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The WIR: Roku Launches a Clean Room, Xbox and PlayStation Work on Ad Businesses, and Snapchat Warns of Drop in Ad Demand

22 April, 2022 

In this week’s Week in Review: Roku launches a clean room, Xbox and PlayStation are reported to be working on ad businesses, and Snap posts a mixed quarter.

Top Stories

Roku Opens Streaming-Centric Clean Room
Roku revealed a new clean room this week, purpose-built for TV streaming using data taken directly from consumer relationships on the platform. The clean room is a privacy-first, collaborative environment for optimising campaign planning while eliminating reliance on cookies.

By creating a secure connection between Roku data and an advertiser’s data, brands can match the sets without sharing information that risks exposing user identity. The clean room allows advertisers to safely run analysis across matched data to better understand campaign reach, audience delivery and advertising impact.

“The future of TV advertising won’t rely on fragile cookies or consortiums, but on direct connection with actual consumers,” said Louqman Parampath, VP of Product Management at Roku. “We are thrilled to help marketers accelerate their shift to TV streaming by putting privacy and transparency first.”

Xbox and PlayStation Plan In-Game Ad Offerings
Both of the world’s most popular games consoles, Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation, are developing businesses to sell in-game ads, according to separate reports this week.

Business Insider reported last Friday that Microsoft is working on a project to sell in-game ads in free-to-play games. According to Insider, Microsoft is focusing on in-play ads which fit neatly inside gaming worlds, such as in-game billboards. This move has looked fairly likely ever since Microsoft’s acquisition of ad tech company Xandr last year.

Insider then followed up with a second report on Thursday that PlayStation is working on a similar project. Like Microsoft, Sony is focusing on free-to-play games, developing advertising tools for game developers. Unlike Microsoft, Sony doesn’t own an established ad tech business. So it will either have to build its own technology from the ground up, or look for a ready-made product it can acquire or partner with.

Snapchat Warns of Drop in Advertiser Demand
Snapchat forecast strong user growth in its Q1 financial results this week, but warned that supply-chain issues could lead to a drop in demand from advertisers, a potential threat to revenues. Snapchat posted 38 percent year-on-year revenue growth in Q1, but forecast that this would drop to between 20-25 percent in Q2.

Shares in Snapchat initially dropped following the results, but quickly recovered. Outside of the concerns around ad revenues, Snap’s results were promising. The 18 percent year-on-year growth in daily active users is a big positive for the app, which has at times struggles with a stagnant userbase.

The Week in Tech

Google Introduces ‘Reject All’ Cookie Option
Google has redesigned its cookie banners in order to comply with orders from European regulators. “In the past year, regulators who interpret European laws requiring these banners, including data protection authorities in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the UK, have updated their guidance for compliance,” the company said in a blog post. “We’re committed to meeting the standards of that updated guidance and have been working with a number of these authorities.”

Xandr Launches Flexible Currency Offering Across Linear Campaigns
Data platform Xandr unveiled a new standardised, flexible data framework, in collaboration with 605, Comscore, EDO, Samba TV, TVision and VideoAmp. The development enables customers to run their preferred viewership or engagement currency on linear campaigns using Xandr’s buy- and sell-side advanced TV platforms: Invest TV and Monetize TV.

DoubleVerify Receives MRC Accreditation for YouTube Offering
DoubleVerify gained Media Rating Council (MRC) accreditation for its YouTube viewability reporting. Using Google’s Ads Data Hub (ADH), the firm measures YouTube advertising across desktop and mobile, becoming the first company to receive MRC accreditation for an offering of this kind.

VideoAmp Acquires Elsy to Boost Adoption of Currency Solution
VideoAmp has acquired investment optimisation provider Elsy in a deal designed to accelerate the adoption of its measurement and currency solution. Elsy CEO Laurent Colard noted the unprecedented “level of data-driven insight and guidance” unlocked by pairing the company’s algorithmic technology with VideoAmp’s measurement software.

Amobee and SeenThis Team Up to Streamline Advertising Ecosystem
Advertising platform Amobee has teamed up with Swedish tech firm SeenThis to bring high-quality video assets to Amobee’s global publisher base. Designed as a sustainable advertising ecosystem, the partnership is said to combine SeenThis’ streaming technology energy efficiencies with Amobee’s volume of ad impressions, using its Brand Intelligence tool to deliver relevant contextual ads. Read the full story on VideoWeek.

