3 Media Stories That Got Our Attention This Week – 5/4

Hey guys! Summer’s around the corner. At least it looked so from where we were sitting in the sun this past week talking about these media stories that caught our attention:

People not subscribing to the subscription model
One of the online business models that have gained the most popularity in recent years has been the subscription box service where customers sign up to receive a package every week, month, or quarter with products. Subscription commerce companies, like Blue Apron and Birchbox, have found a promising market for sending subscription-based food items and make up items, respectively.

However, as Emarketer reports, there are signs that the subscription model might have lost some its pace. From a business perspective there are obvious advantages to a subscription-based business model in that the customer base tends to be more stable requiring less promotional activity to retain customers. Yet, subscribing customers also tend to lose interest after a while or may not perceive the same value from the subscription that they initially did at sign up. The regularity, convenience, and (sometimes) lower prices that subscription services offer are perhaps at odds with the on-demand economy of today catering to our consumer preference for timing, individuality, and personalization when it comes to consumption.

As the article mentions, Blue Apron, for instance, has reacted to the slow growth of their subscription services by venturing into prepackaged meal kits and ad hoc meals available at retail locations. Indeed, 68% of people asked said that they would be more likely to use a meal kit service if it didn’t require a subscription. There’s some food for thoughts for Blue Apron and other subscription business in the time to come.

YouTube to start selling TV ads
It’s been about a year since YouTube TV was launched in select markets in the US as Google attempted to get in on the promising OTT market. So far it’s been possible for advertisers to purchase commercial time for VOD content only, such as shows and documentaries available on the platform. Yet, this week YouTube announced that it will start selling ads in its live TV stream.

The move is meant for advertisers to get access to more premium inventory across YouTube platforms. Thus, TV ads will not be sold separately for now, but rather be bundled with current YouTube content.

This is probably a wise decision given the limited scale of 500,000 YouTube TV subscribers and also because of the fact that more people watch YouTube content on TV screens making it a potentially great way to execute an integrated video ad campaign.

Podcast advertising gives you a loyal and responsive audience
Emarketer released a number of infographics this week highlighting several interesting aspects of podcast listening of which advertisers should take note.

One in four Americans listen to podcasts on a monthly basis and the listener base skews young and male, with 30% of listeners between 12-24 years old. The fact that podcast listening is so easily incorporated into other activities, such as the work commute, bedtime rituals, or while in the gym, means that many podcast listeners are frequent, regular users. For advertisers looking for more than awareness, it’s also worth noting that many podcast listeners are likely to respond to an ad with 41% saying they’ve done so. One reason is the contextually relevant ads while another reason might be the fact that many of us listen to podcasts on our smartphone meaning we can quickly look up something online.

Current podcast ad spend in the US is still fairly meager at $326M, but is expected to grow steadily to $534M in 2020. In terms of ad formats, about 60% are ads that out by the podcast host, while 40% are pre-produced spots.