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The WIR: ProSieben Says its Open to Mergers, Twitter Launches Full Screen Ads, and Google Cracks Down on Mobile Tracking

  04 June, 2021

In this week’s Week in Review: ProSieben says its open to consolidation, Twitter launches full screen ads, and Google cracks down on mobile tracking.

Top Stories

ProSieben Says its Open to Consolidation Discussions
ProSieben has said it believes it is better off not merging with other media companies, but that it is open to discussion on the matter. Rainer Beaujean, CEO of the German company said on Tuesday that he believed his company “does not need any help from outside”. 

Beaujean did, however, say that he was aware of the interest of international media companies in merging. Beaujean has led the company through the pandemic, bringing them back into profit through diversification of revenue into areas like dating and e-commerce.

Earlier in the week, Italian company Mediaset, which has a 23.5 percent stake in the company, called on ProSieben to “engage” with discussions around consolidation.

Twitter Plans Full-Screen Video Ads for Fleets
Twitter has begun testing full-screen video ads for the first time, running full-screen ads on Fleets, disappearing Tweets which can be either text, pictures, or videos. The ads, which can be up to 30 seconds long, are being trialled on a limited number of users in the US. For Fleets ads, advertisers will get standard Twitter Ads metrics including impressions, profile visits, clicks, website visits, and more. If the creative is a video, Twitter will report on video views, 6s video views, starts, completes, quartile reporting, and more

The introduction of full-screen ads will allow marketers to bring video ads over from other social platforms like TikTok and Snapchat for use on Twitter.

Google Tightens App Tracking Rules
Google will make it harder for Android apps to track users who opt out of personalised ads. Android users can opt out of tracking and personalized ads in their setting, but they are still tagged by the Advertising ID, because that ID can be used for non-advertising use cases such as attribution, analytics and fraud detection. 

From later this year, the advertising ID for those who have opted out will show only a string of zeros. Google has said that for those using the identifier for purposes other than advertising, they will release an identifier in July. 

The change brings Google more into line with Apple’s IDFA, which strips the ID of those who opt out of tracking. The difference is that Apple actively prompts users on whether to allow tracking, meaning that more users do opt out.

The Week in Tech

Amazon to Introduce Its Own Identifier
Amazon is working on its own post-cookie identifier, reports Digiday. The identifier that Amazon is working on would be available through its DSP and to outside publishers through its supply-side platform. The identifier would only span Amazon’s own media and ad tech.

Six Countries Will Face US Tariffs Over Digital Taxes
The US has announced that six countries may face tariffs over their digital service tax. The US says that these taxes discriminate against US companies. Britain, Italy, Spain, Turkey, India and Austria could potentially face 25 percent tariffs on over $2 billion worth of imports. 

The threatened tariffs were immediately suspended in order to allow for international tax negotiations. The US Trade Representative’s (USTR) office said it had approved the threatened tariffs if the negotiations fail to reach a solution that prevents countries from imposing unilateral digital services taxes.

Tapad is Closing Its European Business
Tapad, the identity solution provider owned by Experian, will close its European business. The company will stop the delivery and use of its graph in the EU by the beginning of August. Tapad says that the move is to focus on bigger markets. It denies allegations that it is a pre-emptive measure to avoid investigation by the UK’s Information Commissioner’s Office.

Noyb to File 10,000 Complaints to Fight “Cookie Banner Terror”
Privacy collective noyb, which is headed by activist Max Schrems, is aiming to file 10,000 complaints to fight what it calls “cookie banner terror”. It is targeting companies without a clear “Yes/No” option to opt in or out of cookies. Noyb says that without a clear “Yes or No” option, these companies are infringing GDPR.

OpenX is Exploring a Possible Sale
Supply-side platform Open X is exploring the possibility of a sale, reports Business Insider. The company has raised over $70 million since it was founded in 2008, but had difficult times during the pandemic, laying off or furloughing 15 percent of its staff in April 2020. There have been quite a few examples of ad tech companies making profitable deals in recent months, and OpenX may be tempted to join their ranks. 

Zeta Global is Targeting $273 Million in its IPO
Zeta Global, a data-driven omnichannel marketing platform, is targeting $273 million in its upcoming initial public offering (IPO). A total of 22.72 million shares are to be listed on the New York Stock exchange in the offering at an expected price of $10-$12. 

Rakuten Advertising to Leverage the Magnite CTV Platform in Europe
Magnite has announced Rakuten Advertising will leverage the Magnite CTV platform across Europe to broaden advertiser and agency access to inventory on the Rakuten TV AVoD service. The ad inventory deal will allow Magnite’s CTV platform to expand Rakuten Advertising’s access to technology built to handle the nuances of long-form video.

Comscore and Spiketrap Partner to Bring Targeting for Gaming Audiences
Comscore has announced that it is partnering with Spiketrap, the conversation analytics platform, to expand Comscore’s Predictive Audiences cookieless targeting solution for gaming audiences. With this release, Comscore and Spiketrap will now offer advertisers new opportunities to reach these diverse audiences in a brand safe manner across programmatic digital, mobile, video, CTV, and podcast inventory.

