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Media Briefing: Publishers continue to push advertisers to check out their shoppable video pitches



Media Briefing: Publishers continue to push advertisers to check out their shoppable video pitches

In this week’s Media Briefing, media editor Kayleigh Barber checks in on how publishers’ attempts to win over advertisers with their shoppable video and livestream shopping programs are going.

Join us virtually for the Digiday Commerce Publishers Forum taking place next Thursday at 12 p.m. ET. where you’ll hear from leaders at BuzzFeed, Vice, Vox Media and more. You’ll also gain access to the Commerce Week Town Hall happening next Tuesday at 11 a.m. ET.

Market check: shoppable video

The key hits: 

  • Ad buyers are interested in both shoppable video and livestream shopping, but publishers will have to compete against platforms to win deals.  
  • Condé Nast is boasting a slate of new shoppable shows that are tied to existing franchises in order to win over advertisers. 
  • Vice Media is hoping to earn one-third of its revenue from commerce by 2024 and is looking to livestream shopping as a vehicle for achieving that goal.

Shoppable video has been touted by some retailers, publishers and platforms as the next big trend in online commerce in the U.S. for a couple years now, especially as livestream shopping has become a nearly $300 billion business in China. But the slow adoption rate from audiences, as well as advertisers, may indicate that additional value is necessary to get all parties on board.  

And after the Newfronts, it’s clear that publishers and platforms are eager to prove to advertisers that the time is now to jump into the shoppable video and livestream shopping space, using existing IP and innovative ad spots to sweeten the deal. 

During last week’s hoopla, Condé Nast announced a new slate of shows with shoppable capabilities and streaming platforms like Roku announced new ad spots that allow readers to buy products from their TV screen. Meanwhile, publishers like Vice Media and BuzzFeed are leaning harder on innovative commerce offerings like live streaming, as a means to increase affiliate commissions and be seen as an authority in product recommendations. 

But all of this experimentation could in vain if brands aren’t willing to back these projects with advertising revenue, especially since affiliate commissions have wavered a bit in the past few months due to supply chain issues and consumers returning to in-person shopping. 

It begs the question — can publishers that are bullish about video commerce convince advertisers and ad buyers that their approaches to live shopping and shoppable video are worth paying for in ad campaigns? 

Finding the ‘natural next steps’ in the buyers’ journey

Vice Media’s chief digital officer Cory Haik noted that advertisers are more willing than ever to include written commerce integrations into their digital media buys. 

From the first quarter of 2021 to the same quarter in 2022, Haik said the number of brands that have come to Vice Media asking for direct affiliate deals in written commerce content has increased by nearly 1,000%, which she said indicates that having more direct-sold opportunities in the commerce space for brands would be a strong growth opportunity in this business. Ultimately, her goal is to turn commerce into an equal revenue stream alongside advertising and consumer revenue (subscriptions and membership) by 2024. 

Haik is hoping that both consumers and advertisers alike see what she considers to be  the “natural next steps” of the content to shopping journey — livestream shopping — and Vice Media’s i-D Magazine is one brand that she said will help achieve that goal. 

Both the luxe nature of i-D, which increases the price points of items the brand can try and sell to its readers, and the different platforms i-D has honed an audience on, like TikTok, makes it ripe for commerce experimentation, she said. 

During Paris Fashion Week from Feb. 28 – March 8, i-D was paid to live stream all but one of the fashion shows on TikTok to its 220,000 followers through brand deals with the fashion houses, which included Bottega Veneta and Balenciaga. The natural next step, she said, is to work with the brands to include links to buy the items as they walk down the runway, which is something that the company is hoping to launch in the second half of the year. 

Where do buyers stand? 

Video commerce is appealing to Seth Hargrave, the CEO of media buying agency Media Two Interactive, mainly because of the ability to attribute the content to product sales for advertisers. 

