A New Agency Is Born; Comcast Gets Generous With Creators

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Blank Canvas

Horizon Media and Innocean Worldwide over the weekend launched an agency (or “media agency network”) called Canvas Worldwide, which beginning Jan. 1 will get in the driver’s seat of the Hyundai Motor Group’s $700 million US account. Horizon CEO Bill Koenigsberg alluded to the spate of agency reviews as a key driver for this development. “The $26 billion that’s up for review now in the market – I believe that’s pointing to the fact that the old models are broken,” he said. “Marketers are looking for a clean slate, new opportunity for invention, new creativity.” More via Ad Age.

Burning Down The Bundle

Comcast’s upcoming “Watchable” streaming and on-demand portal will offer considerably more generous incentives for its creator community than Facebook or YouTube. The WSJ’s Shalini Ramachandran reports that short-form video creators for the service will keep 70% of ad revenue they generate (compared to the 50-55% secured by the established social media channels). Comcast isn’t playing coy either, especially given its recent seven-figure investments in BuzzFeed and Vox. The broadcaster wants a seat at the digital table, and is clearly willing to pay for it. (As an aside, Verizon also has a streaming entertainment service in the pipeline.) Read on.

Road Ahead For The Gray Lady

The New York Times’ public editor, Margaret Sullivan, checked in with CEO Mark Thompson about how to combat the decline of the publication’s print ad biz. Nudging digital revenue past print revenue is an attainable goal within five years, according to Thompson. For context, print advertising and subscriptions make up more than 70% of the Times’ revenue. Boosting mobile advertising is another priority, as is ramping up its sponsored content division, T Brand Studio. “We need to grow at a rate where digital overwhelms the inevitable secular decline on the print side,” Thompson said. Encouragingly, digital ad revenue and digital subscriptions grew by 14% last year. Read it.

Testing, Testing

Speaking to The Drum, Millward Brown’s head of marketing in the UK, Amanda Phillips, makes a case for ditching clicks in favor of measuring consumer experience. One way Millward Brown is gunning for that is by pre-testing campaigns for its clients. “Rather than campaign effectiveness being decided on how many clicks they’ve got, I’d like to think we could come up with a predicted customer experience score,” Phillips said. “If programmatic is going to really work, then advertisers need to have variety in their ads but against a core platform of a creative idea.” More.

Under The Bridge

Adweek’s Lauren Johnson identifies a roster of influential publishers (Condé Nast, The Wall Street Journal, CNN and Fox News) that have brought on Livefyre, which lets sites embed sponsored posts into its comment section. The practice opens an expanse of untapped real estate for publishers and advertisers, but brand safety could be a concern. Big brands may not be comfortable pushing marketing content alongside commenters, territory that is often associated with trolls and online abuse. Read more.

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