Comcast’s Peacock faces new tests from advertisers, viewers

Hi and welcome to this weekly edition of Insider Advertising, where we track the big stories in media and advertising. I’m Lucia Moses, deputy editor here.

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First, senior reporter Lauren Johnson is hosting a webinar about how advertisers can navigate the death of third-party cookies on April 22 with execs from The Trade Desk, Mars, The Washington Post, and R/GA. Sign up here.

What we’re following this week:

Peacock’s big test

Recess takes on PepsiCo

Playboy’s NFT


Peacock Comcast NBCUniversal
Al Roker.

Peacock’s big test

Claire Atkinson took the temperature on Comcast’s streaming venture Peacock, which is facing more competition for viewers and advertisers as it enters year two.

Peacock is key to NBCUniversal’s effort to keep TV dollars as viewers shift online – and to Comcast’s plan to grow broadband customers by offering them a freebie.

From Claire’s story:

As Peacock nears its first birthday, NBCUniversal’s streamer is facing fresh challenges – and doubts.

Peacock has delivered in its first year, providing average active user guarantees to launch partners like Target, Capital One, State Farm, and Verizon.

“Peacock has definitely met or exceeded expectations,” Horizon Media’s co-chief investment officer David Campanelli told Insider. “They are outperforming their average active user estimates, which is good to see, and content has been high quality as expected.”

But as NBCUniversal enters one of the most transformational upfront negotiating periods in years, advertisers are ready to cite Peacock’s growing competition to squeeze out better prices, narrower targeting, and more data from the ratings-free black box that is streaming.

Read the rest here: Comcast’s Peacock is facing a tough test as competition heats up and advertisers seek more viewer data


Recess products

Recess takes on PepsiCo

Recess got its start making CBD beverages meant to help its buyers relax. Now it’s betting on another calming ingredient, with magnesium-based beverages, Alex Bitter reports.

It’s a way for Recess to grow without waiting for the federal government to rule on CBD – and capitalize on the success of CPG giants like PepsiCo and Danone have had with similar products.

CBD lacks regulation at the federal level, which effectively bans CBD brands from key national retailers.

But while magnesium is recognized as safe, the science connecting it with reducing anxiety is less solid.

Read the rest here: Recess scored a hit with its millennial pastel-hued CBD seltzer. Now its CEO is challenging PepsiCo with a move into magnesium-infused ‘relaxation beverages.’


Playboy’s NFT

Playboy is joining the growing list of media organizations launching non-fungible tokens, in this case to showcase its art and photography archive and to release original works from artists, Kari McMahon reports.

If that doesn’t jibe with your image of Playboy, consider Playboy’s roots. “In the first issue of Playboy magazine, there’s this line, ‘Picasso, jazz, Nietzsche, and sex, those are the four ideal conversation topics for any sophisticated person’,” said Rachel Webber, Playboy’s chief brand officer and president of corporate strategy. “Right in the core of Playboy’s DNA is appreciation for art and for great artists.”

Other things you might not know about the more woke Playboy today: It’s no longer associated with the Hefners. The magazine said in 2019 it would predominantly hire women photographers to shoot Playmates and that it would have intimacy coordinators on set.

Read the rest here: Playboy is the latest company to hop on the NFT trend. The company’s chief brand officer explains why the digital asset revolution is ‘an enormous business opportunity’.


Other stories we’re reading:

Thanks for reading, and see you next week. And remember you can sign up for this newsletter here.

– Lucia

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