“Shoppable video actually creates an opportunity to track the value of video [in a way] that’s a lot closer to the point of sale. So the ability to track return on your advertising spend or your return on your investment is going to be much greater with this particular format,” said Hargrave, adding that video is typically viewed as an upper-funnel format when it comes to media planning. 

That said, the type of advertiser — be it a big box retailer with thousands of skews or a smaller merchandise brand with 20 to 30 products available for purchase — is going to impact the approach taken to live stream shopping and shoppable video, he said. 

While a smaller merchant might want to incorporate some storytelling or a narrative that could lift the entire brand, something Hargrave said a publisher is capable of doing in its programming, bigger retailers might pursue a relationship with a platform like Amazon Live or Roku because they just want to focus on a select number of products and driving conversions rather than building brand awareness. 

The Amazon Lives of the world are also good experimental grounds for seeing how a lot of different products perform in live shopping, Hargrave said. It is also the starting place that he and his clients are targeting when planning their first campaigns tied to live stream shopping video. To date, none of his clients have actually activated in the live shopping space, but it is an area of focus in the next couple of quarters to test out before the fourth quarter holiday commerce rush hits. 

The product category is also a big factor in whether or not a buyer will consider shoppable video. 

“For higher ticket items, where more education/explanation is needed or items like skincare/makeup where consumers are craving that deeper content and opportunity for interaction, our clients are more interested in diving in,” said Allysun Lundy, vp and head of retail media strategy at Publicis Commerce. Chocolate or cereal marketers on the other hand might not be as successful in getting the conversions in the moment because consumers aren’t used to online shopping for these products.

But ultimately, publishers are going to need to prove their value in order to get brands to partner on their video commerce offerings, according to Lundy.

Using franchises to test shoppable video

The idea of shoppable video is not a new one for the Condé Nast. For years the company has poked at shoppable video capabilities in pitches to advertisers at the NewFronts and Condé Nast’s global CRO and president Pamela Drucker Mann even talked about getting into livestream shopping during an episode of the Digiday Podcast last year. 

But this year, the publisher seems to have doubled down on video commerce products and is using its brands’ existing video and event franchises to test these formats amongst audiences and with advertisers. 

“Live programming is great, but how cool would it be if you could buy the dress right off the red carpet,” said Drucker Mann during her portion of the presentation. She said that Vogue’s Met Gala live stream this year received more traffic than in prior years, though she did not provide any numbers.

In addition to selling products featured during live coverage of its events, popular video series are designed to be an attractive avenue for integrating shoppability, given the built-in audience that is already a fan of the content.

“Buying Open Door,” for example, is a shoppable spinoff of Architectural Digest’s “Open Door” YouTube series that Drucker Mann announced during the NewFronts. Where the original “Open Door” features guided tours by celebrities of their homes and workplaces — and receives an average of 7.5 million views per episode, according to Agnes Chu, president of Condé Nast Entertainment — the spinoff will give viewers the opportunity to purchase the decor and furniture featured in the episodes.

AD is also launching an original shoppable show called “Room Refresh” this year. And Bon Appétit is releasing a new show called “Through the Grapevine” that allows viewers to buy wine featured in the show. 

Live shopping is also something that Vice Media’s Refinery29 is diving headfirst into this year, starting on YouTube Live, and will focus on using in-house talent and influencers to drive the narratives of that programming, Haik said. 

“Imagine a variety show meets QVC. I like to call it experiential service journalism,” she said. 

According to Lundy, access to a celebrity host or being a part of a special tentpole event, or even proof of having an audience with high likelihood of purchase will help close a deal, “otherwise clients are going to go with the partner that they either have a commitment with or have the best rates with.” — Kayleigh Barber

What we’ve heard

“If you start a 15-second video that’s [about] the perfect eyeliner, but we don’t show you the eyeliner [in the beginning] you’re not likely to make it to the 15-second mark.”

