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posted by Fnord666 on Friday April 30, @02:34PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Oh-happy-days dept.

In the Roaring Twenties, Ads Make a Comeback:

Digital media executives scrambled last year to tell their boards about their new subscription products, but something strange happened: Their old, unfashionable advertising businesses exploded as consumers stayed home and shopped online. And now, travel companies, liquor companies and basically everyone else hoping to capitalize on a wide open summer and the marketing dream of a post-pandemic Roaring Twenties economic boom have begun pouring money into advertising on virtually every platform, but digital media most of all.

"Ad spending is red-hot right now," says Henry Blodget, a co-founder of Insider (formerly Business Insider), which was early to introduce a subscription tier in 2017. "The economy is cranking up, travel and leisure are coming back, and consumers are emerging from their pandemic cocoons."

Several privately held publishers said their first-quarter ad revenue was up strikingly over the same quarter last year, which was the last one largely unscathed by the pandemic: Insider by more than 30 percent; Bloomberg Media was up 29 percent; Vice, 25 percent; Bustle Digital Group, more than 25 percent; and Axios's quarterly ad revenue nearly doubled, executives at those companies told me.

[...] There are plenty of reasons to be cautious about this revival. One is that, for all the political pressure on Google and Facebook, they continue to be the behemoths of the American advertising market. About 87 percent of last year's growth went to those two companies, according to an estimate that the trade group Digital Content Next did for me, based on figures from the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Facebook alone brought in more than $84 billion in advertising revenue last year.

[...] One of the legislators who has pushed to rein in the power of the tech giants, Representative David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island who heads the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust subcommittee, said the improving advertising business would not dampen the appetite in Washington for a crackdown on "monopoly power" in Big Tech.

"These are structural problems in the marketplace, and none of that will be changed by a few strong quarters," he said.

[...] And paradoxically, one of the forces driving the digital advertising boom is the shift toward subscriptions that was supposed to replace advertising revenue. Selling subscriptions, it turns out, is pretty expensive and the streaming entertainment companies "need to spend a ton of money on marketing," said Matthew Segal, a co-founder of ATTN, a Los Angeles-based media company.


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  • (Score: -1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @03:10PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @03:10PM (#1144737)

    -nomsg

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @04:04PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @04:04PM (#1144750)

      Moar adverts! The sign of progress.

      • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @05:26PM (3 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @05:26PM (#1144791)

        Oh great, now they're adding ads to progress bars?!

        • (Score: 3, Funny) by istartedi on Friday April 30, @09:29PM (1 child)

          by istartedi (123) on Friday April 30, @09:29PM (#1144900) Journal
          This CPU instruction was brought to you by MyStreamingService. Press 1 to install the app. Press 2 for an unconditional branch to location 0xCD3F5932AE87B321.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @02:35AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @02:35AM (#1144996)

            I laughed out loud. Then I cried.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by mcgrew on Saturday May 01, @06:37PM

          by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday May 01, @06:37PM (#1145181) Homepage Journal

          That's exactly what is wrong with the whole premise of "retro". My parents were children in the thirties, and about the only advertising was newspapers, radio, and road signs. Very unlike today where ads are everywhere. More advertising is in no way "retro".

          Also a big reason I cancelled cable. When I first got it in 1980, the OTA channels had no show, ghosting, or audible static on cable. Plus, there were an extra half dozen channels like History and Discovery and CNN, none of which had any ads at all except between programs, for ten bucks a month. Then they started making the cable channels interrupt with commercials as much as OTA, and finally now they show commercials at the bottom of the screen while the actual content is showing. I'm amazed fools still pay good money for it, especially since the cable channels are now all reality TV bullshit, even on Discovery and History.

          Retro? Really? MORE advertising is in no way retro. Disney and Netflix are retro. They don't have ads.

          --
          Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @04:12PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @04:12PM (#1144755)

    Where the destruction of the economy from WW1 had led to high demand but skyrocketing inflation turned life into a chase for survival.

  • (Score: 2, Offtopic) by richtopia on Friday April 30, @04:59PM (1 child)

    by richtopia (3160) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 30, @04:59PM (#1144775) Homepage Journal

    The wall of text that is Soylent News is missing adverts. Can we have some big animated popups for pornography? That will make us feel both modern and retro at the same time.

  • (Score: 1, Redundant) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @05:14PM (5 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @05:14PM (#1144781)
    People changed their spending habits, and made new habits. Those new habits will be just as hard to break. Advertising for a cruise all you want isn’t going to translate into more passengers now that cruise ships are seen as floating Petri dishes of death.

    Same as people won’t be flocking to cinemas when they can have the same movies at home safer and cheaper. That industry is now permanently changed.

