Emmy Awards Ad Spend Foretells The Streaming Wars; No Love For The Walled Gardens

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Move Over

Rick Welday is stepping out of his shoes as Xandr president and likely right into a position at either AT&T or WarnerMedia. The change comes as AT&T begins to bring the three pillars of its new media empire – communications, advertising and media and entertainment – more closely together. Welday, who as president oversaw Xandr’s sales and operations, has been top lieutenant to CEO Brian Lesser since the company launched in 2018, The Wall Street Journal reports. Welday’s promotion to the parent company comes just a few months after AT&T replaced WarnerMedia’s ad sales brass with its own leadership team. WarnerMedia executives believe the move could signal an eventual combination of Xandr and WarnerMedia, and sources tell the Journal that some executives are frustrated that Xandr hasn’t so far delivered more revenue for the unit. More.

Streaming Forward

Streaming services dominated the Emmy Awards yet again this year. HBO, Netflix and Amazon took home the most trophies, and Hulu picked one up as well. But streaming companies are also dominating the time between award presentations. Every major purveyor of a streaming platform purchased a commercial during the awards show – including some that don’t even exist yet, like Apple, Disney and Comcast, Adweek reports. Apple, Netflix and Amazon actually bought two spots apiece. Increasingly, these media/entertainment/technology conglomerates are throwing their hats in the ring with streaming subscription services, fueling a huge surge of ad dollars out of Silicon Valley. The pitched battles for subscriber acquisition and retention will only get more complicated when those broadcasters and streamers have to choose between cashing checks from big tech brands – and potentially ceding share in a cutthroat market. More.

The Ad Game

The Trade Desk launched a marketing campaign on Monday to help differentiate the company from other advertising platforms, namely Google, Facebook and Amazon, though the ad copy only distinguishes it as “an open platform, not walled garden.” (Walled gardens, you know who you are.) TTD was founded about 10 years ago, right around the time many marketers first started thinking more deeply about the types of content supported by their digital ad spend and questioning the transparency in ad tech exchanges, according to a blog post by CEO Jeff Green. Despite regulations, fines and other industry challenges, the walled gardens have only grown in the past decade, so it’s not like there’s been a dramatic shift, despite the soul-searching. Still, Green said the market is “starting to gravitate to our way of thinking.”

Pubs Vs. Walled Gardens

BuzzFeed, Group Nine Media and Insider (formerly Business Insider) have formed a coalition to sell video ads from across their sites and YouTube accounts. The new ad sales alliance doesn’t have a name yet, The Wall Street Journal reports. The main benefit is scale. “For all of us to get together in a room like this, we’re not going to do a deal that we could have normally gotten on our own,” said Ken Blom, BuzzFeed’s VP of ad strategy and partnerships. Although the deals “are not going to be as big as the platforms, the new venture will improve the pitch that each news company can make against big platform players, said Omnicom North America Investment Chief Catherine Sullivan. But the coalition will need more than just a boost in audience reach and brand-safe content to actually compete more closely with the walled gardens. “There has to be something more proprietary … what else are they offering that’s unique?” said Christine Peterson, managing director and digital investment lead at Mindshare USA. More.

But Wait, There’s More

You’re Hired

 

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