The WIR: Google and NBCU Compete to Build Netflix Ads, Magnite Partners with LG for ACR Data, and Paramount+ Launches in the UK

Tim Cross 24 June, 2022 

In this week’s Week in Review: Google and NBCU are rumoured as the front runners to build Netflix with ads, Magnite partners with LG for ACR data, and Paramount+ lands in the UK.

Top Stories

Google and NBCU Reportedly Competing to Build Netflix’s Ad Business
Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos confirmed at Cannes this week that it’s talking with multiple partners about building its ad-supported tier, though he refrained from naming names. However a report from the Wall Street Journal earlier in the week said Google and NBCUniversal are two of the current front runners, citing sources familiar with the matter.

Ever since Netflix announced its intentions to introduce advertising, speculation has been rife around who the streaming giant will pick to help it build out its ad sales infrastructure. The Trade Desk and Comcast’s FreeWheel were among the popular early guesses, before reports emerged that Netflix had been in talks with Roku about a potential buyout.

Whoever ends up taking Netflix’s hand in ad tech marriage may well be rewarded with a substantial dowry. Any partnership is likely to be exclusive according to the Wall Street Journal, and could see the winner take a slice of the revenues generated by Netflix ads – though of course it remains to be seen just how high uptake for Netflix with ads will be.

Magnite and LG Partner on Planning, Activation and Analytics
Magnite and LG Ads Solutions agreed a multi-year deal, enabling Magnite to access LG’s audience-level automatic content recognition (ACR) data for planning, activation, measurement and advanced analytics across its SSP.

“ACR data provides key targeting and measurement capabilities to the buy side,” said Magnite CRO Sean Buckley. “By providing secure access at scale to this valuable piece of the puzzle, we are enabling buyers to better plan, execute and attribute their campaigns across both CTV and linear.”

Paramount+ Lands in the UK
Paramount+ arrived in the UK on Wednesday, bringing 8000 hours of content from Showtime, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Pictures. Sky Cinema is also bundling the streaming service within its existing offering, integrating the Paramount+ app into the Sky Glass and Sky Q. Paramount said it expects the SVOD platform to be live in 45 countries by the end of 2022, and “plans to commission” 150 international originals by 2025.

“This is a phenomenal year of growth for Paramount+”, said Tom Ryan, president and CEO, streaming at Paramount.” The UK and Ireland are key strategic markets in the global rollout of Paramount+ given the broad distribution of our brands across the free-to-air and pay-TV landscape. Our partnership with Sky gives us a strong foothold here and in several other markets where we plan to launch Paramount+ this year. Our differentiated strategy means we are poised to keep bringing the most compelling stories to audiences around the world.”

The Week in Tech

The Trade Desk and AWS to Deploy UID2
The Trade Desk has drawn up an agreement with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to integrate Unified ID 2.0 (UID2). The deal would allow companies using AWS to facilitate more efficient programmatic ad placement via the AWS Marketplace. The companies said the integration ensures personally identifiable information (PII) is never directly shared between external parties.

OpenAP and Snowflake Develop Clean Room
OpenAP has teamed up with data cloud company Snowflake to develop OpenAP Data Hub, a new cross-platform and cross-publisher clean room for the TV industry. Built on Snowflake’s Media Data Cloud, the clean room will provide cross-platform data in privacy-compliant environments in order to enhance targeting and measurement. The phase one release is scheduled for October 2022, with NBCUniversal, Paramount, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery the first to participate.

IAB US Recommends In-Game Measurement Guidelines
The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) US released its Intrinsic In-Game (IIG) Measurement Guidelines to address ad viewability, inactivity and fraud for ads that form a seamless part of the gameplay environment. Now open for public comment over a 30-day period, IAB US recommends re-examining the 10-second cumulative exposure duration for counting a valid impression, incorporating new advertising formats beyond two-dimensional and video, and defining in-game measurement terms to align with broader cross-channel efforts.

Good-Loop and Scope3 Partner to “Decarbonise the Entire Programmatic Supply Chain”
Video ad tech company Good-Loop and supply chain emissions data business Scope3 this week announced a new partnership which will combine the two companies’ green media tools into one platform. The two say that their tools combined will allow advertisers to measure the end-to-end carbon footprint of all their programmatic media buying, helping them to reduce and offset accordingly. Read the full story on VideoWeek.

TF1 Sells Gamned! to Private Equity Group
Private equity fund HLD Group has acquired Gamned!, TF1’s programmatic arm. Counting AXA, Orange and Jaguar Land Rover among its clients, Gamned! offers multi-channel digital campaigns across display, video, social, SEA, TV and DOOH. The deal supports the company’s development, according to TF1, tapping the resources of the HLD fund to drive growth in strategic markets.

TPA Digital Launches Ad Tech Accelerator
Digital advertising consultancy TPA Digital launched TPA Labs on Thursday, a new technical service for advertisers and operators to quickly test and implement ad tech solutions. At launch, the ad tech accelerator’s test cases include creating an automated CPM tracking and auditing tool across three European markets, and testing a custom algorithm for a brand in their own contracted DSP.

