We Have A Winner! (And It’s Microsoft); Can TikTok Steal Google’s Search Lunch?

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Get The Net!

Corks are popping in Redmond, Washington, home of Microsoft, after news that Netflix selected Microsoft Advertising as the global sales and technology partner for its ad business. 

“Microsoft has the proven ability to support all our advertising needs as we work together to build a new ad-supported offering,” writes Netflix COO Greg Peters in a post confirming the news, first reported by Bloomberg. “More importantly, Microsoft offered the flexibility to innovate over time on both the technology and sales side.”

The question of who would win the Netflix account was hotly debated, with Google, Comcast, The Trade Desk and a bevy of independent players fighting for at least a slice of the pie. Microsoft has big advantages, though. For one, it can throw more people and resources at the account than anyone other than Google. But Google has disadvantages because (a) it’s Google, and (b) Google isn’t a flexible partner. If Netflix wants special policy exemptions, data access or sales rights … Google ain’t gonna budge. 

Peters writes that the most important thing Microsoft offers is the “flexibility to innovate” on tech and sales.

Microsoft also has the deep pockets and incentive to undercut the rate of any rival. The Netflix win is worth so much to the company, it could (practically) take a loss on the account itself.

The Search Continues

Where to eat lunch nearby. How to change a tire. Things to do in Copenhagen. 

These kinds of queries are the meat and potatoes of Google Search. Not because they’re valuable in and of themselves, but because Google is the web entry point to information and consumer intent.

For younger people, however, the first stop for these kinds of questions is often Instagram or, especially, TikTok. This isn’t news. Search and paid social execs know the source of online queries is shifting. Still, it’s interesting to see that point being made by Google SVP Prabhakar Raghavan, who now runs the Google Knowledge and Information group but formerly led the entire search, commerce and ads business.

At a recent appearance at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference, Raghavan suggested TikTok may be a bigger threat to Google Maps or the core search function than it is to YouTube – despite being a direct YouTube competitor, TechCrunch reports.

TikTok and Google Search have a parasitic relationship. Google loves the fact that TikTok exists, because it needs to show antitrust enforcers that it links to videos other than its own. But TikTok usurped Google.com as the top web domain last year, as tracked by Cloudflare – and did so largely via Google searches.

You Can Run, But You Can’t Hide 

Facebook (ahem, Meta) still hasn’t bounced back from Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency framework.

Marne Levine, Meta’s chief business officer, and Nicola Mendelsohn, VP of Meta’s Global Business Group, will have to work double time to rebuild relationships with advertisers lest they cede more ground to competitors like TikTok.

Yet advertisers aren’t hearing much from Meta.

“I get a lot more outreach from competitors than I do from Meta,” one agency exec tells Insider, while another warns that a “lack of visibility” will hurt Meta because brands are already seeking out alternate channels. 

Facebook’s former ads boss, Carolyn Everson, was in frequent contact, according to multiple advertisers.

Meta’s biggest threat is TikTok, which is attracting brand after brand because of its strong relationship with influencers and younger users.

To be fair, Meta’s new exec team hasn’t even been on the job for a year, and claims of crickets aren’t unanimous.

Another agency exec says Mendelsohn has been a “regular contact” and that she’s “driving a culture and partnership that’s more sincere [and] less scripted.”

But Wait, There’s More!

With an emphasis on data science and attribution, Boston-based agency Mediastruction finds traction with mid-market clients. [Digiday]

Index Exchange: The rise of AVOD means the future of CTV depends on ad tech. [blog]

Marketers have lost their creative verve amid a deluge of macro challenges. [Marketing Dive]

In a post-Roe world, the future of digital privacy looks even grimmer. [NYT]

Why some marketers are shifting their focus from inboxes to mailboxes. [Marketing Brew]

You’re Hired!

Vox Media names Priyanka Arya as its new chief of consumer revenue. [Adweek]

Yevgeny Peres leaves ironSource for AppsFlyer to lead product strategy. [release]

Viamedia promotes Madeline Kissel to VP of affiliate relations and business development. [B&C]

GroupM hires Brian Dashew as head of learning and development for North America. [release]

Global marketing consultancy R3 makes four new hires, including Ben Jankowski, former SVP of media and sponsorships at Mastercard. [release]

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