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The WIR: DAZN Cuts UK Workforce, Facebook Rethinks Paying Publishers, and Google Lobbies Against Canadian Online News Act

Tim Cross 10 June, 2022 

In this week’s Week in Review: DAZN is scaling back its UK operations, Facebook hesitates on renewing contracts with news publishers, and Google writes to Canadian MPs over legislation that it says could “break” its search engine.

Top Stories

DAZN Cuts UK Workforce, Renews Extreme E Contract
Deadline reported that DAZN is cutting five percent of its UK workforce, after its proposed acquisition of BT Sport fell through earlier this year. “We’re going to have to go to plan B,” said Pete Parmenter, SVP business development at DAZN. “We don’t want to be a player without a big business in the UK but how we get there is still up for debate. I think we will have a business here, but it won’t be the plan A that we had hoped for.”

Domestic turmoil has pushed the sport streamer to focus on growth in its more prominent regions, including Spain, Germany and Italy. The company will make 50 staff redundant from its London HQ, according to Deadline, with around the same number of staff being hired in Spain ahead of the 2022/23 LaLiga season. DAZN also renewed its partnership with Extreme E, bringing the second off-road electric racing season to its global platform.

Facebook Cools on News Contracts
Facebook could stop paying for news, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday. According to people familiar with the matter, the Facebook News section acquires content via deals with news publishers, paying annual fees of $15 million to the Washington Post, $20 million to the New York Times and $10 million to the Wall Street Journal.

Those deals are set to expire this year and Facebook has given no indication that it plans to renew these contracts. Sources suggest the company is moving away from news content and towards short-form video in order to compete with TikTok, potentially causing huge losses for news publishers.

Google Lobbies Against Canadian Online News Act
Google last week wrote a letter to Canadian MPs to argue against the Online News Act, which the company maintains could “break” the search engine. The legislation will force tech giants to negotiate payments for publishers in order to share snippets of their articles.

Colin McKay, Google’s Canadian public policy chief, said in the letter: “Unfortunately, this extraordinarily complex legislation is being rushed through during the busiest time of the year for Parliamentarians, leaving insufficient opportunity for thoughtful analysis and conversations about how it could impact the Canadian news ecosystem and your constituents.”

The Week in Tech

Comscore Integrates CTV Measurement for Europe
Comscore has added CTV measurement to its Video Metrix Multi-Platform product in the UK and Spain, expanding to France, Germany and Italy in the coming months. The addition allows buy-side clients to monitor CTV viewing when forming YouTube strategy. “Advertisers in European key markets will be able to perform true cross-platform evaluation,” said Joris Goossens, SVP Europe & APAC at Comscore.

Xandr Unveils Partnerships for Segmented Advertising
Xandr, the advertising division of AT&T, has partnered with Altice Média, FranceTV Publicité, M6 Publicité and TF1 PUB to provide segmented advertising across the entire French market. Advertisers using the Xandr platform can access the inventories of the major French agencies and deliver segmented TV campaigns directly via the Xandr Invest DSP. Segmented TV reached 5.7 million French households in Q1 2022, expected to hit nearly 8 million by the end of 2023.

Big Tech Spends $36.4 Million on Ads Opposing Antitrust Legislation
Big tech companies have spent more than $36.4 million on adverts opposing antitrust legislation, the Wall Street Journal revealed today. Laws such as the American Innovation and Choice Online Act will forbid tech giants from favouring their own products and services. “If the bills came to the floor for a vote, they would pass, and so big tech lobby groups are scrambling to try to prevent that from happening,” said Sacha Haworth, executive director of the pro-regulation Tech Oversight Project.

According to the report, the Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA), which counts Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Meta among its members, spent $23 million on ads against this type of legislation. By comparison, groups supporting the antitrust bills have spent $193,000 on advertising.

US Drafts Federal Privacy Bill
US lawmakers have drafted a privacy bill that would ban targeted advertising to children, force digital companies to reduce their data stores, and empower individuals to sue for privacy violations. The American Data Privacy and Protection Act would also require companies to allow people to opt out of targeted ads. The bipartisan and bicameral legislation comes after years of stalled negotiations, marking a major step towards establishing a federal privacy law.

