The WIR: UK and Italy Become Video-First Markets, Spain Plans to Make Streaming Services Fund PSBs, and Magnite Acquires SpringServe for $31 Million

02 July, 2021 

In this week’s Week in Review: IAB Europe says Europe now has four video-first markets, Spain pens new laws to make streaming services help fund PSBs, and Magnite acquires CTV ad server SpringServe.

Top Stories

UK, Italy, Ukraine and Netherlands Are ‘Video-First’ Markets Finds IAB Europe
The UK, Italy, Ukraine and the Netherlands are now all ‘video-first’ markets, with digital video ad spend accounting for more than half of all display ad spend (which by the IAB’s definition, includes video), according to IAB Europe’s latest AdEx Benchmark report. Across Europe, video now commands 39.4 percent of display spend.

The report also found that video spend was one of the start performers last year, as digital ad spend across Europe grew by 6.3 percent despite the pandemic. Display was the fastest growing digital channel, at 9.1 percent growth. And video was a key driver of display growth, up 16.3 percent year-on-year. Video was also the fastest growing section within social display, with social video spend up 21.1 percent year-on-year.

Spain to Compel Streamers to Fund Public Service Broadcaster
The Spanish government is passing a law that will compel streaming services to contribute 1.5 percent of their revenues to the country’s public service broadcaster. 

The measure, which will affect streaming services like Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime, is expected to be introduced in early 2022. Spanish telecom operators and commercial broadcasters, who are already liable to make the contribution, had demanded the inclusion of the streaming services in order to create a more level playing field. 

Under the new law, which is expected to be passed by the lower chamber of the Spanish parliament in Q1 2022, streaming services will also be obliged to allocate 5 percent of their revenues generated in Spain to fund films and series of European origin.

Magnite Acquires SpringServe for $31 Million
Supply-side platform Magnite this week announced it has acquired CTV tech specialist SpringServe for $31 million. SpringServe provides CTV ad serving solutions, and will bolster Magnite’s offering as it focuses more and more on CTV. Magnite says that a tight technical integration between ad serving and programmatic capabilities reduces complexity, improves inventory management between multiple parties, enhances functionality, and can reduce costs.

“If CTV publishers want to be fully programmatic, they can leverage our  CTV SSP, and if they’re in the early stages of programmatic, the SpringServe ad server will allow them to go at their own pace and customize their prioritization of direct-sold and programmatic demand,” said Magnite CEO and president Michael Barrett.

The acquisition follows shortly after Magnite closed its buyout of fellow SSP SpotX for $1.14 billion in April. SpotX itself had already made a minority investment in SpringServe, in conjunction with a strategic partnership agreement between the two companies.

The Week in Tech

FTC Facebook Antitrust Case Dismissed by Judge
A federal judge in the US has dismissed antitrust lawsuits against Facebook, which were filed by the Federal Trade Commission and 46 state attorneys general. In the FTC’s case, the judge ruled the allegations that Facebook was an anticompetitive monopoly as “legally insufficient”; however, they have 30 days to amend their lawsuit and try again. As for the case brought by the 46 state attorneys, it was dismissed because the judge said they had waited too long to file.

Smart Adserver Acquires CTV Contextual Targeting Specialist DynAdmic
French ad tech company Smart, which runs a integrated ad server, supply-side platform, and demand-side platform, this week announced it has acquired fellow French ad tech outfit DynAdmic, a specialist in contextual targeting in video and CTV. Smart says the acquisition will bolster its own cookie-free targeting capabilities, and will also help it to expand its presence in the USA, where DynAdmic generates the majority of its sales. Read the full story on VideoWeek.

Amazon Asks for Recusal of FTC Chairwoman in Antitrust Investigations
Amazon has sought the recusal of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chairwoman Lina Khan from probes into the company. Amazon filed a 25-page motion with the FTC on Wednesday, which cited Khan’s past criticism of the company as grounds for recusal. Amazon spokesperson Jack Evans said in a statement that Khan has made her views clear through previous work with anti-monopoly group Open Markets Institute, law journal articles and her involvement in the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust’s sweeping probe into big tech companies.

Integral Ad Science Stocks Close Up by 14 Percent on Public Debut Day
Integral Ad Science (IAS) made its stock market debut on Wednesday, and closed with its stocks up 14 percent on its debut day. Shares opened at $22, up from its IPO price of $18. This means IAS is valued at close to $3.3 billion.

Taboola Goes Public
Taboola began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday following its merger with ION Acquisition Corp. 1, a special acquisition corporation (SPAC). Taboola closed down two percent on its first day of trading. Ion Acquisition Corp recently also merged a separate company with CTV ad company Innovid as the company seeks an IPO in 2022.

Blackstone to Invest in Simpli.fi as it Values Company at $1.5 Billion
Investment group Blackstone have said its taking a “significant” share in ad tech company Simpli.fi. The investment values the ad tech company at around $1.5 billion The investment will give Blackstone and GTCR, another investment company that came on board four years ago, joint control of the company.

