The Big Story: Storm Warning

The Big Story podcast

This week on The Big Story, we delve into Google’s Q1 earnings to get an early sense of how the pandemic has impacted the world’s biggest ad supplier. Like others in the industry, the good vibes at the beginning of 2020 soon soured as the pandemic took hold of our way of life. The loss of travel advertising was and will remain a multibillion-dollar hit to Google’s ad revenues. The next quarter will also be bleak.

Similarly, Facebook, which reported earnings after this podcast was recorded, also faces an uncertain year, though it enjoyed some stability in April.

Also in this episode, AdExchanger senior editor James Hercher breaks down Google’s newest policy on ad transparency, and he explores how political campaigning will evolve now that it’s no longer socially acceptable to shake hands, hold rallies and kiss strangers’ babies.

Spoiler alert: Expect a lot of unsolicited text messages. James also explains some of the nuances that make that particularly annoying strategy acceptable – at least in the eyes of the law, if not to consumers.

Finally, senior editor Alison Weissbrot takes a hard look at how the cancellation of the upfronts might forever change them. It’s not just about putting on a jazzy little song and dance to woo ad buyers – Alison discusses some of the deeper changes in terms of what ad buyers want.

With the loss of live sports and delayed production, buyers have more leverage this year than they’ve ever had, and they want to use it to push for better timing. While they want to keep the ability to reserve inventory upfront, buyers also want to align it with the calendar year, which would make it easier to plan their fiscal budgets.

We’ll take a look at the path ahead for buyers in order to make that happen.

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