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We are introducing a bi-weekly summary of the most exciting recent news in marketing technology and trends. If you’re trying to keep up, consider this your one-stop shop.

Hotels are discovering the power of voice-activated digital assistants to build customer loyalty. Marriott is trying out the Amazon Echo in rooms at select properties allowing guests to access information and hotel services as well as their favorite music.

Video ad spends by brands doubled in 2017 compared to 2016 according to a new report from InMobi. In-app video advertising surged by 136 percent in 2017 worldwide and has grown by 500 percent in China so far this year.

Most consumers don’t trust how brands are using their personal data and would like to see improved personalization of offers, according to a new study from Jebbit. The study found consumers would even be willing to relinquish some of their privacy to get access to better deals.

Viewers of streaming video say they are watching more online (47 percent report more live online video streaming) and less offline (regular TV) as a result (44 percent), according to a May survey by the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

E-Commerce communities continue to force brands to go digital with 46 percent of brand marketers telling Ingenuity that they are revamping their go-to-market strategies as a result, including moving faster to make sure they are covered on all channels. A little over 25 percent said they are making changes to how much they spend online.

Try it on—on Facebook? The social media giant has announced it will test augmented reality ads with users in the United States, with products including makeup and furniture. Michael Kors will be among the first brands to use the technology to advertise its sunglasses.

Facebook New Customer Tracking Tool for Brands, called Journeys, is no ‘Magic Bullet’
Andrea Lopez, head of the social media agency Socialyse in Miami tells Portada.

MediaMath has won $225 million in new financing for its demand side and data management platforms powered by artificial intelligence aimed at making connecting brands with consumers more efficient and effective.

Door-to-door on-demand delivery service Rappi, with operations in Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and Argentina, has caught the attention of Headway, the Buenos Aires, Argentina based mobile marketing company. Headway will serve as Rappi’s exclusive partner for promoting the Rappi app.

Know your customer has taken on new urgency, according to a recent study published by the Harvard Business Review. A majority of companies (58 percent) said customer analytics have improved customer retention, but even more (60 percent) said real-time analytics is “extremely important.” Nearly three-quarters said they have increased spending on real-time analytics over the past year.

What: Media and Information company Hearst has invested US$21 million to acquire a minority stake in Complex, one of the fastest growing digital media networks.
Why it matters: Hearst, as other traditional media companiesincluding NBC (e.g. it recent purchase of stakes Vox Media and BuzzFeed)  continues to invest in fast growing digital media and streaming video companies and expand in the digital video arena.

J_kELH0x_400x400Hearst, one of the nation’s largest diversified media and information companies, has announced that it has invested US$21 million to acquire a minority stake in Complex, one of the fastest growing digital media networks.

The joint announcement was made by Hearst Entertainment & Syndication Co-President and Hearst Digital Studios President Neeraj Khemlani, Complex Founder and CEO Rich Antoniello and Complex Founder Marc Ecko.

095dfd2Khemlani (photo) will take a board seat at Complex.

Now reaching over 57 million diverse millennial males monthly across its destination and partner sites, Complex is  is now one of the top 10 publishers in the U.S. when it comes to social interaction and engagement on channels like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.Complex currently operates a network of sites in addition to its own destination site (Complex.com) that focus on niche cultures and report on trends in pop culture, entertainment, fashion, hip-hop music, art and design, food, technology, sports and video games.

“Hearst continues to invest in fast growing digital media and streaming video companies,” Khemlani said. “The Complex team drives explosive engagement through smart, hip content that features exclusives from some of the top music and popular culture stars of our time.”

“This is an important investment for us and one we view as a crucial strategic play. As we look towards further expansion in digital and linear entertainment, Complex will have access to the extensive expertise, scale and partnerships that only a global media company like Hearst could offer,” Antoniello said. “And with Hearst, we’re poised to become the publisher that influences culture and spurs conversation among an audience that’s as influential as it is broad.”

Since Ecko Unltd. designer and entrepreneur Marc Ecko launched the print publication in 2002, Complex has expanded its business in digital, video, branded activations and emerging platforms. The company has seen a profit since 2010, as it has also excelled in providing a targeted and attractive demographic for advertisers. Over the last two years, Complex has adopted a video-first approach, seeing audience spike to 192 million monthly views, a 415 percent growth year over year. Earlier in 2015, filmmaker Spike Lee joined Complex as Board Advisor, Branded Video Projects to develop formats that could bridge both digital and linear media.