System1 to Go Public Through SPAC Merger
Omnichannel customer acquisition platform System1 has said that it will go public through a reverse-merger with special acquisitions company (SPAC), the Trebia Acquisition Corp. The company has also said that it will be merging with security and privacy provider Protected.net. 

IRIS.TV Partners with PubMatic to Expand Contextual Targeting Footprint
Video data platform IRIS.TV and sell-side platform PubMatic this week announced a global partnership to expand buyers’ access to contextually targeted connected TV (CTV) and video inventory in biddable environments. The two say that through this partnership, media buyers can now access leading video data targeting tools enabled by IRIS.TV to target advertising across PubMatic’s brand-safe cross-screen programmatic inventory.

The Week in TV

Netflix is Now the Biggest Commissioner of European Scripted Content, According to Ampere
Netflix is now the single biggest commissioner of scripted content in Europe, according to research from Ampere Analysis. Previously, public service broadcasters have been the biggest producers of content in the region. But, in 2020 Netflix surpassed both the British BBC and German ZDF to become the biggest producer of scripted content in Europe.

Elizabeth Warren Asks FTC to Carry Out an Investigation into Amazon/MGM Merger
US senator Elizabeth Warren has asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Warren wrote to new chair Lina Khan asking the FTC to look into the merger between the e-commerce giant and the film studio. Warren expressed concerns that Amazon had acquired MGM Studios over-the-odds, which she argued was part of a “tactic to operate at a financial loss”.

European PSBs Launch News-Sharing Platform
Ten European public service broadcasters have launched a news-sharing platform that translates articles from the PSBs into different languages and makes them available on one destination. The project, called ‘A European Perspective’, is led by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). EBU Members from Belgium (RTBF), Finland (YLE), France (France Télévisions), Germany (BR/ARD), Ireland (RTÉ), Italy (RAI), Portugal (RTP), Spain (RTVE) and Switzerland (SWI swissinfo.ch) as well as ARTE, the Franco-German broadcaster, will be taking part.

Weather Channel Planning Launch of SVOD Service
The company behind The Weather Channel is launching a new SVOD service, which will be known as The Weather Channel Plus. The Allen Group, which owns the channel, said the new streaming service will be launched in Q4 and will also feature news and entertainment from other sources. The service will feature 50 channels of streaming content and will cost $4.99 a month.

Poland’s Biggest Independent News Channel Could Go Off-Air
TVN24, Poland’s biggest independent news channel, could find itself taken off air in September as it is waiting to hear whether the government will renew its licence. The channel is owned by the Disney conglomerate and has been operating in Poland for almost 20 years, with its licence due to expire in September it applied 17 months ago for it to be renewed. TVN24 is still waiting for a decision, with the Polish government claiming if the licence is not renewed in time it will be down to the channel not fulfilling its legal obligations. Critics have said the move is part of the government’s wider push to control media in the country.

WarnerMedia Claims Most Successful Upfronts in Its History
WarnerMedia said this week that it had concluded all its major ad agency negotiations, calling this year’s upfront its most successful ever. The company gave no further details about its upfront performance. This year’s upfronts will probably be the last for WarnerMedia before it merges with Discovery.

Streaming Platforms Spent $220 Billion on Content Last Year, According to Research
Streaming platforms spent $220 billion globally on new content in 2020, according to research from Purely. This was an increase of 16.4 percent from the year before, with Disney+ spending the most out of all the streaming services, the company spent a total of $28.6 billion last year. The report projects that the industry will hit a new milestone in 2021 and will spend more than $250 billion.

The Week in Publishing

French Antitrust Case Puts Google’s Publisher Payments Deal on Hold
An ongoing antitrust investigation into Google’s negotiations with news publishers has put Google’s existing publisher talks in France on hold. The search giant had been working on a deal with the Alliance de la presse d’information generale (APIG), a lobby group representing most major French publishers, as part of its Google News Showcase product. But these talks have now been frozen, according to Reuters, as Google awaits a ruling from France’s competition authority.

Group Black Inc Launches to Guide Ad Spend into Black Media
This week saw the launch of Group Black Inc., a collective which seeks to funnel more ad spend into Black-owned media. The collective will help advise agencies and advertisers on how they can work with its members, which include Essence Communications, Holler Technologies, PlayVS, Shade Room and Baller Alert. The group has already secured a pledge of $75 million in spending from GroupM.

Pinterest Bans All Ads With Weight Loss Language and Imagery
Social media platform Pinterest has banned all ads that feature weight loss language and/or imagery. The platform has worked with the National Eating Disorders Association on its new policy. Pinterest partly attributed its decision to the rise in eating disorders that were reported during the pandemic.

YouTube Launches Theatre Space in California
YouTube is embracing live entertainment, by launching a YouTube Theater in the Hollywood Park in California. The “YouTube Theater” will be a three-storey, 6,000 seater arena for performances that range from traditional concerts to esports and influencer events.