Huawei Launches Its Own Operating System
Huawei has launched its own self-developed operating system on devices including smartphones. The move could allow Huawei to compete with Apple and Google’s software. The Chinese tech company is aiming to decrease its reliance on US companies. 

Novatiq Partners With Supership Holdings to Expand Identity Solution Across APAC
Novatiq, a privacy-first identity solution that leverages first-party network operator intelligence, announced a partnership with Japanese data-driven digital advertising platform Supership Holdings.The partnership will create a multi-million-pound, multi-country, multi-year deal to develop a fully privacy-compliant advertising platform. It will launch initially in Japan, before expanding to other markets. 

Azerion and Anzu Partner for Programmatic In-Play Advertising
Anzu, an in-game advertising platform, and Azerion, a digital gaming and monetization platform have partnered to make blended in-game advertising programmatically available to advertisers globally. The partnership will allow Azerion’s advertisers the ability to programmatically serve in-game and banner ads through Anzu’s programmatic platform, Improve Digital.

The Week in TV

HBO Max Launches Ad-Supported Tier
HBO Max has launched its two-tier service, with the release of an ad-supported, cheaper service in addition to its existing service. The new ad-supported service will cost subscribers $9.99 a month, while the premium, ad free service will cost $14.99. HBO Max has said that there will be no more than four minutes of ads per hour on the new service.

DAZN Confirms UK Deal for Matchroom Boxing
Sports streaming service DAZN confirmed this week it has agreed a five year deal to air boxing matches in the UK from Eddie Hearn’s Matchroom Boxing, one of the biggest boxing promoters in the world. The deal doesn’t include fights involving Anthony Joshua or Dillan Whyte, Matchroom’s two biggest stars, as these will be negotiated on a fight-by-fight basis. DAZN beat out Sky Sports, the previous holder of Matchroom Boxing rights in the UK.

Meredith Corp Accepts Revised Proposal From Gray Television to Buy Its Television Stations
Meredith Corp announced on Thursday that it had accepted a revised proposal from Grey Television to buy its television stations for  $2.83 billion. The revised deal is an increased offer from Grey Television who had originally offered $2.7 billion. The price was upped after Meredith Corp said it had received an “unsolicited proposal” from another potential buyer. Meredith Corp is exiting the TV business to focus on its publishing arm. 

ITV To Rejoin FTSE 100
ITV will rejoin the UK’s FTSE 100, as it recovers from the impact of the pandemic. The FTSE 100 is an index that tracks the 100 largest public companies by market capitalization that trade on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). ITV will rejoin, after its shares jumped 23 percent this year amid reopening hopes. It will replace Renshaw Ltd. on the FTSE 100. 

English Premier League Aims To Replicate NENT Deal with Other Broadcasters
The English Premier League has reportedly issued invitations to broadcasters in 40 countries to tender for broadcast rights. The League is said to be aiming to replicate the sort of deal it established with the Nordic Group (NENT) in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. That deal will last six years and was the and the first direct six-season deal ever agreed between the English Premier League and a European broadcaster.

Roku Debuts First Show From Its Branded Content Studio
Roku is rolling out the first series from its new branded content studio, created three months ago. “Roku Recommends” is a weekly 15-minute entertainment show that highlights five top titles for viewers to stream. The show is being launched in partnership with Walmart. 

WarnerMedia and Discovery will Unite as ‘Warner Bros. Discovery’
The merger between AT&T’s WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. will be called ‘Warner Bros. Discovery’, the two companies announced this week. The merger will not be completed until next year. The future name was announced at a town hall meeting with the CEOs from the two companies, this was the first time the two executives had appeared together since the merger was announced. 

CNN To Launch SVOD Service
CNN’s chief executive Jeff Zucker told his staff that the network will launch a subscription streaming service within the year.The Wall Street Journal reported that the service will be called CNN Plus and will feature a mix of exclusive originals, featuring CNN anchors like Anderson Cooper and Don Lemon, who both reportedly had their pay upped in return for featuring on the new SVOD service. CNN has not confirmed the news. 

DAZN Raises Its Monthly Price in Italy Following Serie A Deal
Streaming service DAZN has raised its price per month for subscribers in Italy after it acquired the rights to show all Serie A games. Serie A is Italy’s top football league, DAZN won the rights to broadcast it over 2021-2024 in a 2.5 billion euro deal earlier this year. The price of the service will be raised from 9.99 euros a month, to 29.99 euros a month. 

Pluto TV Launches Seven New Channels in the UK
ViacomCBS has bolstered its AVOD offering, Pluto TV, in the UK, by launching seven new channels on the service. The streaming service has announced distribution deals with All3Media International, FilmRise, Tastemade and Motorvision to bring more than 800 additional hours of content to the platform.

