Welcome to Quarterly Quotes, your shortcut to top insights from each quarter's key industry earnings calls. In our inaugural installment, we've culled the most significant quotes from a select group of advertising agency holding companies and top media companies. Click any of the company names below to navigate directly to their quotes. Curated by Jeff Minsky, editor "The Myers Report."
Agency Holding Groups
Agency Holding Groups
"At the Cannes Festival of Creativity, we had a particularly impressive performance. IPG agencies took home 11 of the festival's highest honor, the Grand Prix. This is more than all other global holding companies and consultants combined.
"...Our agencies won more Gold Lions, the festival's next highest honor, than any other holding company. Notably, in terms of awards per dollar of revenue, IPG topped the rankings among holding companies at the festival.
"UM was awarded its first-ever Grand Prix for 5B, a documentary created specifically for Johnson & Johnson, that chronicles the work done by nurses during the 1980s in one of the country's first HIV hospital wards. This marked the first time that a media agency won the Grand Prix in the Entertainment category.
"The future of our industry rests on the ability to combine transformative data capabilities with creativity…
"We are net-new-business positive year-to-date, both internationally and in the U.S. As such, we've been able to offset significant domestic headwinds and, once we cycle through those losses, we expect to see a return to solid U.S. growth rates.
"…Our open architecture model is the most client-centric approach in the market. It integrates marketing channels across creative, media, public relations, and data management in a model that continues to resonate with clients…
"...We include environmental, social, and governance issues as value creators. That means we consistently take public positions on important social issues. We feel doing so is in line with our values of transparency, ethics, inclusion, and community involvement.
"This quarter, Acxiom continued expanding its global data offerings, most recently in Japan, Australia, Spain, and Canada.... [Acxiom's] core competency is data management, first-party data management, and that's not a question of buying or renting. That's a strong core business that Acxiom has, and you see the new business wins at Acxiom relate to first-party data management...
"What we're talking about is helping clients who have that first-party data to maximize the efficiency of that data and use potential other resources to enhance those capabilities...
"Our open architecture is really a key.... I'm sitting in a room and we have FCB; we have McCann; we have Weber Shandwick; we have Acxiom; we have R/GA; and all [are at the table], servicing an existing client. That's a pretty powerful group to have in a room, and when I sit in that room and I look at the leadership of our clients and I say, 'Look, this is the new go-to-market strategy of IPG. You're entitled to the best IPG has to offer.'
"I always say, confusion is good for us because if clients are confused, they need someone to figure it out. And that's what we do." –Michael I. Roth, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, IPG
"Today's CMOs have been transformed from brand builders to performance marketers focused on measurable results and increasing their use of data, analytics, research, and digital services to connect better with their customers. At the same time, clients are continuing to move away from appointing single agencies of record to enlisting more and more services on a competitive project or roster basis. In turn, we must position and organize our agencies to be nimbler and more responsive to the changing landscape.
"At the high level, our new world plan is built around the following principles: Our agencies are better together than apart whenever possible. Data and creativity must go hand in hand. Data is useless without creativity and creativity can be useless without data.
"Investments should be in digital technologies that spur growth, not real estate that increases overhead. We will reduce our 25 reporting units down to seven to 10, retaining individual brands but creating networks that can go to market with the larger bundle of services that meet more [of] the needs of modern clients. By bringing together our existing assets, we can offer the client the combination of data, creativity, strategy, research, public relations, and execution across new and old media.
"Last month, we moved to a line under the common leadership, MDC Partners, including its lead agency, Assembly, with Gale Partners, a global data technology CRM and addressable content agency. Driven by its sophistication with data, Gale also happens to be MDC's fastest-growing agency over the last several years. This effort marks the first in a series of actions and the bringing together of the best talent across MDC into collaborative networks to elevate our offering for the benefit of our clients by establishing a new group built around data, technology, media, and content. The new media network includes seven global offices and a multidisciplinary team of over 600 employees.
"To win larger client assignments, we're also beginning to create multi-country interdisciplinary teams that offer services as One MDC. Given the world-class nature of our firms, we can effectively take on, compete, and win against even the largest of holding companies and the most sophisticated of consulting firms." –Mark Penn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, MDC Partners
"Having recently returned from the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity, a key takeaway was the return to celebrating creativity as the most sought-after force in our industry...
