First, as you can see above, I have rebranded this newsletter to The Medium. It's the same newsletter focused on three to four key trends per quarter, but it is now oriented a bit more narrowly.
As you may have figured out, the new branding is a nod to Marshall McLuhan's "The medium is the message", and a reflection of my focus on the moving pieces of media's evolution from wholesale to retail models.
PARQOR will remain the primary brand, and I will be building out membership services under that brand. Watch this space!
Last, Monday is a national holiday, so the Monday AM Briefing will be sent on Tuesday.
The Medium offers deep insight and analysis of the media marketplace as the business models for "premium content" are redefined by creators, tech companies and 10 million emerging advertisers
In Q2 2023, The Medium will be focusing on three trends. This essay covers "'The definition of scarcity is continuously evolving away from linear and towards walled gardens.”
After leading venture firm Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) wrote a blog post on the future of Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), it is time to revisit the topic. I have not written about CDPs since last September, when I discussed whether CDP *software* represented a paradigm shift in media.
What is a CDP? They have primarily been built for in-house marketing teams as customer relationship tools. They are intended to solve for the historical operational pain point of multiple teams with multiple databases that often have the same customers but are not able to share data (or prefer not to). A CDP “can unify that data, help teams slice and dice audiences, enrich customer profiles, and paint an overall customer profile for the business team to act upon.”
I have long assumed CDPs will serve as the hub and spoke solution to the question “Media companies have millions of consumer credit cards on file. What are they building for their customers?”.
I previously believed that media companies who are successfully able to reorient their operations around a CDP are more likely to solve for the pivot from wholesale to retail. A CDP should facilitate the launching, marketing and ongoing management of direct-to-consumer (DTC) businesses.
For example, when Paramount Global launched The Paramount Shop in March, a CDP would centralize both Paramount+ and Paramount Shop customer data. This would allow the Paramount Shop team to determine which Paramount+ subscribers watch “1923”, and then market “1923” merchandise to viewers of the “Yellowstone” offshoot series. In the past, that data was typically siloed.
So, as I asked in today’s Medium Shift column, why don't we see more DTC product launches like the The Paramount Shop? I think the a16z essay, and data entrepreneur Jonathan Mendez’s response to it both offer some valuable insights and answers.
Data warehouses are rapidly become more advanced and as marketing and advertising technology moves to the cloud. Could these rapid changes be a reason for media companies' inability to successfully pivot from wholesale to retail?
Total words: 1,300
Total time reading: 5 minutes
The a16z essay argues that, to date, CDPs have been “magic wands mostly waved by the marketing specialists at large organizations in the name of customer segmentation and identity resolution for more accurate ads.” But, the CDP has evolved quite a bit recently ...