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Future of Media: EV charging opp, more social pressure, ad budgets bounce back?

The Drum's media editor John McCarthy rounds up the latest media trends each Thursday, this is also available in your inbox. Sign up here.

Welcome to The Drum's Future of Media column where we catch you up on the cutting edge of the sector once a week.

Out-of-home media innovation

At the one end of the spectrum, we have a making-of for the Adidas swimming pool billboard. Is this the future of OOH? No, absolutely not. Does it get you thinking about the media and brand building opportunities available if you get smart with your media? Yes, absolutely.

Anyway, while we were getting our water wings on for a dip in a billboard, Starling Bank shared its strategy to buy media space on EV charging points. It will take over 100 of InstaVolt’s EV charging stations in a three-month-long experiment. We’re going to see a lot more of these units crop up. It is another battleground for attention that could do something a little different from the existing OOH apparatus. For instance, every single person using these sites is a driver. That’s already a valuable audience advertisers could get creative in reaching.

Meet the Media Minds

Liam Mullins, managing partner of the7stars, is in the hot seat this week talking us through lessons for newbie buyers and why your media partner needs a channel-agnostic approach. He says: “We are unshackled by big network deals, processes, and bureaucracy. From the beginning, we have always challenged the things we don’t think are right for clients.”

Meanwhile, Future’s managing director of audience Sam Robson talks us through the SEO demands of powering up the publishing powerhouse. Whatever the platform, he says: “My golden rule is to always focus on creating something unique and always providing value of some kind, whether that’s pure entertainment, or educating, or helping the audience to make a decision.“

Budgets are back

The quarterly IPA Bellwether Report, which surveys marketers for a taster of expected budgets for the coming year, has found that in Q2 2021, total UK marketing budgets expanded for the first time since Q4 2019 – welcome news for most in the industry. I have a quick rundown of the report here.

Another social boycott

It has happened again. Advertisers are rallying against what they perceive as a lack of moderation on social networks.

It comes after England stars were bombarded with racist abuse following their defeat on Sunday. Learn what changes the networks must make to appease those funding them.

Some features

And finally, an update on some features. Twitter killed Fleets. It didn’t work. But it’s nice it tried. And it is rethinking how to use that Stories-style real estate at the top of the app.

YouTube has rolled out Shorts globally. That appears to step on the toes of TikTok and Reels.

Meanwhile, Snap has again secured a ton of content from Channel 4, which has enjoyed 44 million global viewers in the last year from the app.

That's you all caught up. If you missed the last installment, read it here. You can subscribe to our other briefings here. And if you want to talk to me, I'm on Twitter, Linkedin and email.

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