The WIR: M6 Unveils its New Streaming Service, Google Launches an MMM Tool, and IAB’s TCF Dealt a Blow by Court Ruling

Tim Cross 08 March, 2024 

In this week’s Week in Review: M6 lifts the lid on its new streaming offering, Google debuts an MMM tool for the post-cookie era, and the CJEU rules on technical issues relating to the TCF.

Top Stories

M6 Aims to Triple Digital Revenues with New Streaming Service M6+

M6, a French commercial TV company, has offered further details on its new streaming service, M6+. The business aims to double viewing of online programmes and triple their revenues by 2028. M6+ will launch ahead of Euro 2024, replacing the previous 6play service. 

M6+ will host twice the amount of content of 6play, more than 20 free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels, and short-form content called M6+ STORIES. The broadcaster also aims to enhance content discovery and interactivity on the service, introducing an AI-based search engine and data-rich video player.

“Aware of the challenges that await us and the giants that surround us, M6+ embodies our ambition to become the obvious choice for the French when looking for online entertainment,” said Nicolas de Tavernost, Chairman of the Management Board at M6 ​​Group. “We have invested in technology, exclusive content, and a quality user experience. Our ambition is great, but it is anchored in our history and is fuelled by our passion for television.”

Google Introduces Open-Source MMM Tool Meridian 

Google has introduced a new ad measurement tool in preparation for the removal of third-party cookies from Chrome. Meridian is an open-source Marketing Mix Model (MMM) helping advertisers measure the impact of cross-channel marketing on key outcomes, such as sales and customer retention. Meridian is currently only available to select users, but Google plans to roll out the tool in the near future. 

According to the tech giant, the tool will enable scenario planning for media allocation, allowing advertisers to optimise their budgets across channels. The tech giant will layer its data into Meridian’s model building capabilities, including YouTube reach and frequency, alongside indexed Google query-volume data.

“Marketers face increasing complexity in measuring the full value of their cross-channel media strategies, driven largely by fragmented media consumption and ongoing privacy changes,” said Harikesh Nair, Senior Director, Data Science at Google. “As advertisers search for comprehensive and privacy-durable measurement solutions, MMMs are experiencing a renaissance.”

IAB’s Transparency and Consent Framework Dealt a Major Blow by Court Ruling

The Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF), a framework developed by IAB Europe as a means for passing user consent for processing of data through digital advertising’s programmatic pipes in a GDPR-compliant manner, has been dealt a major blow in an ongoing court battle over whether the TCF itself complies with the GDPR.

The case kicked off several years ago when Belgium’s data protection authority ruled that the TCF doesn’t comply with the GDPR. IAB Europe appealed this ruling, and the case was sent to the Court of Appeal of Brussels. This court then sent two key questions to the Court of Justice of the European Union for deliberation:

  • Whether the TC String (a digital signal containing user preferences which is specified as part of the TCF) should be considered personal data, and
  • Whether IAB Europe acts as a (joint) controller for the dissemination of TC Strings and other data processing done by TCF participants

The CJEU has now ruled that TC Strings are personal data, and that IAB Europe is a controller for the dissemination of TC Strings (but not necessarily further processing). While the Belgium Court of Appeal will still need to make its ruling, the fact that these two judgements have essentially gone against IAB Europe means the Belgian court is likely (though not guaranteed) to rule against the trade body.

That doesn’t mean it’s game over for the TCF – the Belgian DPA has already approved an action plan for reworking the TCF to bring it in line with GDPR. But it’s not clear exactly what this reworking will look like, or how substantially it will impact programmatic advertising as a whole.

The Week in Tech

US Lawmakers Threaten TikTok Ban with New Bill to Force Divestiture

A bipartisan group of US lawmakers have introduced a new bill into the US House of Representatives which would ban short-form video app TikTok, and any other apps owned by Chinese tech company ByteDance, unless their US operations are divested from their parent company. The bill would also give the President powers to impose similar ultimatums on any other social media applications owned by a “foreign adversary” to the US.

Republican representative Mike Gallagher and Democrat Raja Krishnamoorthi say that TikTok poses a national security risk, so long as it remains tied to a China-based business. “So long as it is owned by ByteDance and thus required to collaborate with the CCP, TikTok poses critical threats to our national security,” said Krishnamoorthi. Read more on VideoWeek.

