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.
IPG’s Arun Kumar says the time has passed for the ad industry to regulate itself
As the chief data and technology officer at IPG, Arun Kumar has plenty on his plate at the moment. Apple is limiting tracking on iPhones and iPads. In less than a year, Google’s Chrome browser is supposed to cut off third-party cookies. And both Apple and Google are threatening the advertising industry’s adoption of the IP address as a cross-platform identifier.
“’Stress’ is the middle name of my title right now,” Kumar said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast.
What is stressing out the agency executive, in particular, is the question of how companies can connect with current and potential customers and keep a pulse on people’s interests when their traditional means of doing so are being taken off the table. In addition to the technology providers’ tracking crackdowns, government regulators and privacy advocates increasingly see the tracking that underpins much of digital advertising as a form of involuntary surveillance. And Kumar acknowledged that the advertising industry has not done enough to convince people of the trade-offs of tracking.
“Is the industry doing a good enough job of explaining it? No, it’s not,” Kumar said.
How the Betches founders turned a blog into a multi-platform media company for young audiences
A decade ago, Cornell students Jordana Abraham, Aleen Dreksler and Samantha Sage created a satirical blog called Betches to share their observations of student life. Now in 2021, the blog has become a multi-platform media company for millennial women that reaches a monthly audience —they tout — of 43 million.
The blog grew with its audience, said Dreksler on the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast, allowing major life events for their audience to dictate new content verticals, podcast subjects and video series, including Betches Moms and Betches Brides. But above all, entertainment and humor led the company’s content strategy. As such, social media has become a key growth platform for the media company over the years.
Like many media companies, Betches has had a lot to consider over the past year, including what its role would be on emerging platforms, how to continue serving its audience who was spending significantly more time online and how to create content for the ever-growing Gen Z demographic.
Vox Media’s Marty Moe and Preet Bharara are building a business that extends beyond podcasting
Vox Media has been on something of a shopping spree over the past two years. After acquiring Epic to boost its TV production business, New York Media to expand its publishing portfolio and Coral to add to its publishing technology, in April the media company picked up Cafe Studios — the podcast company co-founded by former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara — to round out its podcast network. However, for both Vox Media and Cafe Studios, the motivation behind the deal extends beyond the world of audio.
“There’s lots of things we’re thinking about and planning on, not just continuing additional audio podcasts [including narrative series] in the future,” said Bharara, who was joined by Vox Media Studios president Marty Moe, in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast. The companies are also looking to extend Cafe Studios into documentary television and live events.
Meanwhile, Cafe Studios moves its new parent company further into the subscription business. Vox Media already sells subscriptions via New York Magazine and dabbles in donations via its news publication Vox. But Cafe Studios, which sells subscriptions through its Cafe Insider program, introduces it into the world of subscription-based podcasting.
“One of the attractive things about Cafe is learning from [Cafe Insider] and learning how we can potentially extend that to more of our podcasting business, but frankly how we can connect it to and use learnings for other parts of our subscription business,” said Moe.
NTWRK is taking NFTs into the livestream shopping model
The livestream shopping model is coming back around in the U.S. and is not limiting itself to the traditional television channels and "call-now" directives that QVC and HSN have done in past decades.
NTWRK, a livestream shopping company aimed primarily at Gen Z and millennial audiences, launched in late 2018 and has accumulated 2 million consumers since then on its iOS and Android apps, which are currently the only platforms that shoppers can transact on. By 2025, the goal is to increase that number to 50 million, as well as make more than $1 billion in revenue, said Aaron Levant, CEO of NTWRK, on the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast.
The livestream shopping platform sells physical products like art, sneakers, and limited edition products that are created in collaboration with hand-selected artists vetted by NTWRK's merchandising team. But after seeing a surge of interest around NFTs and learning the reasons behind why people pay for digital ownership of online products, Levant said his team realized that physical collectors and digital collectors overlap quite nicely within the NTWRK consumer base. As a result, this month NTWRK we'll be launching an NFT extension on its platform to further tap into these new shopping behaviors.
With a unique insight into e-commerce behavior, Klarna's marketing strategy focuses in on being a part of the cultural conversation
Klarna -- the buy now, pay later fintech company -- is trying to build its user base by becoming part of the culture conversation.
The Swedish-based platform already has a significant base of 90 million global shoppers with 18 million specifically in the U.S., which Klarna CMO David Sandström said is the company's fastest growing market. With access to that many consumers, the past year has been a treasure trove of new data on online shopping behavior, given the pandemic wildly increasing the number of people transacting on the internet.
That said, with more online shoppers, there has been an additional need for Klarna to put its checkout option (paying in up to four payments, versus one) in front of significantly more people, which Sandström said in the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast, led to his team accelerating its advertising strategy in the second half of 2020. Its marketing team has been tasked with leading that charge by getting creative on emerging social media platforms as well as working with media brands and celebrities to tap into its preexisting, trusted audiences and fanbases.
Why Hearst's digital-native food brand Delish is getting into print
When Hearst created its internet-inspired food brand Delish six years ago, its product strategy was entirely digital, which was unique within the publisher's portfolio of legacy magazines.
And while Delish may not be one of the "Hearst titans," its playful nature has helped grow the brand's audience and hone a group of super fans who are willing to pay to be closer to the brand in more ways than one, according to Delish editorial director Joanna Saltz on the latest episode of the Digiday Podcast.
Now, Hearst is bullish on building out its reader revenue lines by installing paywalls on its websites and securing more product licensing opportunities tied to its brands. Delish is not exempt from that strategy.
After it successfully created cookbooks and bookazines, the brand will launch a quarterly print magazine as a way to build out its membership offering. Delish is also seeking a stronger connection to its audiences' kitchens with everything from branded ice cream to kitchen appliances, said Dan Fuchs, Delish's vp and CRO.
Lessons for an engineer running a local media company
Stepping into the digital media space in 2016, with a background in engineering and quality systems, I need all the help I can get. Our company 6AM City operates a network of hyper-local newsletter publications similar to theSkimm. In listening to the learnings from other tenured media folks on DigiDay, it has greatly helped advance our lessons learned and set us up for success. One of the greatest lessons learned is to reach out to those who are smarter than you and ask for what you need. It never hurts to ask... you never know what the connection on the other end might be able to contribute. We have successfully connected with many media and marketing executives by following up on Digiday Podcasts. There’s no better time then when it’s most relevant, so continue to listen everyday and be sure you walk away with something at the end of each Podcast.... then put it to use. Thanks for your contribution to furthering the ecosystem Brian Morrissey.
Brian interrupts his guests frequently & I’m not a fan.
Otherwise the content is perfect
Good dissection of the media business
As the news media slowly transitions to digital formats, this podcast breaks it down for those seeking to understand.