"...Importantly, our data and analytics strategy is focused on three areas. First, is ensuring that the platforms remain open. We prefer to rent the right data and technology that can improve our agility and client integration at any point in time, rather than invest in legacy data assets and platforms that can easily become obsolete. Second, we are making selective, focused investments to develop and integrate differentiated tools in one place in support of the services our agencies offer. And last, we have prioritized these capabilities in our key markets….
"...Our investment in data and analytics has been made with the understanding that they are tools in service of creativity and content. As I've said before, our true source of differentiation, our IP, is our ability to bring deep consumer insights to our clients in lockstep with brilliant creative ideas driving business results." - John Wren, Chief Executive Officer, Omnicom Media Group
"You are all very familiar with the disruption created by data and technology in our industries. One number to illustrate it: 100 percent of the digital growth in the U.S. is actually captured by Facebook and Google. The need for transformation has never been so strong in our sector…
"This is why we are confident that we will deliver strong growth in the future, thanks to three levers. The first one is clear: In the data-led, digital-first world, every one of our clients will have to transform. When you know that, on average, a consumer has 900 digital interactions before buying a car, you understand why every one of our clients will need data, creativity, and technology in a seamless way to deliver [a] personalized experience at scale. This is exactly what we can bring to them with our unique set of assets and the Power of One. We are now uniquely positioned to do it and we are talking about an addressable market of $1.5 trillion. To make it happen,we will leverage all the growth potential of Epsilon and Publicis Sapient that already represents more than 30 percent of our revenue together.
"We will accelerate the rollout of our model, particularly in the U.S., our largest market, where we have announced, last week, a major step forward with a new organization to further cross-fertilization.
"…On the one hand, our new business track record, the rise of our game changer, and our strong financial results make us very confident in the unique model we are building. On the other hand, the cut in advertising fees that we are experiencing, mainly with our FMCG clients in the U.S., [is] leading us to take a conservative approach when it comes to short-term growth. —Arthur Sadoun, Chief Executive Officer, Publicis Groupe
"We are now seeing the cookies at riskand the future is about first-party data. You talk about uncertain regulations so this — what Epsilon is going to give us — [sic] is going to be privacy by design. In terms of integration, we have got a service where we are now seeing the opportunity through game-changers to connect media, technology, creative. The missing link is data.
"So, we can now provide that really powerful connecting asset, and I think our strategy has proved absolutely right to double down on data." —Steve King, Chief Executive Officer,Publicis Media
"We do have encouraging areas of growth in our media businesses group, and GroupM has performed extremely well. We continue to see strong growth from our technology clients that make up a substantial part of our portfolio and in some of the faster-growing economies. There is some choppiness in China, but Brazil and India, where we have large businesses, have done well. The U.S. is our key area of focus. It's the part of the business most impacted by the client losses we had last year and I just remind everybody that we last saw growth in the US in the first quarter of 2016.We have taken the initiatives that we needed in terms of bringing in new leadership, re-organizing, or repositioning the company through the creation of VMLY&R, Wunderman Thompson, BCW, and we're starting to see a positive impact of those mergers and the business in the U.S. declined by minus 8.8% in the first quarter, minus 5.4% in the second quarter.
"We need to be in the business of growing WPP for the next five years to 10 years, maybe even 20 years. And if you look at consumer technology … it's a $4 trillion business; 10 years ago, it was $400 billion business. In 20 years' time, it will be a $40 trillion business." –Mark Read, Chief Executive Officer, WPP, responding to a question on if he considers the Technology vertical to be as important as FMCGs and Automotive for the advertising industry.
"Turning to WarnerMedia, it was another strong quarter. Merger synergies remain on track and we had solid operating income growth across all three business units.... Bottom line, HBO's stepped-up investment in content is working and this will be critical as we launch HBO Max next spring.
"Later this summer, we'll beta launch AT&T TV in a few markets. That's our live TV service over broadband. We have some really high expectations for this product and we're going to learn from the pilot, and then we'll expand to more cities as we go through the year. IP broadband revenue growth remains strong.
"We continue to see solid growth in our AT&T Fiber product. That product now reaches about 14 million customer locations or 22 million when you include businesses.
