Officials at the Federal Election Commission are reaching out to political ad buyers, among others, to solicit more comments about potential new disclosure rules, Axios has learned. At this point, most of the FEC's efforts are around gathering ideas about ways to modernize outdated disclosure laws.
Among a few other ideas expected to be considered (they're still far away from actual implementation):
Why it matters: The past election cycle showed just how much modern campaigns lean on programmatic advertising to reach voters and donors with persuasive ads that could push them to vote one way or another.
Where it gets tricky: It will be hard for the six-person commission, divided equally among party lines, to come to a consensus, according to sources within the FEC, meaning that any major disclosure efforts would have to come from Congress.
Timing: The commission is accepting comments for 30 days. After that, FEC Commissioner Ellen Weintraub tells Axios, "I think things are moving fast and we need to get moving fast."
The back story: Per Borrell Associates, $800 million was spent on automated advertising on Google and Facebook during last year's election. The Trump campaign spent nearly as much money on programmatic ads as TV ads.
Go deeper: Read my full story.
Political heavyweights on both sides of the aisle are creating and endorsing new media organizations to communicate with voters directly ahead of the 2020 election.
Why it matters: Earlier this year, Axios reported on the explosion of conservative news sites. Audience measurement company Chartbeat confirmed that these sites continue to dominate in volume over left-wing entities, but there's also been an uptick in partisan Facebook pages on the left, per NewsWhip.
Matt Scheckner, the CEO of Advertising Week New York, one of the biggest advertising and media conferences in the world, tells Axios that this years' conference (happening this week) will address how the concept of "America First" is making brand growth difficult for marketers to in countries outside of the U.S.
"People think Advertising week is transactional, but not just about being better about your job, but better at being an American," says Scheckner. "I value that we've been able to create a platform professionally that enables conversations about issues that are much bigger than advertising."
Go deeper: Full Ad Week NYC schedule.
Facebook, Twitter and other tech platforms offer marketers the ability to reach niche audiences with scale and at an efficient cost. But as Facebook's ad load continues to slow, its ad auction has become increasingly competitive, causing the average cost for every 1,000 impressions (CPM) and the average cost per click (CPC) on Facebook to skyrocket, according to data from AdStage:
Twitter has also seen increases:
Why it matters: Facebook has been warning investors for months that ad revenue would "come down meaningfully" this year as the newsfeed becomes more saturated. Increasing CPM's helps make up for any revenue losses that would stem from that reduction in ads served. The average click-through rate has remained consistent on both platforms.
Streaming now represents the majority of music revenue in the U.S., and of that revenue, the majority comes from paid subscription services, like Spotify and Apple Music, according to a new Recording Industry Association of America report.
Why it matters: User growth has been the main revenue driver, according to RIAA's Joshua P. Friedlander. There have been nearly 1 million new music subscriptions per month compared to the prior year, with total U.S. paid music subscribers reaching an average of 30 million for the first half of the year — a record high.
Whereas news publishers and legacy media outlets have struggled to create direct-to-consumer relationships on mobile, the music industry has revolutionized them, and consumers are clearly willing to pay for that premium experience.
New research from Morning Consult finds that pop-up ads and pre-roll ads are the least favored by consumers. Per the study, younger viewers are willing to pay more on average to avoid invasive ads. Adults aged 34 and younger would pay about $35 to eliminate ads on social media.
More than a quarter of Americans use streaming as their primary way of watching TV, according to new data from Pew Research Center.
Why it matters: The uptick in streaming goes hand-in-hand with the uptick in cord-cutting, or people ditching their expensive cable bundles for cheaper streaming options. Last week, eMarketer reduced its annual estimate for TV ad spending in the United States by nearly $1 billion this year due to cord-cutting.
The group predicts that by 2021, the ratio of pay TV viewers to non-pay TV viewers will drop from 4:1 to nearly 2:1.
According to international social media analytics firm Talkwalker, there were more than four million social posts related to the NFL and the National Anthem – or those using the hashtags #TakeAKnee or #TakeTheKnee this weekend, as of 8 a.m. on Monday:
Domestically, advertising interest groups for months have been pitching lawmakers to reconsider potentially using advertising taxes as a "pay-for" to offset other tax cuts, which would eliminate some advertising deductions as much as 50% over 10 years.
Internationally, the European Union wants to raise taxes for some of the biggest U.S. tech companies, like Amazon, Google and Facebook, in an effort to open up competition to other businesses in the EU.
Why it matters: Local media that relies heavily on small business advertising would be especially affected by domestic tax breaks. "Making it more expensive for businesses to advertise would impede the ability of stations to offer the high-quality news, information and entertainment on which the public relies," the National Association of Broadcasters argues in a statement.
Last week, I moderated a panel between four former White House communications shop veterans at the Public Affairs Council's annual meeting: Don Baer (Clinton), Anita Dunn (Obama), Karen Hughes (George W. Bush), and Mike McCurry (Clinton).
The most popular question from PR executives across the country was what advice would each of them would give for Hope Hicks, the 27-year-old White House communications director:
Season 3 of Snapchat's "Good Luck America" political show picks back up today, and will now air weekly instead of bi-weekly. Host Peter Hamby travels to his hometown of Richmond, Va., for the season opener, where he interviews Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney about Confederate statues on the historic Monument Avenue. Axios readers can watch a sneak peek here.