Ben Young
Ben Young
January 26, 2024

Edition #433

A wonky start to the year, with pubs hurting, cookies & then promising M&A. Hold tight. For the rest of us, business continues.

The Liveramp Habu deal has the M&A folks of the industry excited, at least on the technology side of the fence. Does this bode well for a year of adtech/martech M&A activity?

On the other hand, for publishers, it’s like a 2023 redux, where the start of the year is shaky, at least that’s what we’ve seen for publishers this weeks, lots of layoffs and union activity. No fun. And Taylor Lorenz digs into why this is a problem, and how journalists fulfill functions we forget about, like sitting in a court room for three weeks, getting the story.

I also popped into Adweeks Outlook24 this week (thanks Ana) and the strong themes were cookieless and AI (of course). But finding tangible ways to move forward faster. Models have quickly become part of the vernacular – and accepted. Wasn’t but a few years ago that someone would have looked at you sideways for talking about a predictive model.

Friend of mine Noah Brier also was on Am I on Mute this week talking AI & marketing. And it’s just a nice grounded chat – of where folks are at. If you have a gap do give it a listen. The part about the Monkey and copyright is interesting.

Also, we launched an additional newsletter last week – The Analytics Note. You can see the first cut here.

Notable stories this week

  • Social platforms become ‘marketing engines’ as creators look for direct deals to earn money.
  • BeReal which now has 23m DAUs is onboarding brands and celebs.
  • TikTok spotted testing 30 minute uploads and pushing more horizontal content.
  • Sports Illustrated mess spells trouble for the Arena Group.
  • No long-tail publishers, CPMS or CPAs: what digital advertising should leave behind in 2024.
  • MrBeast is reportedly closing a $100m tv show deal with Amazon.
  • Inside Prime Video’s Ad Tier Pitch Deck.
  • The news business faces a reckoning in 2024.
  • Netflix strikes $5b live-streaming deal with WWE.
  • Fox renews multiyear measurement deal with Nielsen.
  • Dwayne Johnson granted ownership of “The Rock” trademark as he joins the board of WWE.
  • Why the US Media Industry is in meltdown.
  • How much of the world is it possible to model?
  • [Long read] How Twitch lost its way.


Campaign of the week

  • Searching in the messy middle. The Drum with Google.

View all 2023 best campaigns. 2024 coming next week :).

Smartest commentary

  • “There’s a lot at stake for a variety of other sectors, including location-based ad tech vendors, data clean rooms, third-party data vendors and measurement firms. They’ve long depended on the robust data-sharing abilities of cookies, but now they’re facing a significant hurdle: maintaining their targeting, analytics and attribution accuracy in a world without third-party cookies.”Ivy Liu.

Datapoints of note

  • For Coca Cola, In 2019, 30% of its media spend was dedicated to digital media. In comparison, it spent a whopping 60% on digital channels through the first three quarters of 2023.
  • Almost two-thirds (63%) of the survey respondents say they are worried about a sharp decline in referral traffic from social media sites – a 48% drop from Facebook and 27% from X/Twitter.
  • Netflix added 13m subscribers in the past quarter.

That’s it for this week.