Oreo Joins Brands Using Augmented Reality With Scavenger Hunt

Oreo is launching its first social game for mobile devices—an augmented reality scavenger hunt called “The Great Oreo Cookie Quest.” Oreo joins a growing list of brands using AR scavenger hunts to actively engage consumers as the technology becomes more accessible.

The Great Oreo Cookie Quest” offers daily clues such as “What puts hands on your wrist?” The app uses object-recognition technology to determine whether users are pointing their cameras at the correct object—in this case, a wristwatch. Pointing the app at the correct object will reveal an AR Oreo cookie and earn points depending on how difficult the clue is.

Cookies are saved in a gallery and points are displayed on a leaderboard that can be compared to friends on Facebook and Twitter. Scanning a real Oreo cookie enters the user into a sweepstake to win prizes such as Pixel phone or an Oreo-branded Bluetooth speaker. Users can also win travel prizes such as a trip to Africa or Google headquarters in California.

Oreo’s AR scavenger hunt is a continuation of the brand’s ongoing partnership with Google, which began last year (Android’s new 8.0 operating system is called Oreo). The partnership is embodied in a superhero character unveiled during the solar eclipse.

Google also partnered with the cookie brand for its Oreo Dunk Challenge campaign last February. Fans were invited to scan an Oreo with their mobile device. The app converted the cookie into a digital version, where it was launched into the stratosphere by Google Earth before landing in a glass of milk somewhere in the world.

Brands have taken advantage of AR scavenger hunts for several years, especially on Snapchat. As AR technology continues to advance and becomes less expensive to develop, this trend is likely to continue.

Niantic’s Pokemon GO set the bar high for user engagement in 2016 for AR mobile gaming. Just as millions got outside to collect virtual Pokemon, branded AR scavenger hunts invite fans to actively participate in a marketing campaign.

In honor of Force Friday II—Disney’s massive unveiling of Star Wars merchandise ahead of the 2017 holidays—a long list of brands threw a global augmented reality event at 20,000 participating retail locations. Through the official Star Wars app, AR characters and creatures could be seen and photographed around stores, with new characters unlocked each day of the weekend.

Before The Mummy hit theaters, Universal Studios partnered with Cinemark Theaters to create an AR scavenger hunt to win prizes.

Digi-Capital forecasts that AR (mobile AR, smartglasses) could approach three and a half billion installed base and $85 billion to $90 billion revenue within five years. Consumers spent $3.4 billion last year on augmented, mixed and virtual reality in 2017, according to SuperData Research.

Snapchat, Nike Team Up To Direct-Sell Air Jordans

After splitting its social and media features last year, Snap is shifting again to help retailers become direct brands. For the first time in Snapchat’s history, users could purchase products, namely the Nike’s Air Jordan III “Tinker,” without ever leaving the app.

After the NBA All-Star Game last night—the 30th anniversary of Michael Jordan’s famous performance at the All-Star Slam Dunk Championship in 1988—fans attending the Jumpman afterparty got the chance to scan special Snap codes, allowing them to pre-purchase the shoes and have them delivered later that same night. Assisting in the collaboration between Snapchat and Nike were Darkstore, an “invisible retailer” startup and Shopify, an e-commerce payment platform.

“This is the Holy Grail of the experience [Nike is] trying to intend, which is direct to consumer—to the actual consumer, versus a bot—and same-day delivery,” Darkstore CEO Lee Hnetinka told TechCrunch. “The Snap code introduces a new paradigm for commerce.”

The new Air Jordans, which will not officially be released until late March, sold out within half an hour.

This Snapchat–Nike e-commerce partnership comes just a few weeks after Snap began selling its own merchandise through its app, and the success of this promotion may convince other brands of the possibilities of in-app storefronts. Even if Snapchat takes a cut of the sales, brands may see higher conversion rates simply from cutting the amount of time and redirects between consumers and the products they want.

“Snapchat had an existing partnership with Shopify to create the frictionless commerce experience, so we felt that would make sense,” Dan Harbison, Jordan Brand’s senior director of global digital, said in a statement. “We had also talked to Darkstore and liked their same-day delivery solution and learned they had partnered with Shopify in the past, so that became an easy decision.”

Despite some unrest over the direction Snapchat is going from its established users, adoption of the photo-sharing app is growing. The company is working to ingratiate itself with marketers, and providing a platform for direct sales and reach to an existing audience is one more step in standing out from the social media crowd.