Retail Media Startup Topsort Raises $20 Million Series A Funding

Topsort, a retail media ad tech startup, has announced a $20 million Series A investment round. The round was led by Upload Ventures, alongside returning seed round investors, Quiet Capital and Pear Ventures. The raise brings the company’s valuation to $150 million. Topsort enables retailers and online marketplaces to launch product listing ads for sellers on their platforms. 

Dailymotion Taps RTL AdAlliance to Monetise European Video Inventory

Dailymotion Advertising has partnered with RTL AdAlliance to monetise its online video inventory across multiple European markets. The partnership adds the online video player to the media sales house’s Total Video portfolio. “With Dailymotion we are adding one of the most forward-thinking and successful European video providers to our family of local and international media champions,” said Stephen Byrne, VP Partnership Development at RTL AdAlliance.

Media Smart Launches Scam Awareness Campaign 

Media Smart, the Advertising Association’s education non-profit, has launched a scam awareness campaign to help young people identify and avoid advertising scams. The ‘Scam flags add up to a scam’ campaign supports the National Campaign Against Fraud, recently launched by the UK Government. “There is a shared responsibility for all of us in the media and advertising industry to invest in media literacy, it will reap dividends from an educational perspective as well as building public trust,” said Rachel Barber-Mack, Executive Director at Media Smart.

Captify and Scope3 Partner on Green Media Product 

Captify, a search intelligence company, has unveiled a new Green Media Product (GMP) designed to reduce carbon emissions. The GMP uses Scope3 data to help clients eliminate the least sustainable inventory from media buys across their SSPs. “With Captify now offering GMPs powered by Scope3, advertisers have an easy way to spot, and buy, lower carbon inventory with the assurance that they are taking an action that will help them reduce the carbon emissions of their digital advertising,” said David Fischer, Head of Global Ad Tech Partnerships at Scope3.

Accedo Acquires Easel TV

Accedo, a TV app specialist, has acquired Easel TV, a video software business. The acquisition will bring the company’s SaaS platforms under one roof, with the Easel TV team joining Accedo’s London office. Financial terms were not disclosed. “We’ve known the Accedo team for a long time,” said Easel TV CEO Joe Foster. “It was the right time to join forces having proven out the technology on our latest generation of product and were looking at significant investments to scale our business internationally.”

Cookie Deprecation No Excuse to Flout Data Protection Law, Warns ICO

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has warned companies not to use the upcoming cookie deprecation “as an excuse to delay achieving full compliance with data protection law.” In a letter to the IAB and AOP, the ICO said that all websites using cookies or similar technologies to serve personalised ads “must ensure that users can reject non-essential advertising cookies as easily as they can accept them.” The ICO added that contextual advertising models “remain the easiest way to achieve compliance with data protection law.” 

IAB Europe Spotlights Sustainability in Latest Supply Chain Transparency Guide

IAB Europe’s Programmatic Trading Committee has released its latest Supply Chain Transparency Guide. The guide aims to foster accountability and understanding across the digital advertising supply chain, with a key focus on sustainability. “As the digital advertising landscape evolves, understanding and mitigating the environmental consequences of programmatic advertising become imperative,” said IAB Europe. “The new sustainability-focused questions underline the guide’s commitment to promoting environmentally responsible and socially conscious practices.”

The Week in TV

ITV Enters “Early Stages of Strategic Restructuring” as Profits Tumble

ITV has entered a “strategic restructuring” phase as linear advertising declines continue to weigh on the commercial broadcaster’s balance sheets. The group made no mention of redundancies in its full-year earnings, but a recruitment freeze implemented last month is expected to remain in place for the first half of 2024. Linear revenues fell 15 percent YoY during 2023, buoyed by a 19 percent rise in digital revenues, driven by the growth of ITV’s streaming service. But the digital gains were not enough to offset “the challenging linear TV advertising market”, and total revenues fell 2 percent YoY. Read more on VideoWeek.

Joyn Offers Joy in “Difficult” Year for ProSieben 

ProSiebenSat.1 has filed its full-year earnings for 2023, in line with its preliminary results posted last month. The German broadcaster saw its revenues fall by 7 percent YoY, citing “a difficult economic environment”. But the company celebrated a strong fourth quarter, particularly for its streaming service Joyn, where AVOD revenues jumped 37 percent YoY. “Our goal is to further increase usage and user base of Joyn with double-digit growth rates per year,” said ProSieben CEO Bert Habets. “We are increasingly focusing on local and live content to strengthen our TV channels and scale Joyn by investing significantly more in this area in 2024.”

