Uber Eats delivers "Browsing Billboard"

Thursday, November 7, 2019 by Robinhood Snacks | Disclosures

"Which one of you wants the Uber ad job?"

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Hey Snackers,

CEO role = Vacant.

Chief exec departures hit a fresh high last month (172 exited their posts) — we're on pace for a record year of CEOs leaving/losing their positions.

Stocks inched down Wednesday, but today we're waiting for Disney's earnings report to magically appear.

1. An Uber Eats job post reveals it's about to add digital billboards to its app

New job posting: Ads Lead...Responsible for creating a new ads business that enables eaters to discover new foods.” TechCrunch reporters noticed that up on the Uber Eats career page. It's a signal that instead of taking just a delivery fee off your late-night chimichanga order, Uber is adding a new revenue stream from the prime real estate at the top of its Uber Eats app.

We're calling it a "Browsing Billboard"... As your fingers browse Uber Eats for dinner, your eyes will see a billboard. The app's valuable space highlighting food options can be sold as ads to restaurants that crave better delivery sales. Here's how Uber Eats' Browsing Billboard would go down:

  • You: Starved for saucy pizza, but don't want to get up. So you open the Uber Eats app.
  • The list: Before, the top 5 NYC pizza joints delivering to you featured Di Fara's, Pasquale Jones, Lil' Frankie's, Dani's, and Emily. They're at the top of the list because of their ratings.
  • The (future) list: Soon, that top spot might be occupied by Pizza Hut (with the word "sponsored" in small letters underneath). It's at the top of the list because it paid for it.
  • Uber: Makes money selling ads, just like Google does on Google search.

The Browsing Billboard is the next evolution of platforms... Web platforms like Uber play a middleman role, connecting buyers with sellers. Expedia plays that role too — but when you search for vacation options, some of the top results are paid ads. And more platforms could start doing that:

  • Spotify's platform for music discovery could start making money by promoting artists that pay for it.
  • Apple's podcast store could make $$$ the same way.
  • Tweet us your own ideas for potential Browsing Billboards @RobinhoodSnacks.

Feel like the Lannisters in Season 7?... Kroger is a seasoned grocery biz vet, founded 136 years ago in Cincinnati by a German immigrant's son. Now it's facing competition from German discount grocers Aldi and Lidl, which are expanding rapdily into the US. Amazon, Walmart, and Target all got in on groceries, too. Doing nothing isn't an option anymore for Kroger, so it's changing everything:

  • The project: "Restock Kroger" is what they're calling it (great inventory inside joke). We call it "Operation don't-go-out-of-business."
  • The changes: Adding Walgreens stores within its stores, delivering with Instacart, and buying back $1B of shares (to thank investors for their patience). It also acquired a meal kit company.
  • The rebrand: "Fresh for Everyone" is the new slogan — that'll be trumpeted by the "Kroji," the (new) emoji-ish, post-racial mascots of Kroger.

"Dynamic pricing" could be up next for groceries... Kroger also recently partnered with Microsoft on a project that includes replacing old price labels with digital ones. That got us thinking: "dynamic pricing" could be coming. AKA pricing that can change based on supply/demand (like Uber's surge pricing). If Kroger can control and changes prices instantly thanks to these stickers, it could...

  • Raise prices when something is almost out of stock, to ensure that the person who gets the last jar really wants it.
  • Lower prices when there's too much of something, to prevent food from going bad.
  • These changes could reduce waste, increase revenue, and make Kroger more efficient. And if Kroger's not thinking about it, Amazon almost definitely is.
What else we’re Snackin’
  • Spritzy: Bud Light (owned by AB InBev) is making a spiked seltzer that tastes like White Claw — and now we know it will look like White Claw, too
  • Friends-giving: Tesla's Elon Musk claims its new electric pickup will be dubbed "Cybertruck" and unveiled on November 21st
  • De-vaped: Juul's situation gets worse after San Francisco voted to maintain its ecigarette ban in the ecigarette-maker's hometown
  • Team: Costco and Instacart jump in together on the Delivery Wars by testing a 1-hour delivery option for your meds
  • Sneaky: Amazon's apparently got workout-tracking software hidden in its new Echo Buds earbuds (fyi @Google @Fitbit)
  • Disappeared: WeWork and Uber lost their shared investor Softbank a combined $8.9B last quarter
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Disclosure: Authors of this Snacks own shares of Amazon and Tesla

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