Publicis Reorgs Again; BuzzFeed Unveils New Native Tools

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Scrambled Eggs

Since its acquisition of Sapient in 2014 [AdExchanger coverage], Publicis Groupe has tried to make business transformation a key service offering. On Wednesday, the group announced its latest reorg to achieve that goal, this time underpinned by a data and technology group called Spine. Read the release. Spine will be led by former Starcom Global Brand President Lisa Donohue and offer Publicis agencies access to a universal ID, a “People Cloud” that optimizes media for business impact and 3,500 engineers, analysts and strategists. In addition to Spine, Publicis launched vertical practice areas at Publicis.Sapient to staff accounts around industry expertise and moved DigitasLBi under Publicis Media. More at Ad Age.

All The Buzz

BuzzFeed has launched two native ad products. The first lets advertisers buy branded quizzes, a BuzzFeed staple, and promote mini-quizzes to their audiences. The second tool, BuzzCut, lets advertisers re-use high-production TV and print content on BuzzFeed’s O&O properties. The two features should save agencies time and money on native units. “Most clients have the ads that they have, and very few start with something other than a TV commercial,” said Doug Rozen, chief digital and innovation officer at OMD Worldwide, to Business Insider. “I’m a fan of platforms doing this as long as it’s approachable and easy.” The ad products are the first BuzzFeed has launched since adopting programmatic [AdExchanger coverage], which CEO Jonah Peretti said has become a more premium experience because “[n]ow it’s Google and Facebook.” More.

Medium-Way There

Medium’s next pan in the revenue stream is a product that lets users publish content behind a $5-per-month subscription paywall. Medium had a select group of content contributors involved during the first phase, and those writers say earnings for well-read stories could be in the hundreds, and even quick posts could pay $50 to $100. It’s not a living, but it would make Medium a worthwhile freelance platform. Hunter Walk, a partner at the VC firm Homebrew who was among Medium’s partner writers, said the platform will work if writers are incentivized to drive new readers and subscribers. But Medium will need major subscriber growth to make this initiative work. “If you take out all of the advertising and just make reader-generated revenue, you’d have to get to Netflix numbers of subscribers before you start making any real money.” Simon Owens, a content marketing consultant, tells The Wall Street Journal. More.

The Pub Crawl

Some publishers such as Bloomberg, BuzzFeed and Vox, who upped their video production capabilities to meet Facebook’s demand, have been frustrated with lagging results. And those pubs now are looking to Twitter to host their video ads. Helen Havlak, editorial director at the Vox-owned tech site The Verge, said Twitter allowssplicing a long production into clips that can be promoted and monetized with pre-roll video ads, a format Facebook doesn’t offer, reports Digiday’s Lucia Moses. Twitter also lets pubs keep 70% of their video ad revenue on the platform, compared to Facebook and YouTube, which only allow them to keep 55%. More.

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