Walmart Gets Serious About Programmatic Sales; Viacom-Owned Pluto Reaches 20M

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Walmart At Your Self-Service

Walmart Media Group will roll out a self-serve ad platform and API in early 2020, Business Insider reports. The retail giant sees an opportunity to model an advertising business after Amazon, with the ability to bid programmatically for ad space on its website and measure with closed-loop reporting. While Walmart has been selling search, display and OTT for some time, opening up self-serve access will make it easier and more appealing for brands of all sizes to buy. The retailer is testing the self-serve tool with CPG advertisers and plans to make it more broadly available in Q1 of next year, according to Business Insider sources. Walmart has been ramping up its in-house media efforts since it ended its relationship with Triad in February, but is still working out the kinks of its in-house team and has a ways to go to catch up with Amazon. “There is this hunger for Walmart to be bigger and move faster because [clients] want to diversify from an investment strategy perspective,” said Kacie McKee, director of ecommerce at Wavemaker. More.

The Cost Of Streaming

Viacom has grown monthly active users for its Pluto ad-supported streaming service to 20 million this year, an increase of 70%. In Q3, Pluto added 43 new channels, half of them Viacom-branded. Spanish-language and Portuguese-language programming now tops 4,000 hours across 22 channels. Plus, Viacom launched ad-free SVOD service BET Plus. But growing those streaming platforms cut into profitability, which declined 22% from the year before. In addition to its in-house streaming platforms, Viacom continues to work with Netflix, signing deals to produce kids content via Nickelodeon and license Paramount movies, including “Beverly Hills Cop.” Read on.

Barrel Of Apples

Apple may offer a bundled news, TV and music service as early as 2020. According to Bloomberg, Apple recently included a provision in its deals with publishers that allows it to sell Apple News Plus with its other subscription offerings. Publishers are already unhappy with Apple News’ deal terms, which allows the iPhone maker to keep half of their subscription revenue, and they stand to make even less money if that revenue is split across a bundle with music and TV. More at Bloomberg. Related: After an early rush of some 200,000 subscriptions, Apple’s news service has struggled to attract subscribers, according to CNBC. More.

But Wait, There’s More

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