Nintendo Continues Travel Theme With Southwest Airlines Partnership

Nintendo has partnered with Southwest Airlines in a continuation of its travel-themed Super Mario Odyssey marketing. The video game has remained consistent in its approach to marketing both the Nintendo Switch console and latest Super Mario game, even after a successful launch of both products a year and several months ago, respectively.

Southwest Airlines is hoping the famous video game character will strike a sense of wanderlust into the hearts of consumers just in time for spring and summer travel. The partnership makes sense, considering the very first trailer for Nintendo Switch showed what gameplay could be like during air travel.

The Nintendo Switch console combines at-home and mobile play, so travel has been an ongoing theme from the very beginning. Ahead of its March 2017 launch, The “Unexpected Places” campaign hosted pop-up locations—not at game stores or malls, but places like the desert of California and the snowy peaks of Colorado.

Since its announcement, Super Mario Odyssey marketing has centered around a theme of travel and adventure. Ahead of its October release, a special tour bus drove from California to New York, stopping at events along the way to offer demos, prizes and photo ops with Mario. The tour culminated in a launch celebration at the Nintendo New York store, where the first 200 attendees could purchase a copy of Super Mario Odyssey.

Nintendo game developers Yoshiaki Koizumi and Shinya Takahashi also took a globetrotting tour of San Francisco, France, Germany, London and more, bringing their Nintendo Switch and posting photos from the official Nintendo and Super Mario social channels.

Thus far, Super Mario Odyssey has been a big win for Nintendo. The title became the second-best-selling game on Amazon for 2017 before it even launched. According to SuperData, the game went on to sell 191,000 copies, the biggest Nintendo Switch digital launch to date.

Through March 16, eligible residents of the US may enter to win Nintendo Switch prize packs and travel accommodations through Southwest Airlines’ website. One grand prize winner will receive a Southwest Airlines prize package that includes round-trip air travel for four, a $1,000 Starwood Preferred Guest gift card and a Nintendo Switch prize pack.

The Nintendo Switch prize pack includes one Nintendo Switch system, one Game Traveler: Deluxe Super Mario Odyssey Travel Case, one Super Mario Odyssey Collector’s Edition Guide and the Super Mario Odyssey video game. In addition to the grand prize winner, a total of 29 runners-up will receive a Nintendo Switch prize pack.

What Marketers Need To Know About Mobile World Congress 2018

Over 100,000 industry executives and 2,300 exhibitors are slated to attend Mobile World Congress (MWC), held this year from February 26 to March 1 in Barcelona. Marketers who go will have opportunities to experience new tech and meet the C-Suite of phone manufacturers—all while considering their brand’s vitality in the digital marketplace.

In addition to an array of announcements around smartphones, tablets and smartwatches and other areas of mobile, marketers can plan to get a better understanding around the maturation of artificial intelligence—like voice and machine learning—as well as digital transformation, AR, VR, IoT and 5G.

“This year will be about evolution, not revolution,” said Nitesh Patel, director of wireless media strategies for Strategy Analytics. “Marketers will see more demonstrations around 5G and IoT use-cases and discussion around business models as these technologies are a year closer to reality.”

As marketers look to unlock new levels of consumer engagement, advertising, media and marketing spend is gravitating more toward mobile-first campaigns and platforms and will likely continue on that path with the widespread roll-out of broadband networks.

Patel, an analyst who covers consumer mobile entertainment products and services, said MWC is designed for attendees to start new conversations and leave with fresh ideas to evolve their brands. This year, he anticipates marketers using the space to move more toward personalization as well as looking to provide strong value propositions for consumers.

“More important than any technology-based solution is how it can be deployed to address fundamental business challenges, which include improvements in efficiencies, delivering superior customer experience and strategic opportunities for revenue growth,” he said.

In addition to the ongoing rollout of 5G and wireless networks, marketers who attend MWC are also looking to learn about new opportunities to differentiate vis-à-vis competitors, not to mention which buzzwords will be in fashion over the next 12 months.

The early frontrunner for buzz-phrase of 2018 may very well be “sonic branding” because prognosticators are pointing to voice as the next emerging platform officially entering the vernacular and equation for marketers. At MWC, it is also one of the scheduled keynotes on the agenda.

Yet, as brands from all walks of life pour marketing resources into voice, Patel said it’s still the early days for the nascent space, and in the much bigger picture, we’re far from seeing it as a primary platform.