BDG svp of marketing and audience development Wesley Bonner

Goodbye to embedded podcast ads

While dynamically-inserted ads have accounted for the majority of podcast advertising for a few years now, the adoption of the more automated ad placement process is continuing to accelerate as advertisers see the benefits of better targeting capabilities and flexibility, according to discussions during the first two days of Interactive Advertising Bureau’s three-day Podcast Upfront this week.

IAB’s U.S. Podcast Advertising Revenue study, which came out on Monday, found the share of ad revenue served via dynamic ad insertion (DAI) — i.e. ads inserted at the time a podcast is downloaded or streamed, versus “burned-in” or “baked-in” ads, which are embedded in the podcast file and part of the episode’s content — has almost doubled in two years to 84%. In 2019, it was closer to a 50/50 split.

With the industry quickly shifting to DAI, more advertisers are moving into the podcast medium because they can use the same data they have to target their desired audiences on social and connected TV, for example, and apply that to their audio strategy, said André Swanston, svp of the media and entertainment vertical at credit reporting agency TransUnion, during a panel conversation on Wednesday’s event (as opposed to an embedded ad, where every listener hears the same ad regardless of who or where they are). It’s worth pointing out here that TransUnion is a provider of that data.

DAI has also helped to open up podcast advertising to more categories, said Eric John, vp of the IAB Media Center, on Tuesday. When looking at podcast ad revenue share by industry category in IAB’s latest report, the “other” category — which includes advertiser categories such as energy, government, tech and pets — has tripled its share in two years, from 8% in 2019 to 28% in 2021. In the same panel with Swanston, Ken Lagana, evp of digital sales at audio company Audacy, said the flexibility of being able to “put [dynamically-inserted ads] up and take them down in periods that are important” has opened up the podcast medium to advertisers in categories like automotive and for those promoting TV shows or selling tickets (the arts, entertainment & media category in IAB’s report grew from 9% to 11% year over year — auto grew from 2% to 4%). 

But, not everyone is behind the rapid adoption of dynamically inserted ads.

During Wednesday’s panel, Gary Coichy, founder and CEO at multicultural podcast network Pod Digital Media, argued embedded ads allow hosts to share their personal connection to the advertiser’s brand, which has led to high brand lift in studies conducted by his company in the past year.

“I personally am really not a fan of the dynamically inserted ads being dropped into podcasts. I’m not there yet, but maybe I’ll get there at some point,” Coichy said. 

“You’ll get there,” Lagana responded. — Sara Guaglione

Numbers to know

~11 million: Number of views that Politico’s Roe v. Wade scoop had received by the end of last week. (dumb question likely, but what does ‘~’ represent?)

$60,000: Minimum salary that the BuzzFeed News Union secured for members in its five-year contract with the publisher.

-3%: Year-over-year percentage decline in Dotdash Meredith’s digital revenue in the first quarter of 2022.

118,000: Number of digital subscribers that Gannett added in the first quarter of 2022.

>3 million: Number of digital-only subscriptions that The Wall Street Journal averaged in the first quarter of 2022.

What we’ve covered

WTF is dunning?:

  • Dunning is an important term for publishers looking to avoid losing subscribers to payment lapses.
  • Passive churn accounts for anywhere from 20% to 60% of a publisher’s total churn base, on average.

Read more about dunning here.

With the return of travel, Condé Nast Traveler puts its new global team to the test:

  • The travel publication’s global editorial director Divia Thani and deputy global editorial director Jesse Ashlock were the guests for this week’s Digiday Podcast episode.
  • The pair discussed how an international reorg has expanded the publication’s editorial strategy.

Listen to the latest Digiday Podcast here.

How creators have become strategy consultants for publishers on TikTok:

  • Publishers including BDG, Gallery Media Group and Team Whistle have grown their TikTok followings by turning to creators for guidance.
  • BDG has 100 creators in its BDG Creators Network.

Read more about publishers’ TikTok consultants here.