Danish Media Companies Team Up to Seek Payments from Google and Facebook
Just under 30 Danish media companies are working together to collectively bargain for content payment from Google and Facebook, the FT reported this week, believing that teaming up gives them more leverage over the tech giants. The group will use the EU’s copyright directive, which gives news publishers the right to claim revenues for use of their works, to push for payments.

Russia Will Force Social Companies to Open Russian Offices
Russian president Vladimir Putin this week signed a new law which will obligate foreign social media businesses to open Russian offices, an effort by Moscow to exert more control over big tech companies according to Reuters. The law will apply to internet companies with daily Russian audiences of over 500,000.

Facebook Launches Substack Competitor Bulletin
Facebook this week launched Bulletin, a new platform for publishers generally seen as a competitor to newsletter platform Substack. Bulletin will let creators publish written and audio content, while also handling subscription features.

The Week for Agencies

WPP Wins Holding Company of the Year
WPP has regained its crown as holding company of the year at this year’s Cannes Lions festival. The title was previously won by Omnicom, who took it from WPP back in 2018.

IPG Launches Interpublic Health
IPG confirmed last week’s rumours that it planned to launch a reworked health agency, bringing together FCB Health and McCann Health into a new unit called Interpublic Health. Dana Maiman takes the CEO role at the new company, while John Cahill becomes executive chairman.

M&C Saatchi Posts £8.3 Million Profit for 2020
M&C Saatchi says it has rebuilt a stable financial foundation for its business after a difficult year, posting pre-tax profits of £8.3 million in 2020. The turnaround comes after an accounting scandal brought disruption to the agency, costing it over £6 million.

AMV BBDO Wins Agency of the Year at Cannes
UK agency AMV BBDO won Agency of the Year at this year’s Cannes Lions festival. Among its award winning works were its #wombstories campaign for client Bodyform.

Research Shows Brands Are Under Pressure to Quickly Deliver on Sustainability Goals
Research released by creative production and marketing solutions company CLICKON this week found that almost three quarters (74 percent) of UK leaders in advertising agree that there is pressure for ad campaigns in the UK to be carbon neutral. Two thirds (61 percent) thought sustainable advertising was important to their customers, with almost a third (27 percent) citing it as very important. The research also found that the majority of advertisers are taking up this call, with just ten percent saying their brand doesn’t have any carbon neutral goals.

Over Half of UK CMOs Back Tough Ad Regulations for HFSS Foods
Over half of CMOs in the UK believe there need to be tougher rules governing advertising for foods high in fat, salt and sugar (HFSS), according to research from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. The news is somewhat surprising, given the backlash from advertiser trade groups towards the UK government’s decision to ban TV ads for HFSS foods before the watershed, and to completely ban online ads for those products.

British Heart Foundation Picks PHD for Media Duties
UK charity British Heart Foundation has consolidated its media buying and planning duties within PHD, following a review. The charity previously worked with The Kite Factory for media duties around its fundraising work.

UK Advertising Export Group Creates UK House to Promote British Creativity
The UK Advertising Export Group, a collaboration between the UK government and a number of advertising trade groups, has launched UK House, a virtual venue designed to showcase the UK’s creative abilities.

Hires of the Week

Twitter Names Sarah Personette as Chief Customer Officer
Sarah Personette has been named as chief customer officer at Twitter. Personette is currently vice president of global client solutions and will step into her new role in August.

Chris Jansen Hired as Kantar’s New CEO
Kantar has hired Chris Jansen as its new chief executive officer. Jansen joins from Cognita, a network of schools around the world, where he is CEO.

VideoAmp Announces New Hires Wendell Younkin and Brian Danzis
VideoAmp has announced two new hires. Wendell Younkin joins as chief accounting officer. Younkin has previously worked 20 years at NBCU. Brian Danzis also joins the team as EVP of account sales in New York.

David Baker and Dan Coneally Promoted at Samba TV
David Barker has been promoted to senior vice president of global commercial partnerships at Samba TV, he previously held the role of managing director, EMEA. Also at Samba TV, Dan Coneally has been promoted to vice president of agency solutions UK.

This Week on VideoWeek

The Industry Reacts: Google Extends its Cookie Deadline Until Late 2023, read on VideoWeek

How UK Broadcasters Are Using Social Video to Capture Gen-Z, read on VideoWeek

Twitch’s Hot Tub Drama Demonstrates the Difficulty of Policing Sexual Content, read on VideoWeek

How GumGum Plans to Stand Out in a Crowded Contextual Market, read on VideoWeek

Smart Adserver Acquires CTV Contextual Targeting Specialist DynAdmic, read on VideoWeek

Bloom’s The Exchange is Breaking Down Gender Divides in the Industry, One Conversation At a Time, read on VideoWeek

How Do The Industry’s Forecasts for the Coming Year Compare to Each Other? read on VideoWeek

Ad of the Week

BBC, Let’s Go There, BBC Creative

2021-07-02T11:45:00+01:00

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