Canal+ Raises MultiChoice Offer

Canal+ has upped its offer to buy the MultiChoice shares it does not already own. The French company has raised its bid to ZAR125 per share, after the South African pay-TV firm rejected its offer of ZAR105 last month. The companies are now in exclusive talks to negotiate a purchase. 

FuboTV Sees Strong Ad Revenues Amid Legal Battle with Sports Streaming JV

FuboTV grew its ad revenues by 14 percent YoY in 2023, according to the sports streaming company’s full-year earnings. Fubo also increased its average revenue per user (ARPU) by 15 percent YoY, hitting $86.65 per year. The business is currently pursuing antitrust action against the proposed sports streaming joint venture between Disney, Fox and Warner Bros. Discovery. 

TalkTV Goes Off Linear After Less Than Two Years

TalkTV, the conservative news channel owned by News UK, is going off the air after less than two years in operation. It will continue to operate online, following Piers Morgan’s departure from the channel to focus on his YouTube content. TalkTV trailed its rival GB News in terms of linear ratings, and faced investigation by Ofcom last year into potential breaches of impartiality rules.

GB News Posts £42 Million Loss, Receives Extra Funding

GB News has received funding of £41 million in funding from its owner, All Perspectives, after the company posted a £42.4 million loss in 2022/23. The full-year losses were almost 40 percent higher than the previous year. Presenter Dan Wootton also left the channel this week after Ofcom found his show in breach of broadcasting rules. A separate impartiality investigation into GB News’ Q&A session with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is ongoing.

TV Screens, Co-Viewing and Living Rooms Drive Ad Recall, Finds ThinkBox

TV screens drive higher ad recall than ads seen on a computer or mobile device, according to new research from commercial TV body ThinkBox. The ‘Context Effects’ study found that professionally produced video drives 60 percent higher ad recall than non-professional content, ad recall is up 23 percent when watching with others, and the living room drives 22 percent higher recall than other rooms in the house. “TV is the social medium,” said Matt Hill, Research and Planning Director at Thinkbox. “It brings people together and gets ads talked about.”

The Week for Publishers

Meta Pulls Back from Publishers as it Shutters Facebook News in US and Australia

Meta has announced that in April it will sunset Facebook News, its dedicated news tab on the Facebook platform, in the US and Australia. As a result, the social giant won’t negotiate new commercial deals with publishers, essentially pulling back from paying publishers in exchange for hosting their content. The move reignites an ongoing battle between Australia’s government and big tech over payments for publishers, demonstrating Meta’s increasing willingness to walk away from news completely. Read more on VideoWeek.

Reach Saw a 35 Percent Drop in Programmatic RPMs in 2023, but Maintains Optimism for Post-Cookie World

UK publishing group Reach, owner of the Mirror, Daily Star, Daily Express, and a range of local newspapers, reported a 5.4 percent fall in total revenues in 2023 in its full-year financial results this morning. In contrast to the general trend for publishers in recent years, print revenues held up better than digital, with print revenues down by two percent and digital down by 15 percent year-on-year. Programmatic revenue per mille meanwhile was down 35 percent. But CEO Jim Mullen said despite this, the company has made good progress on its digital strategy over the last year, with investments in data starting to pay off – so much so that the publisher sees an opportunity in the upcoming deprecation of third-party cookies on Chrome later this year. Read more on VideoWeek.

ICO Mulls ‘Consent or Pay’ Model for UK Publishers

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), the UK’s data regulator, has called for views on “consent or pay” cookie models for publishers, in order to be able to give clearer guidance on the model. Publishers using consent or pay models force users to either accept advertising cookies or alternatively pay to access content (or not access it at all). The ICO says that in theory, the consent or pay model is legally valid, but that publishers must be careful to be sure they’re collecting freely given consent, and that consent can be freely withdrawn.

More Publishers Sue OpenAI Over Data Scraping

Three news outlets have sued AI giant OpenAI in two separate lawsuits, alleging misuse of their articles in training OpenAI’s models. Raw Story and AlterNet have filed a joint suit, while The Intercept filed its own claim against the company. The complainants say that OpenAI’s chatbots violate copyright laws, as they reproduce copyrighted content almost exactly as it originally appeared on their own websites. The New York Times makes a similar claim in its ongoing case against OpenAI and its backer Microsoft.