“As [voice] matures and becomes more widely adopted it shouldn’t be ignored,” he said. “For marketers, I’d position it as a mobile-first marketplace rather than mobile-only.”

Last year at MWC, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) was leading the conversation on surviving in mobile-only marketplaces in arenas including VR, AR, the connected home and tapping into AI for smarter marketing.

For the fourth consecutive year, the IAB and dmexco will continue talks around how to build a “mobile-always brand” in the 21st century. There will also be discussions later this month centering around cross-screen consumer engagement and new revenue streams that AI like voice and the connected home.

Beyond voice, Patel said that AR and VR innovations are still “rapidly emerging and maturing.”

Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, director of service provider strategies for Strategy Analytics, is expecting to continue seeing discussion around big data and machine learning at MWC as marketers look toward better targeting consumers and using data as a tool.

“The evolution of MWC will extend to data privacy issues and smart home solutions that are building a stronger platform for brand engagement and marketing to consumers,” she said.

Welsh de Grimaldo also sees the trend of the mobile operators opening up the ecosystem and business models to incorporate brands to seek market traction for offerings to consumers. An example of this is sponsored data and data rewards where users get free mobile data for engaging with brands.

“Content-based add-on bundles for mobile services are ways that brands and marketers can further work with operators and engage their target customers on the device they use the most—the smartphone,” she said.

IAB Encourages Brick-And-Mortars To Become Direct Brands

To survive today’s marketplace, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) says that brands must be able to sell directly to consumers. New research shows that growth in most consumer categories has shifted to brands focused on direct consumer relationships.

“For incumbent indirect brands, you must become a direct brand,” IAB chief executive officer Randall Rothenberg said with the company’s findings. “For upstart direct brands, you must break through the revenue and share barriers that are keeping you small. For every other company that serves them, you must help them become direct, and grow their business in that environment.”

Brands must traverse the last three miles to the head, to the heart and to the home, says IAB.

Brick-and-mortar stores are closing en masse, but it’s not because consumers don’t like or need retail products anymore. Over the last year, online channels drove 90 percent of fast-moving consumer good (FMCG) such as food and toiletry items, despite brick and mortar stores holding 93 percent of the market.

Why? “A two-way relationship is more valuable than a one-way impression,” says IAB in its new report, The Rise of the 21st Century Brand Economy.

Direct brands like Blue Apron and Dollar Shave Club are disrupting the way consumers expect retail experiences to be. Two-thirds of all US consumers expect direct connectivity to the companies from which they buy goods and services, says IAB, and 67 percent of consumers have used a company’s social media site for servicing.

“It’s not that mass advertising won’t matter,” said Rothenberg. “It will become less valuable as more and more consumer-facing brands cross the chasm and concentrate their activity on creating, reinforcing, and extracting value from their direct consumer relationships.”

The dynamic shift from recognized, but unapproachable brands to direct consumer relationships spans across the board from grocery to mattresses.

Gillette’s share of the US men’s razors market fell from 70 percent in 2010 to 54 percent in 2016, with most of that share shifting to Dollar Shave Club, Harry’s and others.

While grocery store revenue is projected to grow about one percent annually through 2022, the market for meal kits is expected to grow by a factor of 10 times.

Direct-to-consumer mattress companies garnered more than 16 percent of the market in 2016, and are expected to have doubled that share in 2017.

Online shoe retailers sent US brick-and-mortar shoe revenue tumbling 5.2 percent, the biggest year-over-year loss since 2009. It’s hard to drive anywhere without seeing another “store closing” sign at Stride Rite, Crocs or Payless ShoeSource. Meanwhile, online-only retailers like Allbirds, Jack Erwin and M. Gemi have gained nearly 15 points of market share over the past five years.


These Are The Mobile World Congress Events Engaging Marketers

Here is what’s on our radar for Mobile World Congress, between the show’s official daily agenda and evening events.

Saturday, February 24 to Wednesday, February 28 

GSMA’s Meet & Eat / Networking Events and Lounges
Time: Feb. 24; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. / Feb. 25; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. / Feb. 26-28; 12 to 9 p.m. All times are Central European Time Zone (CET).
Location: plaça d’Europa, within walking distance from the south entrance to de Fira Gran Via Venue, next to the L9 and FFCC (Fira-Europa) stations (Map)

GSMA, the trade organization that puts on MWC, has organized a “Meet & Eat” experience to give attendees the opportunity to network or plop with their laptops outside while experiencing Catalonian culture and culinary delights. There will also be music and other performances throughout each day.

