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Edelman sees a revenue rebound — and is coming after advertising agencies

Hi! Welcome to the Insider Advertising daily for October 20. 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

Today’s news: Edelman’s revenue rebounds, how WarnerMedia markets HBO Now, and new data about YouTube’s most-popular videos.

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PR giant Edelman’s CEO says the firm has recovered half its pandemic losses and lays out his plan to grow by taking on ad agencies and helping companies mend their reputationsSean Czarnecki reports that Edelman CEO Richard Edelman said his PR firm has recovered half of its decline that stemmed from the pandemic through creative work for brands like Unilever that is traditionally done by ad agencies.Edelman is also unfroze hiring and restored employee salaries to their amounts before the pandemic.The company’s US revenue, which makes up 60% of total revenue, slipped 10% year-over-year in the spring while other markets fell as much as 25% to 30% year-over-year.Read the full story here.
Selena Gomez Selena and Chef HBO Max.
Selena Gomez stars in "Selena and Chef," which was renewed for a second season on HBO Max.

How HBO Max’s marketing team works to turn free-trial users into paying customers and prevent cancellationsAshley Rodriguez looked at how WarnerMedia is promoting HBO Max with seven-day free trials in the crowded streaming space.Christine Miller, director of campaign management for HBO Max, said that free-trial users who watch multiple shows and movies, and those who watch on more than one device, are the most likely to become paying subscribers. She uses push and email notifications to encourage people to open the app as soon as they register for a free trial.The content of the messaging changes based on what people watch. Someone who watches Selena Gomez’s cooking show “Selena and Chef” may get recommendations for other young-adult shows like “Love Life” or “Friends.” Someone who can’t decide what to watch might get an email that shows different movies and series on the platform.Read the full story here.

Just 0.4% of channels on YouTube get the bulk of views and subscribers, a new study suggestsA new study from researchers at the Universities of Amsterdam and Barcelona, as well as Queensland University of Technology in Australia underscores how hard it is for creators to make money from YouTube, reports Chris Stokel-Walker.The researchers analyzed video views across 36.3 million YouTube channels, finding that only 4.4 million channels have more than 1,000 subscribers, making them eligible for running ads by YouTube. Another 153,770 channels — equivalent to 0.42% of the channels analyzed — have more than 100,000 subscribers.”All these YouTubers are driven to work across platforms,” said Òscar Coromina, one of the study’s authors. “YouTube’s monetization system isn’t good enough to earn a living. Even these super-elite YouTubers need to go to other platforms like Patreon and Twitch.”Read the full story here.More stories we’re reading:How Kevin Mayer, the ex-Disney executive who left to be TikTok’s CEO for only 3 months, has started to mount a comeback as an investor (Business Insider)Apple launched an MTV-style live-streaming channel featuring exclusive music videos and interviews (Business Insider)Mark Zuckerberg reportedly signed off on a Facebook algorithm change that throttled traffic to progressive news sites — and one site says that quiet change cost them $400,00 to $600,000 a year (Business Insider)WPP back on hunt for deals, says chief (Financial Times)TikTok’s first music hire, Mary Rahmani, joins Triller as global head of partnerships (TubeFilter)The Dodo, Group Nine’s animal brand, is getting into pet insurance (Wall Street Journal)

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— Lauren

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