With a kick in the pants coming from recent stock market declines, and questions over traditional advertising-supported media -- broadcast and cable television, in particular -- consolidation talk, if not action, is in the air.
So much for "content marketing" on traditional TV programs. Nielsen says the number of in-program branded entertainment deals are down by half the total of a year ago -- 104 during premiere week.
Playboy isn't going to print pictures of fully nude women anymore -- in the magazine or online. Why? "Times change," says the company. Perhaps the subtext is: There's too much of it everywhere. May as well go in a different direction. Still, nice-looking, somewhat-clothed ladies will be making appearances on its media platforms. Playboy has a number of premium TV channels, but did not say whether the policy will affect its programming there.
Amid all the declining ratings, TV executives cling to hopes that live productions of shows may lead to premium ad inventory. While prime-time scripted TV programming has toyed -- on and off -- with isolated "live" episodes, NBC has stepped up its efforts. Its comedy on Fridays, "Undateable," will run an entire season of live episodes.
What would happen if there were real money-losing entertainment fantasy leagues -- like those sports leagues? Stories about sports daily fantasy leagues have occupied the headlines recently because of "insider trading" accusations, fostering some real consumer concerns. Entertainment fantasy sites have been around for some time, but the trading is generally done with virtual dollars.
Facebook believes it can outperform TV networks when it comes to Millennials and Hispanics -- and that marketers, especially those who also advertise on TV, will come running. This has been corporate media thinking for a long time. You get them young; you should have them forever (or at least as long your TV/media executive contract holds out). Viacom always believed this to be case.
Happy with the new broadcast TV season and your new shows? Or do you need to wait three days? Maybe seven? Or perhaps 35, to find out how popular the shows really are?
The NFL and other sports leagues have always had an uneasy relationship with businesses promoting gambling and/or "gaming"-- in Las Vegas and other places. Perhaps now that might extend to include "fantasy" sports leagues. DraftKings and FanDuel, two of the biggest sports fantasy platforms, where the average consumer can win thousands -- if not, a million -- dollars, have been hit with an "insider trading" scandal, according to a story that broke in the New York Times.
Many media executive believe native advertising on digital sites is a close relative of brand entertainment marketing efforts on traditional TV. But if you are in the TV brand entertainment business, you may be breathing a sigh of relief when you read a story about how ad blockers could be stopping native advertising on digital platforms. In TV, fast-forwarding and commercial skipping may still be a challenge. But then some areas -- like video on demand, where viewers can't commercial-skip -- have marketers feeling they may have a leg up on the whole ad-avoidance issue.
Sir Martin Sorrell has a strong point of view on the names of things. Here he is on linking his own company with the term "advertising": "We need to rename it because it encourages people to think that creativity is the preserve or reserve of that creative department, of that creative director in that so-called ad agency," said the WPP Group chief executive at an Advertising Week event.