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Asociación Técnica de Diarios Latinoamericanos
Boletín Semanal abril 10, 2019

Cuando las grandes plataformas tecnológicas se convierten en editores

AT&T y Comcast, empresas de telecos, se lanzan a compras milmillonarias de conglomerados de contenidos. Al mismo tiempo, las plataformas tecnológicas dominantes dan significativos pasos para hacerse fuertes en información y entretenimiento, más allá de simples distribuidores. Empiezan a caer algunas caretas. Estamos ante un peligro que denunció recientemente Luis Enríquez, consejero delegado de Vocento, en una entrevista exclusiva con este medio.

"Cuando las compañías de agregación y distribución de contenido se erijan como editores habrá dos malas noticias: uno, no lo son; dos, con la potencia que tienen para filtrar el acceso a la Red, si también se van a convertir en editores, a los demás nos van a convertir en agencias de información. Y a partir de ese momento se desconsiderarán nuestras marcas porque ellos serán los dos únicos editores del mundo, y a mí no me gusta un mundo con dos editores". Esta es la cita de Luis Enríquez, quien menciona también al premio Nobel Joseph Stiglitz, quien dijo que Google y Facebook deberían reconocer por fin su categoría de editores y dejar de huir de la responsabilidad que tienen sobre los contenidos. Nos estamos adentrando rápidamente en ese peligroso mundo que denuncia Enríquez.

Hay un montón de síntomas significativos. Por ejemplo, cuando Facebook lanza una revista de negocios llamada 'Grow'. Se trata de una gruesa revista en papel, trimestral, distribuida en Reino Unido y Europa del norte, dirigida a una audiencia de líderes empresariales. En su staff se enumera a un editor en jefe. Pero Facebook niega la evidencia, afirmando que es solo un programa de marketing empresarial que no vende ningún tipo de publicidad. La flagrante contradicción muestra sus evidencias.

Apple News planea ofrecer un servicio de suscripción premium. Tim Cook se ha propuesto crear 'el Netflix de las revistas'. Por otro lado, la empresa de la manzana estaría a punto de cerrar un acuerdo con unos estudios irlandeses para producir su primera película original, que sería de dibujos animadosLa compañía tendría listo en 2019 su propio catálogo de películas y series.

Pero Microsoft tampoco quiere dejar que Google y Facebook se coman la tostada de las noticias, la apuesta de Satya Nadella para hacerse un hueco en el negocio del periodismo digital. Combinará la Inteligencia Artificial con una plantilla de 800 editores humanos, trabajando con más de 3.000 cabeceras de todo el mundo.

El negocio de la información se está convirtiendo rápidamente en una batalla clave en la que el tamaño y los presupuestos están jugando de forma decisiva. Los editores tradicionales deben moverse rápidamente, fusionarse y adquirir volumen, o perderán la silla en este juego de futuro. El futuro ya está aquí.

Forma en que The Telegraph entrelaza su publicidad nativa a la medida de las marcas

Like many publishers, The Telegraph is working to prove its native ad campaigns work.

From crunching data from thousands of branded content campaigns and their pre- and post-analyses from the last five years, The Telegraph found that hitting certain content benchmarks will drive either awareness, consideration or propensity to buy. Based on post-campaign analysis the publisher found that an uptick in one of these metrics ultimately leads to driving sales. For instance, the publisher could set the benchmark that a dozen articles on travel content should increase the propensity to purchase for an airline brand by a certain percentage. If post-campaign research shows the content hasn’t lived up to those expectations, then the client gets the media value as a percentage back. Rather than charging extra, this is included in the service price.

Since introducing the benchmarks last July, The Telegraph has run 80 campaigns for clients that have met these targets. By bringing in effectiveness guarantees, campaign budgets and campaign length have grown, according to the publisher.

