Member Exclusive   //   June 13, 2024

Research Preview: Expanding retail media networks

By Li Lu

In this edition of the weekly briefing, we give a sneak peak to upcoming Modern Retail+ Research focused on retail media networks. 

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Media networks are seeing a renaissance

Breaking News: United Airlines announced it will now start showing targeted ads on the backseat screens of their planes. The program will leverage United Airlines customer data and show ads between movies and other in-flight entertainment. The airline’s media network will be named Kinective Media by United Airlines. The new initiative will give marketers access to almost 100,000 backseat screens on its planes. United Airlines follows a trend of companies entering the media network industry and opening up its data and customer base for marketers to advertise. It’s joined by other companies like luxury department store chain Sak’s Fifth Avenue, travel company Expedia and national bank JP Morgan Chase. 

Questions: What is happening in the media network industry? How is the marketing channel evolving? Why are companies looking to build their own networks?

Answers From Research: 

Retail media networks (RMNs) are marketers’ third-most used marketing channel, according to 2024 survey results from Digiday’s CMO Strategies series. That is the same position retail media held among marketing channels in last year’s report. However, retail media did see an increase in adoption from 2023 to 2024. Forty percent of respondents said their company used Aretail media last year versus 51% of respondents who said the same this year. During the last year, retail media has surged in popularity with many retailers have investing more heavily in the channel and others venturing into retail media for the first time.

“[A challenge] has just been the proliferation of retail media networks and the fact that there are so many options, and those options are wildly different in  and their capabilities and maturity,” said, Laura Knebusch, svp, CPG marketing and consumer experience at household products manufacturer Georgia-Pacific. “Understanding and navigating where to invest, how to make those decisions and how to think about that long- term roadmap is a complex complexity we deal with.”

Retail media’s obvious edge over other channels is the channel’s access to purchase data through sites that are built for commerce. With data privacy laws becoming stricter and Google continuing to inch closer toward the end of the third-party cookie, access to a network with customer purchase data is an attractive future alternative.

Want to learn more: Be on the lookout for our upcoming report on Media Networks. Dropping soon exclusively for Modern Retail+ members.


See research from all Digiday Media Brands:

Modern Retail+ Research
Digiday+ Research
Glossy+ Research