The WIR: Innovid Goes Public, Google Agrees to CMA Oversight of Privacy Sandbox, Tesco Enters Retail Media

03 December, 2021 

In this week’s Week in Review: Innovid shares were up ten percent after their IPO, Google agrees to more CMA oversight, and Tesco launches a media insights platform.

Top Stories

Innovid Up Ten Percent in Stock Exchange Debut

Innovid finished its first day on the New York Stock Exchange up ten percent. The TV measurement platform Innovid finished its first day on the New York Stock Exchange at $8.75 a share. Innovid, which is trading under the acronym CTV, was valued at $1.3 billion prior to its stock market debut. 

In June, Innovid announced they would be pursuing a merger with SPAC ION Acquisition Corp. 2, with the intention of going public. This merger was completed prior to the IPO. The company is aiming to raise $403 million.

Zvika Netter, co-founder and chief executive at Innovid, said the company saw a 65 percent increase in connected TV revenue in the first three quarters of 2021, compared to the same period the year before.

Google Agrees to More Oversight of Privacy Sandbox from CMA

Google has agreed for the UK Competition and Markets’ Authority (CMA) to supervise their Privacy Sandbox, as part of an ongoing anti-trust investigation. The Privacy Sandbox is Google’s replacement for third-party cookies. The CMA had received complaints that Google’s phasing out of third-party cookies would give it an unfair advantage.

Google has said in its own blog that it will introduce more restrictions and has committed to allowing the CMA to carry out testing of the Sandbox. Google said the revisions “underline our commitment to ensuring that the changes we make in Chrome will apply in the same way to Google’s ad tech products as to any third party, and that the Privacy Sandbox APIs will be designed, developed and implemented with regulatory oversight and input from the CMA and the ICO [Information Commissioner’s Office]”.

As part of the increased oversight, competitors will have a chance to give their views on Google’s testing process of the Privacy Sandbox and pass them on to the CMA.  

Tesco Enters Retail Media Market with Closed-Loop Platform

Tesco is using the first-party data it gathers from it Clubcard loyalty scheme to launch a media and insights platform. The platform consists a series of products designed to help brands build a more personalised relationship with consumers on the platform; these products include onsite media such as targeted display advertising, and targeting on partner’s sites.

20 million households in the UK have Clubcards, Tesco said it reaches 58 percent of the UK every week something which the company says puts it equal to the likes of Channel 4 and Facebook in terms of media reach. In its H1 earnings call in October, Tesco bosses had said they wanted to put the wealth of first-party data gathered by the company to use.

“Our new platform will bring together the wealth of customer knowledge we have, with the insights from dunnhumby, and use it in a way that helps our brands to be more efficient and targeted and ultimately to serve our customers better. We’re excited to work with our suppliers and agencies to drive better engagement with customers and add value to their businesses,” said Alessandra Bellini, Tesco’s chief customer officer.

The Week in Tech

Unruly Launches Content-Level Targeting Solution

Programmatic video and CTV advertising platform Unruly has announced the launch of a content-level targeting solution. The solution splits inventory based on publisher bidstream attributes, such as genre and rating. At the moment the solution supports 26 segments based on content attributes such as content genre and rating.

Tubular Labs Now Able to Link Social Video to Amazon Purchases

Social video measurement platform Tubular Labs has announced that it is now able to link social video viewership to purchases on Amazon. Tubular is using global opt-in behavioural data panels and official measurement partnerships to connect social video viewership to behaviour on the ecommerce platform like purchases, browsing and reviews. Initial data has found that a quarter of consumer electronic purchases on Amazon are preceded by social video viewing. 

Shopping App Installs Down By 30 Percent Compared to 2020 Black Friday

Installations of shopping apps were down 30 percent in the UK this Black Friday, compared to the same day in 2020, according to data from AppsFlyer. This could be down to increased high-street shopping as COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed. Despite app installations being down, the report also found that in-app spend was up 12 percent from Black Friday 2020. 

Competition and Markets’ Authority Tells Meta to Sell Giphy

The UK Competition and Markets’ Authority has directed Meta (formerly known as Facebook) to sell Giphy. The CMA’s findings concluded that the acquisition of Giphy had removed it as a potential challenger to Meta in the display advertising market. It also raised the possibility that the acquisition would reduce competition between social media platforms. 