“The big shift we have made has been bringing the sales guarantees into the pitch process in order to inform the campaign, rather than just at the end,” said Emma Elford, content sales and strategy director at The Telegraph. “The challenge for everyone should be interrogating the brief. This allows us to challenge the client brief.”

For a cybersecurity brand, the initial client brief was to drive consideration for a narrow business-focussed audience. Through a pre-campaign survey, The Telegraph’s data insights team found people who owned the product didn’t recognize the company. The publisher suggested a longer, consumer-facing campaign, fetching a higher budget, alongside a more targeted campaign to drive consideration among business audiences.

For the majority of the campaigns The Telegraph has run in the past year it has worked with the brand and the agency, rather than going to the client direct, according to Elford. Although negotiating the finer detail can take four months, particularly for bigger budget campaigns.

The number of campaigns The Telegraph runs and the percentage of repeat clients has largely stayed the same since before introducing the guarantees, partly because the publisher has always offered some form of post-campaign analysis through partnering with third-party measurement firms.

“When campaigns have the product at heart it demonstrates why [a publisher] would be happy to give guarantees,” said Laura Wade, vp of content and innovation and Essence. “The sentiment from The Telegraph is good, but if the benchmark is your hygiene factor how do we know when it’s outstanding work? We need to avoid the commoditization of branded content so it doesn’t become just a premium display buy.”

Publisher branded content revenue is growing by 40 percent year-on-year, according to branded content platform Polar’s research, while the number of entrants to the market and the competition between them is increasing. In the U.K., companies including ViceHearst and Bloomberg tout how they prove their branded content works, but publisher headaches now include navigating between multiple measurement vendors and managing resource while having to justify their value. Agencies facing shrinking margins are keeping publishers at arm’s length and reducing the number of publishers they work with per campaign from three to one in order to stay efficient, according to Polar’s global research with publishers.

“The challenge is weaning people off the crack of media metrics,” said Elford, “so many are still wedded to unique views or two-second views. There’s still an appetite; they’ve been addicted during the last five years.”

Jeff Bezzos y Amazons tienen a la industria anunciante atenta a sus actuaciones

Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon, arrives for the third day of the annual Allen & Company Sun Valley Conference, on July 13, 2017, in Sun Valley, Idaho.When Jeff Bezos arrives as expected at the Sun Valley conference — the year’s most exclusive meeting of media industry leaders — he’ll know much more about his fellow media moguls than they know about him.

And that has them worried, especially as Amazon’s advertising business picks up.

Amazon’s growing advertising business is poised to challenge the stranglehold Google and Facebook have on the internet’s ad dollars, thanks to its growing dominance in e-commerce and growing presence in the media world.

Google knows what consumers are interested in, and Facebook knows who you are. But Amazon has what many in the advertising industry regard as the most important piece of the puzzle: what people buy. And the e-commerce giant is starting to capitalize on that data in a big way.

"It is definitely growing as a media company, but it is surging in terms of ad revenue,” said Advertising Age editor Brian Braiker. "The scary part for marketers is that [data] is all walled off, and if you want the special sauce you have to play by Amazon's rules."

Amazon still makes the bulk of its money through the sales of goods and its widely used cloud computing business, Amazon Web Services, but its advertising business is growing. In the first three months of 2018, Amazon reported revenue for its “other” segment, which is largely advertising, rose 139 percent, to $2 billion.

“What’s interesting is advertising is not their lead punch,” said Michael Kassan, founder of MediaLink, an advertising and media consultancy. “It is a tiny part of their revenue. It’s growing fast.”

Amazon has already become something of a corporate boogeyman, with shares in other companies dropping sharply anytime the e-commerce giant enters a new industry. The company is known for building businesses over years without profit, squeezing out competitors along the way.

Collin Colburn, an analyst at the market research firm Forrester Research, warned that Amazon could do the same thing to the advertising industry.

“Amazon as a business doesn’t like the middleman,” Colburn said. “And agencies are the middleman.”

Facebook and Google reign as the dominant forces in online advertising, with the two companies expected to account for more than half of all digital ad spending in 2018.

Microsoft, Twitter, Snapchat and Verizon, with its AOL-Yahoo unit called Oath, have all been jockeying for third place in the worldwide digital advertising market, which is projected to grow 61 percent next year, to $316 billion, according to digital advertising research firm eMarketer.

But eMarketer projects Amazon will leapfrog them all with a familiar Bezos-approved strategy — patience in the short term with an eye on dominance in the long term.

“Amazon finds itself in fifth place among the top digital ad sellers in the U.S., and it's on track to be No. 3 by 2020 — surpassing both Oath and Microsoft,” Monica Peart, eMarketer’s senior director of forecasting, said in a March report. “It remains an open question as to when Amazon will take advantage of its significant reach and dominance in rich shopper data to ramp up the placement of ads in other areas.”

A big part of Amazon’s advantage is its use as a search engine, with one consumer survey finding almost half of all product searches start on Amazon rather than Google.

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The company can serve up search ads alongside its search results that point consumers to sponsored posts of just about any product. Those ads show up alongside products labeled “Amazon’s Choice” and “Best Seller,” with Amazon’s own products, called Amazon Basics, usually the cheapest. The New York Times has reported that Amazon has around 100 private label brands.

“I think Amazon will do retail search and take Google to the cleaners,” said Alex DeGroote, an analyst at Cenkos Securities, a financial firm, said on CNBC in April. “Slowly over time you will use Amazon as your retail search engine rather than Google.”

Amazon has more ads to sell than just search terms.

Amazon’s growing media business — which is paired with its 100 million-strong Amazon Prime subscription program — now includes movies, TV and even live sports. Amazon last year sold video ads around its Thursday night NFL coverage at $2.8 million per package. Amazon’s sales team is also selling ads on the homepage of Amazon Fire tablets, Kindle e-readers and the Amazon-owned movie database IMDB.com.

It also owns Twitch, a huge social gaming platform on which gamers play live with other people around the world, and which provides a forum for users to talk about their techniques. Twitch has an average of almost a million people streaming its content per quarter and sells advertising to hard-to-reach young men.

And Amazon is also moving onto Google’s turf by showing ads across the internet via what’s called “programmatic” ad buying, an automated placement service. Amazon also has direct relationships with publishers to serve ads on their sites.

Then there’s Alexa. The company doesn’t yet sell ads on its voice assistant, but there are indications that it is on the horizon once Amazon can figure out how best to do it. Digiday reports that Amazon has invited ad executives to ponder the prospect.

The ability for Amazon to sell ads across a variety of media and to a wide spectrum of advertisers gives the company visibility in just about every industry.

For Amazon, that means being able to optimize its advertising offerings while also making its system even more attractive to consumers, Seth Dallaire, Amazon Media Group’s vice president of global ad sales and marketing, said in an email.

A DEVIL’S BARGAIN

For advertisers, the short-term opportunity that Amazon offers is offset by the realization that they could be providing the company with the data and market power it needs to eventually run them out of business.

Advertisers that spend money to display their products on Amazon's search page give up data about their customers in return for sales, but those same marketers are also helping Amazon build a better mousetrap by learning more about customer intent.

“How much are you educating them, and could sharing your data benefit your competitors?” asked Amanda Richman, CEO of the ad agency Wavemaker.

Richman said that Amazon could end up putting marketers in the same position as Google and Facebook did — with little leverage in the market.

“The consensus is you are giving up a lot of control,” she said.

That sentiment is growing in the advertising industry. Martin Sorrell, the former chief executive of the global ad firm WPP Group, wrote in an article for Wired's U.K. magazine that Amazon is now the dominant concern in the advertising industry.

"The question I always ask my clients is, 'What keeps you awake at night?'" he wrote. "Almost without exception, the answer that comes back - whether I'm talking to a retailer or a brand owner - is 'Amazon.'"