"...As we come out of the back end of 2019 and the customer base is cleaned up, we will have a customer base [of DirecTV] that is going to be perfectly suited for HBO Max.
"So, start with the NFL Sunday Ticket exclusivity. That's something that served DirecTV well for many years. However, unfortunately, right now, that content is tied to our satellite product. And so, it serves a good value as we come into the fall. It'll be an important retention tool. But, in terms of an opportunity to grow our business with that, when it's anchored to a satellite product, it's kind of hard to utilize it. So, hopefully, over time, we can address that and move it onto our other platforms. And I think it can be a really important piece of growing our other platforms.
"This won't be at the early stages of HBO Max, but you should assume that, ultimately, HBO Max will have live elements. And those live elements, both unique, live sports, premium sports, the ones we just went through, NBA, Major League Baseball, NCAA basketball, those are going to be really, really important elements for HBO Max. The same with news, and you can go through the areas of news that we think are very, very important, and will do quite well as an element of HBO Max." —Randall L. Stephenson, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer, President, AT&T
"We are also integrating augmented reality into search. So, if, say, you're searching for new shoes online, you can view the shoes in 3D or even superimpose them onto your wardrobe to see if they match.
"The next-generation assistant can process requests up to 10 times faster, making it easier to multi-task, compose emails, and even work offline. With features like Duplex on the web, that system will soon be able to help users book rental cars and buy movie tickets.
"Google Maps will now tell you when your bus is delayed or how packed your next train will be. We have rolled this out to people in 200 cities worldwide.
"In Android Q, we can now add automatic live captions to any media playing on your phone, such as videos, podcasts, and voicemails.
"Creators continue to build engaged fan bases on YouTube. Channels with more than one million subscribers grew by 75 percent year-over-year.
"New YouTube Original series, movies, and live events will soon be made available for free, supported by ads…. YouTube TV, with its 70-plus channels, will be accessible as a standalone lineup in Google Preferred.
"At Google Marketing Live, we introduced new ad formats, such as Discovery ads, which offer a new visually rich, mobile-first ad experience across Google properties. We also announced a unified shopping experience and universal shopping cart, all of which help to make Google more shoppable. We also announced Google Travel, a new centralized travel destination where people can plan and organize all aspects of their next trip all in one place, from booking flights and accommodations to planning activities.
"But I think with AI, we are excited that we can give better experiences for users with less data over time. And those are the kind of directions we are pushing." —Sundar Pichai, Chief Executive Officer, Google, and board member, Alphabet
"CBS is now producing 89 shows, up from 70 shows just a year ago. That's a 27 percent increase…
"The vast majority of our All Access viewers are in the 18-to-49 demo. Another good data point we've seen is time spent on All Access, which is up over 60 percent and growing even faster than total streams — and it's mostly, as a result of adding more… high-profile originals, from the debut of next week's committed drama Why Women Kill to the second new Star Trek series, Star Trek: Picard...
"…Two-thirds of the All Access subs are taking the limited commercial option.
"We are broadening our reach to add kids programing to All Access. Later this year, All Access will begin rolling out 1,000 episodes of library programming and new original seasons of Danger Mouse and Cloudy with A Chance of Meatballs….
"At Showtime, we're also accelerating our investment in content this year with about 40 percent more original programming than we had in 2018…
"In local media, we are ramping up our investment in direct-to-consumer by launching new local versions of our digital news network CBSN. We have already successfully launched in New York and Los Angeles. And by early next year, we plan to have local versions of CBSN in all 13 major markets where we have news operations. This will enable us to have a more robust multiplatform approach by the time the next election cycle really gets going." —Joe Ianniello, Interim Chief Executive Officer,CBS Corporation
"We had remarkable client interest and excitement about our new lineup, resulting in very strong Upfront sales performance for the 19-20 television season. CPM increases across the network schedule were substantial. It was the strongest Upfront we've seen in recent years, most notably in prime time and late-night...