AdPushup Rebrands as Zelto
Revenue optimisation platform AdPushup has changed its name to Zelto, bringing the company’s AdPushup, AdRecover and Glimpse products under one umbrella. Zelto ruled out any changes in corporate structuring or leadership.

tvScientific Brings CTV Ad Platform to Gaming
CTV ad tech firm tvScientific launched a new performance advertising solution for the games industry. By accessing its CTV ad platform, game publishers and developers can reach TV audiences “with the performance, trackability and cost effectiveness of digital marketing.”

Good-Loop Plants Over 1 Million Trees
Sustainable media platform Good-Loop announced it has planted more than one million trees in five months. The company’s ‘This Ad Plants Trees’ format is said to reward viewer attention to ads by planting a new tree every third view, helping to offset emissions generated by brands’ digital campaigns. 

The Week in TV

Netflix Considers Advertising as Membership Declines
Netflix has reported 200,000 membership cancellations for Q1 2022, prompting the company to double down on introducing advertising to the streaming platform. The quarterly report marks the first subscriber losses for the service since 2011. As a result the company also plans to crack down on password sharing, a practice it estimates being used by more than 100 million households. Read the full story on VideoWeek.

ProSieben Begins Selling Linear TV Ads Programmatically
German broadcaster ProSiebenSat.1 on Thursday announced it has begun experimenting with selling ads on its linear TV channels programmatically, in a move designed to draw in more ad spend from digital native brands which have previously steered clear of TV. Speaking to German media trade publication W&V, Seven.One Media’s chief sales officer Thomas Wagner described the new product as “the most important innovation for the media industry since the introduction of addressable TV and an important milestone in developing TV into a digital advertising medium”. Read the full story on VideoWeek.

CNN+ Shuts After One Month
Warner Bros. Discovery has closed down news streaming service CNN+ after one month of operation. CNN CEO Chris Licht told staff the $100 million launch had been “incredibly successful” but incompatible with the strategy of the newly merged owners.

Rakuten TV Introduces FAST Channels to Web and Mobile
Rakuten TV brought its FAST linear channels to web and mobile in 42 European countries, making around 100 channels accessible via website, iOS app and Android Mobile app. The move forms part of the company’s “strategy to become one of the leaders of AVOD and FAST in Europe,” according to Rakuten CEO Cédric Dufour.

Report Shows Educational Reach of British TV
A British study by Virgin Media O2 revealed the educational reach of television, as 51 percent said TV has educated them more than any other media in recent years. The respondents claimed to have been educated on such topics as international cultures (71 percent), disability (23 percent), disease (28 percent), the education system (17 percent) and gender identity (13 percent).

ITV to Invest in More Start-Ups
ITV’s “start-up incubator” Studio 55 Ventures opened its second round of investments. Media and entertainment businesses are invited to apply for the chance to create and scale a business within ITV, “with an objective to appeal to younger audience demographics.”

MFE Accepts ProsiebenSat.1 Supervisory Board Candidates
MediaForEurope (MFE) said it would not propose alternative candidates for the Supervisory Board of ProsiebenSat.1, lending the shareholder’s support to court-appointed board member Andreas Wiele as chairman. The decision follows last week’s controversy when MFE pursued a rule change for the AGM that would enable individual board appointments to be blocked.

BritBox Expands into Nordics
BritBox will extend into Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland on 28th April, according to the British streaming provider. The expansion would bring the BBC/ITV joint venture into eight countries (plus the UK), following launches in the US, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

British Churn Rate Reaches Record High
Approximately 1.5 million VOD accounts in the UK have been shut down so far in 2022, according to Kantar, signalling an end to the pandemic-fuelled streaming boom. The research found that 58 percent of consumers retain at least one streaming service but multiple platform households are down, citing budgetary concerns as the primary reason for cancellation. Read the full story on VideoWeek.

The Week for Publishers

BuzzFeed Launches Updated First-Party Data Tool Lighthouse 2.0
BuzzFeed this week unveiled an updated version of its Lighthouse first-party data solution for advertisers, folding in data assets from the newly acquired Complex Media, according to Adweek. BuzzFeed says the combined datasets enable over 1,000 different audience segmentations for advertisers to target.

Daily Mail Leans on Probabilistic ID Solution for Post-Cookie Targeting
The Daily Mail has seen strong results from its partnership with probabilistic ID solution Lexicon, which is owned by SSP 33Across, AdExchanger reported this week. The Mail has been testing a variety of cookieless solutions, but currently attributes nearly 70 percent of its US cookieless ad revenue to Lexicon.

AOP Partners with SeenThis to Reduce Carbon Footprint
The Association of Online Publishers (AOP) has partnered with adaptive streaming technology company, SeenThis, to become the first trade body to stream images on its website and cut its internet carbon emissions, with the aim of encouraging digital publishers to explore and adopt similar solutions. Initial results have seen AOP reduce its data usage by 65 percent – greatly exceeding original predictions of 40 percent.

