Iger Iger, Burning Bright; Who supervises the supervisors?
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Disney replaced CEO Bob Chapek with former CEO Bob Iger in a surprise turn.
The two Bobs (real names Robert Allen Iger and Robert Alan Chapek, if you can believe it) had two quite different streaming strategies.
Iger prioritized subscriber loyalty early on with relatively low prices, while Chapek quickly increased the price of an AVOD subscription.
Subscriber numbers are important, but are they essential? It’s a question that’s been the subject of boardroom discussions lately, and the answer often comes down to what the company (and the decision maker at its head) thinks about advertising.
Hans Vestberg, for example, moved from Verizon CTO to CEO in 2018 and quickly sold Oath and Verizon Media. Former AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson preached his vision for a media company built on three pillars: mobile and internet connectivity, content and entertainment, and data-driven advertising. But when John Stankey took over in 2020, it didn’t take long for him to cut publicity and the media.
After Iger left Disney last December, Chapek upped the ad-free Disney+ subscription by $3 and accelerated an ad-supported $7.99 per month tier slated to launch in December.
But it seems there just wasn’t enough juice in the pressure, and Chapek quit after Disney reported “maximum operating losses” for the third quarter. earlier this month.
Fighting “surveillance” (the term)
The FTC is considering new rules “to crack down on commercial surveillance and lax data security practices.” (Their words.)
And yesterday was the deadline for people to submit their comments on the need for these new rules. Privacy advocates, academics and advertising industry organizations all weighed in.
The FTC is an important regulator that has been relatively silent on privacy in the online age. But the agency’s guns are blazing now, as evidenced by its use of the term “commercial oversight.”
The ICCL, an Irish privacy group, submitted a memo that used an even more specific and inflammatory term: “surveillance advertising.”
But Eric Seufert, industry analyst and editor of Mobile Dev Memo, in his letter to the FTC, reframes the central question. “I don’t think the ad personalization baby should be thrown out with the data abuse bathwater,” Seufert writes, noting that “personalized advertising can be an economic and social good in support of free content and services.
Even though the FTC had no intention of using the term “trade surveillance” to elicit responses, it certainly worked. As of Monday afternoon, over 10,000 comments had been submitted.
Now that Twitter is privately owned (well, that term is relative given Elon Musk’s tweeting habits), its total ad revenue is a mystery.
But it can’t be good.
A B2B marketing leader says his company is suspending the $750,000 it spends on Twitter ads each month.
The executive, assignment at the Blind Anonymous Professional Service (so it’s not a confirmed anecdote), says the company originally stuck to Twitter ads for white paper downloads and event registrations because of its bet that efficiency would improve with fewer advertisers and the risks were exaggerated.
But even a B2B company promoting boring webinars had a flood of people sending screenshots of its advertisements alongside horrible content, not to mention the adult and anti-Semitic hold in their comments – which didn’t not deleted even after being flagged.
CPMs are stable, but performance is down. Oh, and the team of account executives, creative specialists, and an analyst that this B2B business relied on had all “disappeared without even an email.” The account manager who replaced them quickly resigned and was not replaced.
The advertising platform is also supposed to be a mess. A campaign manager noticed that all creatives that had been paused in the past six years had been reactivated.
“I think the things we’ve seen over the past 2 weeks mean a lot more advertisers are going away from the platform in the coming weeks (for non-ideological or virtue reasons),” noted the anonymous B2B marketer.
But wait, there’s more!
Shopify is testing a cross-merchant search feature, a precursor to ads, that could complicate (and grow) its business. [Search Engine Land]
Despite Snapchat’s best efforts, creators still don’t see it as a priority. [Digiday]
Meta adds privacy and security safeguards for teens to Facebook. [The Verge]
Amazon has a new kind of problem: consumers don’t like it as much as they used to. [WSJ]
You are engaged!
Toy company Spin Master taps Jeremy Tucker as its first global CMO. [MediaPost]