5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Must Know in February 2018

SQAD POD: 5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Should Know – February 2018

Industry news and insights podcast curated from the world of advertising and marketing trends.

February is when the weather can’t decide to be spring or winter, and we’re all trying our best to hold tight to those New Year resolutions. Gym workouts may not be as consistent as you want and everyday feels like a “cheat day,”…but while resolutions may be faltering, game-changing trends in the advertising world are holding strong. This month, we’re talking about a possible CBS/Viacom merger, the mobile revolution of live sports, Facebook Watch versus YouTube, how brain studies could optimize advertising, and Salon becoming a mining operation.

1. On-Again, Off-Again – CBS & Viacom Are Back Together

After a well-documented breakup back in 2005, CBS and Viacom are in serious conversations to reunite once again. As media competition expands, margins tighten, and content is everywhere, mega-mergers are looking like the best chance for some companies to stay alive and relevant. The Disney/21st Century Fox, as well as AT&T/Time Warner are turning up the heat for other media companies to join forces or get left behind. The partnership of CBS and Viacom would position the new company on a strong competitive footing by consolidating the content from both companies into a unified eco-system. While the Viacom content could help CBS boost its paid subscription service CBS All Access (which is currently suffering from limited content value), it could in turn help Viacom make something of their Philo streaming service – analysts speculate that the services will merge to rival Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, and the soon-to-come Disney streaming service. An added game changer could be that CBS will have a leg up in securing the NFL broadcast and streaming rights. Big alliances like this one tend to shake things up, create more innovation in the space, and challenge the status quo. It’s worth keeping an eye on this as part of the larger trends reshaping the TV landscape as a whole.

2. Big Things for Live Sports on Small Screens

Live sports have been staple programming for traditional TV thanks to a dedicated audience chained to their couches, captive to the messages of advertisers. However, shifting viewing habits and expiring broadcasting agreements for the NFL (due in 2022) and the NBA (due in 2025) have the entire industry rethinking their strategies. With dwindling viewership numbers for traditional broadcast TV, platforms like Verizon (with its newly acquired Yahoo Sports resources) are throwing their hat in the ring for broadcast rights. Verizon is expanding their agreements with both the NBA and the NFL to boost mobile streaming access with the goal of becoming the leading source for live game viewing. The NBA deal gives Verizon an exclusive on streaming games with League Pass and the use of clips for new Yahoo NBA shows. Their deal with the NFL gives Yahoo exclusive streaming rights to games on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday nights. Sports viewing on handheld devices will allow Verizon to offer more personalized ad experiences while expanding the viewing experience – not only can they hone in on specific audience preferences, they can experiment with different forms of multimedia such as augmented reality, the timing of commercial breaks, and even different announcement crews. If Verizon can make mobile the new dominant viewing platform for live sports, we may be seeing a game changer for traditional broadcast networks.

3. Facebook Watch Is Going After YouTube’s Creators… AND Advertisers

The latest chapter in the Facebook versus Google saga is all a about video – more specifically, video advertising. Facebook has been sitting down with media agencies to discuss its plans to expand Watch with the intention to go directly after Google’s YouTube. It is also planning to implement an advertising system where creators could upload their content for free and earn a portion of the revenue from the ads placed on the video. Sounds logical, right? Facebook says they are planning to create a tiered advertising system and allow the purchase of ads on specific shows, similar to how traditional TV sells ads. Companies can pay a premium to advertise on top performing shows, which they hope will also weed out of lower quality shows – a problem that plagues YouTube advertisers. Facebook has their sights set firmly on YouTube and is addressing many of the concerns advertisers have related to content and quality standards. We’ll have to see if Facebook has what it takes to unseat the streaming king.

4. Understanding the Brain to Optimize Advertising

The brain is complex and mysterious, dictating everything about how we perceive our reality and ourselves. Understanding how the brain works means understanding how to make ads that truly resonate with (read: manipulate) consumers, right? For instance, after a recent study, neuroscientists found that ads shown in a premium editorial environment were viewed 17% longer, with 29% higher engagements than ads shown on social media platforms. While ads on social media could capture people’s attention, they were less likely to make a long-term brand impact or drive engagement. The take away – not only does it matter who you target, but where you target your consumers. Diving deeper into brain studies could be a game changer for the way how, where, and why we advertise.

5. Put On Your Mining Hat to Read Salon.com

For some quick background, mining cryptocurrencies entails two main functions: releasing new currency and recording actions into the blockchain, which is a shared public ledger of every single transaction and the ownership of every cryptocurrency in circulation. It’s a process that requires a special program and massive computing power, and news company Salon has found a unique way to use crypto-mining as a way to regain lost revenue from adblockers. When a visitor visits the Salon website while running an adblocking they are met with a popup, giving them to option to either disable their adblocker (allowing traditional revenue generation through ad impressions) or have their ads suppressed in exchange for hijacking their computing power to mine cryptocurrency while on the site. The core of this business model is simple: in exchange for an ad-free experience on Salon.com users are giving the publisher their computing power. Salon’s chief executive Jordan Hoffner asserts, “The way the media business is going, it needs new path. I think we are the first to actually make it as [part] of the business model in publishing.” This is an interesting turn of events for ads, blockers, and revenue generation. Let’s see if this model catches on.

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