In this week’s Week in Review: Uber looks to drive up ad revenues with video, Publicis and Carrefour seek to scale retail media in Europe and Latin America, and AVOD businesses team up for a new streaming alliance.
Publicis and Carrefour Launch Retail Media Platform Unlimitail
Agency group Publicis and European retail giant Carrefour this week launched Unlimitail, a new retail media business which the two first unveiled six months ago. Unlimitail is designed to make it easier for retailers to spin up retail media offerings across Europe and Latin America, while making it simpler for brands to run scaled retail media campaigns through standardisation on the sell-side.
“Our ambition with our new partners and the ones that will soon follow is to create a leading platform in retail media as simple as the open web,” said Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis Groupe. ” A platform driving scale, connectivity, and consistency in a media that is an increasingly crucial pillar of any brand’s business strategy.”
Unlimitail will help retailers spin up inventory on their ecommerce sites, and handle activation of retail media campaigns and data matching between brands and retailers, via a clean room. It will also offer consulting services to help businesses pivot quickly into retail media.
Unlimitail has 13 retail partners at launch: Kingfisher France, Groupe Galeries Lafayette, Rakuten France, Showroomprive Group, ÏDKIDS, LuisaViaRoma, MyOrigines, Bringo, Electra Group, Maquillalia, Juguetilandia, Public and 2 Carrefour franchise partners in Morocco (LabelVie) and Israël (Electra Consumer Products).
Ad-Supported TV Companies Form Independent Streaming Alliance
A group of companies from the ad-supported streaming sector have formed the Independent Streaming Alliance (ISA). The industry forum aims to proactively engage with consumers, platforms, regulators and media. The founding members (including Vevo, Scripps and Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment) offer over 2,200 independent streaming touchpoints, according to the ISA.
The ISA has three working groups:
- Measurement: working with third-party measurement providers and aggregating viewership; iSpot.tv has been selected as audience and ad measurement partner
- Distribution: focused on developing and sharing best practices for growing audiences, while working directly with platforms to ensure fair business practices
- Demand: collaborating with DSPs, SSPs, brands and agencies to ensure its members’ advertising may be easily purchased and sold in compliance with industry norms
“The formation of the ISA is long overdue,” said Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment CRO Philippe Guelton. “We are joining forces to promote the value of independent streamers, and to work hand-in-hand with platforms, advertisers, and regulatory bodies to ensure that we have a healthy ecosystem that benefits everyone, not just the few.”
Uber Set to Roll Out Video Ads
Uber plans to begin running full-length video ads across its ride sharing app, as well as its delivery apps Uber Eats and Drizly, the WSJ reported this week. Uber has been growing out its ad business in recent months, with the company aiming to reach $1 billion in ad revenues in 2024. And the addition of video ads will add a big supply of premium inventory to Uber’s catalogue.
Within the main Uber app, video ads will run when users are waiting for their ride to arrive, with some vehicles also carrying tablets which will play video ads too. Uber plans to use its data on user location and eating habits for ad targeting – for example an Uber rider who regularly orders pizza on Uber Eats might be advertised a pizza restaurant near their destination. Within Uber Eats, ads will run after customers place orders, up until their order arrives. Drizly meanwhile will run video ads in search results.
For the time being, all of this inventory will be told directly via brand takeover packages, though Uber plans to begin selling via programmatic exchanges later this year.
The Week in Tech
Madhive Secures $300 Million Investment From Goldman Sachs
CTV ad buying platform Madhive this week announced it has received a $300 million investment from Goldman Sachs Asset Management. The deal follows an earlier $7 million investment in Madhive, whose revenues last year came to $125 million. A meeting at CES this year led to the investor acquiring a significant minority stake in the business, valued just under $1 billion. Upon closure of the deal, Adam Helfgott will step down as CEO and become Chairman of the Board. Madhive president Spencer Potts will take over as CEO. Read on VideoWeek.
Google Could be Forced to Sell Ad Tech Business in EU Investigation
The European Commission this week found that Google has potentially breached EU antitrust rules by distorting competition in the ad tech industry. If the charges are proven, Google could be forced to sell part of its ad tech business. According to the Commission, Google has abused its dominant position in digital advertising since 2014, through both it’s publisher-facing and buyer-facing tools giving preferential treatment to AdX, Google’s own ad exchange. Read on VideoWeek.
Finecast Launches New ‘Total TV Measurement’ Solution
Finecast, GroupM’s addressable TV specialist, this week announced it is throwing its hat into the cross-channel measurement ring with the launch of Total TV Measurement. Finecast says the new product delivers deduplicated reach and frequency measurement across linear and addressable TV, helping clients better understand the value they’re getting from shifting budgets over to addressable TV. Read on VideoWeek.