"Data-driven linear was the starting point to move beyond demo to audiences. Looking at what's next, CBS is moving fast towards addressable TV via set-top boxes and smart TVs. This has the power to revolutionize the advertising to get us all closer to that not-so-distant future of delivering a brand's message to the right consumer at the right moment and to drive their business. This is already happening on our OTT platforms…
"Addressable is not there yet and it probably will take a while to scale. But we're looking at something maybe … in 2020. The MVPDs and the OEMs have to get their act together. We are having conversations with all of them and if clients want to test and learn with us on data-driven linear, whether it's in scatter or during the Upfront, we're able to do that as well…
"Advertising [quarterly] overall increased 7 percent driven by the broadcast of the semifinals and championship game of the NCAA men's basketball tournament…
"On a year-to-date basis, revenue of $8 billion increased 10 percent, which is consistent with the second quarter and, again, we delivered growth across our three key revenue sites. Advertising was up 13 percent, content licensing was up 5 percent, and affiliate and subscription fees were up 13 percent." –Jo Ann Ross, Chief Advertising Revenue Officer, CBS Corporation
"The key driver of this sustained growth continues to be our market position with 55 million valuable customers in many of the world's most attractive markets, generating $111 in revenue per customer each month with high margin and strong retention. Across Sky and Cable, we added 456,000 new relationships this quarter and 868,000 in the first half of the year.
"In the U.S., connectivity is the focal point of our customer relationships, enabled by our world-class network. Our connectivity businesses, again, generated nearly 10 percent growth in revenue and, collectively, are on track to deliver the 14th consecutive year of well over 1 million broadband net additions.
"At NBC, we're on a path to finish number one in the U.S. for the sixth straight year in the key demographic of adults 18 to 49. And at Telemundo, we're number one in Spanish language primetime. Advertising is a core strength. And once again, we led the market in both volume and price. The overall portfolio volume was close to $7 billion, an increase of 10 percent over last year, and the average price was similarly strong. We helped shift the marketplace to embrace all video, unifying all screens, platforms, and content, breaking down the historic barriers between linear and digital, which is particularly important as we prepare to launch our ad-supported streaming service next year. To that end, we had record digital video sales, an increase of 50 percent over the prior year.
"Total video subscribers [for Comcast U.S.] declined by 224,000 in the quarter as we continue to respond to change in consumer viewing preferences. We will remain disciplined in executing our connectivity-led strategy to drive customer relationship growth and total lifetime value of those relationships. Video will continue to play an important role in our strategy. But, as we said before, we will not chase unprofitable video subs.
"Broadcast revenue increased 0.5 percent to $2.4 billion and EBITDA increased to 28 percent to $534 million. Excluding the comparison to Telemundo's broadcast of the FIFA World Cup last year, revenue was up mid–single digits and EBITDA was up double digits, driven by growth in retrans and strong advertising.
"Excluding the World Cup, advertising increased mid-single-digits as lower ratings were more than offset by higher prices, reflecting a very strong scatter market with double-digit price premiums, as well as some benefit from an additional NHL Stanley Cup game and Copa America soccer in the quarter.
"We had a record Upfront. For the last seven years, we've been selling all of our channels together at the Upfront. And, pretty much, for the last seven years, we've been leading the Upfront … and we sell more television advertising than anyone else in the country. This year was particularly robust. Our volume was up 10 percent. I think our average pricing was up close to 10 percent, maybe 9 percent. NBC and primetime [were] up about 13.5 percent." —Stephen Burke, Chief Executive Officer,NBCUniversal and Senior Executive Vice President,Comcast Corporation
"The Upfront was very strong and, leading up to it, scatter was strong, and it was accelerating. I spent a lot of time talking to the agencies as we try and kind of lift ourselves up to where we see broadcast [CPMs] in the high $50s and low $60s and we are still getting CPMs that are much lower. The ability to really sell product — advertisers are finding that television is still … the most effective platform to do that, and so I think there is a move back.
"The television industry is far from dead, here or abroad. Contrary to what many believe, we are getting real, meaningful growth from the core TV business around the world and it feels sustainable.
"HDTV, Food, TLC, ID, and OWN, the top networks in America for women. These networks have made us the number one media company for women 25 to 54 across all of television [and] the number one media company in America for women, broadcast on cable with a 16 percent share.
"On the go, we're seeing great traction across all of our apps, setting records in total daily streams, much of which doesn't get picked up fully by Nielsen. For Shark Weekalone, we've seen over one million streams each day.
"We produce over 8,000 new hours of original real-life programming a year with unrivaled scale in our genres…. Globally, we have nearly 500 free-to-air and pay-TV channels, with roughly 10 to 12 in every key market around the globe.
