NY Times Is All In On First-Party Data; US Digital Audio Consumption To Decline

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Sign Of The Times

The New York Times will remove third-party data and build a first-party data market as cookies bite the dust, Axios reports. Starting in July, the Times will offer 45 audience segments based on reader and subscriber data under categories including age, income, business, demo and interests, and it will add at least 30 additional segments later in the year. The Times hired a dozen people specifically for this business and involved at least 50 more employees across the organization, said SVP of ad innovation Allison Murphy. "This can only work because we have 6 million subscribers and millions more registered users that we can identify," she said. "This isn't a path available for every publisher, especially not local who don’t have the scale of resources for building from scratch."

Can You Hear Me?

Digital audio is hard hit by the pandemic, as people choose to watch video rather than listen to music or podcasts while stuck at home. Despite its growth trajectory going into 2020, digital audio consumption in the United States will decline by 1% and remain flat in the United Kingdom this year, eMarketer predicts in a revised forecast. In late March, music streaming was down 9.2% from pre-coronavirus levels, while video surged by 13.4%. Meanwhile, people are watching more music videos on YouTube, up 56% in the United States and 48% in the United Kingdom in the past two weeks. “With [the commute] listening environment essentially nixed, the current preference appears to be for a melding of audio and visual into one,” writes eMarketer senior analyst Bill Fisher.

Gotta Jet

Walmart is having a moment during the pandemic. The retailer’s US sales rose 10% in Q1, which ended May 1, as consumer habits were rocked by COVID-19 lockdowns, The Wall Street Journal Reports. Ecommerce soared 74% and the average transaction price rose 16.5%. Online grocery shopping by new customers quadrupled since mid-March. Despite $900 million in additional costs related to COVID-19, such as higher wages for warehouse workers and new store hires, the company still ended the quarter with increased operating profit. Overall revenue grew 8.6% to $134.6 billion in Q1. But Walmart is struggling to keep key items. The retailer is also officially closing Jet.com, which it bought for $3.3 billion in 2016.

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