In this week’s Week in Review: Netflix struggles to fulfil its ad commitments, publishers see steady revenue growth, and Amplified Intelligence acquires AttentvAds.
Netflix Stock Drops After Reports of Low Ad Uptake
Netflix stock dropped by seven percent on Thursday after reports emerged that the business hasn’t been able to deliver the required reach for some of its advertisers.
Digiday reported that Netflix has begun offering advertisers money back, after missing viewership guarantees on its ad-supported layer by as much as 20 percent, according to reports. “They can’t deliver. They don’t have enough inventory to deliver,” said one agency exec. “So they’re literally giving the money back.”
It’s not unusual for broadcasters to fail to deliver reach promised during upfront negotiations, but usually they will offer make-goods rather than handing money back. Nonetheless, the news suggests that sign-ups for Netflix’s ad-funded tier have been lower than the streaming giant initially expected.
Publishers’ Digital Revenues Grew by 2.7 Percent in Q3
UK publishers’ digital revenues grew by 2.7 percent year-on-year in Q3, according to the latest Digital Publishers’ Revenue Index (DPRI) from the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) and Deloitte. But it was a mixed quarter across different publishers, with just fifty percent reporting positive year-on-year growth in their digital revenues.
Display advertising revenues were up by 13.9 percent, and subscription revenues grew by 12.1 percent. But online video revenues were down by 3.2 percent. Sponsorship revenues meanwhile took a massive hit, down by 36.9 percent.
“The ongoing growth of the digital publishing market, despite increased strain on spending power, is a reflection of the tenacity of publishers and a strong online market,” said Dan Ison, lead partner for telecommunications, media and entertainment at Deloitte. “The sustained growth of display advertising and subscriptions […] represents the fierce appetite for digital content. It is clear that consumers are still willing to pay for top-tier content, even with squeezed budgets, which paints a positive outlook for publishing.”
Amplified Intelligence Acquires AttentvAds
Attention measurement specialist Amplified Intelligence (AI) has acquired verification company AttentvAds. The firm tracks and analyses impression-level data across CTV, mobile, web and in-app environments. Amplified Intelligence says AttentvAds will enhance the sophistication, predictive capability, and scalability of its own ground truth data and product suite.
“The complementary capabilities of both companies mean we’re a natural fit,” said AI CEO Karen Nelson-Field. “Working together means we can fast-track our mission to revolutionise the way media is traded, while staying faithful to our values of true human data, rigour and innovation to deliver the best customer-led tech in the market.”
The Week in Tech
VIZIO Builds Census-Representative ACR Panel
VIZIO has built a census-representative panel using automatic content recognition (ACR) data from its subsidiary Inscape. Measurement provider Innovid will use the “National Representative Panel” (NRP), which has access to ACR data from approximately 21 million smart TVs. “The TV industry has already established that big data is the answer to measurement and currency,” said Charbel Makhoul, GM and VP of product, data science and analytics at VIZIO. “ACR data plays a major role filling in the gaps of big data sets for TV measurement and planning because it’s device-level data.”
Apple Prepares to Allow Third-Party App Stores on its Devices
Apple is taking steps to begin opening up iPhones and iPads to third-party app stores, according to a report from Bloomberg, in preparation for the EU’s Digital Markets Act coming into force in 2024. Apple has historically only ever allowed users to download apps to Apple devices through its own App Store. Acting as the sole app gatekeeper on the world’s most popular smartphones and tablets has enabled the company to charge thirty percent commission on any payments received by apps on Apple devices. It’s also powered Apple’s own advertising business, since sponsored placements within the App Store can effectively reach all Apple users. Read more on VideoWeek.
Adform, Comscore Partner on Cookieless Targeting
Adform has announced a partnership with Comscore to provide cookieless targeting, measurement and frequency capping using Comscore Predictive Audiences. Comscore’s global opt-in panels and AI contextual categorisation engine enables Adform customers to target their campaigns to a precise audience, based on demographics, TV viewership habits, life stage, gaming behaviours and interests, the companies said. “Helping our clients prepare for a cookie-free environment is our priority and the addition of Comscore’s Predictive Audiences enhances the range of cookie-free solutions we offer, allowing our clients to improve targeting and generate better results,” added Stefan Sommer, SVP global sales & partnerships at Adform.