Jack Dorsey Steps Down as Twitter CEO

Jack Dorsey announced on Monday that he was stepping down as Twitter’s CEO, effective immediately. Dorsey’s successor is former CTO Parag Agrawal. Jack Dorsey is one of the co-founders of Twitter, which he stepped down from in 2009 to form payment company Square. He returned to Twitter in 2015 and was running both companies, something which investors in Twitter did not approve of. 

Pubmatic Opens Office in Paris

Pubmatic, a sell-side platform, announced that they are expanding into France as part of their European growth strategy. The company also brought aboard Laurence Harroch as director of publisher development, and Constance de Vulpian as customer success manager; both will report to Siebren Roorda, regional director Benelux and France at PubMatic.

ID5 Publishes Guide to Help Brands Navigate Cookieless Future

Identity solution provider ID5 has published a guide to help brands navigate a future without third-party cookies. Google will be scrapping third-party cookies in 2023, something that brands have hereto relied on for targeting their ad messages. ID5’s guide lays out shared-ID solutions as a replacement for the addressability and measurement that third-party cookies provide.

The Week in TV

Squid Game Only Tenth Most Watched Programme on UK TV Last Month

Squid Game was the most watched programme produced by the streaming services on UK TV sets in October 2021. However, according to BARB (the Broadcaster’s Audience Research Board) figures, the Korean drama, which broke Netflix’s records and became the most watched show ever on the platform, was only the tenth most watched show on British TV overall. Read the full story on VideoWeek.

Pluto TV Launches in the Nordics With NENT as Partner

Pluto TV will launch in the Nordics in a partnership between ViacomCBS and Nordic Entertainment Group (NENT). The service will combine existing service Viafree and the Pluto TV AVOD platform in one Pluto TV-branded offering. NENT Group will serve as the platform’s leading advertising sales partner.

Broadcast Revenues Exceeded One Billion Euros in Spain in Q2 2021

Spanish TV and radio revenues exceeded one billion euros in Spain in Q2 2021. This was, according to the regulator CNMC, 24.4 percent more than the same quarter in 2020, which was the start of the COVID pandemic. The total amount of 1.014 billion euros included a total TV and radio advertising revenue of €540.3 million, a year-on-year recovery of almost 70 percent. 

Less Than Half of UK Viewing Hours Will Be on TV By 2023, Predicts Deloitte

In the UK, less than half of the time viewing videos will be spent on television by 2023, forecasts Deloitte. In 2017, 73 percent of UK viewing time was spent watching broadcaster content on TV (whether that was live linear, or on-demand), by 2023 that figure will drop to just 49 percent, according to Deloitte’s figures. By 2023, 31 percent of UK viewing will be on SVOD and AVOD platforms, compared to a figure of just seven percent in 2017.

Christmas TV Will Be Available on ITV Hub Ahead of Broadcast

ITV has revealed that they will make Christmas programming available on ITV Hub before it goes out on broadcast TV. The programmes, which will include a feature length episode of The Larkins, as well as Christmas Day specials of Emmerdale and Coronation Street, will be shown the morning of the day they go out on linear TV. 

Free AVOD Services Growing Globally, Says Report

Free ad-supported TV( FAST) services are growing across the globe, according to figures from SaaS technology specialist Amagi. The report uses data from Amagi’s proprietary platform on viewership and content monetisation trends. Advertisers are estimated to spend over $25 billion on AVOD platforms by 2025.

Canal Signs $600 Million Deal With the French Cinema Industry

Canal+ has signed a new deal with the French cinema industry that has shortened the window of time before Canal+ can show cinema release. The window has now been shortened to six months, and in return the Canal will make a guaranteed investment of $600 million over the next three years in French and European cinema. The relationship between Canal and the French film organisation goes back thirty years and has been extended until at least 2024.

CTV Revenues Set To Overtake Pay-TV in Middle East and North Africa, Say Figures

OTT revenues will overtake pay TV within five years in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), according to figures from Dataxis. The report attributes the shift to international SVOD players, who initially offered their services bundled as part of their TV offerings, and who are now shifting to a direct-to-consumer model. The report also notes a  ‘two-tiered industry’ in the region, where there is a contrast between the Gulf States, which have high OTT service penetration compared to the rest of the region.