US Federal Privacy Law Clears its First Hurdle
A bipartisan online privacy law which has been proposed in the US passed an early hurdle this week as it easily cleared a subcommittee vote, allowing it to progress to the full committee. The American Data Privacy and Protection Act, if passed, would place strict limits on how digital companies can use personal data, requiring that they only collect whatever data is necessary in order to provide their services.

Twitter and Shopify Announce Ecommerce Partnership
At Cannes this week, Twitter and Shopify announced a partnership to allow US merchants to find customers on the social network. By adding the new Twitter sales channel application on Shopify’s app store or admin interface, they can automatically sync their inventory via Shopify merchants’ product catalogues, and showcase products on Twitter’s Shop Spotlight or Twitter Shops.

Meta Teases Monetisation Features
Creators on Facebook and Instagram will share their revenues with the platforms in 2024, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed on Wednesday. He unveiled a handful of monetisation opportunities in a Facebook post, including Instagram’s Reels Play Bonus program, Creator Marketplace and Digital Collectibles, with plans to expand the NFT feature to Facebook.

Twitter Board Recommends Musk Takeover
Twitter’s board of directors has unanimously recommended that shareholders approve Elon Musk’s bid for the company. In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the board called the merger “advisable and in the best interests of Twitter and its stockholders.” At a Bloomberg event on Tuesday, Musk reiterated his concerns over Twitter bots and fake accounts, as well as uncertainty regarding the portion of debt required to finance the deal.

New Standards Prohibit Sensitive Location Tracking
The Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) has implemented a new set of standards for location data companies. Cuebiq, Foursquare and Precisely PlaceIQ have committed to the NAI Enhanced Standards for Precise Location Information Solution Providers, which prohibits the collection, use and transfer of precise location data from sensitive places, relating to religious worship, certain healthcare services, military bases and LGBTQ+ identity. The standards additionally restrict companies from using, selling or sharing precise location data for law enforcement or national security purposes.

The Week in TV

RTL Combines Ad Units into RTL AdAlliance
RTL Group revealed this week at Cannes the new name of its international advertising vendor. RTL AdAlliance brings together RTL AdConnect, G+J I|MS, and Smartclip’s sales and media businesses. The combined company will use the established RTL brand and collaborate with the Group’s tech solutions to service and simplify the advertising ecosystem. Read the full story on VideoWeek.

Discovery+ to Enter Germany and Austria
Discovery+ is due to launch in Germany and Austria on 28th June 2022, Warner Bros. Discovery has announced. The offering includes series, documentaries, live sports and local original productions, as well as linear TV channels Eurosport 1 and 2, DMAX, TLC, Home & Garden TV and Tele 5. Sky Q will include Discovery+ for free for the first 12 months, the company confirmed.

Iceland Ups Film Tax Incentive
The Icelandic film commission is increasing tax breaks for productions that shoot in Iceland from 25 percent to 35 percent. The move places the country in the upper tier of international filming locations when it comes to incentives, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Productions that shoot in Iceland for at least 30 working days, create 50 local jobs and have a minimum budget of $2.7 million will qualify for the 35 percent incentive, while other productions can still apply for a 25 percent tax credit.

Ofcom Consults on BBC Operating Licence
Ofcom is seeking to modernise the BBC’s operating licence, launching a consultation due to run until 14th September 2022. A final decision is expected in early 2023, according to TVBEurope, in time for the updated licence to take effect on 1st April 2023. Ofcom said the licence should enable the broadcaster to innovate and respond to changing audience needs, while ensuring it delivers within its remit. It would give the BBC greater flexibility to adapt its content delivery, but retain strict regulatory safeguards, particularly in relation to news, current affairs and original UK programming.

FreeWheel Unlocks Inventory on AMC Networks
FreeWheel has signed a deal with AMC Networks to offer a self-service linear addressable solution, providing access to advertising across all inventory supply pools. The Comcast-owned ad tech company said the offering “will allow programmers to unlock previously hard-to-access inventory for monetisation purposes as well as provide ease of management for multi-screen campaigns.”

AVOD Revenues to Hit $19 billion
AVOD services are expected to generate almost $19 billion in revenue this year, according to Insider Intelligence, more than double the figure for 2020. These include free apps such as Tubi and Pluto TV, alongside ad-supported versions of subscription services, including Hulu and HBO Max. “Advertisers are increasingly turning to once-obscure streaming platforms with quirky names to reach people who aren’t paying for cable TV or subscribing to streaming services,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

UK SVOD Penetration Reaches 68.5 percent
TV measurement body BARB has found that 68.5 percent of UK households now have access to an SVOD service. The figure has increased by 500,000 since Q4 2021 to reach 19.57 million. Disney+ and Apple TV+ saw the biggest increase (19 percent and 27 percent respectively), with Amazon Prime Video (6 percent), Now (4 percent) and Netflix (3 percent) showing smaller gains.

