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Why A 1% Change In Online Grocery Sales Matters; Hollywood Stars Must Learn To Love Ad Rev-Shares

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The Growthery Category

Online grocery sales ticked down 1% in August compared to a year ago, according to an annual tracker from Brick Meets Click.

But there’s a lot going on in that 1%.

The online grocery opportunity is still big, and some of the most interesting programmatic players right now – including Instacart, Walmart, Target and Kroger – are all in, as are many tech vendors.

And 1% YoY slip is unsurprising, considering the pandemic was still roaring in 2021. 

But also within that 1% is evidence of a tectonic shift in how people shop for groceries online: Home shipping dropped from $2.5 billion in August 2020 to $1.4 billion now.

Yet delivery sales (think bike delivery) or buy-online-pick-up-in-store orders (BOPIS) have increased by a combined $1.4 billion in sales from 2020. 

BOPIS is a saving grace for programmatic, because it creates online conversions that tie store purchases to affiliate or performance marketing campaigns. 

Retailers prefer BOPIS because it’s cheaper than home delivery.

On the other hand, BOPIS poses a challenge to retail media. Dozens of brands or sellers might bid on online searches for “batteries,” “ginger ale” or “trail mix” looking to reach people placing home-shipping orders (à la Amazon) – whereas even huge stores like Target don’t carry that many products at a category level to make it possible to bid on each impression.

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Video Killed The … Movie Star? 

Amazon and Paramount are in a dispute (though not a lawsuit) over how to divvy profits on streaming platforms, Bloomberg reports. 

Paramount, NBCUniversal, Disney and others have shifted from licensing their shows or movies to other channels to hoarding content within their own subscription libraries. In the past, licensing profits were often built into Hollywood contracts. But that system doesn’t translate well to streaming media.

“Top Gun: Maverick,” for example, was a blockbuster hit in theaters for Paramount. But a big part of its value to Paramount is that it also led people to sign up for Paramount+ or watch the ad-supported tier.

But even if ticket sales are low, which wasn’t the case for the “Top Gun” sequel, that doesn’t mean a film was necessarily a bust. It could still attract an audience that later converts into subscribers and that could end up generating ad revenue for a streaming platform for years.

Box office and DVD sales were a relatively clean way to share earnings. Streaming complicates matters.

Soon enough, though, it will be commonplace for major Hollywood contracts to include ad revenue rights and subscription performance goals just like how studios and celebs haggle over merchandise or ticket sales.

Prove it

Measurement is evolving. Advertisers are grappling with attribution on new platforms like TiKTok, and Google even recently created its own panel to inform its conversion models.

And now the Media Rating Council has finally finalized its standards for outcomes measurement and data quality.

The final standards, published on Wednesday, give outcome-based measurement providers a benchmark that they can use to seek accreditation for approaches to multi-touch attribution and market mix modeling.

More than 100 media organizations across the media and marketing ecosystem helped develop the standards, including the ANA and the 4A’s.

The MRC says companies should track “robust and demonstrable” KPIs, and conversions should be “directly observable or inferred based on behavior using empirically supported approaches.”

The MRC also sets pretty firm boundaries around data use.

“The source and nature of data sets, along with details of collection parameters, must be generally disclosed to users.” So sayeth the MRC’s guidelines.

But Wait, There’s More!

Amazon is going after the home electronics business next. [WSJ]

UK media lost $120 million in an advertising blackout following the Queen’s death. [Insider]

YouTube tests higher ad loads on connected TV. [Mobile Dev Memo]

Mark Penn’s Stagwell holding company launched a “risk and reputation unit” of bipartisan financial experts and political strategists to help C-suite leaders navigate policy, social and political issues. [release]

TikTok updated its political policies so candidates and political parties can post organic content – but they still can’t advertise or hold ad platform accounts. [blog]

Content licensing for three of Vox Media’s verticals will soon be handled by Wright’s Media, an agency that works with publishers to grow their licensing businesses. [Digiday]

You’re Hired!

Tremor International names Chance Johnson as its chief commercial officer. [release]

Pacvue taps GroupM vet Andrew Ruegger as SVP of solutions. [release]

OpenX appoints Matt Sattel as its SVP of buyer development for the US and EMEA, and promotes Sandra Fawaz to VP of activation. [release]

GroundTruth names Brandon Rhoten as CMO. [release]

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