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The State Of Digital Marketing (Is Not Great)
The LUMA State of Digital Marketing report generally paints a rose-tinted scene for ad tech. The same is true this year, though a few metrics stick out.
For one, although every category is down in the past year, the market collapse fell heavily on SaaS companies, a category that excludes agencies. Of all the verticals LUMA tracks (agencies, tech services, marketing clouds, digital content and gaming, platform giants, martech and ad tech), only agencies, which are down 8% on average, outperformed the S&P 500 (down 14%). Tech services and consulting, such as Accenture, S4 Capital and Cognizant, dropped 23%. That’s better than the NASDAQ overall (down 28%), and better still than digital content (31%), marketing clouds (36%), big platforms (39%), martech (56%) and ad tech (60%).
Also, zero ad tech companies went public this year. A sole martech company, Nogin, went public via SPAC in August, and has since declined more than 90%.
There were 90 ad tech deals in 2021. By the end of Q3 this year, the total stood at 47.
On the plus side, LUMA notes privacy concerns, identity data challenges, retail media growth and data clean rooms as potential M&A opportunities.
Live shopping is still a novelty in the US. But retailers and media want it to be a real thing, real bad.
To that end, Walmart and NBCUniversal are co-producing a shopping show to stream on the pop culture news site E! Online.
Walmart worked with NBCUniversal’s One Platform ad tech biz to integrate a checkout experience to sell Walmart products during the 30-minute show. NBCU will also host the episode on-demand for two weeks on Peacock.
Still, the episode-length shopping feature follows years of effort to get shoppable video traction.
Walmart’s live video shopping ambitions began in 2020, and now brands like P&G and Pepsi have tried livestream shopping with Walmart Connect.
NBCUniversal has also tried to burnish its ecommerce cred since 2020, with the Checkout product plus a new shoppable ad format that debuted this year.
The results have not been stunning. Even the heaviest hitters – Amazon, YouTube, TikTok and Facebookagram – have not been able to generate much consumer interest. But desire for live shopping to take off among tech companies, platforms and advertisers is so strong that, for now, it can support a vibrant ecosystem of startups and, hopefully, solutions.
New Kids On The Blockbuster
Movies and entertainment are huge – people are consuming more than ever – but the Hollywood machine behind them is struggling to adapt. The problem is that actors, producers and talent agencies are all built to profit off of traditional cinema box offices, and they aren’t collecting the second-order revenues from streaming platforms that they used to get from rentals and DVD sales.
Without theater sales, studios don’t promote their movies and lead actors the same way. There’s less oomph in being the star for a movie that just releases on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, etc., writes Lucas Shaw at Bloomberg.
On the flip side, this New York Times report on “Rhett and Link,” a YouTube production duo who are shopping an investment and distribution deal with the likes of Roku, Spotify and Candle Media (which just acquired CoComelon, a streaming-based kids program and a monster hit on YouTube and Netflix). YouTube star MrBeast is getting into more traditional production deals and financing. CoComelon itself is an example of the streaming shift, because its corollary, animated movies, hasn’t crossed the billion-dollar mark since before the pandemic.
But Wait, There’s More!
Warner Bros. Discovery plans to name its combined Discovery+ and HBO Max streaming bundle … “Max.” [CNBC]
Latest Google search ranking algo updates and volatility continue. [Search Engine Roundtable]
Brand awareness podcast ads are growing, but direct response still rules the category. [Marketing Brew]
Who are the eager beaver holiday shoppers unhindered by inflation? Gen Z. [CNN]
While big retailers levy return fees, smaller brands fear alienating customers. [ModernRetail]
Leaf Group hires Lexie McCarthy as head of sales and Tom McKee as head of marketing. [LinkedIn; LinkedIn].
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