business news in context, analysis with attitude

• Noting that “Walmart has long offered companies like Unilever, Kellogg Co. and Hollywood studios space to place ads inside its 4,600 U.S. stores” but “looked to an outside firm to sell space on its websites and across the web,” the Wall Street Journal reports that it Now “is in the process of bringing its digital ad business in-house … Walmart also plans to bring its store and digital ad teams closer together, using Walmart’s vast trove of shopper data to sell marketing opportunities in more parts of its sprawling business, including Vudu, its video streaming service.”

The Journal points out that “digital advertising is a tough business that is dominated by Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. But deep-pocketed companies with large amounts of data on their customers are in the best position to mount a challenge to that ‘duopoly,’ ad industry experts say. Amazon has already made significant inroads, and AT&T Inc. has designs on building a big digital ad business after acquiring media giant Time Warner Inc.”

The story goes on: “Walmart will need to build a team of media and marketing executives that not only can sell ad space but also help its suppliers create ads for its properties - no easy feat for a large company that typically outsources such tasks.”
KC's View: