The WIR: Mail Metro Media Launches Vertical Video Offering, Ofcom Adds Digital Requirements to BBC Licence, and DAZN Launches a Linear Broadcast Channel

Tim Cross 24 March, 2023 

In this week’s Week in Review: Mail Metro Media launches a vertical video offering, Ofcom sets new ground rule for the BBC, and what’s old is new for DAZN as it launches a linear broadcast channel.

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Mail Metro Media Launches Vertical Video Offering
UK publishing group Mail Metro Media, which sells ad inventory across the Daily Mail & General Trust’s portfolio, is launching a new vertical video commerce offering across Mail Online and Metro.

The new offering is launched in partnership with video commerce vendor Firework. Mail Online and Metro will display a carousel of short videos in vertical format, similar to how short-form video is presented on Facebook and Instagram. Where this video carousel appears on the page depends on readers’ content appetite, availability, and breaking news across channels. Commercial opportunities within the new format include single slide ads, bespoke video with brand integration and promotion, and carousel takeovers.

“We are constantly seeking and developing new ways for our audiences to engage with us,” said Lauren Dick, executive director of media and data services at Mail Metro Media. “We’re excited to now bring them even better video experiences from our experts on all subjects, whilst creating innovative new opportunities for our advertising partners – not just to promote their video assets, but to offer seamless shopping functionality from these assets, at the very heart of the news our audience loves to engage with every single day.”

DAZN Launches Linear Channel on Sky
Sports streaming business DAZN has made the jump onto linear broadcast TV in the UK, launching a new channel on Sky. The channel, available via subscription, will also give access to the regular DAZN app, although that app itself is currently not available on Sky devices.

While the move might seem odd, given DAZN’s positioning as a streaming disruptor in the sports broadcasting space, the fact remains that linear broadcasting is key for maximising reach. “Getting DAZN widely distributed is a priority for us as it delivers our great and growing array of content to more and more fans,” said DAZN Group CEO Shay Segev. “We have ambitious, long-term and strategic plans for the UK market.”

Ofcom Updates BBC Operating Licence to Include Online Services
Ofcom unveiled the BBC’s new operating licence on Thursday, enshrining for the first time requirements for the corporation’s online services. The modernised licence covers iPlayer, BBC Sounds and the BBC website, where the PSB is to make key content available for online audiences.

The revamped licence also outlines transparency as a core obligation, requiring the organisation to publicly state its plans before making significant changes to its services, in response to concerns over a perceived lack of clarity in the BBC’s moves. Ofcom added that the regulator “will not hesitate to act” if it feels the broadcaster is not delivering for audiences.

“We recognise that the BBC needs to adapt quickly to keep up with changes in what viewers and listeners want, and how they get their content,” said Kevin Bakhurst, Ofcom Group Director for Broadcasting and Online Content. “So we’re future-proofing our regulation to enable the BBC to transform and innovate, while safeguarding content that matters most to audiences.”

The Week in Tech

Innovid, Walmart Connect Team Up for CTV Ad Placement
Innovid has partnered with Walmart Connect to allow brands to manage ads on CTV. Advertisers on the Walmart DSP will be able to optimise campaigns towards each customer in real time, according to the companies. “Through Walmart DSP, marketers can more effectively reach Walmart’s millions of customers across inventory, optimise their media spend, and connect with consumers on highly sought-after platforms like CTV and beyond,” said Krista Panoff, SVP Global Enterprise Development at Innovid.

Amazon Announces 9,000 More Layoffs
Amazon is planning a further 9,000 job cuts, following the 18,000 redundancies announced in January. The latest round of layoffs will mostly affect the firm’s advertising, cloud services and Twitch units, CEO Andy Jassy told staff, citing “uncertain economic conditions”. Amazon’s share price dropped 2 percent at the news.

Advertisers Seek Assurances From TikTok
Reports of TikTok being threatened with a ban in the US have sent advertisers “scrambling”, Reuters reported on Thursday. Ad agencies are seeking assurances from the company that user data is protected from the Chinese government. A spokesperson said TikTok is engaging with advertisers “in open, fact-based, and ongoing dialogue that includes providing regular updates and addressing questions about the ways we’re working to build a trusted entertainment platform for users and brands.”

Snap Introduces AR Product for Retailers
Snap is launching an augmented reality (AR) product aimed at businesses, according to Bloomberg. The Snapchat owner is adapting the AR technology behind its filters and lenses, enabling retailers to use AR on their own websites and apps. The tech would allow users to virtually try on clothing, footwear and accessories on a retail site. The offering could open up new revenue streams for the company whose ad revenues were severely impacted last year.

Showheroes Partners with Lumen, Adelaide on Campaigns Verified for Attention
Ad tech firm ShowHeroes has partnered with attention research companies Lumen and Adelaide Metrics to verify campaigns. The relationships grant ShowHeroes’ advertisers the option of running their campaigns on third-party attention models. “Attention metrics provide a more precise alternative to easily gamed metrics like viewability and video completion rate, empowering advertisers to chart a new path forward,” said Adelaide CEO Marc Guldimann.

Another School District Sues Meta Over Social Media Addiction
Meta has been sued by the San Mateo County Board of Education, the school board of its home county, for promoting social media addiction among students. The complaint follows a similar lawsuit filed in January by the Seattle public school district, accusing the Facebook and Instagram owner of contributing to a mental health crisis among young people. The latest suit alleges that Meta’s “end goal is to make young people engage with and stay on the platforms as long as possible, because that means they can sell more advertising.” 

The Week in TV

Netflix Ad Tier Reaches 1 Million US Users After Shaky Start
Netflix’s ad-supported tier has reached 1 million monthly active users in the US, Bloomberg has found, suggesting its advertising business is gradually picking up steam. The cheaper AVOD tier had a slow start in November, debuting as the least popular option of the streaming giant’s pricing plans. According to research firm Antenna, the ad tier accounted for roughly 9 percent of November sign-ups; that’s compared to 15 percent for HBO Max With Ads when that launched in 2021. Read more on VideoWeek.

ITV Studios Plans FAST Channels in Europe
ITV Studios plans to launch “four to six” FAST channels in Europe, EVP of global business development and digital distribution Graham Haigh told the CTV World Summit. The channels would be a mix of single titles, for example Come Dine With Me, and non IP-specific channels such as drama. The aim is to exploit ITV Studios’ content in European markets, Haigh said.

TF1 Targets Attention with New ‘My[Screen]’ Ad Format
French broadcaster TF1 this week launched a new ad format, ‘My[Screen] Thématisé’, which has been created specifically to perform well against attention metrics.These new spots, sold through TF1’s sales house TF1 PUB, sit in the last spot of a regular ad break. They start with a three second interstitial, separating the ad from the rest of the ad break. This interstitial has text and a voiceover which sets the context for the coming ad, based on the advertisers’ brand category. Read more on VideoWeek.

FuboTV Changes Name to Fubo
Sport streaming service FuboTV has rebranded as Fubo, reflecting the broadening of its business since launching in 2015. The company delivered over $1 billion in 2022 revenue, Fubo said, while its subscriber base grew 29 percent YoY. “Alongside our continued growth, our consumers have affectionately shortened our name to Fubo and we feel that name represents the premium media brand we are today,” said Fubo co-founder and CEO David Gandler.

Netflix to Add 40 Games This Year
Netflix aims to add 40 titles to its mobile gaming roster this year, according to Engadget, in addition to the 55 already available. Netflix currently has 70 games in development with partners, including Ubisoft, Ustwo and Super Evil Megacorp, plus 16 in the works at its internal studios. Netflix VP of external games Leanne Loombe said its players are largely drawn to recognisable titles (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge), games that encourage daily play (Solitaire) and those based on Netflix properties (Too Hot to Handle: Love Is a Game).

Amazon Fire TV Hits 200 Million Global Sales
Amazon has sold more than 200 million Fire TV devices globally, the company announced. The milestone comes as Amazon expands its range of smart TVs, including three new sizes in the Fire TV Omni QLED series. “We continue to hear from customers that most smart TVs just aren’t all that smart – and they’re turning to Fire TV to deliver a truly intelligent and intuitive TV experience,” said Daniel Rausch, VP of Amazon Entertainment Devices and Services. “With over 200 million streaming players and smart TVs sold globally, our relentless focus on making TVs actually smart is resonating with customers around the world.”

Netflix Expands Measurement and Fraud Detection Partnerships
DoubleVerify’s measurement and fraud detection technology is now available to all current Netflix advertisers, DV announced on Monday. The deal enables advertisers on the streaming service to ensure their video ads are safe from fraud and invalid traffic, the verification firm said. “As we continue to scale our new ad-supported tier, it is critical for us to provide brands with the ability to measure the quality of their campaigns and maximise performance,” added Jeremi Gorman, President of Worldwide Advertising at Netflix. 

The Week for Publishers

PinkNews Joins Ozone
UK LGBTQ+ publication PinkNews has joined Ozone, a UK publisher alliance which aggregates and sells inventory across a range of premium publishers. “At a time when the multi-award winning LGBTQ+ inclusive content of PinkNews is needed more than ever, I’m really pleased that we are partnering with Ozone to maximise monetisation in our home market,” said Benjamin Cohen, CEO of PinkNews.

Germany’s Competition Authority Clears the Way for Burda/Funke Joint Venture
Germany’s competition authority, the Bundeskartellamt, has given the green light to a proposed joint venture between media groups Funke Mediengruppe and BurdaVerlag. The JV would see Funke’s ad inventory sold through BCN, a subsidiary of BurdaVerlag which sells ads for Burda and Medienholding Klambt. Funke would become a joint owner of BCN alongside Burda.

