Fix/Friday — January 15
There are two big pieces on Trends in commerce that merit attention. The annual Shopify Future of Commerce is full of insight and lots of intra country comparisons. I think it’s very telling that one of their 5 themes is around Modern Finance. We hear that the traditional banks can be hard work for Merchants and we know that new ways of paying can have a real impact on sales. Making Klarna, Cash App etc work for you can be really effective/
And Faceboook have a content partnership with the FT to promote their Discovery Commerce concept.
Surprisingly neither make a big thing of Live Streaming but the headlines continue. This Fortune opinion piece saying Live Stream is the next big thing has weight, as the author is the CEO of the company behind both QVC and Home Shopping Network.
A Fix friend @BionicBusiness shared this great story of one of their customers embracing livestreaming — a Buxton homeware store that books appointments on Facebook for a guided tour of the store — and purchases are mailed out the same day.
The battle over the Last Mile continues. The FT looks at how today’s ecommerce companies are building logistics networks that will last for decades.
Pointing to the success of the Doordash IPO, they make a comparison with the Dotcom bubble driving huge investment in the fibre optic cabling that makes broadband so accessible these days. Now building a logistics chain based on railway arches and minimum wage cyclists isn’t quite as sexy, but it is equally forward thinking. They say;
Amazon recently struck a deal with the City of London to turn 39 underground car parking spaces close to the FT’s offices into a “last mile logistics hub”. Parcels will be dropped off at the hub, then ferried to their final destination by electric cargo bikes or on foot.
This need for a local solution has to influence what happens next to the UK supermarket chains. With the Asda Sainsbury merger now off the table Walmart still seem to want rid of Asda and Bloomberg believes PE firms are looking at Sainsburys. The logic for consolidation in the sector persists, but the need for Last Mile makes the high street stores even more attractive. And Sainsbury own Argos, who wrote the book on making local delivery work.
One key element of Last Mile are the food delivery businesses and JustEat have declared war on Deliveroo and Uber in London. They now have their own delivery service called Scoober and have been boosted by McDonalds and Greggs using their service.
The excellent MediaTel Year Ahead event was online this year, but still good. One presentation from Bloomberg was excellent and this chart stood out. Clearly New Economy businesses are winning, but it is interesting to see (most) Ad holding companies in the old.
I think the Agency model is wonderful — hire a bunch of super smart people to help you work out how you can build your business. MadMen still makes perfect sense.
Unfortunately the vast majority of the business is now focused on selling you whatever their factory produces — and much of that factory output is designed for a previous era.
But people are developing new models. S4Capital keep adding great new companies (most recently in China) to their business and gets lots of attention because of SMS, but they are always compared to WPP. This Times article does that and ends up recommending buying WPP stock (?). A better comparison would be to look at You&MrJones which has just raised $260m to build out its own tech and to expand more into Asia and LatAm.
We believe Businesses now live or die based on how well they do with GAFA. To succeed here you need New Economy thinking.
This good Bloomberg piece suggests the Joe Rogan podcast is as pivotal to Spotify as House of Cards was for Netflix. It slightly dodges the issue of Rogans often controversial guests. But it does look at the Spotify advantage with ads in podcasts -their Streaming Ad Insertion means marketers pay only for an ad that’s heard (or played, at least).
Sony has a new partnership with Unreal to develop “developing immersive music experiences through the power of creativity and technology” The first product is a virtual performance by Madison Beer.
Great reaction to our first newTV webinar New Economics of newTV; How Streaming changes everything. Tuesday’s session looked at the businesses driving the change and at business models. The second session next Tuesday is focused on the content and how people will access blockbusters — back to cinemas?, premium PPV? or a blend? Get your free ticket here.
I wrote a bit about the first session in this weeks Deep Dive on newTV — catch up here — and there are links to get the webinar video and charts.
The new Trade Desk report on CTV came out after our session. It has some great data and this resonated with me;
CTV inspires new ad creativity — A growing number of brands and agencies are approaching advertising on CTV with a different mindset when compared to running commercials on its older, linear counterpart. Shorter ads and the ability to adjust in-flight are top of mind for over half of TV media buyers (59% and 53% respectively).
Another topic we touched upon was bundling as a way to deal with both discovery and the balkanisation of TV content. So Struum looks interesting -a Class Pass model for the long tail of streaming services.
One of our panel used to run All4 but we didn’t get a chance to discuss the new CEOs view that C4s future is streaming.
On Cinemas we see the owners of Odeon are looking for new financing.
This year we think adtech will be all about privacy and regulation. Working out the way we deal with the demise of 3rd party tracking in the browser, and the changes in apps with the IDFA, will continue to dominate thinking.
Dealing with the consequences of Government legislation is going to complicate things — already the CMA have announced their plans to investigate the Google browser changes and the Privacy Sandbox.
Our friends at Permutive have an interesting point of view — proposing a new approach that values audiences rather than individuals.
And the industry has much work to do on brand safety and fraud — Over 1,000 brands ran ads alongside election misinformation
Forecasts — lots of Crystal Ball gazing at this time of year — these are some of the best;
Internet Scale Businesses — this is an exceptional Podcast — Ram Parameswaran is a super smart VC and his take on our space is fascinating.
And they have applied for an interesting new Patent around events
And they are developing a secret new app
The Man Who Turned Credit-Card Points Into an Empire — 3C Media — Content, Community & Commerce