Tremor International Rebrands as Nexxen
Tremor International this week announced it is rebranding as Nexxen, bringing its portfolio of ad tech businesses including Unruly, Amobee, Tremor Video and Spearad under one brand in the process. This rebranding will see combined demand-side platforms Amobee and Tremor Video rebranded as Nexxen DSP, while Unruly will become Nexxen SSP, and Spearad will become Nexxen Ad Server. These latter two units will jointly operate under the banner of Nexxen CTRL. Read on VideoWeek.
Twitch Scraps New Ad Rules After User Backlash
Twitch has reversed new advertising rules one day after their implementation. The new rules restricted the size and type of ads its creators could use. Streamers criticised the policy for limiting their ability to generate income on Twitch, threatening a boycott and in some cases leaving the platform. “Sponsorships are critical to streamers’ growth and ability to earn income,” Twitch said in a tweet scrapping the rules. “We will not prevent your ability to enter into direct relationships with sponsors – you will continue to own and control your sponsorship business.”
Yesterday, we released new Branded Content Guidelines that impacted your ability to work with sponsors to increase your income from streaming. These guidelines are bad for you and bad for Twitch, and we are removing them immediately.
— Twitch (@Twitch) June 7, 2023
RSMB & Streamhub to Introduce Measurement Platform for Linear and Streaming
Research group RSMB and data company Streamhub are launching a hybrid measurement platform, designed to capture viewing across linear TV and streaming. The partnership aims to build out incremental reach calculations for clients, by combining currency metrics with first-party data. The solution will initially focus on Japan, with key modules available in all markets. RSMB is jointly owned by Kantar and Havas, and has also worked on implementing cross-media measurement tool CFlight in the UK.
Good-Loop Adds Tool for Blocking Carbon-Intensive Publishers
Good-Loop has launched a new tool allowing advertisers to block carbon-intensive publishers. Part of the company’s Green Ad Tag, the tool has a slider for users to select their emissions-saving target, then export sites that fall short of those targets to their block list. “It provides a simple solution to a complex, pressing issue and makes carbon reduction an essential campaign consideration without advertisers having to choose between planet and performance,” said Good-Loop COO Ryan Cochrane.
Frequency & Wurl Team Up for FAST Creation and Monetisation
FAST channel creation specialist Frequency and CTV software company Wurl announced a new partnership this week. Wurl will be Frequency’s preferred advertising monetisation partner, and Frequency will be Wurl’s preferred partner for channel creation. “Frequency’s industry-leading scheduling and playout platform, combined with Wurl’s advertising monetisation solution is exactly what this market needs,” said Frequency CRO Jon Cohen.
Outbrain Launches High-Attention Branding Platform Onyx
Content recommendation specialist Outbrain has announced a new branding platform, Onyx by Outbrain. Launched in partnership with attention firm Adelaide, Onyx features large ad formats designed to drive high attention, which run within in-article environments across Outbrain’s premium publisher partners. “Onyx delivers a unique opportunity for advertisers to win real attention and drive business impact while benefiting our publisher partners with incremental revenue vital to sustain free and independent journalism,” said Outbrain co-CEO David Kostman.
Twitter Refuses to Pay Google Bills, Faces Colorado Eviction Over Unpaid Rent
Twitter is refusing to pay its Google Cloud bills, Platformer reported on Saturday. A conflict between the companies could affect the social media’s contract with Google, which hosts services related to fighting spam, removing child sexual abuse material and protecting accounts. Twitter has also reportedly delayed payments to Amazon Web Services, and is set to be evicted from its Colorado office over unpaid rents. Also this week, Elon Musk announced that Twitter will start paying verified content creators for ads in their replies, starting with a $5 million block.
In a few weeks, X/Twitter will start paying creators for ads served in their replies. First block payment totals $5M.
Note, the creator must be verified and only ads served to verified users count.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 9, 2023
The Week in TV
Netflix Could Take First Swing at Live Sports
Netflix is planning its first foray into live sports, according to the WSJ, in the form of a celebrity golf tournament. The event would feature drivers (in both senses) from its documentary series Drive to Survive and Full Swing, said sources familiar with the talks. Speculation has been rife as to when Netflix would join the expensive competition for sports rights, but financial pressures and technical struggles have handicapped the streaming giant. This move is therefore seen as a testing ground for live sports on Netflix. “They need to give potential licensers comfort that it’s all going to work before going for mission-critical sports events,” said Ed Desser, president of sports media consulting firm Desser Media. “This is a relatively low-risk proposition.”
ITV Considers All3Media Acquisition
ITV is exploring the acquisition of All3Media, the UK broadcaster confirmed on Friday. The production company behind Fleabag, Midsomer Murders and The Traitors, All3Media could be valued over £1 billion. It is currently owned by Warner Bros. Discovery and Liberty Global.