TV networks, streamers concentrate on content categories on NewFronts Day 4:

  • On the final day of NewFronts, TV networks, streaming services and digital video publishers pitched new ad-supported programming and streaming properties.
  • A pair of measurement providers also took the stage, with one looking to sell more than measurement.

Read more about NewFronts Day 4 here.

Media companies and social platforms tout their connections to diverse communities on NewFronts Day 3:

  • Social platforms and Black-owned publishers took the stage to urge ad buyers to spend more money to reach diverse audiences.
  • TikTok announced its first ad revenue share program for creators.

Read more about NewFronts Day 3 here.

What we’re reading

Meta’s latest news publisher pivot:

Meta may reduce the money it pays to news publishers, as click counts on news articles on the platform have dipped and the company considers pivoting its news focus to videos instead of articles, according to The Information. Meta executive Campbell Brown warned publishers years ago about depending on the platform.

The Guardian’s newsletter strategy:

The Guardian’s collection of 50 email newsletters has amassed more than 1 million unique subscribers, and now the publisher is looking to push away from roundup-style newsletters to ones with original reporting, according to Press Gazette.

G/O Media’s expansion plan:

2021 marked G/O Media’s first profitable year in its three-year history, and now the publisher of Gizmodo, The Root and, most recently, Quartz is plotting more acquisitions in the travel, health/wellness and fashion verticals, according to Adweek.

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AMD CEO says 5-nm Zen 4 processors coming this fall



Did you miss a session from GamesBeat Summit 2022? All sessions are available to stream now. Watch now.

Advanced Micro Devices revealed its 5-nanometer Zen 4 processor architecture today at the Computex 2022 event in Taiwan.

The new AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors with Zen 4 cores will be coming this fall, said Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, in a keynote speech.

Su said the new processors with Zen 4 architecture will deliver a significant increase in performance upon their launch in the fall of 2022. Additionally, Su highlighted the strong growth and momentum for AMD in the mobile market as 70 of the more than 200 expected ultrathin, gaming and commercial notebook designs powered by Ryzen 6000 Series processors have been launched or announced to-date.

In addition, other AMD executives announced the newest addition to the Ryzen Mobile lineup, “Mendocino;” the newest AMD smart technology, SmartAccess Storage; and more details of the new AM5 platform, including support from leading motherboard manufacturers.

“At Computex 2022 we highlighted growing adoption of AMD in ultrathin, gaming, and commercial notebooks from the leading PC providers based on the leadership performance and battery life of our Ryzen 6000 series mobile processors,” said Su. “With our upcoming AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors, we will bring even more leadership to the desktop market with our next-generation 5-nm Zen 4 architecture and provide an unparalleled, high-

performance computing experience for gamers and creators.”

AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors

The new Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors will double the amount of L2 cache per core, feature higher clock speeds, and are projected to provide greater than 15% uplift in single-thread performance versus the prior generation, for a better desktop PC experience.

During the keynote, a pre-production Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processor was demonstrated running at 5.5 GHz clock speed throughout AAA game play. The same processor was also demonstrated performing more than 30% faster than an Intel Core i9 12900K in a Blender multi-threaded rendering workload.

In addition to new “Zen 4” compute dies, the Ryzen 7000 series features an all-new 6nm I/O die. The new I/O die includes AMD RDNA 2-based graphics engine, a new low-power architecture adopted from AMD Ryzen mobile processors, support for the latest memory and connectivity technologies like DDR5 and PCI Express 5.0, and support for up to four displays.

AMD Socket AM5 Platform

The new AMD Socket AM5 platform provides advanced connectivity for our most demanding enthusiasts. This new socket features a 1718-pin LGA design with support for up to 170W TDP processors, dual-channel DDR5 memory, and new SVI3 power infrastructure for leading all-core performance with our Ryzen 7000 Series processors. AMD Socket AM5 features the most PCIe 5.0 lanes in the industry with up to 24 lanes, making it our fastest, largest, and most expansive desktop platform with support for the next-generation and beyond class of storage and graphics cards.

