jerryking + direct-to-consumer   4

The Ad Industry Has High Hopes for Direct-to-Consumer Businesses
June 17, 2019 | WSJ | By Nat Ives.

Advertising has turned its attention to what it hopes will be the next new engine of growth for the industry: direct-to-consumer marketers.

Direct-to-consumer businesses, which offer everything from mattresses to toothbrushes to home workouts, start by cutting out middlemen such as physical retail distributors. And they relentlessly focus on measures such as the cost to acquire a new customer—while relying on advertising, usually on social media, as the main way to grow.......ad executives hope that the booming DTC business can become a major new revenue source for the industry.....DTC brands play in an apparently unlimited range of products and could have rapid expansion ahead.

A varied field
Measures of DTC activity vary, but all indicate rapid growth. For a picture of U.S. ad spending by DTC companies, Magna tracks a basket of 13 companies that it considers disrupters, including footwear seller Allbirds Inc. and bedding marketer Casper Sleep Inc. Their spending increased 35% last year to $378 million, and is likely to grow another 30% this year and 25% next year.

And they’re spreading out from their usual advertising havens such as social media. The 13 brands’ national TV spending soared 42% in 2018 to $137 million, for instance, and is expected to rise 34% this year and 25% in 2020, Magna says........For some DTC brands, diversification is partly about protection.....Bombas LLC decided to move a big chunk of its marketing budget away from Facebook .....fearing its strategy could be hurt if the social network unexpectedly changed an algorithm or shifted a policy......Diversification is also a matter of taking growth to another level. DTC brands are “reaching the scale where they want to talk to the mass market, to consumers everywhere in the country, not just the trendsetters,” ......After a certain point for a DTC brand, increasing spending in the same place begins to produce diminishing returns, says Heidi Zak, co-founder and co-chief executive at DTC bra company ThirdLove Inc. The company says it has sold more than four million bras since it started taking orders in 2014, and has had annualized revenue growth of 180% over the past four years. It declines to disclose its sales figures or ad budget.

“Today, when people ask me where we are, I say pretty much everywhere,” Ms. Zak says, rattling off advertising channels including Facebook, Pinterest , search, podcasts, radio, direct mail, print and TV. The company ran its first national branding campaign last fall to advance a theme of “To Each, Her Own”—with a longer-term goal rather than immediate sales.
advertising  advertising_agencies  booming  brands  customer_acqusition  direct-to-consumer  diversification  out-of-home  self-protection  social_media  store_openings 
june 2019 by jerryking
Comic Book Publishers, Faced With Flagging Sales, Look to Streaming -
July 22, 2018 | The New York Times | By Gregory Schmidt

Comic book publishers are facing a growing crisis: Flagging interest from readers and competition from digital entertainment are dragging down sales.

Hoping to reverse the trend, publishers are creating their own digital platforms to directly connect with readers and encourage more engagement from fans.

The goal is to reach readers who may not live near a comic book shop but want to keep up with the Avengers and the Justice League. Experts say the direct-to-consumer model also helps compete with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon’s Prime Video.
publishing  comic_books  streaming  platforms  direct-to-consumer 
july 2018 by jerryking
Technology has upended the world’s advertising giants - Mad men adrift
March 31st, 2018 | The Economist |

The world’s advertising giants are struggling to adapt to a landscape suddenly dominated by the duopoly of Google and Facebook. Some of their biggest clients, such as Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Unilever, are also being disrupted, in their case by smaller online brands and by Amazon. They are cutting spending on advertising services, and also building more capabilities in-house. Consultancies with digital expertise such as Deloitte and Accenture are competing with agencies, arguing that they know how to connect with consumers better, and more cheaply, using data, machine learning and app design.......This month Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer of P&G, criticised their (i.e. the ad giants) model as a “Mad Men” operation that is “archaic” and overly complex in an era when campaigns and ads need to be designed and refined quickly across lots of platforms.

Technological forces are buffeting this model.