The GSMA has also arranged 10 networking events by brands like Oath, Citi and Visa from Monday to Wednesday. Each will feature complimentary food, drinks and entertainment in a relaxed environment. There are four separate networking lounges.

Sunday, February 25

MWC won’t officially begin until Monday, but apparently Samsung didn’t get the memo—the electronics manufacturer has all but confirmed it will announce its flagship phones, the Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9 Plus, during an event it’s orchestrating a day before show doors open.

Mobile Lunch
Time: Not available
Location: Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, Plaça de les Arts (Map)

For the third consecutive year, Mobile World Capital Barcelona is organizing a lunch designed to unite companies, entrepreneurs and SMEs to share and explore business opportunities and ideas around mobile marketplaces.

Monday, February 26 

What You Need To Know: Augmented Advertising
Location: Hall 8.0 NEXTech, NEXTech Lab
Time: 1:30 to 2 p.m. CET

The rise of smartphone users and their desire for mobile entertainment has ushered in a new era of mobile advertising. It’s also led brands to increasingly develop augmented advertising experiences. This session will aim to explain how AR experiences lead to higher viewability, engagement and brand lift than traditional advertising.

Tuesday, February 27

How To Build A 21st Century Mobile-Always Brand
Location: Hall 8.0 NEXTech Theatre C
Time: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CET

Its fourth time running the event, the Interactive Advertising Bureau and dmexco will lead conversation around mobile marketing, cross-screen consumer engagement and new revenue streams for AI and the IoT-connected home. Other topics include storytelling innovation in OTT, brand safety on mobile, cross-platform addressability and mobile-to-offline retail experiences.

Women In Mobile
La Bonne, Sant Pere Més Baix 7 (Map)
Time: 7:30 to 11 p.m.

This year’s female-focused event focuses on “personalization based on AI” and will feature panel discussions around how AI-based products deliver what users really want, handing out the Women in Mobile 2018 Award and a networking party to cap of the night.

Wednesday, February 28

CMO Summit
Location: Hall 8.0 NEXTech Theatre D
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

The day-long affair will feature 37 speakers and have multiple sessions and partner events, aiming to offer CMOs a wealth of opportunities to learn from peers and engage in discussion. Key marketing themes include maximizing exposure, protecting the brand, embracing AI, utilizing networks, creating a personalized context for audiences and staying within regulation. 

VR/AR Association Dinner
Location: H10 Casa Mimosa, Pau Claris, 179 (Map)
Time: 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. CET 

May be best for those first dipping their toes into immersive technology. Dinner is served with insights and discussion about VR and AR trends and issues affecting companies, projects and roles.

Thursday, March 1

Gamelab Mobile
Location: Hall 8.0 NEXTech Theatre B
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

This one-day, gaming-oriented summit brings mobile gaming leaders to discuss trends, opportunities and the convergence of entertainment, technology and media. Sessions will be divided into mobile gaming, mobile esports, player content, mobile VR and AR and how what prospects 5G, data, cloud gaming and IoT present. 

YoMo: The Youth Mobile Festival
Location: La Farga de L’Hospitalet, Carrer de Barcelona, 2 (Map)
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. CET (Monday to Thursday)

If you’re a brand considering STEM as part of a larger marketing strategy and looking inspire the next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and designers to succeed in an increasingly mobile world while you’re at it, then join over 15,000 students and educators from across Catalonia at The Youth Mobile Festival.

Universal Takes Action On Conduct Allegations Against Marketing Executives


Universal’s marketing department is undergoing major changes, after both Seth Byers and Scott Abraham, the company’s executive vice president of creative strategy and research and senior vice president of creative advertising, respectively, have been let go by the studio due to reports of inappropriate conduct. Furthermore, Josh Goldstine, president of marketing, has been placed on indefinite administrative leave.

According to an internal memo obtained by Variety, Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley claims that the allegations, which she did not specify, were “credible and indicative of an unacceptable climate.”

“We commend the people who have had the courage to come forward,” Langley continues. “We have no tolerance for harassment or other disrespectful behavior, and we will be taking any necessary steps to ensure that actions that violate our core values are dealt with swiftly and decisively.”

