Cardlytics Acquires Dosh for $275 Million; Walmart Is On The Hunt For A New Media Agency

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Put It On My Card

Cardlytics is planning to acquire cash-back platform Dosh for $275 million. The deal, a mixture of cash and stock, was announced on Monday, which is also when Cardlytics released its Q4 earnings results. Cardlytics IPOed back in 2018, well before ad tech started frothing. Although revenue for the quarter was down 3.2% year-over-year to $69.3 million, Cardlytics exceeded its prior guidance and the stock popped. Dosh also had something to do with that. Cardlytics’ technology, which includes a native ad platform that lives within a bank’s digital channels, is very complementary with what Dosh has to offer. Cardlytics counts large, traditional banks among its partners, such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and PNC, while Dosh has relationships and integrations with “neo banks” (aka, internet-only banks without physical branches). Consumers who use the Dosh app earn money back when they shop, eat out or book hotels. Granted, the pandemic put a chill on much  of that activity, but growth is on the horizon as vaccine shots make their way into more arms. Read on.

Agency Shopping

Walmart, one of the top national advertisers, is looking for a new agency to handle its more than $600 million US advertising business – and that could be a big blow to WPP, Business Insider reports. WPP has had Walmart’s business for the past four years, but Walmart confirmed to BI that the company is evaluating WPP as the holding company’s current contract comes to an end. This would be Walmart’s first agency shakeup since moving its media business to Haworth Marketing + Media, of which WPP owns 49%. Is there a bee in Walmart’s bonnet? It might have something to do with Walmart’s own advertising ambitions. Walmart has been avidly building an ad sales platform and recently struck a deal with The Trade Desk to help bolster its homegrown programmatic capabilities. According to one source, Walmart recently started gathering intel on Haworth’s performance and contacting WPP rival agencies for info. A formal pitch process, however, has not yet begun.

Listen Up

Spotify is about to blow up Apple’s spot. According to eMarketer’s estimates, Spotify’s US podcast listenership is set to overtake Apple Podcasts for the first time. This year, 28.2 million people will listen to Spotify at least once monthly, while 28 million people will listen to a show on Apple Podcasts. Guess Spotify’s investments in podcasting are starting to pay off. [Related in AdExchanger: “Spotify Is Launching An Audience Network For Audio Ads.”] Apple Podcasts has been losing listener share ever since eMarketer first started tracking it in 2018. At that time, Apple Podcasts represented 34% of podcast listening, which eMarketer expects will fall to 23.8% this year. And here’s something else that’ll happen this year: podcast advertising will surpass $1 billion for the first time, to hit around $1.28 billion, a 41% year-over-year increase. That’s still tiny compared with overall digital advertising – or even radio advertising – but hey, just consider it small but mighty. Podcast advertising will represent 24% of digital audio ad spend in 2021.

But Wait, There’s More!

McDonald’s is considering a partial sale of Dynamic Yield, the digital startup it bought in 2019, to try and boost sales at drive-thrus and digital kiosks. Apparently, Dynamic Yield isn’t contributing to sales as much as  McD’s had hoped. [WSJ]

Google says publishers don’t want collective bargaining as it starts news partnership talks in the US. USA Today disagrees. [Digiday]

Omnicom and Comscore have signed an extended agreement in which the latter will provide privacy-safe ecommerce and audience behavioral data to Omni, the marketing operating system that supports Omnicom’s global network of agencies. [MediaPost]

Smart cities tech and media company Intersection is working with StreetMetrics to connect bus media – as in media on buses – to ROI metrics. [release]

The China Advertising Association and the Trustworthy Accountability Group have banded together to launch new standards in an effort to fight criminal activity and promote brand safety for digital advertising in China. [release]

Alphonso rebrands as LG Ads to launch a unified measurement platform for connected TV media and measurement. [release]

You’re Hired!

Amazon vet Ryan Mayward has joined Instacart as VP of ad sales. [blog post]

Data management platform Reltio has hired Gordon Brooks as its new CFO. [release]

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