Canadian Broadcasters Form Sustainability Group
A group of Canadian broadcasters have formed a new sustainability initiative. Canadian Broadcasters for Sustainability comprises more than 20 public and private broadcasters from different linguistic and regional markets, including Asian Television Network, Blue Ant Media and Télé-Québec. The group will meet at least quarterly, aiming to increase the scope and impact of sustainability action, improve efforts to produce content sustainably, reach more audiences with content that inspires people to make more sustainable choices, and understand and consult with marginalised communities that are disproportionately affected by climate change.
ProSieben Plans Job Cuts, Execs Step Down
ProSiebenSat.1 is planning job cuts as part of cost-reduction and restructuring efforts. Wolfgang Link, CEO of Seven.One Entertainment Group (a subsidiary of ProSieben), announced his resignation after 14 years at the German company. Erik Huggers, member of the ProSieben Supervisory Board, also announced his departure after nine years. Former TV Nova co-CEO Klara Brachtlov is in line to replace Huggers.
Real Madrid Makes D2C Streaming Play
Real Madrid has launched a D2C streaming service, featuring over 700 hours of football content. RM Play is available on mobile devices, tablets and Smart TVs, including Apple TV, Android TV and Amazon Fire TV. Programming includes highlights, press conferences, interviews and specials, alongside a historical archive.
MFE Lists on Spanish Exchange, Shares Rise After Berlusconi’s Death
MediaForEurope (MFE) has started trading shares on Spanish stock exchanges, following its takeover and delisting of Mediaset España. Shares in MFE also rose following the death of founder Silvio Berlusconi, amid speculation that more cross-border mergers could be on the cards. On Tuesday, Prosieben CEO Bert Habets talked down the possibility of a merger with MFE, telling a press conference: “We need to be in control of our own destiny.”
BBC and ITV Score FIFA Women’s World Cup Rights
The BBC and ITV have confirmed a rights deal for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Kicking off in New Zealand on 20th July, all 64 matches will air on either the BBC or ITV, with the final shown on both. “We have shown every Women’s World Cup on the BBC since 1999 and we are happy to extend our partnership with FIFA for the upcoming tournament, “ said BBC Sport Director Barbara Slater.
The Week for Publishers
The Guardian Blocks All Gambling Advertising
The Guardian announced this week that it will no longer display ads for gambling companies, arguing that it’s unethical to take money from businesses which can lead to “addiction and financial ruin”. The ban covers all forms of gambling advertising, including promotions for sports betting, online casinos and scratch cards, but excludes lottery advertising, which The Guardian says can have social benefit by raising money for good causes.
Advertising Accounts for Less Than 50 Percent of The Independent’s Revenues
UK newspaper The Independent has made strong progress on its effort to diversify its revenues away from a reliance on advertising, according to the company’s accounts released this week. Non-advertising revenues now make up 57 percent of total revenues for the business, compared with 40 percent last year, according to data shared with Press Gazette. And the strategy appears to be delivering for the publisher, with total revenues up 12 percent year-on-year.
Part of The Independent’s strategy has been an expansion into CTV, with the launch of IndependentTV as a CTV app. The Independent says total viewership of its IndependentTV video content has reached 73 million, with revenues from this content up 52 percent year-on-year.
The newspaper has also had success in driving user registration, with over five million users now registered, giving it a strong bank of logged-in user data.
LinkedIn Tests Video Ad Product for Streaming Services
Microsoft is working on a new ad product which would allow marketers to target LinkedIn users on streaming services, several outlets reported this week. “In-stream video ads can change the way brands and buyers reach and engage their audiences,” Penry Price, vice president of marketing solutions at LinkedIn, told Reuters. Little detail has been revealed about the product – presumably it would involve using an identity solution to find LinkedIn users on third-party streaming platforms.
Younger Audiences Increasingly Turn to Social Media for News
Twenty percent of 18-24 year olds turn to TikTok for news, according to the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism’s latest Digital News Report, up five percent from last year. Meanwhile only 22 percent of all respondents to the Institute’s survey says they first turn to news publishers’ apps or websites when they’re looking for news, down ten percentage points from 2018. “There are no reasonable grounds for expecting that those born in the 2000s will suddenly come to prefer old-fashioned websites, let alone broadcast and print, simply because they grow older,” Reuters Institute Director Rasmus Nielsen said in the report.
Vice UK Staff Consider Strike Action
Vice UK’s union chapel is balloting its members over potential strike action due to redundancies being made by the media company, Press Gazette reported this week. Twenty-three jobs are said to be under threat, and those facing redundancy have been offered the minimum statutory redundancy pay.