Scott Abraham had been terminated in November, Variety’s sources claim, but the information had not been made public—Abraham’s LinkedIn still lists him as a current employee.

All executives involved are longtime Universal veterans, Byers being the most recent hire in 2013. Abraham had served since 2007, and Goldstine since 2011.

“Our highest priority is to provide a working environment where every employee feels heard, seen and safe,” Langley wrote.

After six years at Foursquare, president Steven Rosenblatt is transitioning to an advisory position as he prepares to launch his own company.

“I’ve had an insatiable itch to start a company that emblemizes my passion for working with early-stage companies,” Rosenblatt said in a statement. “I’m excited for this new endeavor that will allow me to work alongside investors and startups at pivotal moments of growth. Stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.”

Rosenblatt first joined Foursquare in 2012 as its chief revenue officer, leading the company through rough seas it faced in 2014 before it split into two separate apps.

EBay is expanding its artificial intelligence efforts, bringing on Jan Pedersen as vice president and chief AI scientist.

“Jan is a true pioneer in the industry, with over thirty years developing search, deep learning, machine learning and AI technologies at scale,” said Devin Wenig, president and CEO of eBay. “He joins us at a pivotal moment when AI sciences including computer vision and deep learning are now capable of transforming personalized, immersive shopping experiences.”

Previously, Pedersen served at Twitter as vice president of data science, where he led the company’s research into machine learning and data analytics.

Brian Niccol, CEO of Taco Bell, has announced his immediate departure for Chipotle, where he will serve as chief executive.

“Brian is a proven world-class executive, who will bring fresh energy and leadership to drive excellence across every aspect of our business,” said Chipotle founder Steve Ells. “His expertise in digital technologies, restaurant operations and branding make him a perfect fit for Chipotle as we seek to enhance our customer experience, drive sales growth and make our brand more relevant.”

Niccol had led Taco Bell since 2011 and leaves the company in the hands of Julie Felss Masino and Liz Williams, presidents of Taco Bell’s North America and international businesses, respectively.

fter going three years without a global CMO, Bacardi is choosing to bring back the role, appointing John Burke to improve accountability and foster more responsive marketing.

“We see ourselves as a small company with big brands which means when you work on one of our brands you can make a massive impact as soon as you get your hands on them,” Burke told Marketing Week. “This is because there is no corporate machine in the background that you have to get dozens of approvals from.”

Burke has been with Bacardi for more than 20 years, most recently as president of incubation brands, building equity for the company’s newest liquor brands.

WWE has made a pair of executive promotions, elevating both George Barrios and Michelle Wilson to the position of co-presidents. The pair will continue their efforts to expand the WWE’s presence beyond just linear television.

“The successful transformation of our business model has put us in a position to capitalize on all that the changing global media landscape has to offer,” said WWE CEO Vince McMahon. “I am confident that our executive management team, led by Michelle and George, will achieve continued success across key strategic initiatives and ensure our long-term growth.”

Before their promotions, Wilson and Barrios held the titles of chief revenue and chief marketing officer, respectively.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau has elected Scott Schiller to the position of chairman of its board of directors, making official the position that Schiller had been serving in an interim capacity since October of last year.

“The IAB has been central in guiding the industry through the ever-shifting media and marketing landscapes, allowing the ecosystem to meet new challenges and take advantage of emerging opportunities,” said Schiller. “I look forward to continuing to work with the various members of the organization, as well as brands and agencies, in order forge a robust future for all stakeholders—in addition to the consumers we are all trying to reach.”

Schiller is currently the executive vice president and general manager of marketing, advertising sales and client partnerships for NBCUniversal.

Tony Goncalves, former CEO of AT&T Digital Brands, has joined digital network Otter Media as its chief executive.

“Tony has been our partner on Otter Media for almost four years, and during that time, it was evident that he is a thoughtful, strategic executive who is hugely passionate about furthering the growth of one of the premier digital media companies,” said Peter Chernin, chairman of Otter Media.

As CEO of AT&T’s digital network, Goncalves worked closely with Otter Media, leading the company’s entry into OTT with DirecTV Now. Prior to that, he held a variety of leadership positions at DirecTV.

The Rest Of The C-Suite

(Editor’s Note: Our weekly careers post is updated daily. This installment will be updated until Friday, February 16. Have a new hire tip? Let us know at editorial@alistdaily.)

