Home Ad Exchange News It’s An Influencer Downturn, But Not For Influencers; Burnt Out On Testing

It’s An Influencer Downturn, But Not For Influencers; Burnt Out On Testing

Comic: Shiny Object Syndrome

Here’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign up here.

Chasing Influencers

The creator economy spending frenzy that began in 2020 has fizzled.

Investor funds ran dry, which means most of the startups and businesses built on short-term platform creator funds and VC rounds are unlikely to find a happy exit.

“It was the typical Gold Rush mentality of, like, they’re gonna need tools,” Marc Hustvedt, president of MrBeast (MrBeast’s eponymous business, duh), tells Axios. “And I think most of them went after problems that were fake problems.”

Creators themselves, though, aren’t particularly fussed about the downturn. That’s because, while investors lost their appetite and marketers are increasingly lukewarm, audiences are still avidly following their favorite creators.

Another positive dynamic for influencers – although not for publishers – is that the social nets are being chased out of news distribution. The platforms will no doubt be more than happy to direct user attention to influencer entertainment instead.

The Alt-Rock Phase

Very few brands actively test and adopt alternative advertising identifiers. The general dynamic is that publishers are forced to integrate with everything and are then responsible for persuading advertisers to join in. Marketers feel no urgency because they still have third-party cookies on Chrome, after all, and can’t easily scale alternative IDs. But alt-IDs won’t reach a scaled tipping point without marketer buy-in.

It’s a classic chicken-and-egg situation. And this state of affairs has gone on long enough that big-name publishers are getting burnt out on the testing schedule. 

“I think we’re starting to see testing fatigue,” Mike Nuzzo, Hearst’s VP and head of audience insights, tells Digiday

Bear in mind also that constant alt-ID tests aren’t free to the publisher. They take time, data bandwidth and engineering and analytics resources.

“Having the bandwidth to be testing everything is not within our core focus,” says Condé Nast Chief Business Officer Deb Brett.

Publisher ad sales and revenue leaders can justify alternative identifier tests if one or two IDs take off. But when the whole category is stuck on a low plateau, it looks like a sunk cost. 

Putting The “AI” In “Denial”

Generative AI was a ubiquitous conversation topic at Cannes Lions last week. But when discussing how the technology will impact jobs, creative and campaign planning, the industry is talking out of both sides of its mouth, Bloomberg reports.

VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk gushed about how AI can write a hit song based on 500 other hit songs … but stressed that his agency isn’t using AI to make ads yet due to potential trademark or copyright violations.

Fears of IP infringement and plagiarism are a shield for creatives right now. But that won’t be the case for long.

Agencies, including WPP and Omnicom, are already partnering with machine learning tech companies to mimic the overall function of creative production by issuing a prompt and receiving an auto-generated image or text … and they’re feeding their models using only data their clients own the rights to.

Meanwhile, the debate about whether AI will make us all obsolete continues.

Some ad industry execs are bullish (or bearish, depending on the perspective) about potential job losses; others swear AI risks are overblown.

Case in point: Sheri Bachstein, CEO of IBM subsidiary The Weather Company, says AI will not replace human workers. Yet mere weeks ago, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna said AI will replace about 30% of back-office jobs at the company.

But Wait, There’s More!

New research shows that roughly 80% of Google’s video ad placements on third-party websites violated its own promised standards. [WSJ]

SiriusXM is shutting down podcasting service Stitcher, effective August 29. [Variety]

TikTok now lets brands set videos from creators to run as in-feed ads – and creators earn a cut of the revenue. [Ad Age]

A conversation with the CMO of the Cleveland Clinic. [Marketing Brew]

US antitrust agencies are requiring firms to turn over way more info, which could delay deals by months. [Bloomberg]

Group Black is in talks to buy The Arena Group, a network of mar tech data businesses and publishers, including Sports Illustrated. [WSJ]

You’re Hired!

ActionIQ hires Tramale Turner as SVP of engineering. [release]

Must Read

Advertible Makes Its Case To SSPs For Running Native Channel Extensions

Companies like TripleLift that created the programmatic native category are now in their awkward tween years. Cue Advertible, a “native-as-a-service” programmatic vendor, as put by co-founder and CEO Tom Anderson.

Mozilla acquires Anonym

Mozilla Acquires Anonym, A Privacy Tech Startup Founded By Two Top Former Meta Execs

Two years after leaving Meta to launch their own privacy-focused ad measurement startup in 2022, Graham Mudd and Brad Smallwood have sold their company to Mozilla.

Nope, We Haven’t Hit Peak Retail Media Yet

The move from in-store to digital shopper marketing continues, as United Airlines, Costco, PayPal, Chase and Expedia make new retail media plays. Plus: what the DSP Madhive saw in advertising sales software company Frequence.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters
Comic: Ad-ception

The New York Times And Instacart Integrate For Shoppable Recipes

The New York Times and Instacart are partnering for shoppable recipe videos.

Experian Enters The Third-Party Data Onboarding Business

Experian entered the third-party data onboarder market on Tuesday with a new product based on its Tapad acquisition.

Albertsons Takes Its First Steps Into Non-Endemic Advertising, Retail Media’s Next Frontier

Albertsons is taking that first step into non-endemic advertising next week via a partnership with Rokt to serve ads to people who have already purchased groceries.