Yahoo Brings Advertising Stories to Southeast Asia
Yahoo has launched a stories-based advertising feature in Southeast Asia. Yahoo Stories Ad enables advertisers in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines to deliver full-screen branded video to mobile users. The integration of call-to-action (CTA) buttons can bring consumers to brand and e-commerce websites, booking engines and discount codes, the company said.

Sheryl Sandberg Leaves Facebook
Sheryl Sandberg announced last week her resignation as Meta COO. Sandberg made her name growing Google’s ad business into “an essential part of every advertiser’s budget,” to quote Bloomberg. As head of Facebook’s public policy team she was often at the epicentre of the company’s misinformation, hate speech and privacy scandals. Insiders noted CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s increasing role in public policy as Sandberg stepped down after 14 years.

IAB Tech Lab Streamlines Consent
IAB Tech Lab, the digital advertising technical standards-setting body, announced the launch of the Global Privacy Platform (GPP). GPP was created as one of the products of IAB Tech Lab’s Project Rearc initiative, and it is a single protocol designed to streamline transmitting privacy, consent, and consumer choice signals from sites and apps to ad tech providers. It also integrates with existing privacy signals from Europe’s Transparency & Consent Framework and CCPA in the US.

Ampersand Adds Self-Service Incremental Reach
Ampersand, the TV sales consortium jointly owned by Charter, Comcast and Cox, announced on Tuesday a new self-service tool for tracking incremental reach across multiple screens. Available within Ampersand’s AND platform, the self-serve option enables advertisers to directly target unexposed and underexposed households. According to Andrew Matero, Ampersand VP of platform, incremental reach measurement can identify those households “much more efficiently than anything else can.”

Musk Calls Out YouTube Scam Ads
Elon Musk called YouTube “nonstop scam ads” this week, drawing attention to the platform’s lack of fraud protections for users; Insider said in 2020 alone the company was the subject of at least 18 lawsuits involving cryptocurrency scams. Musk tweeted the accusation after threatening to walk away from his $44 billion Twitter purchase, demanding to see the company’s data on spam and fake accounts. Twitter is reportedly set to comply with those terms, offering Musk access to metadata about 500 million tweets per day.


80 Percent of Marketers Hit by Apple’s Tracking Changes
One year after Apple introduced their device ID tracking changes, an Emodo report states that it is having a major impact on mobile advertising campaigns. The poll conducted by the Ericsson-owned ad tech company showed 80 percent of marketers experiencing negative impact on effectiveness.

While 64 percent disagree that Walled Gardens will solve identity issues, 88 percent see AI as a path forward. “AI technology provides a more durable targeting method that is uniquely suited for privacy-centric advertising, and our research shows that the industry is eager to lean into it,” said Jake Moskowitz​, Head of the Emodo Institute & VP of Data Strategy.

Fiverr Connects Brands and Creatives Using AI
Freelance marketplace Fiverr launched a new platform on Thursday, designed to connect creative teams with brands and agencies. Togetherr takes a client brief and uses AI to curate a global team for that particular project. “Leading brands today often build their own creative capabilities in-house, and they need easy ways to augment them with outside independent talent and micro agencies on a project-by-project basis,” said Fiverr CEO Micha Kaufman.

Studio71 and Nielsen Partner on CTV Measurement
Production house Studio71 and measurement firm Nielsen have formed a partnership enabling the media company to track Digital Ad Ratings (DAR) across 37 markets, enhancing its measurement of cross-channel networks including CTV. “Nielsen’s ‘Always On’ DAR integration gives us the ability to continuously analyse and optimise demographic pockets within our ad inventory, and in turn we can more effectively use that data for media planning and targeting,” said Tariq Abouddafar, SVP of ad platform operations at Studio71.

