Streaming news' golden age, Amazon's private-label tear, and Salesforce cozies up to advertisers


Sam Dolnick New York Times


It’s a good time to be a news junkie. The social and streaming platforms are hungry for news programming because it can help build a loyal audience, and that means more eyeballs and ad dollars for media companies.

This past week, my colleague Ashley Rodriguez wrote about how The New York Times is applying lessons from its popular “The Daily” podcast to a TV news show, “The Weekly,” that’s due out June 2 on FX.

On May 29, NBC News will launch its streaming news service, NBC News Now, that will go up against incumbent live streaming services from ABC and CBS.

There’s a big opportunity. A survey by Vimeo and New York magazine found news was the most popular type of video content that people watch live, watched by 56%, followed by conferences and concerts at 43%.

The catch is, no matter the platform, news is still expensive to produce and can be controversial, putting off risk-averse advertisers. There’s also no standard way for media companies to measure their audiences across all the streaming platforms, which holds back advertising growth. Digital video holds the promise of theoretically improving advertising results by personalizing ads to viewers, but the technology is still nascent.

For now, the audience for news is likely to keep growing as the rate of cord-cutting increases, TV companies figure out the measurement snags, and connected TV advertising grows, as eMarketer has predicted.

Here are some highlights from our coverage from the past week:

Roku is pitching advertisers a tool that shows how much money they’re wasting on TV ads — and it could spell trouble for networks’ $70 billion industry
Roku wants to grab a piece of the $70 billion advertisers spend on traditional TV. Lauren Johnson reported on a new tool Roku is rolling out that will show advertisers how some of the ad dollars they’re spending on traditional TV isn’t reaching their intended audience.

Amazon’s private-label business is on a tear and rival marketers are racing to stay a step ahead of its tactics
Lauren also reported on how established brands now have to compete with Amazon’s private label lines and contend with its creative limitations with ads — and the hacks they’re using to compete.

Facebook is reorganizing its products team, bringing ads and free products for businesses under one umbrella
Tanya Dua talked to a Facebook exec who will lead a combined team that will handle paid and free products for businesses. The social network has 90 million small businesses on its platform but only 7 million of them are active advertisers, and this is a move in part to serve them better.

Salesforce’s Datorama is rolling out an app store for marketers, and it’s the latest sign that the tech giant is encroaching on digital advertising
Salesforce is getting deeper into marketers’ data. Datorama, the marketing analytics platform Salesforce acquired for a reported $800 million last year, is rolling out an app store aimed at making itself more essential to marketers. 

Here are other stories in tech, media, and advertising you should check out:

Popular direct-to-consumer brands like Brooklinen, Curology, and MeUndies are flocking to Story Ads on Snapchat Discover as Instagram gets crowded and pricier

Inside The New York Times’ unique deal with FX and Hulu for its TV show, ‘The Weekly,’ which could be a blueprint for others in the industry

Comcast Ventures is training startups like Away and Hippo to become TV advertisers and says they’re spending millions of dollars a year on TV

A longtime industry expert explains why Trump’s attack on Huawei could end up hurting Google and other US tech giants

A TikTok smartphone is a credible threat to Facebook

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