Disney partners with Google for cross-channel video advertising strategy

Diving Brief:

  • The Walt Disney Co. has entered into a global strategic relationship with Google that will see Ad Manager manage all of its digital video and display advertising, according to a Google blog post. Google will support advertising for Disney, ABC, ESPN, Marvel, Pixar and Star Wars via live streaming and direct-to-consumer content on the web, in mobile apps, on connected TVs and for live events .
  • The new deal comes as Disney ends its relationship with Comcast’s FreeWheel, Ad Age reported.
  • Together, we plan to create an advanced video experience for Disney that transcends devices, platforms, and living rooms to bring the magic of premium video content to people’s hearts, minds, and screens – everywhere.” Philipp Schindler, Chief Commercial Officer of Google, said in the blog post.

Overview of the dive:

The new partnership with Disney is a win for Google and could generate tens of millions in revenue each year over three years, according to sources quoted by The Wall Street Journal. The deal is part of Disney’s effort to centralize its ad operations and technology and comes as TV networks rework their ad systems to compensate for increased cord-cutting and more viewers embracing streaming. digital.

Disney leaving FreeWheel follows a tense year between Comcast and Disney, as the media companies were in a bidding war over 21st Century Fox and Sky. Comcast took control of Sky with a bid of $38.8 billion, and Disney is paying $71 billion for most of Fox’s assets, according to the Journal. The bad blood between the companies dates back to 2004, when Comcast made and then withdrew an offer to buy Disney, a deal the latter had “aggressively rejected,” according to the New York Times.

The partnership could also create new opportunities for marketers, who are also looking for new ways to reach audiences on digital platforms. Advertisers are investing more in advanced TV options, with 58% investment in OTT or connected TV, 44% in programmatic linear TV, 40% in addressable TV, 35% in TV linear data-enabled and 32%% in STB VOD, according to an advertiser perceptions report. Audience targeting, multi-screen planning and buying, and addressability are driving the investment.

Google has increased its presence in the TV space, and winning Disney could help solidify its place. FreeWheel, which Comcast acquired in 2014 for $320 million, is a competitor to Google. Along with Disney, Google also has a partnership with CBS to serve ads on its digital properties, and A&E Networks and AMC also use Ad Manager. Google recently added TV screens as a device type for advertisers to target YouTube audiences watching video on TV through Chromecast, set-top boxes, video game consoles and smart TVs. YouTube ads on TVs generated an average increase of 47% in ad recall and 35% in purchase intent. Advertisers can access TV-focused analytics and set specific bids for viewers.