The Week in TV

Amazon Bails on Indian Cricket Rights
Amazon is pulling out of a bidding war for Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket rights, leaving the field open for Ambani’s Reliance, Disney or Sony. Estimated to fetch $7.7 billion, the rights are an attractive proposition for broadcasters looking to tap the world’s largest cricket market. The broadcast and streaming rights to the IPL are being auctioned separately for the first time.

Viasat Files Record Revenues
Viasat reported record revenues for its 2022 fiscal year. The operator filed 24 percent revenue growth year-on-year, hitting a total $2.8 billion. Though acquisition and amortisation expenses saw GAAP net income decline by $16 million, adjusted EBITDA increased 15 percent YoY to reach $611 million. Viasat expects to continue generating double-digit revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth in the 2023 financial year.

Originals Account for Majority of Netflix Content
Original and exclusive titles now account for more than 50 percent of all content on Netflix US, according to Ampere Analysis. The research firm additionally found that in Europe, 30 percent of Netflix content hails from the continent, in accordance with local quota regulations. France, the UK and Ireland are just short of the threshold at around 27 percent.

Also this week, Netflix was reportedly angling for the US rights to Formula One, marking the streamer’s first potential foray into sports broadcasting. Meanwhile rumours are circulating that the company could buy CTV operator Roku, although the report from Insider only cited speculation by Roku employees.

ITV and Twitter Announce Sponsored Content Partnership
ITV and Twitter have struck a multi-year content agreement to bring more than 1,200 real-time highlights via Twitter Amplify. The product will offer sponsors the opportunity to align their advertising with content from Love Island and I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, as well as sports highlights from the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and Emirates FA Cup.

Vice FAST Channel Lands on Tubi
Vice has launched its free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channel on Tubi, bringing 200 hours of programming to the Fox-owned AVOD service. The move comes a year on from Vice introducing its FAST channel on the Samsung TV Plus platform, after closing its linear Sky channel to focus on its AVOD offering.

TF1 PUB Unveils Early Summer Offers
TF1 PUB has unveiled a series of Early Summer advertising offers across TV, digital and audio, helping marketers take advantage of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 and new US TV shows. The TV offering includes bonus advertising space for new advertisers launching campaigns between 20th June and 21st August 2022, while campaigns broadcast during the Women’s Euros on TF1 will benefit from a price reduction.

Standard General/Tegna Deal Comes Under Scrutiny
US investment firm Standard General is facing questions over its $5.4 billion acquisition of broadcasting group Tegna. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is scrutinising the bid over possible sharing agreements and staff reductions, after NewsGuild-CWA urged the FCC to block the deal, saying it “would kill journalism jobs, undermine local news and raise prices for American families.” 

Viaplay Taps Norwegian Partners for Premier League
Viaplay Group and Altibox extended their distribution partnership in Norway. The contract continues to make the Viaplay streaming service available to Altibox customers, with 380 live Premier League games available per season. The group also added Premier League football to its agreement with Allente. “Ensuring that as many Norwegian fans as possible can enjoy Viaplay’s Premier League coverage is a priority for us,” said Viaplay Group CCO Kim Poder.

MFE Increases Mediaset España Offer
MediaForEurope (MFE) has increased its Mediaset España tender offer, approved last month by the Spanish Securities Market Commission. The Berlusconi-owned company is seeking to purchase the remaining 44.3 percent of its Spanish subsidiary that it does not already control. MFE said it had raised its cash consideration by 16 percent and that Mediaset’s Board of Directors will unanimously recommend the offer to shareholders.

LaLiga Extends Premier Sports Contract
LaLiga revealed on Wednesday it has renewed its UK and Ireland broadcast deal with Premier Sports. The agreement extends the commitment for a further three years, meaning Premier Sports will carry the Spanish football league until the end of 2024/25. In addition, the broadcaster confirmed that the LaLigaTV channel will remain available on Amazon Prime Video Channels and the Premier Sports Player.