"And within Factual, our soon-to-launch service [that] brings together the very best of Discovery and BBC, real-life content will offer a comprehensive view-and-do experience — one that is immersive and interactive.
"In the second quarter, Discovery again, achieved very strong operating performance with 6 percent U.S. advertising growth, 5 percent U.S. affiliate growth, 5 percent international ad growth, which included a one-month impact from the consolidation of the three networks acquired from U.K. TV [that] added roughly one percentage point of growth and 3 percent international affiliate growth. –David Zaslav,Chief Executive Officer,Discovery Inc.
"The studio has generated $8 billion in global Box Office in 2019, a new industry record. So far this year, we've released five of the top six movies, including four that have generated more than $1 billion in global Box Office. Avengers: Endgame is now the highest-grossing film in history with almost $2.8 billion worldwide. Captain Marvel, Aladdin, and The Lion King have each surpassed $1 billion. And, with more than $960 million in Box Office to date, Toy Story 4 will likely cross that threshold in the coming weeks. And all of these movies will be on Disney+ in the first year of launch.
"To give you an idea of the value of this platform, last quarter, Hotstar had more than 300 million average monthly users, served an unprecedented 100 million daily users, and delivered a high-quality streaming experience to 25.3 million simultaneous users, which is a new world record. The platform's broad array of premium sports rights will serve it well over the next five years, especially as we expand the service into markets across Southeast Asia.
"Disney+ will offer more than 600 hours of premium content from National Geographic at launch, along with almost 300 hours of family entertainment from the Fox Studios library." —Robert Iger,Chief Executive Officer,The Walt Disney Company
"Once we close on our acquisition of the Nexstar Tribune divestitures, Scripps will be the fourth largest independent local broadcaster, reaching more than 30 percent of U.S. households. We will have quadrupled our number one and number two stations and more than doubled the markets where we operate two stations.... With the Nexstar Tribune stations, we will own 26 stations in the top 50 DMAs, and we'll have diversified our affiliation mix…
"Newsy is riding a wave of growth in over-the-top television, as it remains dedicated to younger news consumers who seek out quality objective journalism. Triton and Stitcher are leaders in the digital audio marketplace, focused on expanding their share of the market to capture even more of this significant opportunity.... We remain steadfast in our mission to provide the quality objective journalism [that] our local and national audiences crave and need." –Adam Symson, President and Chief Executive Officer, E.W. Scripps
"Consumers are spending more of their time today on platforms such as over-the-top and over-the-air television, as well as digital audio and podcasting. Scripps has strategically positioned itself to run leading businesses on each of these fast-growing platforms. And now, we see ourselves beginning to reap the rewards of that effort. Our division revenue neared $100 million as Katz, Newsy, and Stitcher all surpassed our expectations…
"Ninety million Americans listened to podcasts every month and those who listen weekly tend to listen a lot. They average about seven podcasts a week. Brand name advertisers are following these listeners into the podcast space. In the quarter, Stitcher saw continued demand for podcasting from an ever-expanding roster of brand-named advertisers, including State Farm, PepsiCo, and JCPenney….
"Newsy has employed a multi-platform distribution strategy to be everywhere you can find a TV-watching audience. It nearly doubled its revenue performance from the second quarter of 2018. Among Newsy's recent journalism highlights was receiving a National Edward R. Murrow Award for a story about the nationwide movement over school funding levels. It also received the national Emmy Nomination for a joint investigation with the Scripps Washington Bureau as to the way police agencies across the country prematurely close unsolved rape cases." –Laura Tomlin, Senior Vice President National Media, E.W. Scripps
"There was a growing understanding that having first-party customer relationships at scale is a fundamental advantage. Our ad business is thriving because we offer a superior solution, providing precision targeting, access to premium inventory, unique sponsorships, and OTT reached at an individual publisher of third-party ad tech provider cannot match. The Roku OS was built to create value for advertisers and content distributors. We are proud of the value we deliver for their business." –Anthony Wood, Chief Executive Officer,Roku
"In addition, robust growth in advertising continued as Roku monetized video ad impressions, once again, more than doubled year-over-year and we expect that trend to continue throughout 2019." —Steve Louden, Chief Financial Officer, Roku
"I think that we are still in the early stages of the secular shift in the consumer TV habit moving to OTT, and that move is very fast. You can see it in the growth of streaming hours on our platform. So, I do think it will take more than three years to play out."