(1) The first big challenge is disintermediation. Despite the growing backlash against the tech giants, Google and Facebook make it easy for firms big and small to advertise on their platforms and across the internet via their powerful ad networks.
(2) The second headache is the rise of ad-free content for consumers, especially on Netflix, and the corresponding disruption of ad-supported television, which has declining viewership globally.
(3) Third, Amazon’s e-commerce might, and the growing clout of internet-era direct-to-consumer upstarts, have weakened the distribution muscle and pricing power of the advertising giants’ biggest clients.....cost discipline among clients is driven partly by the influence of thrifty private-equity investors like 3G, the Brazilian owner of AB InBev, the world’s largest brewer......Sir Martin argues that the budgetary pressures that have forced his clients to cut back on advertising are a cyclical problem, not like the structural challenges posed by technological disruption.

In private, however, a senior executive at a rival ad-holding firm rejects much of this optimism. Technological disruption and disintermediation, he says, will only deepen. The efficiency of targeted digital ads means companies can spend less for the same outcome in branding. ....The advertising firms are responding by hiring away talent, acquiring businesses (in 2015 Publicis bought Sapient, a digital consultancy, for $3.7bn) and gradually changing how they make money. Their plans mostly boil down to two things: investing in digital services and consolidating their collections of businesses so that they can provide a range of services to one client more cheaply under one account.
advertising  economics  marketing  advertising_agencies  Martin_Sorrell  digital_strategies  WPP  Google  Facebook  Amazon  competitive_landscape  P&G  Unilever  disruption  Deloitte  Accenture  Publicis  Omnicom  via:sparkey  ad-tech  programmatic  direct-to-consumer 
april 2018 by jerryking
Disney’s Big Bet on Streaming Relies on Little-Known Tech Company
OCT. 8, 2017 | The New York Times | By BROOKS BARNES and JOHN KOBLIN.

For two days in June 2017, Disney’s board of directors wrestled with one topic: how technology was disrupting the company’s traditional movie, television and theme park businesses, and what to do about it?.....Cord cutting was accelerating much faster than expected. Live viewing for some children’s programming was in free fall......Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive and chairman, proposed a legacy-defining move. It was time for Disney to double down on streaming..... bet the entertainment giant’s future on a wonky, little-known technology company housed in a former cookie factory: BamTech.....Based in Manhattan’s Chelsea Market, the 850-employee company has a strong track record — no serious glitches, even when delivering tens of millions of live streams at a time. BamTech also has impressive advertising technology (inserting ads in video based on viewer location) and a strong reputation for attracting and keeping viewers, not to mention billing them.....BamTech grew out of Major League Baseball Advanced Media, or Bam for short, which was founded in 2000 as a way to help teams create websites. By 2002, Bam was experimenting with streaming video as a way for out-of-town fans to watch games.

Soon, Bam developed technology that attracted outside clients, including the WWE, Fox Sports, PlayStation Vue and Hulu. HBO went to Bam in 2014 after failing to create a reliable stand-alone streaming service on its own. Could Bam get HBO up and running — in just a few months? Bam built HBO Now for roughly $50 million, delivering it just in time for the Season 5 premiere of “Game of Thrones,” which went off flawlessly. “They were nothing short of herculean for us,” said Richard Plepler, HBO’s chief executive.

In 2015, Bam decided to spin off its streaming division, calling it BamTech. With an eye toward its own direct-to-consumer future, particularly with ESPN, Disney paid $1 billion in 2016 for a 33 percent stake and an option to buy a controlling interest in 2020. To run the stand-alone company, M.L.B. and Disney recruited Michael Paull, 46, from Amazon, where he oversaw Prime Video and the introduction of Amazon Channels.....Disney contends that a big part of BamTech’s value has been overlooked. Down the road, as other media companies move toward streaming, BamTech intends to sign them up as clients.....Though BamTech has proved its streaming bona fides, it still lacks the algorithms and the personalization skills that have helped propel Netflix to success. To fill that gap, Mr. Paull recently hired the former chief technology officer of the F.B.I. to be the head of analytics.....The level of engineering required for that enormous volume of content is no small matter. Each bit of streamable content has to be made to fit a dizzying number of requirements. Start with web browsers, ranging from Safari to Chrome or Explorer, all of which have slightly different demands. It also has to fit every iPhone and Android phone. And then there are connected living room devices like Apple TV.
algorithms  BamTech  big_bets  boards_&_directors_&_governance  CEOs  cord-cutting  digital_savvy  digital_strategies  Disney  disruption  entertainment  game_changers  personalization  Quickplay  sports  sportscasting  streaming  theme_parks  direct-to-consumer 
october 2017 by jerryking

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