Hulu Tries TV-Style Negotiation; Old Brands Can’t Burn Cash Like A DTC

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Hulu Steals The Show

Hulu is taking a page from the TV sales playbook by offering lower rates to buyers who commit large budgets ahead of time, Variety reports. Hulu was one of the only ad-supported streaming video players at the upfronts, TV’s annual sales and programming period. Competing with the Disney- and Comcast-owned streaming service could be an issue for smaller networks. “Advertisers are moving first to get deals done with the owners of the most-watched programming, including late-night shows and sports telecasts. That has left some of the owners of lesser-watched cable networks grappling to get the same rate increases their broadcast rivals have secured.” Hulu sells based on its audiences as opposed to its shows, and it’s adding subscribers unlike cable networks. And it has a strong pitch on data and creative impact. More.

DTC Wait-And-See

Incumbent brands are figuring out what they want to buy, build and learn from direct-to-consumer (DTC) upstarts. In a Q&A with eMarketer, Samsonite/Tumi Chief Digital Officer Charlie Cole notes the advantages and disadvantages of incubating DTC subsidiaries. He says many venture-backed DTC startups “have carte blanche to burn tens of millions – if not hundreds of millions of dollars.” Traditional brands must balance revenue and profit requirements against DTC marketing costs and potential market share losses. “If you want to compete, you may have to change your definitions of near-term success to allow for long-term viability,” he said. More.

Think Outside The Bid

Digital media companies of different stripes want to be more involved in brands’ creative strategies. Publishers often don’t have access to advertiser data or really understand the goals of a given campaign, when insights into the holistic strategy (not just cookie matching or optimizing click metrics) could improve the site’s ability to perform, said Dotdash’s SVP of programmatic revenue, Sara Badler, at The Drum’s Programmatic Punch US event in New York City. Spotify is also trying to break down the barriers between programmatic and creative within brands and agencies, said Julie Clark, global head of automation sales. “We’ve focused so much on data analytics, and we forget about the marketing part of it and the creative aspect of it,” she said during the same panel. “I think there’s a huge opportunity for us there.” More.

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