Almost 90 Percent of Americans Have a CTV Device
87 percent of Americans have at least one CTV device, Leichtman Research Group has found. The all-time high figure marks a sharp increase from 80 percent in 2020, 69 percent in 2017 and 38 percent in 2012. The research suggests that 46 percent of adults watch video via CTV every day, up from 40 percent in 2020, 25 percent in 2017 and 4 percent in 2012. Streaming is also growing in popularity among older viewers, with 24 percent of people over 55 watching a CTV device daily, compared with 62 percent of 18-34 year olds and 54 percent of 35-54 year olds.

The Week for Publishers

Warsaw Court Looks into Polska Press Takeover by PKN Orlen
A Warsaw court is looking into the takeover of newspaper group Polska Press by government-owned oil giant PKN Orlen, following the human rights ombudsman’s appeal of a previous court approval for the deal. The ombudsman fears PKN Orlen’s ownership of Polska Press could stifle media freedom, part of an ongoing process of media capture.

Pinterest Acquires The Yes
Social sharing site Pinterest has agreed a deal to buy The Yes, an AI-powered shopping platform, as part of an ongoing push into ecommerce. The Yes’s technology creates a personalised shopping feed based on the user’s active input on brand, style, and size. Pinterest says it will use The Yes’s team and technology to build new shopping experiences on Pinterest.

The Independent’s Mobile App Registers Two Million New Users in 12 Months
The Independent has launched a new mobile app, combining the digital newspaper and paywalled edition into a combined model open to both subscribers and non-subscribers. The latter will see adverts and will register using their email address. “We want to collect first-party data so we can then monetise it post 2023,” Jo Holdaway, chief data and marketing officer at The Independent, told Press Gazette. “What we’ve managed to do is bring in two million new registered users in 12 months. And by the end of the calendar year, we will be at four million.”

Forbes Abandons SPAC Plans
Forbes has abandoned its plans to go public via a merger with Magnum Opus Acquisition Limited, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC). Forbes did not give a specific reason for the decision, but investor enthusiasm for SPACs has fallen significantly since Forbes first announced its plan.

Newsquest Returns to Profit
UK local publisher Newsquest made profits of £45.2 million last year, having recorded £45.1 million in losses in 2020. This return to profits was largely down to cuts in spending rather than revenue – the company cut around 18 percent of its workforce last year, according to Press Gazette.

The Week For Agencies

S4 Capital Posts 70 Percent Rise in Revenues for Q1
S4 Capital posted 70 percent revenue growth year-on-year for Q1 in its quarterly results this week, with revenues reaching £206.8 million for the quarter. Meanwhile gross profits were up 35 percent, and the group reiterated its full year gross profit growth target of 25 percent.

IPA Warns of Agency Rate Increases
The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising’s (IPA) director general Paul Bainsfair has warned that agency rates will “inevitably” rise, given current levels of inflation. “No agency would take the decision to raise their fees lightly,” said Bainsfair. “But with inflation levels at their highest level in 40 years – rising by 9 percent in the 12 months to April 2022 and potentially hitting 10 percent in the last three months of this year, such decisions are, unfortunately, inevitable.”

GroupM Lays Out Expectations for Audience Measurement Partners
GroupM has laid out a roadmap of what it expects from its measurement partners, as it looks to evolve measurement particularly around TV and video, Adweek reported this week. GroupM expects partners to incorporate feedback from buyers and the ANA, gain universal acceptance from all media partners, and provide traditional, and digital partner coverage.

Havas Partners with Lumen for Attention Measurement
Havas has agreed a deal with attention measurement specialist Lumen to build bespoke tools which will help Havas Media Group measure, plan, optimise and buy using attention metrics. “Measuring and optimising attention is an integral component of cutting through the noise and ensuring brands are effectively delivering meaningful media experiences that resonate with consumers,” said Jon Waite, global head of activation at Havas Media Group.

Mindshare Launches ‘Precisely Human Intelligence’
WPP’s Mindshare has launched Precisely Human Intelligence (PHI) – a new suite of machine learning products which it says will help brands better understand the motivations, mindsets and emotions that drive consumer decision-making and then buy those audiences at scale. The product is built on Audience Origin, part of the Choreograph WPP data spine, which holds first party consumer data around interests, behaviours, media consumption and purchase decision-making across 74 markets.

