ByteDance Looking To Take On Amazon, Alibaba; Verizon Driving Subscribers To Streaming Platforms

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Ecommerce Byte?

TikTok parent company ByteDance is looking to take on Amazon and Alibaba with its own global ecommerce platform, Business Insider reports. The company hopes to expand its online shopping platform outside of China, which could launch as a stand-alone app or within TikTok. The fast-fashion market has opened up somewhat since Amazon cracked down on third-party sellers in China for posting fake product reviews and other policy violations – and ultimately booted 50,000 retail accounts. Those sellers could migrate to ByteDance’s new platform. TikTok made its first foray into ecommerce a year ago with a global partnership deal with Shopify, and it’s a huge force in online clothes shopping, though the platform sees little of those earnings. Relatedly: TikTok is underappreciated by advertisers, and it’s now large enough that mobile marketers can no longer afford to ignore it, writes Eric Seufert at Mobile Dev Memo. “That investment – into experimentation and into dedicated tools and infrastructure – becomes an imperative for advertisers at TikTok’s scale of 1BN MAU,” he writes. “If an advertiser cannot scale spend on TikTok with its 1BN monthly users outside of China and India, then the failure is the advertiser’s alone.”

Booster Shot

Streaming subscription platforms are fighting for monthly active users (MAU). For many analysts and investors, it’s the key metric of success right now. The main options have been to balance ad-free and ad-supported plans. But another increasingly popular route to subscriber growth is via partnerships with internet and cell providers. AMC Plus, for example, turned to Verizon to boost MAUs, Adweek reports. Disney Plus, which now has more than 100 million MAUs, picked up 30 million subscribers within the first three months after launch, and 20% of those came from a free year’s subscription offer for Verizon customers. Such promotional deals also help telcos differentiate in the marketplace. “Because the mobile phone business is completely commoditized and completely saturated, the game for mobile phone players is keeping all of their subscribers and not having them churn out,” said Forrester principal analyst Jim Nail.

The Retail Garden

Walmart is tightening its DSP relationship with The Trade Desk. Two DSPs working in tandem can be a headache. “Bringing another DSP into the equation means you can’t manage frequency, you’re making a tradeoff with unique reach, and sometimes you’re bidding against yourself,” Omnicom Media Group activation chief Megan Pagliuca tells Digiday. Walmart Connect, the company’s ad-buying business, is blazing a trail for first-party ad platforms by not going all-in as a walled garden. Walmart isn’t the first to try. The Trade Desk CEO Jeff Green once hailed Amazon Fire TV for enabling third-party DSPs to bid on inventory using programmatic IDs. But Amazon quietly shut down that program once it had enough demand to support Fire TV sales without partners. Walmart’s non-walled-garden approach means advertisers can frequency cap or attribute campaigns for Walmart and the open web. Other platforms shut that down, because The Trade Desk (or another DSP, but TTD in this case) could theoretically create audience packages like “Walmart customers” and sell them to any old advertiser or retarget Walmart customers without Walmart data. 

But Wait, There’s More!   

Can new CEO Fidji Simo turn Instacart into more than just a delivery company? [Forbes]

Verve Group acquires Match2One, self-serve programmatic tech. [release]

Perion Network buys Israeli video monetization company Vidazoo for $93.5M. [Globes]

Netflix introduced a shuffle mode feature for Android users. [TechCrunch]

YouTube TV and NBC have squashed their beef (for now). [TechStory]

YouTube rolls out a tool for performance-based marketers in CTV. [MediaPost]

Google is pushing back against a potential ad targeting class action suit. [Bloomberg

Amazon is launching Black Friday deals early in the midst of supply chain challenges. [CNBC]

You’re Hired

Pinterest taps Martin Galvin as global agency commercial lead. [Campaign]

MediaLink hires David Muldoon as VP, strategic advisory. [Martech Series]

Linktree brings on Zak Islam as CTO. [release]

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