Microsoft Calls for Dismissal of NYT Case Against OpenAI

Meanwhile Microsoft this week called for the New York Times’ own case against itself and OpenAI to be dismissed, accusing the newspaper of “doomsday futurology” in its complaint. The NYT claims it’s seen examples of OpenAI’s ChatGPT producing verbatim or near-verbatim copies of its reporting in response to prompts. But Microsoft says the Times “crafted unrealistic prompts to try to coax the GPT based tools to output snippets of text matching The Times’s content”.

The Telegraph and Sky News Saw Strong Audience Growth in January

The Telegraph and Sky News saw the strongest month-on-month audience growth on their digital properties of all major UK news publishers in January, according to Press Gazette’s analysis of Ipsos data. The Telegraph saw ten percent growth, while Sky News was up six percent. The only news sources measured by the data which saw bigger growth was Money Saving Expert, which was up 20 percent month-on-month.

The Week For Brands & Agencies

Havas Posts 4.4 Percent Organic Growth for 2023

French agency group Havas achieved 4.4 percent year-on-year organic growth in net revenues in 2023, the company announced in its full year earnings this week, boosted by a strong Q4 which reached 4.7 percent year-on-year growth. Europe and North America both posted solid growth (up 1.7 percent and 1.9 percent respectively) while Asia Pacific was up 9.9 percent, and Latin America was up 42.1 percent.

PQ Media Predicts Strong Growth in Global Ad Spend in 2024

Independent media research company PQ Media forecasts that global advertising and marketing spend will be up by 7.7 percent in 2024, nearly double the rate of growth last year which the firm pegged at 4 percent. The company said that economic issues around inflation and fears of major recessions are subsiding, while US elections and major sports events will also boost overall spend.

Optimum Picks Publicis Groupe After Agency Review

Altice-owned telecoms company Optimum has awarded much of its marcoms business to a dedicated team at Publicis Groupe, following a competitive review. The team, called O1, will be Optimum’s agency of record for creative, media, PR, and production.

L’Oréal Shortlists UK Media Agencies

Cosmetics brand L’Oréal has shortlisted three agencies for its UK media review, Campaign reported this week. The company has narrowed its search down to incumbent EssenceMediacomX, MG OMD, and Publicis Media, according to Campaign.

SharkNinja Picks Horizon Next as Media AOR in US and Canada

Household electronics maker SharkNinja has chosen US independent media agency Horizon Next as its media agency of record in the US and Canada. SharkNinja said it has chosen to partner with Horizon Next because of the agency’s expertise in the D2C category and its ability to drive retail sales.

Hires of the Week

Paramount’s Lee Sears to Lead International Ad Sales

Paramount Global has promoted Lee Sears to President of International Markets Advertising Sales. Sears takes up the new poisition after being named EVP, Head of International Ad Sales and Integrated Marketing in June 2023. 

Channel 4 Appoints Lucy Thomas CFO

Channel 4 has named Lucy Thomas as Chief Financial Officer. She joins from Bauer Audio, where she served as Chief Financial & Operating Officer at Bauer Audio, following more than 20 years at Sky.

Responsible Resourcing Agency Enlists Elizabeth Anyaegbuna

The Responsible Resourcing Agency (RRA), a DEI-focused recruitment agency, has appointed Elizabeth Anyaegbuna as Strategic Growth Advisor. Anyaegbuna is co-founder and CEO of 16×9 Media, as well as outgoing president of Bloom UK. 

RAAS LAB Names Guy Jackson CCO

RAAS LAB, an ad tech company, has hired Guy Jackson as Chief Commercial Officer. Jackson spent almost 10 years at Teads, before co-founding the ad tech consultancy Launchpad.

This Week on VideoWeek

Where Are Advertisers Spending on Social Media This Year?

Meta Pulls Back from Publishers as it Shutters Facebook News in US and Australia

“Evolve or Die”: Vudoo Tells Publishers to Lean into Shoppable Video

Reach Saw a 35 Percent Drop in Programmatic RPMs in 2023, but Maintains Optimism for Post-Cookie World

TikTok Revamps Creator Monetisation Programme in Push for Longer-Form Content

US Lawmakers Threaten TikTok Ban with New Bill to Force Divestiture

How CTV Can Adopt Mobile-Style Performance Marketing

ITV Enters “Early Stages of Strategic Restructuring” as Profits Tumble

Ad of the Week

Muschicraft, The Most Illegal Beer

Follow VideoWeek on Twitter and LinkedIn.


About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
Go to Top