Taboola is paying publishers back after its deal with Outbrain fell apart

Hi! Welcome to the Insider Advertising daily for December 18. I'm Lauren Johnson, a senior advertising reporter at Business Insider. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday. Send me feedback or tips at [email protected]

Today's news: Taboola pays publishers back, insiders question WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar's leadership, and how 'plant-based' brands are moving past meat.

Taboola Founder and CEO Adam Singolda. Taboola

Content-recommendation company Taboola is repaying publishers $16 million in revenue guarantees that were postponed in the pandemic

  • Taboola said it would repay $16 million it withheld from publisher clients amid the coronavirus earlier this year, Lara O'Reilly reports.
  • The company's move to switch publishers to different deals contributed to the breakdown of its proposed $2 billion merger with rival content recommendation firm Outbrain.
  • Taboola CEO Adam Singolda said advertiser revenue rebounded in the second half of the year and that the company is returning the amount publishers would have received had their guarantee deals not been put on ice.

Read the full story here.

Jason Kilar.WarnerMedia

New WarnerMedia chief Jason Kilar is moving to shake up Hollywood. Insiders are questioning if he has what it takes to turn around the entertainment giant without destroying it.

  • Claire Atkinson reports that Jason Kilar's move to shake up WarnerMedia's movie release schedule has some insiders questioning if he has what it takes to turn around the entertainment giant without destroying it.
  • While Hollywood has raged at the decision, insiders say the way he carried it out shows he's a polarizing leader who's insulated himself from critics and represents the worst of tech industry stereotypes.
  • Boosters see him as a visionary risk-taker who's looking out for the consumer, though.

Read the full story here.

Beyond Meat Introduces Beyond Meatballs, made from plant-based proteins, at grocery stores.Beyond Meat, Inc.

How the $5 billion 'plant-based' industry became a gold mine for consumer packaged goods brands who are slapping the label on products like energy drinks, almonds, and cleaners

  • Burgers and milks from companies like Beyond Meat have popularized "plant-based" as a marketing term for alternatives to animal-based foods, report Alex Bitter and Catherine LeClair.
  • But increasingly "plant-based" and related terms are being used to sell a wider variety of foods, from almonds to fruit juices to hot-dog substitutes made from carrots.
  • Executives and experts say the term could lose its meaning if the industry can't agree on a definition, sending it the way of "all natural" and other terms that have lost currency.

Read the full story here.

More stories we're reading:

  • Anna Wintour just tightened her grip on Condé Nast with a new promotion. One chart shows her rise to the top of the publishing powerhouse. (Business Insider)
  • Consumer giants like Procter & Gamble and Mars have hundreds of millions of dollars in play to fund the next DTC breakout company. Here's what four execs writing big checks say they're looking for. (Business Insider)
  • Apple's my-way-or-the-highway rules are under threat — at the worst possible time (Business Insider)
  • 9 key people at companies like Amazon, Walmart, and Kroger who are making e-commerce advertising into a $17 billion market (Business Insider)
  • FreeWheel buys Beeswax (AdExchanger)
  • Roku torments entertainment giants in quest to dominate streaming (Wall Street Journal)

Thanks for reading and see you on Monday! You can reach me in the meantime at [email protected] and subscribe to this daily email here.

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