The Digiday Podcast is a weekly show on the big stories and issues that matter to brands, agencies and publishers as they transition to the digital age.
YouTube stars Alisha Marie and Remi Cruz show how creators have become their own class of media company
Alisha Marie and Remi Cruz have built their careers by posting videos to YouTube. But their businesses have grown beyond Google’s digital video platform. Since Marie launched her YouTube channel in 2008 and Cruz debuted hers in 2012, they have diversified to other platforms and revenue sources, including commerce and a joint podcast called “Pretty Basic” that the pair premiered in October 2018.
“Being entrepreneurs or the businesswomen we are today was never the goal or the mindset. It kind of just evolved slowly,” said Marie in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast.
This episode kicks off a series in which Digiday Podcast co-hosts Kayleigh Barber and Tim Peterson will interview independent content creators, including a Substack writer and a TikTok star. The aim of the series is to show how these individuals — commonly labeled bloggers and vloggers, influencers and freelancers — are effectively forming their own media companies as this segment of the media industry becomes more and more mainstream.
TikTok’s Khartoon Weiss wants brands to stop overthinking their platform strategy
TikTok has risen rapidly from being a new platform for marketers to kick the tires on to becoming a staple in some advertisers’ social budgets. “Curiosity, for sure, has exploded. We were a test partner, I would say, in 2020, and 2021 is the year that we want to be trusted,” said TikTok’s head of global agency & accounts Khartoon Weiss in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast.
The latest sign of that trust is a three-year deal that TikTok has signed with IPG Mediabrands. The deal marks the second arrangement that the ByteDance-owned company has struck with a major agency holding company this year, following a deal with WPP announced in February. The agency holding company deals signal that TikTok has reached a new crest in its relationships with advertisers and agencies — two groups that may still be figuring out how to use the platform — but are invested in that education.
Through IPG Mediabrands’ deal with TikTok, the agency group and platform will hold quarter-long “creator camps” for popular TikTok users to provide feedback on brands’ TikTok strategies and campaigns as a part of a broader program called “creator collective.”
“It’s a new initiative that connects brands with forward-thinking and diverse creators who will advise on strategies and best practices, which is what we honestly get asked about most,” Weiss said.
How Turner Sports is using new platforms and content to widen its audience aperture
Turner Sports is using the recent return of sporting events to bolster new initiatives in both advertising and audience building.
In the heat of March Madness, which has returned this year after taking a 2020 hiatus, Tina Shah, evp and general manager at Turner Sports, said her team has been integrating innovation in both production and content for the event’s ad campaigns after seeing a strong return of interest from advertisers.
Beyond that, Shah said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast that these events mark the perfect time to try and engage both younger — and female-skewing audiences — after recognizing the linear coverage of live sports is not quite cutting it. Bleacher Report’s House of Highlights is leading that charge by creating new livestream competition shows while B/R is working to champion representation of women athletes across its site — something both fans and advertisers appreciate, she said.
At the end of the episode, Shah also spoke about her experience as a woman building a career in sports media and how representation of women both on screen and behind scenes on the business side is important to creating a successful, impactful business.
How Trusted Media Brands is using first-party data beyond advertising
A successful first-party data strategy incorporates data into every facet of the business — from advertising to affiliate to licensing.
At least that’s how Trusted Media Brands’ CEO Bonnie Kintzer is approaching the company’s first-party data strategy. So far the company's notable revenue growth is proving this to be a good move.
The company’s advertising revenues have been up 40% year over year, with particular growth in programmatic business since the beginning of TMB’s fiscal year July 1, Kintzer said. Meanwhile, its affiliate commerce business has seen 75% growth year over year, with January coming in at double its revenue from the same month the previous year, she added.
“We may have been a little bit late to the [affiliate] party, but [we’re] making up for lost time,” Kintzer said.
How The Weather Channel is using weather patterns and AI to inform ad campaigns
There is a reason why most conversations start by addressing the weather. It's a universal talking point that affects everyone, regardless of backgrounds and demographics, making it an easy icebreaker.
Marketers love the topic too and publishers like The Weather Channel end up benefiting greatly because they attract large audiences that span whatever targets an advertiser is hoping to reach.
In February alone, The Weather Channel's website and app reached 430 million active users, according to Sheri Bachstein, the global head of Watson Advertising and The Weather Company, owned by IBM.
Bachstein discussed the ways in which The Weather Channel and IBM are making the most of its audience and first-party data, including creating an AI-based data offering and launching a subscription product on its app to diversify revenue with the help of nearly 1 million super weather fans.
GroupM’s Kieley Taylor and Amanda Grant are on the lookout for the future of identity in advertising
The digital advertising industry is in the midst of an identity crisis. Between the third-party cookie’s impending demise and Apple’s mobile app tracking crackdown, advertisers and agencies are having to figure the future of identity in digital advertising. Fortunately, that future has been a long time coming.
“For better or worse, the crystal ball has been decently clear that this is the direction we’re going from regulatory pressures, from a consolidation in terms of who is owning and controlling experiences through the lens of a browser, through the lens of an operating system. So we take solace in that there’s been a bit of a head start,” said GroupM global head of partnerships Kieley Taylor in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. Taylor was joined by GroupM global head of social Amanda Grant.
Further helping advertising figure out the identity situation is Apple’s mobile app tracking crackdown. That change is expected to take place this spring and is “giving us really good training wheels for the cookie-based changes that are going to come about,” Taylor said.
However, what that experience is showing so far is that advertisers may want to exchange the training wheels for off-road tires as they try to navigate the bumpy trails ahead. Although Apple has been fairly clear in saying that apps will need people’s permission in order to continue to track them for advertising purposes, “the platforms are all interpreting that very differently as it impacts their platforms. So it’s not like we have a single rules of the road for social activation moving forward,” said Grant.
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My favourite podcast for keeping pace with the digital media industry. Great guests, great host.
Great content, hard time hearing Brian
Is it just me?
A highly intersting podcast. Essential for those who follow the evolution of media.