The Week in Publishing

LiveScore To Stream Every Champions League Match for Irish Market
LiveScore, a score update website and app, will stream every Champions League fixture for free in the Republic of Ireland, starting with the upcoming season. The deal with the UEFA Champions League in Ireland will last three years, from the 2021/22 season to the end of the 2023/24 campaign. LiveScore will take over from Virgin Media who had been the primary rights holder for the Champions League in Ireland. Read the full story on VideoWeek.

Reuters Delays Paywall Plans
Newswire Reuters has delayed plans to introduce a paywall to its site after Refinitiv, Reuters’ biggest customer according to the FT, complained that the move would breach their news supply agreement. The paywall had originally been scheduled to come into effect on June 1st, costing $34.99 per month. No new date has been set.

Snap’s Head of Original Content Departs
Sean Mills, the man in charge of Snapchat’s push into original content, is leaving the company after six years, according to Variety. Snap’s director of content Vanessa Guthrie will step into the role.

Twitter’s Subscription Service Launches in Australia and Canada
Twitter’s new subscription service Twitter Blue launched in Australia and Canada on Thursday, allowing users to pay for extra features including bookmarks, a reader mode, and an undo Tweet feature. Twitter says the limited launch is designed to help Twitter “gain a deeper understanding” of what consumers are after.

Vevo Launches New Ad Offering ‘Afro Pulse’
Vevo this week launched Afro Pulse, a new ad offering which will let brands buy spots alongside specially curated music videos by Black artists from all genres and career stages. “Brands and agencies are actively looking to bolster diverse voices and content today more than ever, evident in the most recent pledges by Dentsu, IPG and GroupM, among others. They hear the demands by Black Americans for more culturally relevant programming that features Black leads and reflects their own lives and experiences,” said Jesse Judelman, senior vice president of sales for the Americas at Vevo.

The Week for Agencies

OMG Launches Diverse Creators Network
Omnicom media buying unit OMG has launched a new tool called Diverse Creators Network, a cross-plaform planning and activation system which will target minority owned media. The Diverse Creators Network is a response to calls on ad buyers to spend more with minority-owned media, and specifically Black-owned media, which has historically been underfunded.

Publicis Groupe Sees 5.5 Percent Increase in Diverse Talent Since Last Year
Publicis Groupe published its second batch of data monitoring its efforts on improving diversity among its US workforce, finding there has been a 5.5 percent increase in diverse talent since this time last year. The number of people of colour in entry level positions has increased by 5 percent, with an 8 percent increase at mid-level positions.

Starcom Wins Vinted TV Buying Account
Publicis Groupe’s Starcom this week announced it has been appointed to handle TV media buying for online marketplace, Vinted, since April, in the UK. Following a competitive process, Starcom has been selected to help Vinted drive app downloads, increase product listings and ultimately grow its 18 to 34-year UK community, through its TV advertising buys. VCCP was the incumbent agency.

M&C Saatchi Reports Strong Start to the Year
M&C Saatchi reported this week that the first four months of the year have been “stronger than expected”, as business has picked up as COVID-19 restrictions have started to lift. The group also announced it has agreed a £47 million financing arrangement, which it says provides “enhanced liquidity and long-term financing”.

Publicis wins Lindt & Sprüngli Media Duties in Europe
Publicis has been awarded media duties across Europe for Lindt & Sprüngli, a European confectioner. Publicis Media will handle media strategy, planning and buying for the chocolate maker.

GLAAD Partners with Getty to Improve LGBTQ+
LGBTQ+ advocacy organisation GLAAD has partnered with stock image company Getty to improve LGBTQ+ representation in advertising. GLAAD will help Getty create more authentic stock images featuring LGBTQ+ people and couples.

Endeavor Invests in Michael B. Jordan’s Agency Obsidianworks
Endeavor’s cultural marketing agency 160over90 is investing in Obsidianworks, an ad agency founded by actor Michael B. Jordan and ex- Nike marketing executive Chad Easterling. 160over90 is investing around $20 million in the creative shop, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Publicis Groupe’s Lévy to Stay for Another Four Years
Publicis Groupe’s influential advisory board chairman Maurice Lévy has agreed a new contract which will keep him at the holding group for another four years.

Hires of the Week

VMLY&R Hires Sean Rooney as Chief Science Officer
VMLY&R has hired Sean Rooney as chief science officer. Rooney previously worked as managing director at The Scienomics Group, part of Omnicom Health Group.

Publicis Appoints Geraldine White as US Chief Diversity Officer
Publicis Groupe has picked Geraldine White to be US chief diversity officer, a role which will see her work alongside chief inclusion experience officer Renetta McCann.

This Week on VideoWeek

How Would Netflix Gaming Actually Work? read on VideoWeek

DMEXCO Scraps Physical Event for 2021, read on VideoWeek

Will 5G and Big Tech Investment Finally Push AR into the Mainstream? read on VideoWeek

LiveScore To Stream Every Champions League Match for Irish Market, read on VideoWeek

Are Europe’s SVOD Alliances Working? read on VideoWeek

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