Future Launches TechRadar Gaming
Future has launched a new title, TechRadar Gaming, designed to meet growing consumer demand for gaming-related content. Future is specifically targeting affiliate revenues from the new publication, following previous success in generating sales for partners through gaming content, according to Adweek.

UK Local News Boosted by Non-Local Traffic
The UK’s biggest regional news brands are receiving most of their traffic from outside the region they serve, according to data from IPSOS analysed by Press Gazette. Of 50 local news brands analysed by Press Gazette, only eight received more than half of their traffic from within the region they serve.

Music Streaming Service Deezer Plans to Go Public via a SPAC
Music streaming business Deezer announced its intentions this week to go public via a merger with I2PA, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The deal will reportedly value the French streaming platform at around €1.05 billion.

The Week For Agencies

Omnicom’s Strong Organic Growth Continues in Q1
Omnicom posted its Q1 earnings this week, with organic revenue growth reaching 11.9 percent, continuing a series of strong results over the past few quarters. Omnicom said it saw growth across all of its segments, including 9.1 percent for advertising and media, 20.3 percent for precision marketing, 13.8 percent for commerce brand consulting, and 68.0 percent for experiential.

IPG Takes Stake in Famous Group
Interpublic Group has taken a minority stake in The Famous Group, a tech company which specialised in mixed reality and augmented reality ads. IPG CEO Philippe Krakowsky said the agency group is looking at how to capitalise on the uptick in demand for live events, and The Famous Group’s tech will be used for new events-based activations.

Unilever Plans to Stop Marketing Food and Drinks to Children
FMCG giant Unilever has announced it plans to stop marketing its food and beverage products to children under 16 years old, across both paid media and social media, in an effort to “raise the bar” on its responsible advertising standards. As part of this initiative, Unilever will not collect or store data on anyone under 16 years old, and will not work with any influencers who primarily appeal to children (or who are under the age of 16 themselves).

Madison Avenue Welcomes Proposed Ad-Supported Netflix
The suggestion by Netflix that it could introduce advertising to its platform was welcomed by the industry, after the streaming service reported a loss in subscribers for the first time since 2011, dropping its share price to its lowest in almost two decades. “I think there’s a lot of pent-up demand from advertisers to be able to reach Netflix viewers,” said TransUnion’s Andre Swanston, “especially younger, more affluent households that historically have been hard to reach with television advertising.”

Horizon Will Use Alternative Currencies for 15 Percent of Upfront Deals
Independent US media agency Horizon Media says it will use alternative currencies to Nielsen for up to 15 percent of its deals at the upcoming upfronts. Horizon says it is looking for two or three alternatives which it will use as the basis for a portion of its upfront deals.

Mediacom Wins Expanded Sky Remit Across Europe
Following a review, WPP’s Mediacom has retained its media planning and buying duties for Sky across Europe, and has also been handed additional digital duties for the UK specifically.

Media.Monks Commits to the Metaverse
Media.Monks this week launched a new metaverse hub, signalling its commitment to metaverse-based marketing. The new hub serves as a summary of its global metaverse-focused services and a home for metaverse-focused content.

Irish Ad Regulator Reviews Crypto Rules
The Advertising Standards Authority of Ireland is reviewing its regulatory approach to cryptocurrency ads, it announced this week, asking whether additional rules are needed to prevent consumer harm from misleading crypto ads.

Hires of the Week

GroupM Announces EMEA and UK Leadership Appointments
GroupM this week announced that Catherine Wignall has been named as U.K. chief transformation and integration officer, succeeding Lisa Humphreys who is taking on the role of Chief Operating Officer for GroupM EMEA. In her new role, Catherine will be responsible for leading the strategy and day-to-day management of GroupM U.K.’s Transformation and Integration Squad.

GumGum Appoints Harmen Tjaarda as Managing Director for Four European Markets
Harmen Tjaarda, the co-founder of JustPremium, a GumGum company, is set to become managing director of GumGum Belgium, Netherlands, Nordics and Spain. In his new role, Harmen will oversee these four critical markets as GumGum continues its European expansion.

This Week on VideoWeek

British Churn Rate Reaches Record High, read on VideoWeek

Netflix Considers Advertising as Membership Declines, read on VideoWeek

Amobee and SeenThis Team Up to Streamline Advertising Ecosystem, read on VideoWeek

ProSieben Begins Selling Linear TV Ads Programmatically, read on VideoWeek

Ad of the Week

Staples, Saw The Sign, Muhtayzik Hoffer

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2022-04-22T13:15:18+01:00

About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
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