Google Defeats Privacy Lawsuit
Google defeated a privacy lawsuit on Monday, when a judge dismissed claims that the tech giant was snooping on consumers without their consent. The plaintiffs alleged that Google tracked users’ IP addresses and browsing history when they had not opted to “Sync” their Google accounts with Chrome, even if they did not have an account. “Google adequately disclosed, and plaintiffs consented to, the collection of the at-issue data,” said US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers.
Twitter Blue to Halve Ads
Twitter Blue, the paid subscription programme introduced by Elon Musk, will feature half the number of ads, with a higher tier to carry no advertising next year. Also this week, Musk reportedly suspended prominent journalists who criticised the Twitter owner, including reporters from the New York Times, CNN and the Washington Post. “Criticising me all day long is totally fine, but doxxing my real-time location and endangering my family is not,” he tweeted in response to profiles allegedly sharing the location of his private jet.
Unsuspend accounts who doxxed my exact location in real-time
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 16, 2022
Taboola Deploys Recommendations Via Time Out
Taboola has signed a multi-year deal with Time Out, deploying the company’s recommendations services across all Time Out websites globally, including the US, UK, France, Spain, Portugal, Singapore and Australia. Taboola will be featured across articles, venues and landing pages, alongside video content from Taboola Feed and AI technology from Taboola Newsroom. “We are focused on further evolving Time Out’s digital strategy as we continue to reach a wider audience across our digital platforms spanning web, mobile, emails, social and video,” said Rachel Glickman, MD of global digital innovation & operations at Time Out. “These are the channels where we have seen growth and engagement so it’s a great step for us to work with Taboola to further drive a more engaging experience and interaction with our audience.”
IAB Tech Lab Adds DOOH to Open RTB
IAB Tech Lab has integrated DOOH into Open RTB, the communication protocol that enables real-time bidding. DOOH inventory can now be described and traded alongside other established digital channels such as display, mobile and CTV, the organisation said. “The OpenRTB standard was built prior to large scale programmatic media investment in out-of-home and thus did not consider real-world aspects of out-of-home,” added Tim Harvey, Founder of Knitting Media and Co-Founder of Purl Applications Limited. “This lack of standardisation introduced significant cost and complexity into the emerging programmatic DOOH channel.”
Teads Expands Brand Suitability with IAS Partnership
Teads has expanded its brand suitability and contextual advertising offering, in partnership with Integral Ad Science (IAS). The deal will see Teads integrate IAS’ Context Control solution for avoidance, helping advertisers avoid content deemed unsuitable for their brand. “We’ve seen a sharp increase recently of marketers who are more conscious than ever of the sustainability of their media strategies,” said Teads CPO Remi Cackel. “This partnership with IAS gives advertisers far greater control over their content adjacencies, layering third-party solutions on top of Teads’ quality inventory.”
Pubmatic Integrates Adelaide Attention Metrics
Pubmatic is integrating attention metrics from Adelaide into its offering, Digiday has reported. The metric evaluates media quality signals, eye-tracking data and outcome data to generate a quality score for each placement, according to the attention measurement company. “This is the beginning of the sell-side platforms adopting and trying to figure out the best way to apply attention metrics to programmatic,” said Adelaide founder and CEO Marc Guldimann. “This is the application of attention metrics to what SSPs are good at, which is curation and creating marketplaces that have been customised to the needs of an advertiser or set of advertisers.”
The Week in TV
TF1 Live Launches “Made in France” Ad Format
TF1 Live has launched a new TV ad format highlighting French-manufactured products. “My[Screen] Made in France” allows brands to promote the French origin of their products using an exclusive “Made in France” box and framed by a three-second jingle. The format boasts 5 percent uplift in approval, 4 percent information intention and 4 percent purchase intent, as per an effectiveness study conducted with Toluna.
