5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Must Know in December 2017

SQAD POD: 5 Game Changers Every Advertiser Should Know – December 2017

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The holiday parties are ramping up as the advertising industry is ramping down for the end-of-year calm before the New Year blitz. As 2017 drifts off into the winter sunset, we’re taking a look at some game changing trends in the advertising industry including Disney’s new deal with 21st Century Fox, net neutrality, Kroger’s venture into retail media, Condé Nast upfronts, and how cryptocurrencies will change advertising transactions.

1. There’s a FOX in the House of Mouse

In the age of mega-mergers and massive media empires, Disney is taking its omnipresence to new heights with the announced deal to acquire a large portion of 21st Century Fox. This massive $52.4 billion-dollar deal will make Disney parent to Fox’s film studio and cable channels, which include the Marvel franchise, National Geographic networks, Fox’s local sports channels, among a number of other valuable assets. However, the most apparent game changer of this deal is Disney’s new leadership position in Hulu. Fox’s 30 percent stake in Hulu will be added to Disney’s existing 30 percent stake, giving Disney majority control of the streaming service. The takeover will give it a boost against competitors with video services of their own like Apple and Amazon, and most of all, Netflix. In the land of online video, Hulu will most likely become the most dangerous weapon against Netflix. Disney could leverage this new asset to strong-arm NBCUniversal (another Hulu partner) regarding licensing programming to Netflix… meaning FOX and NBC could join Disney in abandoning Netflix. With this acquisition, Disney is setting the foundation and strengthening the position for its own disruptive over-the-top streaming service said to launch in 2019. It is not an exaggeration to say that this consolidation could give Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, and Apple’s Entertainment strategies a major competitor, and make Disney a one-stop-shop for cross-channel advertising.

2. Net Neutrality: Marketers Beware?

Now that the net neutrality regulations have officially been scrapped by the Federal Communications Commission, and the U.S. Congress has yet to step in to save the open Internet, many are asking how the advertising industry will be effected by this shakeup. If Congress does not act, large telecom companies like Verizon, AT&T, and Comcast will take control of the content, access, and distribution of ideas for all Americans. From a marketing standpoint, you’re going to be paying more to reach your audience, and playing wack-a-mole with the ISP’s to get your ads in front of your buyers. Simply put, marketers with the power to access better Internet speeds may end up pushing out the smaller players and startups that don’t have the resources to buy priority access to their audience. At the end of the day, the repeal of net neutrality will turn the current level playing field into an innovation desert as new ideas, products, and services may never get a chance to find their consumers. Ultimately, it will reshape how advertisers operate in the digital space – potentially endangering creativity and competition. It will also impact the consumer side by reducing the amount of choice and diversity of what we see in terms of ads. Massive telecoms will have total control over what content is being delivered to consumers and the speed at which they are delivered. It will change the game for everyone.

3. Kroger Jumps into Retail-side Media Advertising

Kroger, one of largest grocery brands in the U.S., is shaking things up as they look to become a player in the advertising world. With the help of the data insights subsidiary it acquired three years ago – which they plan to leverage for developing new ad formats and managing ad sales strategies – Kroger’s plan is to transform its retail and online presence into a competitive ad platform. It will be expanding their advertising through direct response and email campaigns, utilizing its treasure trove of data collected from their loyalty program, mobile apps, websites, and all 2,800+ stores across the country to target consumers. Kroger is also planning to build out a programmatic platform scheduled to go live next year. Obviously, this integrated ad strategy would be appealing to companies like Nestlé or P&G who could target their baby food, cereals, toilet paper, laundry detergent, and the endless number of goods they produce directly to consumers at the point-of-sale. This creative approach by Kroger to integrate traditional, online, and out-of-home advertising into a unified ad platform could set the groundwork for an entirely new approach to consumer targeting. Time will tell.

4. Upfronts: Not Just for Television Anymore

Condé Nast is rolling up its advertising sleeves and introducing upfront opportunities for the videos it produces online, creating a chance for publishers to sell ads in a way very similar to how they would on traditional TV. Instead of having ads available for purchase at any given time, Condé Nast wants to offer upfront buying for ads in 2018 through its new offering Condé Nast Prime. But that’s not all – it also plans to roll out 1 Billion Views, an opportunity for a company to build its very own publishing brand. The media conglomerate prides itself on the quality of its content, especially in a day and age where brands are wary of the dark and unsafe parts of the web that their ads can end up in. Condé’s CRO and CMO Pamela Drucker Mann calls their new upfront opportunity “the new primetime featuring scale, quality and talent that are creating deep connections between brands and audiences.” This has the potential to shift the advertising landscape in a better and safe direction, and it could be a game changer.

5. Cryptocurrencies Are Shaking Things Up

It seems almost impossible nowadays to hide from the public fervor surrounding blockchain technology, especially with the exponential growth of Bitcoin. So, it’s no surprise that the hype of cryptocurrency is its making its way into the advertising world. As previously discussed, various parts of the advertising industry can harness blockchain to pool together information and foster better, more seamless collaboration without the reliance on one party’s data. Now, MadHive, which develops blockchain technology for advertising, is generating a cryptocurrency called Mad Tokens that will support their blockchain network. They will initially begin using the currency for connected TV ads, before moving onto linear TV and digital. MadHive is currently in the process of raising $25 million in Bitcoin to fund the initiative. The use of cryptocurrencies has the potential to shake up the advertising industry as we know it, allowing for more real-time digital transactions, ultimately changing the way advertisers are compensated, as payments happen through a secure server that is not owned by anyone. Cryptocurrencies could eliminate tasks that are currently assigned to middlemen like ad tech companies; it could peel back many of the layers involved in online ad buying and provide advertisers a more direct line of sight from their money to the actual ad. It will open the doors to more transparency. But, as the craze of cryptocurrencies continue, we can’t ignore some of the glaring warning signs – the potential of malware designed to mine for these digital coins. As with all the growing technology, we should proceed with caution.