Ad Spend Can Hold Up Despite the Pandemic
The surges in the new coronavirus cases are evident in many parts of the world. But, despite the spread of the virus, the future doesn’t look so bleak for the industry. A lot has changed since we saw global lockdowns for the first time; now, brands and even the consumers are better prepared if the situation moves south.
As per Digiday, marketers aren’t planning to cut their ad budgets any time soon. Brands and retailers have amassed their stocks to deal with any shortages. Marketers know what kind of messages will go out in various probable situations. The buyer-publisher relations have already become more flexible with short-term and small-sized deals. Consumers’ buying preference has moved towards e-commerce. In short, there’s lesser uncertainty regarding the pandemic this time; as a result, the ad spends can remain strong in the coming months.
Many brands have even started their festive campaigns. Black Friday and Cyber Monday ads started appearing in early November. Buyers are testing their creative assets, copy and deal offerings to be prepared for Thanksgiving. The expectations are that the consumers may start their holiday shopping early this year to avoid any shipping delays due to probable lockdowns.
The ad spends may not reach the pre-pandemic level soon, but publishers can expect stability. The brands are already in testing mode so start working closely with your clients and make the most out of the festive season.
The Bleacher Report’s Commerce Strategy
The coronavirus pandemic has taught the importance of revenue diversification to every publisher. Apart from subscriptions, events, etc., commerce is also becoming one of the preferred elements of a diversified revenue portfolio. Bleacher Report earned 10% of its revenue from commerce at the start of the year and now it is growing at a rate of 25% YoY. Its new customer base has increased by 40% in 2020.
Bleacher Report is a popular sports website. Its e-commerce section has jerseys, t-shirts, shorts, and many more sports merchandise. The publisher tries to create the merch that will be liked by the fans of various sports personalities, for example, t-shirts with players’ names, images, etc. Many of its apparel belongs to limited edition collections related to specific sports events. The store also maintains collections of evergreen products that are sold throughout the year.
The publisher has signed deals with the NBA and NFL Players Associations to secure the rights to sell the products. A part of the revenue from the sale goes back to the associations. The publisher has to guarantee a minimum amount of sale to the licensors. Banner ads are placed on the site to increase the sales of the products.
The Bleacher Report has ticked all the right boxes for a successful commerce strategy. It offers products that are best suited to its audience. It has made unique products by signing exclusive deals with sports bodies. It has limited editions to create hype. It has advertisements in place to make sure that the products get the needed exposure.
Google Won’t Outrank AMP Pages From Now
“We will prioritize pages with great page experience, whether implemented using AMP or any other web technology, as we rank the results,” says Google in its recent announcement. This spring, Google will stop offering the “top stories carousel” only to the sites with AMP implementation. The announcement comes amid the antitrust investigation going on to find whether Google yields monopolistic powers over the open web.
Many industry players think that Google’s preference for AMP pages in search results is unfair. It’s like a forceful condition where you have to accept AMP if you want traffic from Google. In 2018, an open letter from the tech community said “AMP keeps users within Google’s domain and diverts traffic away from other websites for the benefit of Google.”
It is so because Google stores the copies of AMP pages in its servers and delivers them when the searches are performed. In this way, publishers’ content is possessed by Google. There are other arguments against AMP pages such as they are difficult to monetize and have lower conversion rates.
It’s good that publishers won’t have to implement AMP for ranking their pages. While AMP aims at improving the user experience, publishers should have control over their content. The power to decide how to improve the user experience should be in the hands of publishers. Google shouldn’t dictate what should be considered as the best experience.
Unified ID 2.0 Gains Momentum
The Trade Desk’s Unified ID 2.0 is gaining traction. Recently, Magnite and Pubmatic became the latest adopters of the open-source project. The project will use encrypted and hashed email addresses as identity replacement for third-party cookies. Other prominent adopters of the project include LiveRamp, Criteo, and Neilsen.
LiveRamp will allow publishers using its Authenticated Traffic Solution to get access to the Unified ID and buyers from the Trade Desk will be able to bid on LiveRamp’s ID. Criteo will provide the interface for consumers to manage their consent and privacy settings. Neilsen will improve the measurement related aspect of the Unified ID.
Magnite will help in receiving UID 2.0 values from publishers and transmitting them to the buyers. It will build the required controls so that publishers can manage who receives the values. It’ll also develop the encryption standards to protect the ID.
Pubmatic will offer Unified ID as a default identifier to more than 180 publishers. The involvement of publishers is required for the necessary scale to the initiative.
Chart of the week
COVID cases are spiking, but our attention isn’t – From Axios.
Moments that Matter
Publishers make more of their exclusive subscriber content – Digiday
Instagram cautiously considers paying publishers – Axios
In Brazil, 10 news outlets are teaming up to try to make journalism cool for young people – NiemanLab
BuzzFeed to Acquire HuffPost in Stock Deal With Verizon Media – WSJ