to up their game in DC. More at Re/code.

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