H&M has appointed Anna Attemark as head of its new-business division, overseeing recently created brands such as Cos, Weekday, H&M Home and several others.

Attemark joins the fashion retailer after 11 years as CEO of Odd Molly, a Swedish clothing brand. She has worked at H&M in the past, most recently as development director and COO for design.

After four years in business, Slack has appointed Allen Shim as its first-ever chief financial officer.

“Allen is a trusted advisor to the executive leadership team and our Board, having helped build Slack from a small-but-ambitious startup to the high-growth global enterprise software company it is today,” said Slack founder Stewart Butterfield. “Introducing the role of CFO is a natural evolution that levels up our capabilities and positions us for scalable, long-term success.”

Shim has worked at Slack since its founding, originally holding the title of senior vice president of finance and operations.

Jennifer Salke has joined Amazon Studios as its head, filling a void in leadership the company had suffered since Roy Price resigned amid misconduct allegations.

“What stood out about Jen was the deep relationships she has nurtured with creators and talent over her career, spanning NBCU, 20th Century Fox, and Aaron Spelling Productions,” said Jeff Blackburn, Amazon’s senior vice president of business development, to Variety. “She’s built an impeccable reputation as a big leader who emphasizes creativity, collaboration, and teamwork.”

Before joining Amazon, Salke led NBC Entertainment as its president for the past six years, contributing to the network’s recent ratings turnaround.

Job Vacancies 

Product Manager – APIs Ayzenberg Pasadena, CA
VP, Sales & Marketing The Washington Times Washington, DC
VP of Marketing, Card Services Chase Wilmington, DE
VP, Worldwide Marketing Partnerships Paramount Pictures Hollywood, CA
Director, Global Creative Marketing (Global Series) Netflix Los Angeles, CA
VP, Brand Strategy MGM Resorts Intl. Las Vegas, NV

Make sure to check back for updates on our Jobs Page.

Netflix Shakes Up TV Ad Space, Creates $6B In Missed Ad Revenue

Netflix costs TV networks between $3 billion and $6 billion per year by luring viewers away from ad-supported programming, according to new estimates.

OTT multiscreen media analysis company nScreenMedia calculates that the average US Netflix subscriber misses out on seeing 35 ads per day. With over 125 million hours of Netflix programming viewed per day, that ads up to nearly two billion ads that otherwise could have been watched on network television.

Primetime—typically between 8:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. in the US—is when networks are losing the most ad revenue. Assuming each ad is 30 seconds in length, the average Netflix viewer in the US misses 5,753 TV ads during primetime and 7,032 in non-primetime viewing, nScreenMedia alleges.

Based on recent ad CPMs, nScreenMedia suggests the value of these missed ad views is $139 per year per subscriber or $7.6 billion for all subscribers. Granted, this assumes every viewer would have watched every ad in its entirety and wouldn’t have been watching premium networks like HBO instead.

Taking into account the possibility of ad skipping and premium networks, lost revenue drops to about $6 billion per year.

NscreenMedia’s estimates may not be far off. In 2017, TV ad sales fell 7.8 percent—roughly $5 billion—to $61.8 billion according to Magna Global. Ad sales at cable networks also declined for the first time in nearly a decade.

It’s not just the idea of cord cutting that has networks understandably worried, but the age group that is leaving. Viewership of all four broadcast networks slipped by more than 10 percent last year among people age 18-49.

OTT exclusives like Stranger Things and A Handmaid’s Tale offer subscribers “must-see TV” away from network and cable TV, as well.

One way to address this would be to offer addressable advertising, according to Turner CEO John Martin. Addressability allows homes to see different, targeted ads while watching the same TV channel at the same time.

“It’s about the consumer experience,” Martin said, speaking on a panel at CES 2018. “We have to drive the value of the advertising that is done in the midst of all of our content video.”

Martin said that network TV isn’t moving fast enough to offer addressable advertising, however, which is holding the entire industry back.

“My fear, and what makes me wake up with the sweats, is like when the industry finally figures out how to get full addressability, everybody’s going to be watching video on Hulu and Netflix,” said Martin.

Premium TV networks like HBO and ESPN now (or will soon) offer OTT services to meet rising demands and recover lost ad revenue.

HBO Now was launched in 2014 when broadband internet was not as widespread. It was a gamble that paid off. HBO Now has an estimated 3.5 million subscribers as of 2016.