Disney Projected To Reach 108 Million Combined Subscribers by Year-End

Disney is likely to have 108 million subscribers across its streaming platforms by the end of the year, according to research by Ampere Analysis. Disney reached 100 million subscribers to its three streaming services in early Q4. It has since launched a bundled service of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+, which have helped to up subscriber numbers.  

Spanish SVOD Services Will Need to Produce Regional Language Content

SVOD services will have to provide six percent or more of their content in the regional Spanish languages; Catalonian, Galician or Basque language. EU legislation means that 30 percent of VOD content has to have a European origin. Spain already has legislation stating that half of that should be in Spanish, now 40 percent of that 15 percent will need to be in other co-official languages.

Virgin Media Hit By Nationwide TV Outage

Many Virgin Media customers were unable to watch TV on Thursday as the company suffered an outage that lasted for more than ten hours. The outage affected Virgin Media customers across the UK. The company said that it was caused by a “major power outage”.

Hayu Launches in India

NBCUniversal’s reality SVOD service hayu has launched in India. The expansion into India means that hayu now has a presence in 28 territories. Hayu offers reality TV content such as Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Below Deck and Real Housewives. Subscribers in India can have access to three months of the service for around $4 a month. 

The Week For Publishers

Publisher Future Sees Profits Double

Specialist media publisher Future has announced that its pre-tax profits more than doubled (107 percent growth) in 2021.  Revenue was also up by 79 percent in the full-year 2021, reaching £606.8 million.

The publisher saw an eight percent growth in its online audience to 305 million monthly users, as well as organic eCommerce revenue increase by 36 percent. The publisher has made a series of a

Squid Game Remake Becomes Fastest Non-Music Video to Reach 100 Million YouTube Views

YouTuber MrBeast has broken the record for the fastest non-music video to reach 100 million views. The YouTuber broke the record with his remake of Korean Netflix hit Squid Game. MrBeast’s remake was an elaborate set-up with 456 people, it reportedly took $3.5 million to make. MrBeast’s video hit 100 million views in around four days. 

Meta Relaxes Cryptocurrency Advertising Rules

Meta is allowing more cryptocurrency companies to advertise on its platform as it increases the number of regulatory licences it accepts from three to 27. Meta justified the relaxation by saying that the cryptocurrency landscape has “matured and stabilized”. Crypto advertisers will still need written permission to run ads for cryptocurrency exchanges, lending and borrowing, crypto mining tools and wallets that let you buy, sell, stake or swap tokens. But the relaxation will allow companies who were previously banned due to the strict rules to advertise on Meta. 

The European Commission Reveals Plans For a Media Freedom Act

The European Commission has revealed its plans to introduce a Media Freedom Act in 2022, to “ensure the integrity and independence of the EU media market”. Thierry Breton, commissioner for the internal market said, “We want to act against all types of unjustified interferences in the activities of our media companies.” Breton did not name any specific countries when he spoke of these interferences. 

LinkedIn Introduces Live Video and Newsletters to Its Creator Mode

LinkedIn is introducing LinkedIn Live, which is live streaming video, and newsletters to its creator mode. Creator mode is for LinkedIn users trying to create more reach and influence across the platform. Those who have creator mode enabled have followers rather than connections on LinkedIn. 

Future and Taboola Expand Partnership 

Content recommendation platform Taboola and publisher Future have renewed and expanded their partnership. The new three-year partnership will mean Future and Taboola will have been in partnership for ten years. As part of the new deal, Taboola will bring mid-article content recommendations to Future’s titles, which include Tech Radar, Marie Claire and Tom’s Guide. 

Twitch Announces It Will Use AI To Catch Ban-Dodging Trolls

Twitch has announced that it will use machine learning to protect streamers from abusive users who may be evading bans. The tool, which Twitch calls “Suspicious User Detection”, will flag “likely” or “possible” ban evaders. The machine-learning takes into account “the user’s behavior and account characteristics — and compares that data against accounts previously banned from a Creator’s channel to assess the likelihood the account is evading a previous channel-level ban,” a Twitch spokesperson told Engadget.

The Week For Agencies

WPP Acquires Cloud Commerce Group

WPP has acquired commerce company Cloud Commerce Group (CCG). CCG will merge with Wunderman Thompson. CCG provides omnichannel ecommerce solutions to companies. WPP is looking to enhance Wunderman Thompson’s credentials in the area. 