According to Khemlani, the aim behind the deal is the same one that has led Hearst to take stakes in AwesomenessTV and, via its partial ownership in TV programmer A&E, in Vice Media: digital video.

The US$21 million is “predominantly” going into Complex as a direct investment, says CEO Rich Antoniello, though some of the money will go back out to early shareholders via secondary sales. Complex has raised US$52 million to date, including a US$25 million investment from Iconix Brand Group in 2013 that valued the company at $174 million.

 

What: With LiveRail and the Oracle Data Management Platform help, Hulu will start selling ads programmatically across its platforms on desktop, mobile and connected TVs.
Why it matters: Streaming video platform’s LiveRail-powered private ad exchange will let brands target audiences with the Oracle DMP.

fdHeHGpV_400x400From this fall onwards, Hulu will start selling ads programmatically across its platforms on desktop, mobile and connected TVs with Facebook’s video advertising platform, LiveRail, and the Oracle Data Management Platform (DMP) help.

Owned by Fox, NBCUniversal and Disney,the service will add programmatic ad tech in its sales processes. Advertisers will be able to combine their first-party data with third-party data for ad targeting to offer granular personalization coupled with reach and scale.

LiveRail will power the private ad marketplace in which Hulu sales teams will be able to transact direct premium video deals programmatically with real-time optimizations.

“The marketplace has shown that data is overwhelmingly the new currency,” said Peter Naylor, SVP of Advertising at Hulu, in a statement. “With this new offering, Hulu is at the forefront of defining ‘programmatic’ for the digital video ecosystem and will increase efficiency and ROI for marketers.”

What: Real estate advertising has reached a digital saturation point at almost 75% of real estate ad budgets, according to a new report by Borrell Associates. The researcher now expects a 2% decline (US $200 million) of digital ad spend in 2015. Streaming video and streaming audio are more likely to see their ad spend increases by 2019 (to US $4.9 billion and  US$778.5 m respectively). Display, email and paid search will all decline.
Why it matters:  Real estate classifieds and advertising were an important engine of the early Internet economy taking away dollars from off-line vehicles. Mostly from newspapers. Now they seem to have reached a saturation point, Borrell Associates suggests. Digital display dollars will shift to online video and audio ads.

2298394906_6c4426d611_zReal estate advertising has reached a digital saturation point, according agents and broker community. The real estate advertising business reached US $31.8 billion in ad spend last year, but now digital ad spend among agents and brokers is expected to decline by 2%  or US$200 million in 2015. This is the first decrease in 20 years, says research firm Borrell Associates.

2015 digital ad spend share

Out of a total Real Estate Vertical Ad spend of US$ 31.8 billion (offline and online), Borrell Associates expects:

  • Agents and brokers to spend US $13.9 billion of which 75% will be in digital
  • Mortgage lenders will spend an estimated US $12.3 billion in 2015 ( 44% in digital)
  • Rental unit managers will spend US$3.3 billion ( 52% in digital)
  • Developers will spend US $2.3 billion (69% in digital.)

The digital saturation point for agents and brokers is 75% of real estate ad budgets as they were early buyers in the online ad economy.

The digital saturation point for agents and brokers is 75% of real estate ad budgets as they were early buyers in the online ad economy.

Agents and brokers overall ad spend rose 2.2% in 2014. (Rental unit managers saw the biggest overall ad spend increase in 2014 – 13.8% – followed by developers at 9.5% and mortgage lenders at 6%.)

Digital drop

  • Online display. Investments in online run-of-site (ROS) display from the agent and broker community have decreased 15.9% since 2014, with estimated 2015 spend at US$511.9 million. A 92.2% decrease to US$47.2 million is expected between 2014-2019.
  • Agents and brokers have increased targeted display spend 2.1% to US $4.9 billion between 2014-2015. However, a 22.9% decrease to US$3.7 billion is expected between 2014-2019.

Video/Audio

  • Streaming video investments among agents and brokers was US$862.7 million. By 2019, it is expected to grow to US $4.9 billion.
  • Streaming audio spend has decreased by 40.2% to US $19.4 million from 2014 to 2015. By 2019 a 2,300.2% increase is expected, with streaming audio spend totaling US$778.5 million.

Streaming video and streaming audio are more likely to see their ad spend increases by 2019. Display, email and paid search will all decline.

Mobile

Mobile investments are increasing as well, driven by millennials’ tendencies to rent and use mobile devices and online realty hubs like Zillow or Realtor.com to seek out listings.

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