"We do continue to command premium CPMs; it's a function of it being a great product that prudently performs better than the alternatives. So, we continue to drive great pricing but we're much more focused on the larger prize in our view, which is attracting TV ad dollars generally. –Scott Rosenberg, General Manager, Platform Business, Roku
"It's been a great start [for STIRR]. We're only six months in [and] we're well ahead of budget. Monthly average users are in excess of 0.5 million people. So, that's ahead of our expectations – and usage times are quite long.
"In terms of what people are watching, it's really dominated by the local channel, which is a key differentiator in STIRR, where we give you your local news and, increasingly, we're going to start more — adding more syndicated product that you would normally see on our air. And that channel, which we call STIRR City, which is localized to your area, is far and away the largest viewership. But we're currently over 40 channels and growing. Every month we're adding new channels, which adds to the variety of viewership." –Chris Ripley, President and Chief Executive Officer,Sinclair Broadcast Group
We continued Network as a service concept, [having] announced our collaboration with YouTube TV, where we're going to offer up both our Fios customers, but also the wireless customers…
"Fios Internet net additions of 28,000 were driven by continued demand for our high-quality fiber broadband products. Fios Video losses totaled 52,000 as consumers continue to adopt over-the-top video services to replace traditional linear video offerings….
"For the second quarter, Verizon Media Group revenue is $1.8 billion, which was down 2.9 percent versus the prior year, a significant improvement from the 7.2 percent year-over-year decline reported in the first quarter….
"Gains in native and mobile advertising continue to be offset by declines in desktop advertising, though the business continues to build on positive momentum in key areas. We are continuing to migrate customers to our recently integrated advertising platforms, simplifying interactions with partners and driving synergies within the business….
"During the quarter, we launched Yahoo! Finance Premium and HuffPost Plus, which are subscription services that enhance the experience of two of our most popular media assets.
"So, on 5G, you have seen our progress in the quarter. We have basically now launched nine markets on the way to get to the 30 that we have talked about for the full year…. At the same time, we now have three handsets and we have the Inseego MiFi that we launched, which is sort of a business proposition, as well, for 5G." –Hans Vestberg, Chief Executive Officer,Verizon Communications
Viacom (FQ3 2019; NOTE: Call occurred before CBS/Viacom merger announcement)
"The biggest headline of the quarter is that domestic ad sales returned to growth for the first time in 20 quarters, as revenue grew 6 percent year-over-year. This represents a significant milestone for Viacom."
"When we announced the acquisition of Pluto TV in late January, it had 12 million monthly active users. As of the end of July, Pluto has 18 million monthly active users — a 50 percent increase. We increased Pluto TVs content offering by adding 28 new channels to the service. We also launched Pluto TV Latino, a suite of 11 free linear channels stocked with 2,000-plus hours of TV programming in Spanish and Portuguese. Pluto TV is now integrated on Comcast flex service and X1 set-top boxes and gain new distribution on Cox Communications' Contour video and broadband platforms. These distribution relationships will also be a valuable asset when we launch BET+ this fall." –Bob Bakish, Chief Executive Officer, Viacom
"We went into the Upfront with a differentiated strategy built around the combined power of our linear brands and our rapidly growing AMS portfolio. And the strategy worked. We achieved the highest price increases across all of our cable networks in over a decade, while simultaneously capturing meaningful volume.
"Our strategy positioned the breadth of our solution set — including targeted TV, digital video, Pluto TV, influencer marketing, branded content, experiential, and shopper marketing — to complement our powerful linear brands, which reached allusive younger demos. We're already using Pluto inventory to fulfill Vantage campaigns. We're using Pluto inventory to satisfy certain areas of bundled delivery. So, it's an integral part of not only AMS, but [also] the overall ad solutions business.
"Vantage grew over 80 percent, [and] social and digital grew over 50 percent, as we added new sources of inventory." –Wade Davis, Chief Financial Officer,Viacom
Click the social buttons to share this story with your friends and colleagues.
The opinions and points of view expressed in this content are exclusively the views of the author and/or subject(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of MediaVillage.com/MyersBizNet, Inc. management or associated writers.