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Photo: Mike Kemp/Getty Images.

Disney has consolidated all its advertising technology teams under one unit led by former Hulu advertising lead Jeremy Helfand, executives tell Axios. It will be housed within Disney's direct-to-consumer arm, which also encompasses its streaming division.

Why it matters: It's a sign of maturation for the company. Disney hadn't yet fully integrated all of its advertising technology since having acquired most of 21st Century Fox last year and having launched new streaming properties, like Disney+ and ESPN+.

Details: The new unit will make it easier for advertisers to buy ads consistently across all Disney products, whether traditional television, streaming or digital.

  • It will also work to develop and refine new ad products that make sense for 21st century TV viewing, like binge ads.
  • In a conversation with Axios, Aaron LaBerge, executive vice president and CTO of DTCI Technology (Disney's streaming and international division), said that the consolidation will make it easier for advertisers to manage, measure and optimize their ad campaigns across all of Disney's brands.
  • He also says that the realignment will not result in any layoffs.

Be smart: The creation of the team comes as Disney and other networks have begun courting advertisers for the fall programming season.

  • Disney hosted its annual "Upfront" presentation virtually this year via a series of presentations to ad agencies in May. Hulu will live stream its annual "NewFronts" presentation for advertisers later this month.

Advertising is a huge part Disney's business, and the company sees advertising technology as its secret to unlocking more ad revenue.

  • Having different teams working on different ad products then taking them individually to market got confusing for advertisers and made it hard for them to have one consistent relationship with Disney as a brand.
  • Disney's competitors have also been trying to solve this issue by unifying their ad products and platforms. NBCUniversal, for example, debuted a new, unified advertising technology suite called One Platform this year ahead of Upfronts as well.

The big picture: Disney is expected to lose over $1 billion this year due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. While much of that is attributable to its parks and resorts division, its TV and digital networks will also be heavily affected by advertisers cutting down on marketing spend to survive the virus's economic upheaval.

Go deeper

Sep 22, 2020 - Economy & Business

PSA donations triple in 2020

The Ad Council, a 75-year-old non-profit, has nearly tripled the amount of media support for public service announcements (PSAs) over the six months that it typically manages in a year, its CEO tells Axios.

By the numbers: In total, it has generated nearly $370 million of donated media support around the coronavirus, compared to what it used to consider record contributions of $100 million for messaging around disasters like Hurricane Katrina and 9/11. 

Republicans threaten to shut down government over vaccine mandates

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) in the Capitol in November 2020. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images

Conservative Republicans in the House and Senate are planning to force a government shutdown Friday to deny funding needed to enforce the Biden administration's vaccine mandates on the private sector, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Congress has until the end of the week to pass a stopgap measure to extend funding into 2022, though objection from a small group of Republicans could shut down the government.

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.