Best of the week: Trump hurts brands while Snapchat hurts publishers

As Donald Trump’s shot at the presidency plummets, he’s taking his brand down with him.

The interesting thing about the Trump brand is that his name actually used to mean something positive, believe it or not. When he launched his bid, Trump valued his licensing deals and brand developments at $3.3 billion, according to the Washington Post. A survey conducted by Brand Keys found that the Trump name increased value between 20 and 37 percent. Post candidacy, that added value has begun to erode.

Trump’s toxic campaign is not only hurting his own brand, but he’s dragging down other brands. Take, for instance, Tic Tac, which became an unwitting part of the furor surrounding Trump’s leaked “Access Hollywood” tape. Of the 26,000 social mentions Brandwatch found of Donald Trump and Tic Tac, 71 percent were negative. While no one was blaming the candy brand for what Trump said, it definitely did not want to be a part of the conversation.

Snapchat doesn’t feel like sharing anymore.
News flash: Platforms giveth and the platforms taketh away. News broke this week that Snapchat no longer wanted to split ad revenue with its Snapchat Discover partners. Instead, Snapchat is moving to licensing deals to keep all of the ad revenue it sells for the media distribution platform.

“A lot of people continue to pull their hair out trying to work with [Snapchat],” an executive at Snapchat Discover partner told Digiday. “They have the advantage. Snapchat is literally the only remaining curated media platform that has this huge audience.”

Still, some are staying optimistic and will look to use Snapchat’s new terms as leverage against other platforms. If Snapchat is willing to pay a certain amount for content, it’s easier to go to Facebook and other social platforms and demand a fee for putting content on those platform as well, sources said.

Meanwhile, all of those Snapchat teams built by Snapchat Discover partners might get downsized or face extinction. That’s just how it goes in a distributed media world.

Snapchat, meanwhile, is hurtling toward an IPO. With control over all advertising on Snapchat Discover — and a 100-person sales team to boot — the company might be able to grow revenue at a rate that justifies its lofty valuation.

Apple News drives traffic, but not revenue.
It’s a story as old as time: a publishing platform that helps media companies reach more people, but struggles to drive any meaningful revenue.

With Apple’s iOS 10 update, Apple News was revamped to include breaking news notifications and better organization for the main “For You” section. Apple News stories are also featured in the search page that’s to the left of the iPhone’s home screen. Since the changes, The Atlantic and The Guardian told Digiday their traffic increased significantly, doubling in The Atlantic’s case.

Trouble is, there’s little advertising on Apple News today because it’s difficult for publishers to monetize that traffic. Publishers can sell ads on Apple News and keep all the ad revenue, but to do so, they have to use Apple’s ad server, Workbench, which is a hassle because it requires ads to be built in a special way.

Publishing executives said Apple has been talking about making it easier to sell ads, including letting publishers use their own ad-serving platform. “They have been more proactive in speaking with us about monetization,” one exec said.

A new trick for Facebook-thirsty publishers: using celebrities.
When Mic shared a story about convicted rapist Brock Turner on its own Facebook page, it gathered about 7,700 reactions and was shared 4,400 times. When George Takei shared that same story the next day, it got nearly three times as many reactions — over 22,000 — and drove over 5,000 shares.


Celebrities are the new Facebook “growth hackers” for publishers like Mic, Slate and Rolling Stone. “There’s a ton of publications that have almost become built solely on this [distribution mechanism],” said Ken Wohl, the co-founder of Cybrid Media, a company that helped Elite Daily triple the size of its Facebook audience.

And yet, this strategy might not last long as a cottage industry has formed with companies like FanBread and Providr, which claim to drive more revenue for celebrities by creating content in-house and then selling ads against it.

Up next
To get you ready for next week’s stories today, here’s an audio preview of a few of Monday’s headlines: French publisher Le Monde gets tough with ad block users, McDonald’s plans to audit its $1 billion advertising business, and the fashion industry coming around to the use of blockchain.

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