Disproportionate Number of Women Leaving Ad Industry, Finds Report

Women are disproportionately leaving the ad industry, according to a report from She Runs It, a group for women in media, tech and marketing. Although 2021, has been a year when many people have left industries- dubbed “the great resignation”- women have been leaving in disproportionate numbers. This means that, for the first time in four years, less than half of those employed in the media, agency and tech industries are women.

Vaxxed Santa Tesco Christmas Ad Becomes Second Most Complained Ever

Tesco’s Christmas TV ad has become the second-most complained about ad ever, because it features Santa Claus presenting a vaccine passport. The ad, which the ASA says has broke no rules, has received 5,525 complaints about vaccinated Father Christmas. It is second in number of complaints only to Paddy Power’s “It’s Oscar Time” ad which offered refunds for losing bets if the South African Paralympian was found not guilty of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Compare the Market Splits Media Brief Between OMD and Croud UK

Price comparison website Compare the Market has split its media duties between OMD and Croud UK. Omnicom-owned OMD, and Croud UK have beaten incumbent agency Wavemaker (owned by WPP) to take the media brief. The price comparison site is splitting brand and performance.

Spark Foundry and Jungle Creations Launch Christmas Campaign for Taco Bell

Spark Foundry and Jungle Creations have launched a digital campaign for Mexican food chain Taco Bell UK, which encourages people not to talk about Christmas. The video focuses on those who have birthdays during the festive season and who end up missing out on their celebrations because its overshadowed by Christmas. The tagline for the campaign is “Let’s not Taco ‘Bout Christmas”.

Bissell Homecare Picks McCann as Its Creative Agency of Record

Floor cleaning brand Bissell Homecare has selected McCann Worldgroup as its creative agency of record. The incumbent agency had been ICF Next since 2014, which defended the account in a media review first announced in August.

Hires of the Week

Susan Arnold Becomes Chair of Walt Disney

Susan Arnold has been appointed to the role of chair of Walt Disney. Arnold is operating executive at Carlyle Group and has been on the Disney board for 14 years.

SpringServe Appoints Leon Siotis as Head of International

SpringServe has appointed Leon Siotis as head of international. Siotis was previously at SpotX, where he was the president of EMEA.

Charlie Hyland Becomes Channel 4 Digital Commissioner

Charlie Hyland has become Channel 4’s digital commissioner focused on comedy. Hyland has previously been series producer on th  E4 shows, Pete and Sam’s Reality News and Married at First Sight UK. 

Geoffrey Fossier Becomes VP Marketing and Communications at Hawk

Hawk (formerly known as TabMo) has added to its senior team by adding Geoffrey Fossier in the newly created role of VP marketing and communications. Fossier joins from Adot, where he was VP of marketing.

Nicole Taylor Hired as The Lego Group’s Head of In-House Agency

The Lego Group has named Nicole Taylor as head of its in-house agency and senior vice president. Taylor joins from McCann Worldgroup, where she was CEO Australia. 

Didomi Appoints Chief Privacy Officer and VP Sales EMEA

Didomi has appointed Thomas Adhumeau as chief privacy officer and Jérôme Cohen as VP sales EMEA. Cohen comes from Avature, a publisher of HR solutions, where he was regional VP of sales. Adhumeau was previously at AppNexus and S4M.

This Week on VideoWeek

How Apps Are Weathering the IDFA Storm So Far, read on VideoWeek

Squid Game Only Tenth Most Watched Programme on UK TV Last Month, read on VideoWeek

All Aboard the Metaverse, read on VideoWeek

Unwitting Consumers Can End Up Being Pawns in Ad Fraud Schemes, read on VideoWeek

Pandemic Gave Brands An Opportunity to Try Out TV, read on VideoWeek

The Open-Market Has A Role To Play In The Future Of TV Advertising, read on VideoWeek

No-One Gets to Be A Custodian of What TV Is, read on VideoWeek

Planet V Has Been Revelatory for ITV, read on VideoWeek

CTV is Enabling Bespoke Interactivity, read on VideoWeek

Why The BBC Fears Android TV, read on VideoWeek

Ad of the Week

Women’s Aid, ‘The Big Cover-Up’, Wundermann Thompson


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