“We put the lie to the idea that the pie couldn’t get bigger,” HBO’s CEO Richard Plepler said at a September event. “People felt that people would drop HBO . . . but we have had less than one percent cannibalization of our core business.”

Mobile World Congress Takes A Wide Look At The Digital Ecosystem

Mobile World Congress is not necessarily about brokering deals or concrete applications of marketing, like counterpart conferences dmexco and Cannes have proven to be. The global gathering is designed to give marketers a chance to track the evolving spectrum across everything from mobile to martech, AI and everything in between.

“MWC is about the broader digital ecosystem, which is increasingly mobile and playing out on an array of connected devices,” Dr. Daniel Knapp, senior director at global information company IHS Markit, told AListDaily. “These developments provide a macro-environment in which marketing is taking place in the future.”

“We have a strong belief that mobile is the primary mechanism to achieve all these goals,” said Michael O’Hara, CMO of the GSMA, the trade organization that puts on MWC. “We’ve been through a period where ‘mobile is everything’ and ‘mobile is the next element,’ and now we want to talk about what mobile can do.”

Last year at MWC, Google announced a pivot from mobile-first to AI-first, and direct applications from brands have slowly been heading toward nascent platforms like voice ever since. Knapp expects this development to further be filled with substance and applications across the industry at the gathering this year.

After anticipated AI announcements at MWC, marketers will begin to understand the direct applications they can apply to their brands.

“Voice is a hot topic, but marketing budgets are still minuscule,” said Knapp. “We will see many buzzwords being thrown around, but direct applications for marketers will be far and few between.”

Facebook is one of the 2,300 companies participating at MWC. According to a DigiTimes report, the social media giant will enter the global smart-speaker market this summer by launching two models codenamed Aloha and Fiona. Both will have 15-inch touchscreens. Although no confirmations have been made, using the global stage in Barcelona to give Amazon Echo a run for its money in the voice-activated assistants market would make sense—especially since Amazon Echo isn’t as well-established overseas. Apple jumped into the smart-speaker market earlier this month as well with HomePod.

At MWC, other brands like LG, Samsung, Sony, Ericsson, HTC, Huawei and Nokia are just some of the mobile megaliths champing at the bit to potentially carry the torch toward AI. Most of these companies had cavernous booths and significant presence at CES just a few weeks ago teasing an arsenal of brand developments in that realm. The developments should be more substantiated in Spain.

According to Rob Gallagher, research director of consumer services for Ovum, AI will need to permeate everything from consumer and enterprise IoT, to self-optimizing networks and support systems, smart devices and digital assistants. He warned, however, that not all demos at MWC will be genuinely intelligent, or even useful.

“While AI has great potential to drive usage, spend and operational savings, companies must truly put consumers’ interests first if they are to succeed,” said Gallagher.

Pandora Premium’s Web App Launch Ups Ante Against Spotify

Pandora Premium is now available on the web for the first time, creating additional competition for Spotify, Pandora’s closest competitor, which is planning its IPO this year.

After a year of offering Pandora Premium on Android and iOS devices, Google Chromecast and select vehicles, streaming music service Pandora quietly launched access via the web. The Pandora Premium web app allows its subscribers to search for songs, albums, stations or playlists on demand as well as create playlists for offline listening.

This move is a timely one for Pandora in its efforts to attract more paid subscriptions. Spotify currently has 70 million paying subscribers, dwarfing Pandora’s 1 million as of the third quarter.

What Pandora lacks in paid subscribers, it makes up for in active listeners. A recent survey by Fluent found that US respondents between the ages of 18-24 and 25-34 choose Pandora as their preferred music streaming service, second only to YouTube. Spotify was further down the list behind iHeartRadio and Google Play Music.

In the company’s fourth quarter call to investors, Pandora CEO Roger Lynch said that US consumers spend more time on the app than any other digital platform in the country.

However, Pandora’s user base declined over the quarter and the company expressed disappointment in ad revenue. The company outlined plans to invest in its free, ad-supported tier with features such as “sponsored listening” to compete with services like YouTube and Vevo.

The music streaming market is on the rise, accounting for more than half of the US music industry’s revenue in 2017. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), revenue from paid subscriptions to services like Pandora and Spotify grew 61 percent in the first half of 2017.

While ad-supported music streams earned $273 million, paid subscribers brought in $2.4 billion—making the benefit of promoting paid subscription plans an obvious one.