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  • Writer's pictureMarc Primo

The Hollywood Strike and How It Affects Media Buying

This is an article ‘The Hollywood Strike and How It Affects Media Buying’ by Marc Primo

The truth that everything is interconnected seems true by how the current writers' and actors' strike in Hollywood affects retail media across borders. Without any compromise between protesters and producers, influencer marketing and the world of digital marketing per se continues to experience a significant disruption worth taking a double take.

Since fewer new scripted shows and other types of material are coming due to the continuing labor negotiations since May, many believe this might be advantageous for influencer-generated content. Considering the presence of reruns and reality programming in today's boob-tube trends, some Connected TV (CTV) inventory segments may not be affected. In fact, the ad industry is anticipating a $20 billion spending budget over the next few months via CTV. At the same time, other content types face more significant uncertainty.

According to media agencies, the major advertisers are "holding off" on making significant expenditure commitments, resulting in a weaker video upfront. With the current disruption, here are a few factors that media buyers need to look into moving forward regarding the writers' and actors' strike debacle:

The Growth of Retail Media and Live Shopping

The current strike has set the stage for intriguing developments in a few digital marketing facets. For one, the entertainment industry shake-up has prompted agencies to further venture deeper into retail media networks. Platforms like Twitch and similar retail media networks (RMNs) have emerged as alluring options. This shift isn't just a blip; it's reminiscent of the significant changes brought about by the pandemic. Enough to say, the ascension of RMNs is now accompanied by a focus on direct sales metrics that infuse every ad campaign with a new kind of vitality.

Amid this developing landscape, there's a potential game-changer waiting in the wings– live shopping. This trend could finally find its moment in the spotlight, especially within CTVs. Agencies and brands are boldly embracing this concept across TV and social media platforms, hoping to connect with content creators and capture the attention of Gen Z consumers. And the development is relatively easy to fathom. The allure of live shopping lies in its promise to integrate first-party data and measurements seamlessly. It creates a comprehensive overview that spans CTV and social media touchpoints to more digital native consumers, all the way to the ultimate click-through on a specific channel.

But there's even more in store. Enter social apps like TikTok Shop and Instagram Shopping, which present fresh avenues for exploration. These platforms not only offer access to audience data but also grant a peek into purchase and sales data. Since these are invaluable resources for those in the marketing game, well-thought-out campaigns promise higher engagement, conversion, and loyalty.

Influencer Opportunity for Top Rank

Of course, the Hollywood production hiatus continues to fuel a rise in influencer and creator use on social media, mirroring the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike that spurred reality content's growth. Like that time, this trend prompts more brands to explore digital media shifts during the pause.

The guidelines from the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists advise influencers against promoting films, opening a door for branded content to step in. This presents brands with new collaboration opportunities. The disruption has also put under the spotlight unscripted content potential, with chances for brand experimentation and strategic focus on platforms like TikTok alongside maintaining CTV engagement.

Brighter minds have recognized this opportunity to propel marketing strategies toward finding an equilibrium between influencer trends and social media exploration. All while recognizing CTV's central role in expanding reach. What producers weren't able to note was how the pause could pave the way to content strategy reinvention– tapping into untapped digital avenues and navigating entertainment-marketing intersections innovatively.

Sports and Reality TV

There's no question that the writers' and actors' strike will eventually cause a slowdown in mainstream content production. Still, there's a different kind of beast happening online. More people are finding new ways to consume their type of entertainment, including today's streaming services. In other words, the strike has yet to deal a big blow to CTV platforms, given their available volume on their respective platforms.

Gaming streaming services like Netflix, Disney, and Amazon have long 'hoarded' content, which they have gained rights to air. This positioning enables these streaming services to expand to broader audiences in big entertainment markets like Japan and Korea, particularly for live sporting events and reality TV that don't rely on writers or actors.

The truth is that sports entertainment is most likely to survive the strike with little change except for the shift from linear television to over-the-top (OTT) media services. OTT is the current technology that streams content over the internet on demand. This is the preferred method nowadays that paved the increase of video-on-demand (VOD) options. Surely, it's better than how customers purchased cable subscriptions in the past when their cable providers were left in charge of providing and making programming accessible.

Improvise, Adapt, Overcome

The Hollywood strike's disruptive ripples have brought a paradigm shift reshaping the core of media buying. Adapting to change somehow is not the name of the game. As media agencies and brands navigate the continuing evolution of retail media, influencer collaboration, and CTV's resilience, more are looking into more profound transformative channels that reimagine the way we craft modern marketing strategies.

The delay in airing new and concurrent shows will absolutely affect predicted viewership. For now, networks can rely on airing repeats and hunting for more significant engagement in other channels or social media. However, brands that plan to shift inventory might do better in exploring content that aligns with their specific audiences, whether it's reality TV or sports, or funneling their budgets into online platforms like YouTube, podcasts, or gaming.

In other words, this juncture isn't just about surviving; it's about thriving in an era where every disruption becomes an avenue for growth. As media buyers deal with these changes, good doses of insights, creativity, and the confidence to adapt might just be the right recipe to weather the current Hollywood strike.


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