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5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Must Know in June 2018

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

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

It’s that time of year when people are hitting the road for weekend getaways, soaking up the sun on the beach, and relaxing poolside with a cold drink. As temperatures heat up, so are trends in the advertising world. This month, we’re looking at AT&T’s acquisition of TimeWarner, Apple’s refocus on advertising, Google’s response to  GDPR, podcast advertising metrics, and P&G’s push for more female representation in their marketing teams.

1.The Newest Mega-Merger

After the closely watched six-week trial for AT&T’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner, the judge has finally spoken and the companies have wasted no time after officially receiving the green light. With the $85.4 billion deal finalized, it is hands-down one of the most significant media consolidations for the U.S. communications industry as it unites massive mobile, satellite, cable distribution & programming, broadband, and pay-TV providers into a massive powerhouse that will shake up the entire landscape. AT&T was already distributing content to their 159 million wireless subscribers and 40 million pay-TV subscribers, but with the merge, it now owns all the content under Time Warner (now known as WarnerMedia) including HBO, CNN, TBS, and more. AT&T had already brought in a CEO for advertising and analytics, as well as an ad tech veteran to serve as its CMO – both of which are gearing up to spring into action. Their goal is to create an automated advertising system for premium video and TV, similar to the way digital operates. The merged companies are bound to make a huge dent in the advertising world; estimates from an AdAge report show that together, they are the nation’s second-largest advertiser after Comcast.

2. Apple Resurrects Its Ad Service

Apple has risen to dominance in the device industry, establishing itself as a trendy, must-have brand for consumers of all ages. This isn’t to say its hardware is unrivaled, however, given today’s saturated market of smart phones and gadgets that are just as good (and in some cases better than Apple’s products), the company is making moves to put less focus on its hardware and pay more attention to its digital advertising business. Apple met with digital companies like Snap and Pinterest to talk about them being a part of an Apple ad network that will deliver paid ads to their platforms. Looking to work within the framework of the newly-minted GDPR guidelines, Apple does not plan on relying on third-party data, rather contextual data – placing ads based on how relevant it is on the given site page, and the keywords being used to search. Apple’s advertising move could be game changing as it puts up competition against the duopoly of Facebook and Google, both of which depend on third-party data. App Store promotional ads brought in $1 billion last year, and this year that number may tick up even higher.

3. GDPR Reveals Google’s Grip on Publishers

After the official deadline for the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) at the end of May, ad tech companies have seen their digital ad revenues take a nosedive, revealing to many the extent to which they are reliant on Google’s vast (and clearly problematic) data collection and mining processes. Not long before the new guidelines were officially rolled out, Google warned its ad tech vendors who use its DoubleClick Bid Manager that there may be disruptions in their campaigns; and in the hours after the new enforcement was enacted, the prophecies came true. Ad vendors and exchanges saw their ad demand dip substantially from 20 to 40 percent. Sure, when GDPR was still but a looming policy, advertisers were aware of its implications – but now that it is here, they’re seeing the real impact on ad inventory and revenue. Suppliers across the board have suffered after Google’s decision to join the policy, and although some ad revenues are bouncing back after the initial drop, not all advertisers are as successful in their rebounds. GDPR is causing a reshuffling of process and priority in the online advertising industry, and things are only going to become more complicated if the US follows suit.

4. Podcasts Lure More and More Advertisers

Many find podcasts a convenient way to consume media and information – you hop in your car and start NPR, begin your day with a dose of The Daily, wind down with an episode of Welcome to Night Vale. Podcasts have quickly become a staple, and advertisers are starting to see the value of placing sponsored content on the streams. However, what’s holding them back is the lack of reliable measurement standards, which is why podcasters want to eliminate advertisers’ hesitation by adopting the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s (IAB) new standard for podcast measurement. The guidelines demand more transparency and more accurate measurement of impressions. For example, a common practice has been to measure podcasts that are delivered through multiple files as separate downloads, thus artificially inflating the number of unique downloads. The IAB standards are meant to create a consistent and reliable means of leveling the playing field and ensuring advertisers get what they pay for. The short-term impact of transitioning to these new measurement standards is that advertisers may not be seeing the numbers they had been seeing previously, which were deflated and misleading. Several podcast companies are taking the lead in adopting the new standards with the hope that others will follow, which will ultimately change the game in podcast advertising, and subsequently give advertisers more reliable ROI measurements. In fact, IAB discovered in a recent study that U.S. podcast ad revenue increased 87% in 2018, and forecasts that it will reach $659 million by 2020, which is a 110% jump from this year.

5. Disrupting the Boys’ Club of Advertising

Things are certainly shaking up in the world of advertising, especially with the #MeToo movement serving as one of this year’s biggest catalysts. In an industry where agencies have long been dominated by male executives, brands are stepping forward to change the game and encourage women to take the spotlight. Proctor & Gamble is a prime example. As one of the world’s largest advertisers, it currently has women in only 10% of its director roles for its product commercials – and it wants to raise that number to at least 50% by 2023. To drive the game-changing initiative for greater equality, P&G will be partnering with Queen Latifah’s “Queen Collective” and other advertisers, including HP, to create short films produced by women that will then be promoted by P&G’s brands (Olay, Pantene, etc.). It has also joined forces with Katie Couric to support her new media company, which aims to produce content to more accurately depict women and other under-represented groups. P&G is making the moves to shift the narrative and empower women to bring change – change that will extend far beyond the advertising industry.

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