ITV, STV Announce Content, Commercial Partnership
ITV and STV have struck a long-term partnership granting the latter exclusive access to ITVX content from 2023. The deal also extends the duo’s sales agreement to encompass VOD advertising, meaning ITV will become STV’s exclusive agent for network VOD sales, and STV VOD will be onboarded to Planet V. “We’ve been close partners with STV for over 50 years, and this new partnership will extend our collaboration for another seven years, until the end of 2029,” said ITV Commercial MD Kelly Williams. “We are really looking forward to bringing STV Player into our VOD portfolio, and we’ll share more specific trading details in the coming days.”
India to Become World’s Third-Largest CTV Ad Market in Two Years
India will become the world’s third-largest CTV ad market within two years, Finecast and Kantar have found. The report forecasts the number of addressable TV homes to double to 40 million over the two-year period, with ad revenues expected to follow. CTV advertising is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 47 percent to reach $395 million by 2027, according to the study. “The future of TV in terms of advertising looks bright as the emergence of new technologies like CTV creates even more room for customisations,” said GroupM South Asia CEO Prasanth Kumar.
Pay-TV to Outperform Online Video in CEE
Pay-TV will continue to outpace online services in CEE over the next five years, Omdia has revealed. Pay-TV revenues will hit $8.8 billion in 2027, exceeding $3.3 billion for online video, according to the research. Meanwhile pay-TV subs will remain steady at 86 million, outperforming online video subs at 49 million. “While in most countries online subscriptions already overtook pay-TV, in CEE, pay-TV will still remain leader in 2027 above online streamers,” said Maria Rua Aguete, senior research director for media & entertainment at Omdia. “Although in the next five years, most of the growth and new additions will take place in the online world.”
ITV Draws Record Audience for England’s World Cup Defeat
ITV drew record audiences for the World Cup Quarter Final match between England and France. A peak audience of 23 million watched the England team get knocked out of the competition across ITV and ITVX, representing the highest peak on any channel this year, according to the broadcaster. Meanwhile the match drew an average 17.7 million viewers on TF1, marking a 62.8 percent audience share in France, based on figures from Médiamétrie.
The Week for Publishers
Vox Media will Stop Licensing CMS Software Chorus
Vox Media announced this week it will stop licensing out its content management system software ‘Chorus’ to other publishers. Six other publishers currently license the software, according to Adweek – they’ll have 18 months to stop using the platform before the license will expire.
Publishers Flock to TikTok
Around half of leading news publishers in over 40 countries now regularly post content on TikTok, according to research from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. This figure is much higher in some markets – in the UK for example, 81 percent of leading publishers regularly post on TikTok, while in Spain and France this figure rises to 86 percent.
Washington Post Announces Job Cuts
US news publication The Washington Post’s chief executive Fred Ryan announced in a company town hall this week that the company will make job cuts, affecting a single digit percentage of the paper’s workforce. The Post said there won’t be a net reduction in the Post’s total headcount, pledging a year of “continued investment” in the company in 2023.
Today, we came into WaPo’s so-called town hall with questions about recent layoffs and the future of the company.
Our publisher dropped a bombshell on us by announcing more layoffs and then walking out, refusing to answer any of our questions. pic.twitter.com/ajNZsZKOBr
— Washington Post Guild (@PostGuild) December 14, 2022
NYT was Fastest Growing News Website in November
The New York Times was the fastest growing global news website in November, according to Press Gazette’s analysis of Similarweb data, seeing 93 percent year-on-year growth in its monthly site visits. CNN was the next fastest growing out of the world’s ten biggest news sites, with 22 percent year-on-year growth.
Reddit Agrees Enterprise Partnership with Omnicom in Canada
Social sharing site Reddit has agreed an enterprise partnership agreement with Omnicom Media Group in Canada, mirroring an existing deal between the two in the US. Under the deal, brands buying Reddit media through Omnicom will have priority access to Reddit’s in-house creative agency Karma, as well as early access to research partnership opportunities, and custom data and insights.
