Mobile Fix / March 6
Morning….It’s Simon Andrews, it’s first thing Friday and This is Fix
my newsletter with news and my views on Mobile, Digital, Social and more. Lots of new subscribers so sharing is working well — can we keep that up?
And let’s continue the conversation on Twitter — I’m @SimonBigPicture
This doesn’t quite work as TL/DR as it’s 40 minutes long — but I highly recommend you watch at least the first 5 minutes of this video. It’s the US IAB head talking of The Great Collab: Harmonizing Privacy, Personalization, and Community. Delivered as you would expect from a guy in a Bow Tie, Randall gets the big issues and has a plan to improve things. Lots to think about as we start to fix our industry.
I have decided that we are going to go ahead with our event on April 22.Just about all the speakers are confirmed. If we have to change the date for any reason, tickets will remain valid — and to add value we will be using Guild as a tool for the community to share thinking and discuss these topics before, during and after the event. All the speakers and attendees will have free access and I think it will be a really useful benefit to the community. More details and tickets here.
Digiday talked to some people at European publishers and there was a general air of negativity — the headline of No Solution sums it up well. I think there is an alternative glass half full view that we can expand on at our event.
But Dave Morgan highlights the issues when he argues that programmatic won’t work on TV — because that industry will not accept the bad practices. Get it right and capture the full opportunities of data driven ads and everyone wins. Like Randall says.
Yet another piece on the Trump digital team (sorry) adds some more colour to the story and again shows what works in digital — marrying rich data with lots of creative;
Sky makes the weather for much of the European TV industry and the news they will carry Disney+ underlines their dominance. It will be an app on SkyQ — neatly solving the discovery issue I mentioned last week and will then go onto the NowTV service. The deal was sweetened with rights to some of the top Disney and Fox movies. This Guardian piece covers the Disney+ offering but was written before the Sky deal was announced.
All this noise hasn’t been great for Britbox — research suggests they are struggling to retain viewers after the initial free trial but at the latest ITV earnings event their CEO claimed over half are converting. The results presentation is worth a look. Unsurprisingly they don’t give any figures for Britbox (apart from BritboxUS at 1 million + subs and profitable) but talk a good game. Their first ‘original’ is a revival of Spitting Image but for that to work doesn’t it need a big audience?
The strength of ITV is its ad business and i think an ad funded Britbox would make so much more sense — especially as they recognise that ITV inventory is going to decline as the audience shifts to streaming. They have hired a smart guy to run Advanced Advertising and they should let him loose on Britbox, defining what ads look like on a streaming service and becoming world leaders in new TV ad formats like these super short ads.
In the US another grey hair is commenting on Streaming — Barry Diller calling our Quibi as total speculation and that Apple have yet to commit to AppleTV. Good read from a super smart guy. Quibi keeps raising money — another $750 that should take them to profitability.
The Wall Street Journal point to this as their uniqueness;
Besides short episodes, Quibi will also stand out as the only service making new chapters available daily — rather than the traditional weekly rollout common with network TV or Netflix’s entire-season-at-once approach.
That’s not quite true. Another service shares a number of similarities; Snap has news episodes every day, tends to favour short shows and is mobile first in how content is presented. And Snap has the additional benefit of a big user base coming to the app every day — QuibI need to build that habit.
This long piece has the headline What Comes After TV? Snap Originals. and is a great read. We have seen how Snap NPD can be taken mainstream with Facebook and Instagram Stories. Could their Drama NPD become equally influential in newTV? Most Streaming services have content that is designed for the big screen. Will we see a move to making content that is Mobile First, recognising how much content is consumed on these devices? Evan Spiegel and Jeffery Katzenberg seem unlikely compatriots but they are both making the same bet.
The one huge area of TV that doesn’t seem to have traction with streaming is Sports. Because it’s so lucrative for linear TV advertisers, we haven’t seen much other than ESPN — who will have a daily show on Quibi. But British based sports service Dazn has big ambitions and plans to go from its current 8 markets to 200. Variety think they will bid for UK rights too.
One area that is only going to get worse is discovery — where can i see show X? A Three exec makes a compelling case for someone to solve this issue.
There is still a lot of hype around Voice. This spurious survey claims 1 in 4 US people use Voice to make DTC purchases — which is pure nonsense. But if you share a press release, people print this stuff and it then turns up in vapid trends decks. Which makes many people question the whole space. (To be fair the research doesn’t quite say this)
But I think Voice is hugely exciting; just not at that level of usage — yet. But as a Fix reader points out here, in many emerging markets voice is much more developed than in the West. But in the West we are making progress; VaynerMedia are smart thinkers on this space and this interview is worth a read or listen, News and Bauer have partnered on an Audio ad platform and UK pioneer Audioboom is up for sale.
Tricks like Google Assistant text to speech feature change behaviour and now Android users can have a webpage read to you. Add that to always in AirPods and Buds and things really change. How is that page ‘view’ measured and what happens to the ads?
Whilst we tend to think of Instagram as the place for DTC ads, smart brands are getting into the weeds of the platform. Knowing how to enable users adding your products to Wishlists etc is quite powerful. So too is making the most of Messenger — where policy changes have been made recently
Thinking about your ecommerce tech stack and deciding on which payment service to use may not be as much fun as sourcing product but is just as important. And attribution tools for Shopify are emerging. There is a lot to get right before you ramp up the adspend.
This is good thinking on experiential stores and the Don of the Retail future thinking is Piers from PSFK — this podcast interview is good.
As a part of its battle with Amazon Walmart are looking at Membership — with a focus on free fast delivery
The interview with Martin Sorrell we shared last week was the most popular link and I thought it made a great case for Personalisation at Scale. But there is a push back — with some questioning the whole concept of data driven marketing and others suggesting that the improved results don’t always justify the additional efforts.
I agree that it’s not easy to get this right — but consumers do see the benefits whilst also being conscious of their privacy. But the idea that you would treat your customers as strangers makes no sense. Why show ads for economy to someone you know if a Business Class customer? Why show baby products to people you know have older children?
It’s always been about a value exchange and it always will be — so if your ads can be valuable or useful you have a chance. And a relevant ad is more likely to stop someone scrolling down their feed. An Acxiom piece in Adweek makes the case for this quite well.
And the McKinsey image we opened with shows the potential — more to come on this subject.
AR / VR
We see more examples of AR solving problems and, little by little, normalising the idea of using AR. Pinterest — who are ramping up their commercial side — have a tool for trying on lipstick.
And two Fix friends have struck a partnership where someone renting an AppearHere space can add an AR element to the inside or outside of the store.
Probably the biggest divide in marketing today revolves around measurement. The promise of digital where everything can be measured has been tainted by problems and people marking their own homework. But traditional methods have struggled to keep up with the pace of development and the way people’s behaviour has changed. This isn’t a new issue but the vulnerability of TV as audiences shift has helped drive some urgency
A new initiative from the World Federation of Advertisers looks promising though — lots of big brands are driving this and the platforms are involved as are the agencies and some of the biggest trad media owners.
Following the good figures in the latest New YorkTimes results, one of their journalists argue they risk being too dominant — crowding out innovation
More good writing from Ana Andjelica — this time on Curators
Boost with Facebook — a new community from Facebook for people running SMEs
And Mailchimp did something similar with their acquisition of UK magazine The Courier
Their first new product in ages — Twitter Is Adding Stories And Calling Them Fleets
Finally….. this excellent deck on China and Luxury brands is full of good stuff — I saw it presented this week and the nice people at Tong are happy for me to share it. Even if you are not active in China there is good learning here on how to use Social. If you want to know more, happy to make an intro
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