Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to Axios Closer for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with Axios Sports. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Digital ad prices are soaring, forcing businesses to rethink their entire marketing strategies.

Why it matters: At the same time digital ads are getting more expensive, they're also getting harder to target, creating big barriers to entry for startup digital-native brands trying to find their first customers.

By the numbers: The cost to advertise on Facebook is 33% higher than it was in Q3 2019 (before the pandemic), as measured by CPM, or cost per thousand impressions.

  • Instagram CPM is up 23% over the same period, and Google's cost per click (CPC) is also up 23%, according to proprietary data provided by performance marketing firm Tinuiti.

What happened: It’s another example of how the pandemic has changed how we do business, and how we live our lives.

  • Advertisers pulled back at the beginning of the pandemic, but then lockdown life turbo-charged the transition to all things digital — so as the economy reopened this year, the ad dollars naturally gravitated there in greater force.
  • Competition for ad space is now driving prices sky-high.

What they’re saying: “The [digital advertising platforms] are a lot more competitive than they used to be,” Andy Taylor, VP of research at Tinuiti, tells Axios. "For most advertisers, pricing is the highest it's ever been."

  • One VP of e-commerce at a direct-to-consumer beauty brand tells Axios that the company's digital ads are now at least 50% more costly than they were in January, on a per click or per impression basis.

The intrigue: As ad costs have shot up, the power of consumer targeting on social media has suffered — thanks to Apple's recent iOS updates prioritizing data privacy.

  • "Facebook and Instagram CPM is just going through the roof — and their targeting is a lot weaker than it has historically been," the e-commerce exec says.

The impact: Given the escalating prices and declining return on investment, some brands have recently begun moving more of their ad budgets to other venues, like streaming TV, traditional TV, and even direct mailings.

  • The costs of those options has crept up as well, but at growth rates more in line with historical levels, the executive says.

What to watch: If prices stay high, the impact on startups that need to acquire their first round of customers could be significant. The era of ease for digital-native consumer facing companies, like Warby Parker and Allbirds, may be over.

  • "For a startup, this is a really tough time. A lot of them have historically depended quite a bit on the social platforms to track their business. They usually have lean marketing budgets, and you need returns on those investments," the e-commerce exec says.

Go deeper

Regulators investigating Trump SPAC deal

Former President Donald Trump speaking during a rally in Des Moines, Iowa, in October. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Regulators are investigating the planned merger between Digital World Acquisition Corporation and former President Trump's social media business, according to a recent filing by the SPAC.

Driving the news: The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority are looking into the trading of Digital World's shares, while the SEC is investigating communications and documents between Digital World and Trump Media Technology Group.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

First look: Anita Dunn advises Dems on economy message for '22

Signs from a President Biden event yesterday in Kansas City, Mo. Photo: Chase Castor/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In a midterm preview, top Democratic strategist Anita Dunn advises the party's House and Senate members to frame Republicans "as being against the economic interests of working Americans."

What she's saying: "Explicitly framing Republicans as opposing policies to lower costs does better than simply framing Republicans as the 'party of no,'" Dunn, White House senior adviser until August, writes in the memo.

JPMorgan: "Full global recovery" in 2022

Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

JPMorgan Chase Global Research says in a forecast to clients: "2022 will be the year of a full global recovery, an end of the global pandemic, and a return to normal conditions we had prior to the COVID-19 outbreak."

The big picture: The bullish report sees "a return of global mobility, and a release of pent-up demand from consumers (e.g. travel, services)."