Axel Springer Looks for AI Acquisitions
European media giant Axel Springer is establishing an M&A team focussed specifically on finding AI specialists, Reuters reported this week. CEO Matthias Doepfner said on an internal podcast that he’s particularly interested in startups which have disruptive potential for advertising, journalism, and e-commerce.
Google says Publisher Content Licensing Deals Cover Over 1,500 Publishers in Europe
Google this week gave an update on its progress in reaching license agreements with owners of press publications under the EU Copyright Directive, which requires Google to negotiate with publishers in order to be able to display extended snippets of their content in search results. Google says it now has agreements covering 1,500 publications across 15 markets.
The Week For Brands & Agencies
IPA, AA, and ISBA say They Don’t Support Advertised Emissions
UK industry trade groups ISBA, the IPA, and the AA issued a joint statement this week stating that they do not support the idea of including advertised emissions – the emissions generated by the creation and distribution of extra products sold as a result of an ad campaign – in agencies’ carbon calculations. The concept of advertised emissions was created by Purpose Disruptors, designed to take into account the role of advertising in generating extra sales of unsustainable products. But the three groups said that a study by the Saïd Business School at Oxford University called Purpose Disruptors’ methodology into question, claiming that advertised emissions overstates agencies’ environmental impact.
MSQ Partners Sells to PE Firm
Agency group MSQ Partners has sold a majority stake to private equity firm One Equity Partners in a deal reported by The Times to be worth close to £170 million. MSQ CEO Peter Reid said that the deal “will give us access to greater resources to extend our global offering, invest in talent, technology and services and position ourselves as the leading next generation partner for the world’s leading and most ambitious brands through the continued successful integration of insight, data, technology and creative”.
WFA DEI Census Finds No Improvement of Inclusion
The WFA this week announced the findings of this year’s Global DEI Census, finding that while there is fairly widespread recognition of the industry’s efforts to improve, inclusion scores remain the same as last year. Half of survey respondents said they have seen an improvement in DEI across the industry since last year, with thirty percent reporting no improvement since last year. But one in seven workers still say they’re likely to leave the industry due to a lack of diversity, inclusion, and equity.
GARM Starts Work on Media Sustainability
The Global Alliance for Responsible Media, a cross-industry initiative established by the WFA, says it is starting a new workstream focused on sustainability. GARM is known for its widely-used brand safety and suitability frameworks, and is looking to create similar frameworks to harmonise how the industry approaches sustainability. GARM’s three immediate goals are as follows:
- Create momentum via a Quick Action Guide: equip media leaders with a series of voluntary and tangible steps that can reduce the environmental impact of advertising campaigns and a set of criteria to consider with partners.
- Benchmark current media carbon measurement and estimation practices: create an industry-wide forum to suggest common definitions and measures to assist industry participants in measuring the environmental impact of their media campaigns.
- Develop a global media carbon framework: develop a flexible measurement and reporting system based on aggregated data, to be voluntarily implemented at local level by National Advertisers Associations, that will facilitate the measurement and reporting of media carbon emissions.
HSBC Narrows Down Media Review to Mindshare and PHD
HSBC, which launched a global media review last year, has narrowed down the contest to WPP’s Mindshare and Omnicom’s PHD, Campaign reported this week. Mindshare previously handled the account for 13 years before losing it to PHD back in 2018.
Agencies Sign Up for Influencer Code of Conduct
Advertiser trade group ISBA and the Influencer Marketing Trade Body (IMTB) have announced 15 new signatories to the Influencer Marketing Code of Conduct, a guide to best practice in influencer marketing for brands, agencies, and talent which is being jointly backed by the two trade bodies. The new signatories are BENlabs, Disrupt, The Fifth, Fourth Floor, The Goat Agency, Good Relations, Impact.com, Ogilvy, R&CPMK, SEEN Connects, Storm Management, Tagger, Takumi, Whalar, What They Said.
Hires of the Week
IPG Appoints Dan Tedesco as EMEA COO
IPG Mediabrands has named Dan Tedesco its first EMEA COO. Tedesco previously served as global CFO at media agency Initiative.
Canela Media Names Chechu Lasheras CSO
Canela Media has appointed Chechu Lasheras as Chief Strategy Officer. Lasheras has had 20 years in digital leadership, including stints at Deloitte and Omnicom Media Group.
Brian Lesser Joins Ogury Board
Ogury has announced the appointment of Brian Lesser to its Board of Directors. Described as an industry veteran, Lesser has held leadership roles at WPP, GroupM and AT&T.
Crystal Foote Joins Digital Remedy in Digital Culture Group Partnership
Digital Remedy has teamed up with Digital Culture Group and appointed its founder, Crystal Foote, as Executive Director & Head of Multicultural.
This Week on VideoWeek
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