Pink News Adds Positive News Filter
LGBTQ+ news brand Pink News has added an ‘uplifting news’ filter, allowing site visitors to see only uplifting stories. The feature is designed to let readers take a break from negative news, if they feel it is having a harmful impact on their mental health.
The Week For Agencies
Diversity in Ad Creative Dropped in 2022
Video ad creative in North America featured more white actors than they did in 2022 according to research from Extreme Reach, while male actors still appear much more commonly in ads than women. Representation of Black, Asian, and Hispanic actors all dropped in 2022 compared with last year. Hispanic actors are the most underrepresented, making up only five percent of actors within video ads, compared with 19.8 percent of the population.
OMG Wins L’Oréal’s $1 Billion US Media Account
Omnicom’s media arm OMG has landed L’Oréal’s US media account, worth around $1 billion according to AdAge. The beauty brand’s media account was previously held by WPP’s Wavemaker.
Nestlé Launches Review of European Media
Nestlé is conducting a complete review of its media operations across Europe, according to a report from Campaign this week. Nestlé’s media duties are currently largely handled by a mix of Publicis’ Zenith and WPP’s Mediacom in different markets.
Ad Spend will Grow Next Year, but it’ll be Driven by Inflation Predicts Dentsu
Agency group Dentsu released its 2023 ad spend forecast this week, predicting 3.8 percent growth in global ad spend next year, with 3.4 percent growth in its top 12 markets (Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Spain, UK, US). But Dentsu says the majority of this growth will be down to inflation in media prices. Linear TV in particular has seen steep inflation this year, with 21.1 percent inflation in the US, 19.0 percent in the UK, and 16.5 percent in Germany according to WFA figures. Read more on VideoWeek.
MediaSense Launches DE&I Audit Programme
Independent global media advisors, MediaSense have developed and launched a new end-to-end Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) audit. MediaSense says the programme will identify key areas in the digital media supply chain where advertisers can improve diversity. It will evaluate the entire media ecosystem, from planning and audience targeting, through to data, technology, and all partners within the digital supply chain.
UM Expands Commerce Offering
IPG-owned media agency UM has been quietly growing out its commerce media business, according to a report from Digiday this week. UM Shopper, which launched in 2013 with just one employer, has grown into UM Commerce, which now has a team of around 50 people.
Thirteen New Members Join the WFA
The World Federation of Advertisers announced eleven new corporate members this week: Hilton, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Haleon, C&A, YOOX Net-a-Porter, Arcelik, Zespi, Ekaterra,Signify, Logitech, and Copenhagen Cartel. National advertiser associations from Costa Rica and El Salvador have also joined the WFA.
Vast Majority of Advertisers are Already Investing in Retail Media
More than ninety percent of advertisers, and nearly three quarters of agencies, say they are partnering with retailers to reach consumers, according to research from IAB Europe and Microsoft released this week. And the majority of those who haven’t already invested in retail media plan to do so over the next year. Read more on VideoWeek.
Hires of the Week
RTL AdAlliance Appoints Global Chief Financial Officer
RTL AdAlliance this week announced that it has appointed Iris Ostermaier global CFO of the newly created RTL AdAlliance, effective 9 January 2023. Most recently, Ostermaier worked as CFO of production company Bavaria Film.
Reddit Appoints Durgesh Kaushik as VP for APAC and Emerging Markets
Reddit has appointed Durgesh Kaushik as VP of the Asia-Pacific region, and emerging markets growth, a newly created role for the company. Kaushik joins from cryptocurrency platform Coinbase.
This Week on VideoWeek
What’s Inside Google’s Android Sandbox? read on VideoWeek
Vast Majority of Advertisers are Already Investing in Retail Media, read on VideoWeek
Apple Prepares to Allow Third-Party App Stores on its Devices, read on VideoWeek
Ad Spend will Grow Next Year, but it’ll be Driven by Inflation Predicts Dentsu, read on VideoWeek
Ad of the Week
Thinkbox, Happily Ever After, Mother London