Projected: Steady Growth in Digital Video Viewership

Video Viewership

A steady increase in digital, video viewership is expected into the foreseeable future according to eMarketer.  The 7.8% increase between 2017 and 2021 seems modest by current standards of growth velocity, but that is because the base is so high already.  The acceleration has already occurred.  All that remains is steady continued penetration of the trend to video. Source: eMarketer

Tim Cook Makes an Anti Anti-Trade Statement in Beijing

Trade War

Apple has announced it is investing a half billion dollars in new research and development centers in two Chinese cities; Shanghai and Suzhou.  This comes in direct contradiction to the current anti-trade talk that has emerged throughout the west over the past year.  In a speech made in Beijing a couple weeks ago, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook made his opposition to the anti-trade argument clear by saying,  “The reality is countries that are closed, that isolate themselves, it’s not good for their people,” Reuter’s


Getintent Challenges AppNexus

Header Bidding Surveys

Just when you thought everyone had jumped onto the header bidding train, contrary data comes along to challenge the understanding.  A Getintent survey of Alexa’s top 121 websites challenges the AppNexus study of Comscore’s Top 200 publishers, which represents the standard view about header bidding.  Not so fast says Getintent.  The truth may lie somewhere in the middle.  Regardless, header bidding is a thing and because of the advantage it gives back to advertisers, it is likely to grow from either its base camp of 12% or its summit of 70%.  Source: MarTech

Programmatic Buying is the New Normal

Programmatic buying2

These data are further support for the notion that programmatic ad buying is now virtually universal across the advertising community.  In 2013, sixty percent of advertisers were buying programmatically more than 10% of the time.  By 2015 the number had grown to 94%.  The pattern established in 2015 and 2016 is that of stable floor likely to remain steady going forward.   The future is not a matter of growth; rather it is one of growing targeting sophistication and improving techniques.  Source: AdWeek

Consumer Prices Crash

Consumer Price Index - Feb-17

February’s Consumer Price Index is the lowest since we have been tracking it going back to August 2014.  This is a good thing for the economy if it continues because lower prices will tend to support consumer confidence and continued spending.  The disturbing side of this number is the extreme nature of the slide. The reason for it will either become clear in coming months or the Index will bounce back into the range we have observed over a couple years allowing us to call this month an anomaly and move on.  Source: Trading Economics, National Bureau of Statistics, China

The Challenge of High-End Programmatic Advertising

Programmatic Challenge

Programmatic ad buying originated as a way to level the playing field – supply and demand were both in place – let the bidding begin.  Some brands won the bid and the rest didn’t.  Pretty straight forward until the smarty pants among us carved out privilege with private marketplaces (PMPs), header bidding and first-look or programmatic guaranteed buying.  The field was no longer level.

Eric Picard, VP of Advertising Product Management at Pandora, wrote in AdExchanger, “Programmatic is no longer about low-cost inventory; it is now the infrastructure for transaction where the buyer and seller are handshaking and establishing connections to the consumers that brands need to reach. Programmatic is the mechanism to bind together the new tools that empower the advertiser to take control of their audiences and apply real science to the art of advertising. Publishers now can gain insight from working through these mechanisms rather than being left in the dark.”

In other words, the field can only be level for publishers if they actively get into the programmatic game.  Source; AdExchanger

Another Confirmation for Programmatic Buying

Programmatic spending

According to a survey of more than 1,300 marketers across Europe and North America by AdRoll, programmatic buying has been growing and is likely to continue growing as a percentage of ad buying given that sixty six percent of the surveyed marketers said programmatic advertising resulted in greater ROI versus traditional media buying.  Source: MediaPost

Driving to 100% Penetration

Carrier Data - Feb2017

Smartphone subscriber growth continues on pace with an average of about 18.5 million new users and conversions per month over the last twelve months.  Thirteen million of the new subscribers appear to be conversions from feature phones.  There are still nearly 148 million dumb phones still in use, which means there are another year or two of conversions before we reach 100% penetration – just in time for 5G.  Sources: China Mobile, China Unicom, China Telecom

The Aligned Marketer


A standing rule in marketing is that success, measured by brand awareness and sales, requires consistency.  Example: A young rock and roll recording artist some years ago was having great success getting radio play with his ballads.  In spite of the free marketing he was not selling albums.  It turned out that the reason was the combination of an album cover that pictured a rock artist and his rocker stage show, which together communicated a different message than the ballads.  When the record company and artist agreed that the next album would feature his rocker side, everything came into alignment and the young artist went on to sell millions of albums and to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

In the new world where all the old media still exists alongside digital, social and mobile media, alignment is even more critical and even more difficult to keep focused.  The lesson from our rocker friend is that your messaging on TV has to be supported by your messaging on Facebook in order to succeed.  Measuring each of the elements and their contribution to the success is critical to understanding what is working.  Source: Inspired by a article on MarTech

The Worm May Be Turning

Hollywood sign

We have been using Hollywood as a proxy to monitor Chinese investment in the West for no particular reason other than it’s more fun than watching commodities.   One of the major players in that game is the Chinese real estate giant Dalian Wanda.  Therefore, it was of some note when a couple weeks ago they killed a deal to buy Dick Clark Productions for $1 billion.  That followed a similar pull out by Chinese copper processor, Anhui Xinke New Materials, that was scheduled to acquire Voltage Picture for $350 million in December.

The pattern is not that Chinese wealth is no longer interested in western cultural icons, rather the Chinese government, seeing overseas deal making double to $225.4 billion from 2015 to 2016, is not happy with the amount of money that is moving out of the country.  The pressure is on with new restrictions – deals over $5 million will now need approval from the government.  Source: New York Times