Marriott Rolls Out Media Network That Lets Brands Reach Travelers on Its Apps and TV Screens

Marriott International Inc. introduced this month together with Yahoo Inc. a media network that will help advertisers target consumers, including by using the hotel chain’s data about its guests, to show them advertisements in places such as the hotel’s websites and, ultimately, on the TV sets in their rooms.

Marriott Media Network comes as the marketing industry develops new ways to reach consumers amid a wave of privacy changes, including an Alphabet plan Inc.’s

Google blocks third-party cookies in its Chrome browser. Brands and ad sellers are increasingly looking to use “first-party data” – information they collect in the course of direct consumer interactions, rather than taking it from third parties – to target ads.

And a growing number of companies are building media networks that record their own data about their customers. walmart Inc.

lets advertisers use its data to, for example, send targeted digital advertisements to buyers on the internet. DoorDash Inc.,

Kroger Co.

and CFS health Corp.

also provide advertisers with more ways to reach consumers using store data.

According to research firm Insider Intelligence, net ad revenue for retail media advertising in the US will grow to more than $60 billion by 2024, from $41 billion this year. But the space will continue to be dominated by Amazon.com Inc.,

which is expected to bring in 77% of spending this year.

A media network in the hotel category offers marketers a different range of opportunities, the companies said. On the road, travelers need things like ground transportation, personal items they forgot to pack, and entertainment during their stay, said Chris Norton, senior vice president of marketing channels and optimization at Marriott International.

“It’s really about connecting advertisers who can address some of those needs in our ecosystem and bring it all together in one place,” said Mr. Norton.

Marketers may also want to reach travelers who are specifically interested in luxury products, certain cars or other goods, he added.

The media network, which will begin piloting advertisers this month, will use anonymized customer data from past searches and bookings on Marriott’s digital channels to deliver relevant ads on behalf of brands and advertisers, the company said. It will not share that data with advertisers, it added.

Marriott Media Network will be rolled out in the US and Canada before expanding into other markets. The company said pilot advertisers will gain access to Marriott’s display and mobile channels this month, with other stock types becoming available later this year.

At Marriott hotels, the network will eventually allow placements on in-room TV screens, on the Wi-Fi portal and on other digital screens in lobbies, gyms and bars.

And Marriott knows whether the 164 million members of its loyalty program will travel, Mr Norton noted.

“That’s a real difference, I think, from how you’d think of a media network in the travel space as opposed to the ones already there in the retail space,” he said.

Yahoo will run the Marriott Media Network and serve as the portal through which advertisers can purchase media space. It manages the available advertising spaces and searches for sales from buyers.

Despite the mass media networks competing for marketers’ budgets, winning even a small fraction of it will mean big bucks for the companies that offer these networks, said Andrew Lipsman, chief analyst at Insider Intelligence.

“If the market gets bigger, if you can get 1 percentage point of the digital retail media market, that’s almost half a billion dollars in revenue, and it’s high-margin revenue,” said Mr. Lipsman. “You can be a small player, and that can still be a really meaningful part of running a company.”

That said, only a few companies with media networks will be able to hit that 1 percentage point, he noted. A small number of brands will buy over four or five networks, he said, but most don’t have the resources or capacity to handle that much.

“For most brands, they can do three, and then it falls off,” he said.

write to Megan Graham at megan.graham@wsj.com

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