Morning Brew - ☕ Stole the show

Ad spend on…piracy sites?
March 15, 2023

Marketing Brew

BEN Labs

It’s Wednesday. We’re about halfway through SXSW, and though we’re not physically there, we’re raising a stiff margarita to the brave marketers soldiering through the many experiential activations. Here’s to you.

In today’s edition:

Ryan Barwick


Walk the plank

a skull on a computer screen Francis Scialabba

Avast, ye mateys. Piracy streaming sites appear to be siphoning millions of dollars from advertising budgets that could have otherwise gone to real publishers, according to a new report.

Last year, an estimated $50 million was spent on ads that ran on sites classified by OpenSee as “ad-supported piracy domains,” according to a report published by the ad-tech consultancy Jounce, which used bidstream data to audit the programmatic supply chain. While $50 million is a drop in the bucket compared to the $148 billion digital display advertising market, it’s still considerable enough to highlight some potentially serious gaps in ad-tech transparency.

  • Ads for brands including JetBlue, Mint Mobile, Fender, Tampax, Paramount+, and Mack Weldon, which were served by Google and the DSP RTB House, appeared on two of the sites named in the report when Marketing Brew visited them last week.
  • “JetBlue partners with a widely used industry ad tech and verification partner to ensure our ads show on suitable pages. We have reached out to our partners as our team works to determine why this ad showed up and to rectify the situation,” Derek Dombrowski, a spokesperson for JetBlue, told Marketing Brew.
  • Mint Mobile, Fender, Tampax, Paramount+, and Mack Weldon did not return Marketing Brew’s requests for comment.

The issue isn’t only that ad dollars are being routed to these sites. Exchanges selling this inventory are funding sites that appear to stream content illegally, which could run afoul of contractual agreements between advertisers and their ad-tech vendors, not to mention that many of the sites themselves likely violate US copyright law, Chris Kane, the founder of Jounce, explained.

“What we’re saying in the report is that many exchanges failed to meet and continue to fail to meet [basic compliance] standards,” he told Marketing Brew.

Keep reading here.—RB



A marketing map…for modern mayhem

BEN Labs

Marketers know a thing or two about change—they’re usually ready to roll with the punches. But with 90% of peeps skipping ads, 47% blocking ’em entirely, decentralized attention, and third-party cookies in the rearview, what’s a marketer to do with…all that?

Start with The Lab, BENlabs’ newsletter, which maps out every kind of marketing change heading your way before it all hits the fan.

BENlabs knows a thing or two about adapting. Their deep-learning AI helps marketers find receptive new audiences at the right time with the right message, and unlock predictable influencer marketing at scale.

Sweet stat alert: The BENlabs team + AI have helped brands grow market share by 4.5x—and that’s just one out of thousands of success stories.

Sign up for The Lab to start.


Download downfall expected

Subway Surfers Subway Surfers/SYBO via Giphy

After a pandemic-driven surge, mobile gaming is coming back down to earth, according to mobile analytics and measurement company AppsFlyer, which last week released its State of Gaming App Marketing report.

A key finding: Gaming advertisers spent $26.7 billion on app install ads prompting users to download their mobile games in 2022, according to the report, which pulled data from 38 billion installs across more than 18,000 apps. That spend capped a “golden age of gaming” that ran through 2021 and into 2022 but has since begun to slow down, Shani Rosenfelder, director of market insights at AppsFlyer, said in a press release. The US represented nearly half of that spend at $12.2 billion.

In 2022, overall Android gaming app installs grew 8% year over year, while iOS gaming app installs dropped 5%, as Apple’s privacy changes have made it tougher for mobile advertisers to track user behavior.

  • The difference is even starker when comparing gaming app installs in the US last year—19% growth for Android versus a loss of 1% for iOS.

Compare that to 2020, when Android gaming app installs jumped 60% year over year and iOS increased nearly 20%, because playing Subway Surfers is way easier than learning how to bake sourdough.

Ad spend: On iOS, the average cost per install increased 35% year over year in Q4 to $3.80. Meanwhile, the cost per install on Android has “steadily hovered” around $0.70 since Q3 of 2021, the report found.

Zoom out: It’s not just downloads that are slowing; consumers are also spending less on games. Earlier this year, mobile analytics firm’s head of insights told CNBC that the “biggest hit” to app spending was happening within gaming. According to’s State of Mobile report, mobile game spending dropped 5% last year.—RB




High-quality vids made in mins. Boost engagement and awareness with studio-like videos that won’t take hours to make with PlayPlay. Offering 300+ customizable templates, a bursting library of media, and an easy-to-use platform, your video-making capabilities just flew past the moon. Grab video strategy tips from 500+ marketers in PlayPlay’s playbook or start a free trial.


French press

There are a lot of bad marketing tips out there. These aren’t those.

Feature: Adweek explains “why brands should be thinking more about community.”

In your DMs: The case for why marketers should pay attention to messaging on social media.

Write it down: A list of 20 tools that can be useful for content marketers lives here.

to DTC: Retail Brew connected with top retailers—Mejuri, Casper, and Peloton—to talk about DTC marketing strategies they use to keep customers coming back. Check it out.

Branding takes the wheel: Is your brand’s messaging breaking through? Uber achieved stronger levels of cohesive communication with a brand hub built with Frontify, unlocking consistency, accessibility, and scalability for their brand. See how it happened.*

*This is sponsored advertising content.


The Brief speaker spotlight: Joe Anthony

The Brief speaker spotlight: Joe Anthony

The Brief, a one-day summit, is coming back to NYC! Get ready to network and hear from top marketing leaders such as Joe Anthony, CEO and founder of Hero Collective.