    Even a return to normal life will feel like a vacation. So why fly to another country and be exposed to yet another variant? Travel to India? Myanmar? China? Indonesia? Advertise all you want, the answer is no fucking way.

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @05:47PM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @05:47PM (#1144800)

      There are tons of people that would rather go to the cinema, and not give a toss about your concerns of safety.

      There are tons of people that would go on a cruise, and not give a toss about your concerns of safety. They are concerned about arbitrary and capricious government action in foreign and domestic ports, and being hassled on board with tests, imprisonment when positive and excursions only when paying the line for a guide.

      • (Score: 2, Touché) by Joe Desertrat on Friday April 30, @07:56PM (1 child)

        by Joe Desertrat (2454) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 30, @07:56PM (#1144853)

        There are tons of people that would go on a cruise, and not give a toss about your concerns of safety. They are concerned about arbitrary and capricious government action in foreign and domestic ports, and being hassled on board with tests, imprisonment when positive and excursions only when paying the line for a guide.

        And then when they get stricken they'll start whining the government should have done something and calling their lawyers to sue the cruise lines.

        • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @09:40PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @09:40PM (#1144904)

          Depressingly accurate, super tough independent heroes right up until something bad happens to themselves. The selfishness is off the charts. Or even worse they die in the hospital bed still claiming it isn't COVID.

    • (Score: 2) by Frosty Piss on Friday April 30, @07:32PM (1 child)

      by Frosty Piss (4971) on Friday April 30, @07:32PM (#1144844)

      People who go on cruises don’t see it your way. Obviously you don’t have even the slightest interest in cruises, and probably didn’t before Corona. But rest assured, many many thousands can’t wait to book a cruise.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Joe Desertrat on Friday April 30, @08:24PM (3 children)

    by Joe Desertrat (2454) Subscriber Badge on Friday April 30, @08:24PM (#1144865)

    I wouldn't care about ads that were kept to the side and relevant. If the content I am consuming is in a narrower field so what. It's a price to pay, I understand that. I might even click on one if it shows cleavage, or even just a pretty face (I know, I know, but hey...), or far more rare but more desired, a product in which I actually have a need. But I get seriously pissed off if the ads pop up or slide over and cover the content, or play loud sounds, or make a website jump all over the place as ads continually load, or any of the other interfering actions advertisers seem to feel they are entitled to use on us (not to mention those that try to install trackers or malware, although I suspect there is a large intersect there). You want your ads to work and not be targets of blocking software, make them relevant to the content. If I'm reading an article on trout fishing I don't need to see an ad for a streaming service, or cars, or quarter million dollar ocean going fishing boats.

    • (Score: 0, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @09:14PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @09:14PM (#1144890)

      Because they are ads. It's spelled A D S.

      If it didn't suck, it wouldn't be called ads, would they?

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @09:26PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 30, @09:26PM (#1144898)

      If I'm reading an article on trout fishing I don't need to see an ad for a streaming service, or cars, or quarter million dollar ocean going fishing boats.

      I agree with you. But it seems there are at least a couple complicating factors. Advertisers are convinced trying to advertise based on tracking will be more successful than not, even after taking into account complete failures to get the tracking correct in many cases. Advertisers also want their ads to be prominent and repeated frequently to become part of the public consciousness, for instance the inability to escape from car ads.

      Always remember that we are the product, we are not the customers. Not enough people refuse to pay for goods and services advertised to them to make advertising unprofitable, so it will continue.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @06:29AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @06:29AM (#1145041)

      Thank you for your thoughtful commentary. It will go in the filing system right alongside the left over caviar and champagne bottles from doing exactly what you're complaining about.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by mcgrew on Saturday May 01, @06:21PM (2 children)

    by mcgrew (701) <publish@mcgrewbooks.com> on Saturday May 01, @06:21PM (#1145174) Homepage Journal

    My grandma, who was born six months before the Wright brothers flew, told me that the roaring twenties only roared for the rich.

    --
    Free Martian whores! [mcgrewbooks.com]
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @08:24PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 01, @08:24PM (#1145215)

      She made an excellent point. The history that we are taught and fetishize is almost always about the wealthy people. There's nothing exciting about telling the tales of poor people grinding out a boring, hard existence.

      That's just one example. Consider the common retelling of the 1960s as being the era of the hippies and the counterculture. That's extremely misleading. The hippies were only ever a very small number of people. Furthermore, who do you think you can afford to not have a job and take drugs all day long and listen to rock music? Kids with rich parents. I asked my parents who were young adults at the time what they thought of the hippies. They said they thought they were just a bunch of weirdos.

      I'm sure in the left-wing history that will be taught to my grandkids, they will say everyone marched for BLM to demand social justice. History is simplifying events into a story with a plot. Real life is too complex than that.

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