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Issue No. 275. The last issue had a 47.7% open rate with 13% of industry insiders reading this story on eCommmerce's power brokers.  

Re-read: Friday's The Puma ReportAlso new: the "powering merch" database

Tell one trusted colleague to subscribe to the Monday letter here.

Amazon is The No. 4 Advertiser

Media. The nation's biggest advertisers are tightening budgets, but ad spending is surging for internet-age marketers. That's a key takeaway from Ad Age's 63rd annual Leading National Advertisers report, out today. Ten quick takes from the new report.

Web-based marketers are spending more on traditional media. LNA's 11 internet-age marketers last year increased spending on measured media (excluding digital media) by 19.1 percent. That's a big jump, but digital remains at the core of internet firms. LendingTree, for example, boosted its stated broadcast budget 25 percent, but online ad spending surged 75 percent. The site pours nine out of 10 ad dollars into online ads.

Downloaded for you: here is Neustar Marketing's 36 page fact pack detailing the top internet advertisers.

AT&T to Acquire Digital Ad Firm AppNexus for $1.6 Billion

Media. AT&T Inc. said it has agreed to acquire AppNexus, a deal that could help the telecom giant capitalize on the media content it added through its purchase of Time Warner.

Editor's note: this is the closest we've come to a potential duopoly breaker.

How Subscriptions Help Direct-To-Consumer Companies

eCommerce. Inc recently published a piece on the explosion of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) companies, along with some of the challenges these businesses face. I'm one of the co-founders and CEO of Plated, a 6 year old DTC meal kit business we built from 2 founders on a couch to several hundred million dollars in revenue before being acquired by the Albertsons Companies, and I couldn't agree more with most of what the author wrote.

In Defense of Virgil Abloh

Unlocked. Virgil Abloh's appointment as men's artistic director of Louis Vuitton was a polarising choice, attracting charges like 'he's not a designer' and 'streetwear is a passing trend.' Wrong and wrong, argues David Fischer.

Instagram Has a New Video Platform

Media. Fashion's most important social network just made its pitch for brands not to worry about YouTube and Snapchat. On Wednesday, Instagram launched IGTV, a long-form vertical video platform that both appears within Instagram and functions as a standalone app.

Why Digital Brands Are Invading Department Stores

Retail Real Estate. Traditional retailers are bringing internet-born, direct-to-consumer brands into their stores as a way to draw millennials, creating new models for wholesale partnerships in the process.

Amazon, the Brand Buster

eCommerce. It started with a simple battery. Around 2009, Amazon quietly entered the private label business by offering a handful of items under a new brand called AmazonBasics. Early offerings were the kinds of unglamorous products that consumers typically bought at their local hardware store: power cords and cables for electronics and, in particular, batteries - with prices roughly 30 percent lower than that of national brands like Energizer and Duracell.

We Found Definitive Skinny Bias by US Retailers

Data. It sounds like hyperbole, but it isn't: Half of American women struggle to find jeans that fit at the mall. More specifically, only 13% of women's jeans in brick and mortar stores are available for women of average size or larger.

Fans Debate What to Do with All That Yeezy Merch

eCommerce. Sure, the tees and hoodies and sneakers are great. But what happens when your favorite designer goes MAGA? Kanye West's path to merch dominance started with his Yeezus tour: Back in 2013, he traveled to city after city with truckloads of covetable, resellable concert tees and more. Some showed off benign logos.

Re-read: Merch has become fashion

How Visualizing the Future Helped Make America Rich

Media / Advertising. In 1945, the United States was very different country from the one that had entered the Second World War four years earlier. The drive to victory had sparked innovations in medicine, materials, computing, and, of course, weapons.

RealReal: 'We Drive Traffic Back into Luxury Stores'

eCommerce. In 2011, while running a boutique in San Francisco, Rati Levesque noticed her customers were becoming more interested in the items in store that were on consignment than the new products she carried, despite their higher price point. That's when Julie Wainwright approached her with the idea of The RealReal, an online marketplace for authentic luxury consignment.

Retailers Can't Out-Amazon Amazon

Amazon. I work in marketing, which means I'm always trying to sell you something. It's a tough business, made even more so by the fact that people react negatively to persuasion. Worse yet, for many consumer brands and retailers, "marketing" entails various forms of data tracking, another practice that (if we've learned anything from Facebook's recent travails) isn't exactly popular among ordinary consumers.

How Reebok is Boosting its Women's Biz with Celebrities

Brands. When Ariana Grande premiered her new music video last week for "The Light Is Coming" - the second single off her forthcoming album - it appeared exclusively on Reebok's website, where it streamed for 24 hours in advance of the global debut.

Plastic Ban: eCommerce May Win Extra Time

Logistics. Online businesses in a tizzy over Maharashtra's ban on single-use plastics appear to have won a reprieve after the state government agreed to a plea from ecommerce companies including Amazon for more time to comply with the new rule.

Why Brands Should Look for Fans to Boost Their Reputations

Brands. Today, our industry has reduced the powers of relationship marketing down to traditional influencer marketing, which is rooted in transactional partnerships between influencers and brands. The problem with this narrow channel is that it doesn't account for the infinite ways that brands can tap into their own organic fan base, one of the most powerful sources of authentic influence and brand advocacy.

Fashion And Football, The Battle Of The Brands

Brands. The Fifa World Cup 2018 tournament kicked off in Russia this month and our lives currently seem to be dominated by World Cup Fever. And as with all aspects of our lives, fashion is heavily involved. So what does fashion have to do with football?

Issue No. 275: Youtube goes commerce


 

Youtube creators have been frustrated with the platform’s ad operations, as of late. Youtube legend and videographer Casey Niestat has nearly 10 million Youtube subscribers, the embattled Pewdiepie has 64 million, the famed MKBHD has 6.5 million, and Logan Paul has nearly 18 million (and an eight figure online store). In addition to the proceeds driven by advertising to an audience of those respective magnitudes, creators have been increasingly reliant upon merchandising for a steady stream of revenue. In a flash, a Youtube creator showed the world just how powerful an online retail operation can be for creators.

Read more here

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