In a big score, Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google subsidiary announced today a new advertising partnership with the media giant Walt Disney (NYSE: DIS). Companies note that people now watch TV from any device, no matter where they are, and that Disney has an unparalleled catalog of content and distribution channels.
Google Ad Manager, the simplified search giant platform that combines DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange earlier this year, will boost Disney's video advertising and display business.
Disney has a massive audience to advertise
Philipp Schindler, chief executive of Google, said in a blog post that Google Ad Manager would now be Disney's main advertising platform. This will include live streaming, as well as Direct Consumer Offers (DTCs) such as ESPN +. The company launched ESPN + at the beginning of the year, priced at $ 5 per month, including advertising, and already has more than one million subscribers. Disney announced earlier this month that Disney + would be launched at the end of 2019, but that this service should not currently display any ads.
Google will supplant ComcastThe FreeWheel ad tech subsidiary, which she acquired in 2014 for $ 360 million. Disney was considering creating or acquiring its own advertising technology but ultimately decided to partner with Google, according to Variety. Disney has a massive digital audience worldwide for all its properties, estimated at around 230 million viewers.
The partnership does not include Hulu, in which Disney currently holds a 30% stake. This stake is about to go to 60% once Disney has closed its current acquisition of Twenty first century (after making some disinvestments that Disney has accepted), thanks to Fox's 30% stake in Hulu. This agreement should be concluded in the coming months.
Disney and Google will work to improve advertising experiences across devices, which will naturally enhance ad targeting capabilities. "Disney will be able to stream video ads effortlessly on the web, in mobile applications, streaming via connected TVs and for live events," said Schindler.
This deal is Disney's latest development in its evolution towards DTC offers. Chief Executive Officer Bob Iger repeated this month's call for results that DTC was "one of our top priorities". ESPN has been bleeding subscribers for years as cord cuts are raging and consumer preferences are shifting to over-the-top (OTT) services. Advertising is also an essential part of the ESPN + monetization strategy.
Suzanne Frey, a member of the Alphabet Executive, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Evan Niu, CFA holds shares in Walt Disney. Motley Fool owns shares and recommends Alphabet (A Shares), Alphabet (C Shares) and Walt Disney. Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.