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As earnings season concludes, a common theme emerges…

Feb 13, 2020 • Aaron Goldman

In addition to athletes and ads in the Super Bowl, and actors and actresses (and more good ads) in the Academy Awards, the past few weeks have been a showcase for ad-supported public companies in their quarterly earnings reports. 

By and large, the results have been strong as the advertising industry proves resilient in the face of changing consumption habits reflecting socioeconomic, political, and technological currents. 

In particular, the standouts are media and tech companies that have organized their assets into unified platforms and made them available programmatically for brands to reach their most valuable audiences.

These platforms are now being referred to as closed ecosystems which act like conservatories with “transparent walls that help to nurture optimum growth conditions on the inside.” 

Here are some of those conditions:

  • Consumer consent
  • Engaging content 
  • Native advertising
  • Data-driven targeting
  • Closed-loop tracking

Looking across the landscape we see these characteristics in the digital walled gardens as well as the leading cross-channel video providers. And while the performance of these platforms may speak for themselves, I decided to do a bit of speaking as well this past week sharing thoughts on Facebook with The Drum, Twitter with Mobile Marketing, Snap with Netimperative, and Pinterest with Retail Dive.

When you also consider that Google, Amazon, Disney, Comcast, and Microsoft all beat expectations in their earnings, it’s clear that modern marketing and media are thriving within closed ecosystems. In fact when we look at where consumer time is being spent with media, nearly ¾ is within properties that meet our definition. 

As anyone who has followed Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report knows, advertising spend always catches up with consumer time spent at some point. For a while there was a gap in mobile but that’s been trued up. Now the biggest opportunity appears to be with closed ecosystems and, as we #4CTheFutureOfMedia, this will be addressed sooner than later.

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