Wavemaker Wins Danone Global Media Account
Wavemaker has won the global media account for multinational food company Danone, which has consolidated the majority of media duties with Wavemaker. Danone has said it plans to bump up its media spend, admitting to “under-investing” in its brands, according to Campaign.

Finecast Launches in Spain
GroupM’s addressable TV buying unit Finecast has launched in Spain, led by director Maribel Vivancos. “With the global advertising platform, we are launching today, we can regain the lost audience of linear TV by applying greater targeting capabilities using these new TV content consumption environments,” said Vivancos.

Heineken USA Picks Dentsu for Media
Heineken USA has awarded Dentsu its media account, according to AdAge. Dentsu already handle media responsibilities for Heineken in most international markets, but the US account was previously held by independent agency Canvas Worldwide.

Hires of the Week

Publicis’ Annette King Named Advertising Association Chair
The Advertising Association (AA) has announced Publicis Groupe UK CEO Annette King as its new Chair. For the three-year term, King will represent the UK advertising industry at national and international levels, while overseeing initiatives such as Ad Net Zero. “Annette is one of the most impressive voices in UK advertising today and we are delighted to welcome her to the AA’s distinguished Board,” said AA CEO Stephen Woodford. “She brings vast experience and strong work on creating a more inclusive workplace.”

Rebecca Candeland Joins Spark Foundry
Rebecca Candeland has been named Head of AV for Spark Foundry, part of Publicis Media. Overseeing a team of 40, Candeland will promote new services and products, including PMX LIFT. She re-joins the agency from Total Media where she served as Head of Broadcast.

Rapp Taps Tracey Barber
Rapp UK appointed Tracey Barber as SVP Client Growth. Barber previously served as Global Head of Brand at The Brooklyn Brothers, after seven years at Ogilvy UK. “Bringing in a new-business legend like Tracey is a game changer for the Rapp Group,” said Rapp UK CEO Gabrielle Ludzker. “Our growth has exploded over the last two years, and we are now ready to bring our end-to-end offering to even more ambitious clients.”

Google’s Michelle Vincent Appointed Mofilm Global CEO
Google veteran Michelle Vincent has joined The Brandtech Group as Mofilm global CEO. The platform provides content tools and services for a 10,000-strong creator network. Vincent held several roles at Google between 2007 and 2017, followed by a two-year stint at Facebook, before returning to Google as Head of Industry, Automotive, in 2019.

Colin Jeffrey Becomes Lead Partner of Deloitte Digital UK
Deloitte has promoted Colin Jeffrey to Lead Partner of Deloitte Digital in the UK. A founding member, he will oversee 1,200 experts in technology, creative design, research, data and strategy. “We started Deloitte Digital in 2012 with 120 people, building digital platforms and tools at a time when consumers were more likely to access the internet from their browser rather than their smartphone,” he said. “Today, we have grown to a team of 1,200 people, with a spectrum of expertise that mirrors the diversity of the UK’s digital sector.”

This Week on VideoWeek

The New Players Battling for the UK Sports Market, read on VideoWeek

Publishers are Having a Hard Time Figuring Out Twitch, read on VideoWeek

TikTok’s Reach Still Lags Far Behind Meta in the UK, read on VideoWeek

Streaming Services Often Trip Up when Advertising Their Own Wares, read on VideoWeek

Crisis Adverted: Mobile Ad Spend on the Rise Post-IDFA, read on VideoWeek

Human Ventures Invests in Attention Measurement Business Adelaide, read on VideoWeek

Zenith Reduces Global Ad Spend Forecast, read on VideoWeek

Smart Adserver Rebrands to Equativ, read on VideoWeek

Index Exchange Doubles Down on Machine Learning with Rivr Acquisition, read on VideoWeek

ISD Report Reveals Big Tech’s Role in Climate Disinformation, read on VideoWeek

How Sticky Ads can Avoid Leaving a Sour Taste for Audiences, read on VideoWeek

Kids Content is Serious Business for Streaming Services, read on VideoWeek

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About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
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