WPP, the world's largest advertising conglomerate, reported poor results and the stock got hammered.
Stratechery's Ben Thompson published an insightful post on how the advertising ecosystem is changing, what it means for companies like WPP and how it could require antitrust action in the future.
On the change of the media value chain:
The parallel should be obvious: the clearest manifestation of how the media value chain has been fundamentally reconfigured is the fact that advertising has fled newspapers in particular; in other words, the media story is an advertising story, which is to say that given the upheaval in the media industry, the most surprising part of WPP’s struggles is that it took this long to manifest (thanks, primarily, to television’s resilience).
The new media value chain with the Google-Facebook digital duopoly.
On the dominance of the tech titans:
There is another context, though: the increasing appreciation outside of technology of just how dominant companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, and even Netflix have become, and more and more discussion about whether antitrust is the answer. The problem is that much of this discussion is rooted in the old value chain, where power came from controlling distribution.
You can find the full post here: stratechery: Everything Is Changing; So Should Antitrust