And AMD said the “Mendocino” processors will offer great everyday performance and are expected to be priced from $400 to $700.

Featuring “Zen 2” cores and RDNA 2 architecture-based graphics, the processors are designed to deliver the best battery life and performance in the price band so users can get the most out of their laptop at an attractive price.

The first systems featuring the new “Mendocino” processors will be available from computer partners in Q4 2022.

GamesBeat’s creed when covering the game industry is “where passion meets business.” What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you — not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.

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AMD’s Ryzen 7000 desktop chips are coming this fall with 5nm Zen 4 cores



AMD’s Ryzen 7000 desktop chips are coming this fall with 5nm Zen 4 cores

AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 7000 chips will mark another major milestone for the company: they’ll be the first desktop processors running 5 nanometer cores. During her Computex keynote presentation today, AMD CEO Lisa Su confirmed that Ryzen 7000 chips will launch this fall. Under the hood, they’ll feature dual 5nm Zen 4 cores, as well as a redesigned 6nm I/O core (which includes RDNA2 graphics, DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 controllers and a low-power architecture). Earlier this month, the company teased its plans for high-end “Dragon Range” Ryzen 7000 laptop chips, which are expected to launch in 2023.

Since this is just a Computex glimpse, AMD isn’t giving us many other details about the Ryzen 7000 yet. The company says it will offer a 15 percent performance jump in Cinebench’s single-threaded benchmark compared to the Ryzen 5950X. Still, it’d be more interesting to hear about multi-threaded performance, especially given the progress Intel has made with its 12th-gen CPUs. You can expect 1MB of L2 cache per core, as well as maximum boost speeds beyond 5GHz and better hardware acceleration for AI tasks.

AMD is also debuting Socket AM5 motherboards alongside its new flagship processor. The company is moving towards a 1718-pin LGA socket, but it will still support AM4 coolers. That’s a big deal if you’ve already invested a ton into your cooling setup. The new motherboards will offer up to 24 channels of PCIe 5.0 split across storage and graphics, up to 14 USB SuperSpeed ports running at 20 Gbps, and up to 4 HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2 ports. You’ll find them in three different flavors: B650 for mainstream systems, X650 for enthusiasts who want PCIe 5.0 for storage and graphics and X650 Extreme for the most demanding folks.

Given that Intel still won’t have a 7nm desktop chip until next year (barring any additional delays), AMD seems poised to once again take the performance lead for another generation. But given just how well Intel’s hybrid process for its 12th-gen chips has worked out, it’ll be interesting to see how it plans to respond. If anything, it sure is nice to see genuine competition in the CPU space again.

While Ryzen 7000 will be AMD’s main focus for the rest of the year, the company is also throwing a bone to mainstream laptops in the fourth quarter with its upcoming 6nm “Mendocino” CPUs. They’ll sport four 6nm Zen 2 cores, as well as RDNA 2 graphics, making them ideal for systems priced between $399 and $699. Sure, that’s not much to get excited about, but even basic machines like Lenovo’s Ideapad 1 deserve decent performance. And for many office drones, it could mean having work-issued machines that finally don’t stink.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Disney’s Disney+ ad pitch reflects how streaming ad prices set to rise in this year’s upfront



Disney’s Disney+ ad pitch reflects how streaming ad prices set to rise in this year’s upfront

With Disney+, Disney is looking to set a new high-water mark for ad prices among the major ad-supported streamers. The pricey pitch is representative of a broader rising tide in streaming ad pricing in this year’s TV advertising upfront market, as Disney-owned Hulu, Amazon and even Fox’s Tubi are looking to press upfront advertisers to pay up.

In its initial pitch to advertisers and their agencies, Disney is seeking CPMs for Disney+ around $50, according to agency executives. That price point applies to broad-based targeting dubbed “P2+,” which refers to an audience of any viewer who is two years old or older (though Disney has told agency executives that programming aimed at viewers seven years old and younger will be excluded from carrying ads). In other words, more narrowly targeted ads are expected to cost more based on the level of targeting. A Disney spokesperson declined to comment.

At a $50 CPM, Disney+ is surpassing the prices that NBCUniversal’s Peacock  and Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max sought in last year’s upfront market and that gave ad buyers sticker shock. The former sought CPMs in the $30 to $40 range, while the latter sought $40+ CPMs. By comparison, other major ad-supported streamers like Hulu, Discovery+ and Paramount+ were charging low-to-mid $20 CPMs that major ad-supported streamers charge. As a result, Peacock’s and HBO Max’s asks ended up being price prohibitive, with some advertisers limiting the amount of money they spent with the streamers because of their higher rates.

Unsurprisingly, agency executives are balking at Disney+’s price point. “They’re citing pricing that no longer exists, meaning Peacock and HBO Max recognized they came out too high and they’re reducing it. Disney+ is using earmuffs to pretend that second part didn’t happen,” said one agency executive.

However, Disney+ isn’t the only streamer seeking to raise the rates that ad buyers are accustomed to paying. Hulu is also seeking to increase its prices in this year’s upfront, with P2+ pricing going from a $20-$25 CPM average to averaging in the $25-$30 CPM range, according to agency executives. And during a call with reporters on May 16, Fox advertising sales president Marianne Gambelli said that the company will seek higher prices for its free, ad-supported streaming TV service Tubi in this year’s upfront market. It’s unclear what Tubi’s current rates are, but FAST services’ CPMS are typically in the low to mid teens, said the agency executives.

“We have to get the value for Tubi. Tubi has grown to a point — it’s doubled, tripled in size over the past couple of years. So we are going to obviously make that a priority and look for not only more volume but price,” Gambelli said.

Meanwhile, in pitching its Thursday Night Football package that will be streamed on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch, Amazon has been pressing for a premium on what Fox charged advertisers last year, according to agency executives. The e-commerce giant will be handling the games’ ad placements like traditional TV, meaning that it will run the same ad in each ad slot for every viewer as opposed to dynamically inserting targeted ads. “It’s streaming broadcast,” said a second agency executive.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on pricing but did provide a general statement. “Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and Twitch is a purely digital broadcast, and we’re excited to bring fans a new viewing experience. There are 80MM active Prime Video households in the U.S. and, in a survey of our 2021 TNF audience, 38% reported they don’t have a pay-TV service – meaning TNF on Prime Video and Twitch enables brands to connect with cord-cutters and cord-nevers. Brands can also reach these viewers beyond TNF. Our first-party insights enable them to reengage TNF audiences across Amazon, such as in Freevee content.”

One of the agency executives that Digiday spoke to said the latest ask is for a plus-10% increase on Fox’s rates, though what Fox’s rates were are unclear and other agency executives said the premium that Amazon is asking for varies. Ad Age reported in February that Amazon was seeking up to 20% higher prices than Fox’s rates. “I don’t know if it is consistently plus-10, but it is definitely more. Which is crazy because Fox couldn’t make money on it, which is why they gave it up for this fall,” said a second agency executive.

“Someone was eating way too many gummies before they put the pricing together,” said a second agency executive of Amazon’s Thursday Night Football pitch.

Ad-supported streaming service owners also see an opportunity to push for higher prices as advertisers to adopt more advanced targeting with their streaming campaigns, such as by using the media companies’ and/or advertisers’ first-party data to aim their ads on the streamers. 

Said one TV network executive, “You’ll see premiums, especially as it relates to advertisers that really want to hook into [their company’s streaming service] and buy those targeted audiences across the platform and either use [the TV network’s] first-party data or bring their own data to the table. That’s the biggest business we’re in, and that’s where we see great growth from a pricing standpoint.”


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