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Contextual Shoppable Video (Part 1 of 2): Evolution of Shoppable Commerce in Media & Entertainment

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

To best prepare for a cookieless world, one of the actions that Gartner tells marketing leaders to take is to be comfortable with a “walled garden” world and prioritize investments in media, technology, and data capabilities accordingly.

So what’s a walled garden, anyway?

The term walled garden, coined by John Malone, the founder of Tele-Communications Inc. (a company later acquired by AT&T), was first applied as a business strategy in the telecom industry. Bell System was the first telephone operator to make its hardware of phones exclusive to its customers. The phones themselves were then leased from the company rather than owned by the end-user. Hence the term became synonymous and universally known as a “closed platform.” Additionally, the Bell System wielded control over everything that touched users’ including their conversations on its infrastructure - leading to a case known as Hush-A-Phone Corp. v. the United States. The small company Hush-A-Phone Corporation sold small devices, reducing the risk of customers’ conversations being overheard by Bell.

Considered relics in many industries, the new walled garden is very much alive and kicking, dominating the AdTech landscape with three central players, Google, Meta, and Amazon (aka “the triopoly”).

The key takeaway: It’s going to be a fight for ad dollars — and publisher’s survival.

Privacy-first digital world.

Contextual Shoppable Video for premium streaming content is a mini-walled garden game-changer. Here’s why:

  1. Everyone has eyes on this prize. The new frontier of commerce was reimagined well before the pandemic hit. However, it is still heavily focused on driving viewers out of the experience to an eCommerce website (see Our Take on Netflix in Part 2 of our post).

  2. Connects the dots between commerce and immersive premium streaming video data, which has never been done before. It’s a valuable tool with a looming chasm in the user journey.

  3. But will consumers buy this way? Video significantly impacts consumers’ buying decisions instantly. Contextual Shoppable in the premium video can reduce the discover-and-buy cycle at the point of inspiration without leaping to another site.

  4. But what about Social Commerce? We hear from brands that social is becoming problematic and looking for alternative pipelines. Over-reliance on social platforms and third-party eCommerce sites poses long-term risks for publishers.

  5. Focuses on reducing the drastic loss of accessible user segments in programmatic advertising.

  6. Enables an identity and privacy-consent architecture that leverages a platform’s content and ad units to create new revenue streams and deterministic data.

  7. Workaround for traditional publishers and measurement companies, challenges of digital ad measurement, including transparency, standards, cookies loss, and attribution (which has led to the urgency for re-examining measurement practices and resetting measurement baselines)

While industry-wide changes have created opportunities like the ones we’ve highlighted in the previous post, unique opportunities exists for the publishing and streaming industry:

  • Harness the power of their behemoth immersive video assets across movies, series, advertising, brand, editorial, and sponsored content.

  • Prioritize investments in small and agile technology partners.

  • Unleash data capabilities across purchase and professional content to create better, relevant content.

See part two of this blog post to read Our Take on the (R)evolution of Contextual Shoppable for Premium Streaming.


Fade Technology is building and partnering for the mini walled gardens. Publishers want an alternative to redirecting traffic away from their platform or owning a commerce business model. But not every publisher wants to own an eCommerce store. Fade is the alternative that lets media companies get back to the business of distributing content that increases retention, time on site, revenue, and reduces customer churn. FADE makes premium video shoppable everywhere viewers consume immersive content on mobile, desktop, and tv. A BIPOC and a women-owned company that thinks about shoppable video a lot.

© 2022 Fade Technology Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.

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