Joe is a marketer, innovator, and entrepreneur who built Hero Collective, a Black-owned creative and digital innovation studio.

Reflecting on his several years of insights from working with influential brands, Joe will sit down with some of his peers in a discussion titled “David vs. Goliath: How Agencies are Faring in the New World Order.”

Sound too good to be true? Find out yourself at The Brief.


  • Buffalo Wild Wings is facing a lawsuit from a Chicago man accusing the chain of false advertising.
  • Amazon…might be building a web browser?
  • ESPN has sold out of ad inventory for Women’s March Madness.
  • OpenAI has announced Chat GPT-4, which can understand image inputs. We welcome our new AI overlords.


Stat: Ad revenue for video games increased 7% in 2022 compared to the year before, according to eMarketer data cited by Ad Exchanger. However, social media revenue grew 16%, and CTV revenue jumped 32% year over year during that period.

Quote: “If they can somehow turn it into a ritual, and it becomes more habit rather than the occasional thing, they’ll start getting their repeat purchases.”—Nicholas Fereday, executive director of food and consumer trends at Rabobank, about cereal expanding into a late-night meal, to the Washington Post

Read: The Impact of Inflation on Advertising” (Madison and Wall)


Share Marketing Brew with your coworkers, acquire free Brew swag, and then make new friends as a result of your fresh Brew swag.

We’re saying we’ll give you free stuff and more friends if you share a link. One link.

Your referral count: 2

Click to Share

Or copy & paste your referral link to others:


Written by Ryan Barwick

Was this email forwarded to you? Sign up here.

Take The Brew to work

Get smarter in just 5 minutes

Business education without the BS

Interested in podcasts?

  • Check out ours here

Update your email preferences or unsubscribe here.
View our privacy policy here.

Copyright © 2023 Morning Brew. All rights reserved.
22 W 19th St, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10011

Key phrases

Older messages

☕ Signs of weakness

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Ryan Reynolds proved he's not just a movie star... March 16, 2023 View Online | Sign Up | Shop 10% Off Morning Brew TOGETHER WITH AT&T Good morning. As if we haven't already been through

☕ Go to bat

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Investing in women's sports. March 14, 2023 Marketing Brew TOGETHER WITH Wistia It's Tuesday. It's also Pi Day, so brace yourselves for some of the cringiest brand promotions of the year.

☕ Search and state

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

The time to prepare for chatbot product search is now. March 14, 2023 Retail Brew TOGETHER WITH Bolt Happy Tuesday, everyone. It's Amazon Prime season for the beauty buffs out there; Ulta yesterday

☕ Light bulb leadership

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Plus, old-school tricks in Slack and whose slogan is it anyway March 14, 2023 View Online | Sign Up | Shop 10% Off Raise Good morning. Last week, Patagonia announced it was purchasing Moonshot, a

☕ Everything changed

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Did banks just get a bailout? March 14, 2023 View Online | Sign Up | Shop 10% Off Morning Brew TOGETHER WITH Cytonics Good morning. At an event outside Tokyo in 2006, Akira Haraguchi set an unofficial

☕ Mansions for sale

Saturday, March 25, 2023

ChatGPT can get you groceries now... March 25, 2023 View Online | Sign Up | Shop 10% Off Morning Brew TOGETHER WITH Cytonics Good morning. On this day in, well, we honestly have no clue what year, the

What A Day: Book worms

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Right-wing culture wars moved to US schools, where "parental rights" supersede properly educating the next generation. Friday, March 24, 2023 BY JULIA CLAIRE & CROOKED MEDIA - Gov. Ron

The US and Canada crack down on asylum seekers

Friday, March 24, 2023

Plus, the US launches Syria airstrikes. ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Is AI Turning Me Into an Obsolete Machine?

Friday, March 24, 2023

Columns and commentary on news, politics, business, and technology from the Intelligencer team. Intelligencer Stay informed about business, politics, technology, and where they intersect. Subscribe now

☕ Dropping like fries

Friday, March 24, 2023

Can packaging solve the soggy french-fry dilemma? March 24, 2023 Retail Brew TOGETHER WITH Flowspace Hello, and happy Friday. We know reading the news can seem like an exercise in managing anxiety

Startup founders and investors react to capital gains tax ruling | Q&A with Seagen founder Clay Siegall 

Friday, March 24, 2023

Blue Origin reveals cause of September launch failure | The future of venture debt ADVERTISEMENT GeekWire SPONSOR MESSAGE: Unique & Urban Venue for Weddings, Conferences and Meetings: Plan your


Friday, March 24, 2023

Unlevel Playing Fields, Weekend Whats, Feel Good Friday Friday, March 24, 2023 - The Day's Most Fascinating News from Dave Pell NextDraft Logo Current Edition About NextDraft Friday, March 24, 2023

We won an important legal victory. Now we need your support to keep reporting.

Friday, March 24, 2023

New documents we've obtained from a grueling court case could finally shine a light on the Standing Rock protest crackdown and the actions of pipeline owner Energy Transfer, private security

The low-hanging fruit for newsletter publishers

Friday, March 24, 2023

PLUS: I'm looking to expand my brand partnerships ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

FW: 📅 Group discounts now available

Friday, March 24, 2023

Join us on May 11th Hi there, Your work day is nearly over, but the clock is still ticking ⏱️ to buy discounted tickets to The Brief in NYC on May 11th. Here at the Brew, we're fans of efficiency.