The Week for Publishers

Future Becomes Sixth Largest Media Company in US
Future has become the sixth largest publisher in the US judging by Comscore’s audience tracking data following the completion of its acquisition of fashion brand Who What Wear, The Times reported this week. Future, a British publisher, has repeatedly spoken of its ambitions to grow its presence in the US.

Google News Returns to Spain After Eight Years
Google News has returned to Spain, eight years after withdrawing from the market due to local laws which require it to pay for publishing snippets of news companies’ articles. The return came after that particular law was effectively replaced by EU law, which allows news aggregators to post very limited snippets without payment or permission.

Snap Preps Paid Subscriptions as Ad Sales Falter
Snapchat has revealed it is working on a paid subscription offering called Snapchat Plus, which would let users get early access to new features, and would allow subscribers to see who rewatched their stories. The move comes shortly after CEO Evan Spiegel warned that ad revenues are likely to falter as advertisers pull back spending due to grim global economic conditions.

NYT’s Impressive Growth Continues
The New York Times was the fastest growing publisher out of the world’s fifty biggest news publishers in May, according to Press Gazette, as it continues a run of Wordle-aided growth. The NYT saw 52 percent year-on-year growth in monthly visits, reaching 524.6 million.

The Economist Posts Record Revenues
The Economist posted record revenues in 2021, according to its annual report, driven in-part by “robust” subscriber growth – the company added around 100,000 subscribers in 2021, reaching nearly 1.2 million.

Time Out London Goes Digital-Only
Time Out’s London edition has run its final print edition, as the local events guide goes digital-only. Time Out was hit particularly hard by the pandemic due to the lack of events to write about, and the lack of footfall to distribute its print edition.

Apple News Picks NBCUniversal to Sell Ads in UK
Apple has chosen NBCUniversal as the exclusive reseller of ad inventory on Apple News and Apple Stocks in the UK. This expands the relationship between the two businesses, which already saw NBCUniversal act as the exclusive reseller for Apple’s inventory in the US.

The Week For Agencies

Ad Net Zero Expands Internationally
Ad Net Zero, a UK industry initiative whereby members pledge to reduce their carbon emissions to net zero by 2030, this week announced it is expanding internationally to major markets. The focus of the new Ad Net Zero group will be to rapidly establish plans for roll-out in major advertising markets with immediate focus on the US and the EU, working in partnership with the UK team.

Dentsu Combines its International Creative Brands
Dentsu has folded its international creative agencies DentsuMB, Isobar, and 360i into one unit called Dentsu Creative, Adweek reported this week. Dentsu says that the more streamlined model will better enable it to meet clients’ needs.

IPA Offers Agency Members Free ABC Membership
The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) is partnering with UK audience data auditor ABC to offer its members free use of ABC data. ABC’s audited data of publisher’s circulation and digital reach is commonly used in media planning and buying, with several agencies describing it as “essential”.

GARM Announces New Guidelines on Misinformation and Standards on Ad Placements
The Global Alliance for Responsible Media, a WFA-led coalition of multinational advertisers, agencies and platforms, this week released new guidelines on misinformation, new standards on ad placements, and an outline of first steps to make the metaverse safe for advertising. The new misinformation guidelines have been designed to provide a structure for demonetising misinformation, while the new Adjacency Standards Framework aims to ensure that media placement in safe but sensitive content is done in a more controlled way by advertisers, agencies and platforms alike.

Omnicom Agrees Data Sharing Deal with Instacart
Omnicom announced a new deal with Instacart at Cannes this week which will see Instacart’s sales data fed into Omnicom’s clean room infrastructure, Digiday reported this week. The deal will allow TV campaigns to be more directly tied to sales for campaign measurement and attribution, according to Digiday.

Seven New Agencies Join the IPA
Seven new agencies have joined the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), the trade group announced this week: Craft Media, IMA-HOME, M&C Saatchi Performance UK, Octagon UK, Plug Media, Raw London and Recipe Media.

Hires of the Week

Tim Russell Named Sabio Holdings CRO
CTV advertising company Sabio Holdings has appointed Tim Russell as its first Chief Revenue Officer. He will manage all revenue generation processes and identify new market opportunities for Sabio to expand into growing segments.

Braze Appoints CMO Astha Malik
Customer engagement platform Braze announced Astha Malik as its new Chief Marketing Officer. Malik is an advocate for diversity and leadership and has received the Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year, as well as the Business Leadership Award from the National Diversity Council.

This Week on VideoWeek

UK Shifts to Opt-Out Model for Cookie Consent, read on VideoWeek

Good-Loop and Scope3 Partner to “Decarbonise the Entire Programmatic Supply Chain”, read on VideoWeek

Cannes Lions 2022: Here’s What it Looks like… read on VideoWeek

RTL AdAlliance: Combined Ad Vendor Announces New Name, read on VideoWeek

The End of Cheap Money, read on VideoWeek

Cannes Lions 2022: The Women Changing the Climate Story, read on VideoWeek

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About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
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