Reach Defends Digital Strategy Amid Redundancies
UK publishing group Reach has defended its digital strategy, and announced a four percent pay rise for staff earning £60,000 or less, shortly after revealing that its preparing for a round of redundancies. Staff were told at a town hall meeting last Friday that despite a tough financial period for the company, Reach’s digital strategy has positioned it well to weather current macroeconomic conditions, according to Press Gazette.

Reddit Adds Automated Ad Creation to its Ad Platform
Social sharing platform Reddit announced a new set of updates to its Ads Manager tool this week, which it says will make it easier for advertisers to set up and manage campaigns. Among the updates are a new automated ad creation capability which will create and test multiple variations of an ad, and a simplified campaign setup workflow.

Sunday Times Editor Dispels Rumours of Times Merger
The Sunday Times’ editor Ben Taylor said at a conference this week he’s been given “crystal clear” assurance that there are no plans in place to merge The Sunday Times with its sister publication The Times, Press Gazette reported this week. The Scottish versions of the two papers recently merged, leading to speculation that a similar move was on the cards for the newspapers’ English editions. But Taylor said the merger was necessary in Scotland due to those papers’ print-first business model.

The Week For Agencies

WPP Acquires Influence Business Goat
WPP this week announced it has acquired data-driven influencer marketing agency Goat for an undisclosed fee. Goat has over 150 staff across three offices, and counts Dell, Tesco, Meta, and Uber among its clients. “The addition of Goat to GroupM as part of GroupM Nexus gives us the ability to deliver accountable, cross-channel, and data-driven influencer solutions for clients anywhere in the world,” said Christian Juhl, global CEO of GroupM. “Combined with the exceptional talent at INCA, we expect Goat to play a critical role in helping us define the next era of media at GroupM.”

Havas Play Launches Globally
Havas is launching Havas Play, its French agency network covering entertainment, sports, technology, and fandom, as a global network. Havas Play will unify Havas’ existing capabilities around gaming, music, sports, and other areas of fan activation under one umbrella brand. “Clients of Havas Play will have unparalleled access to create meaningful experiences in collaboration with the cultural influencers that command their consumers’ attention and passion,” said Yannick Bolloré, chairman and CEO of Havas.

Dentsu UK&I Folds Carbon Data into Effective Attention Tool
Dentsu UK&I has announced it is incorporating Dentsu’s carbon calculator into its Effective Intelligence offering, highlighting the carbon cost of campaigns run through the tool. Effective Intelligence, launched in April last year, gauges the amount of attention which viewers are likely to have paid to each impression, allowing advertisers to optimise towards intention (and therefore cut down on wastage and unnecessary emissions).

MediaSense and WFA Announce Media Transformation Partnership
Independent global media advisor MediaSense has announced a new partnership with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA), which will focus on media transformation. Under the partnership MediaSense will deliver insights, thought leadership, and expertise to the WFA’s membership. “Alongside the contributions they’ve made to a number of recent joint projects, MediaSense’s proven track record in the area of media transformation makes them a valuable addition to our Strategic Partner programme,” said Matt Green, director of global media services

IPA Foundation Certificate Adds in Real World Applications
The IPA’s professional advertising qualification, the IPA Foundation Certificate, has added real-world scenario-based tasks to its syllabus to help delegates understand how to translate the learning into daily life working in advertising. The course draws on a case study from Tesco, BBH and MediaCom to get learners to think about how they would respond to various tasks.

Hires of the Week

IAB Europe Appoints Sustainability Committee Chair
IAB Europe this week announced the election of Arthur Millet, Director General, Alliance Digitale (IAB France) as the new Chair and Steffen Hubert, Associate Director & Sustainability Lead, ProSiebenSat.1 as the Vice-Chair of the Sustainability Standards Committee. In their newly appointed roles, they will lead the new committee’s work to help reduce the amount of energy consumed and emissions produced by the delivery of digital advertising and will focus on the demand for ESG standards for the industry.

Joy Robbins Picked as Global Chief Advertising Officer at the NYT
The New York Times has appointed Joy Robbins as its new global chief advertising officer, the company announced this week. Robbins joins from the Washington Post, where she served as chief revenue officer since 2019.

Josh Krichefski Names IPA President
Josh Krichefski, CEO for EMEA and the UK at GroupM, was formally elected as IPA President at a Special Council meeting held on 23 March 2023. Jamie Elliott, CEO of The Gate London, was elected as IPA Honorary Secretary and Bronwen Hemming, Finance Director of Wieden+Kennedy London, was re-elected as IPA Honorary Treasurer, completing the new team of Officers.

This Week on VideoWeek

Netflix Ad Tier Reaches 1 Million US Users After Shaky Start, read on VideoWeek

TF1 Targets Attention with New ‘My[Screen]’ Ad Format, read on VideoWeek

How Can CTV Optimise for Attention? read on VideoWeek

So How Much Are You Worth? The Growing Scrutiny Around Your Business Models, read on VideoWeek

Ad of the Week

Coca-Cola, Masterpiece

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About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
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