Ben Young
Ben Young
May 8, 2020

One big thing
As we transition to the new normal, those brands that are spending, are starting to invest in marketing assets. Assets like app installs, newsletter subscribers, upper-funnel audience, training, webinar attendance.

“The roughly $40 billion app-install market was “likely the most material contributor this quarter” to social media ad spend, according to Morgan Stanley analysts.”

And why not, with attention up and cost per clicks down, it's a perfect storm. By my calculations, the return on each dollar is up as high as 72%. That is comparing a dollar spent now on content + distribution vs a dollar spent just four months ago.

For buyers or sellers, think about how you can add or develop your brand's balance sheet. What assets now could take more investment? What assets could you add value to?

For us, it has been our prospecting campaigns and email newsletter growth via content.

Notable stories this week

  • Upfront goes virtual.
  • NBCU to combine TV and streaming operations in new restructure.
  • Lamborghini launched an AR version of the new Huracan for each of us to put in our homes.
  • Publishers receive just half the money spent on their digital ads.
  • ^ Ari Paparo has a good thread on this. I think the concern is that this is spun the wrong way, this is additive revenue, helping fill the gaps that direct sales aren’t filling. Granted that wastage identified can be improved.
  • Esports partnerships and sponsorships highlights for April. This is an important article to spend 5-10 minutes on. Sit, absorb, digest. These brands are all on the offensive.
  • Spotify is testing native video podcasts.
  • How M&A activity in the marketing industry is shaping up this year.
  • Brian Morrissey speaks to Verizon Media – Sixty percent of our content has a commercial intent when you look at it.
  • Facebook warned that it may lose a key seal of approval for ad measurement.
  • [Super long read] Content, Cars and the Comparisons in the Streaming Wars.


  • AT&T is looking to sell Crunchyroll their anime streaming service.

Campaign of the week

Smartest commentary

  • “Netflix will spend more on content this year ($17B0 than TSMC will spend on Capex ($15b). One makes Tiger King and Ozark. The other makes 50% of the world’s computer chips.”James Wang, Analyst ARK Invest

Datapoints of note

See all our Covid-19 data here.

  • Influencer agency Obviously, which analysed 260 of its own campaigns, including more than 7.5m Instagram posts and data from 2,152 TikTok influencers, found a 76 per cent increase in daily accumulated likes on Instagram #ad posts over two weeks in March.
  • Discovery domestic TV advertising down 20% in April.
  • NYT added 587,000 net new digital subscriptions.
  • Warzone has already hit 60m players since launch 6 weeks ago.
  • Sponsored posts on Instagram fell from representing 35% of influencer content in mid-February to 4% of creator content in mid-April.