The transformation of the way TV advertising is transacted will be a major theme in 2021.
Everyone – both buy- and sell-sides – seems to be talking about addressability these days. Traditional broadcasters have reorganized around streaming and TV-related acquisitions have accelerated – one of the most notable being Roku’s $150 million acquisition of dataxu.
This week on The Big Story, the AdExchanger team welcomes Mike Baker, co-founder and former CEO of dataxu. Recently, Baker wrote a column about why ad dollars haven’t followed the surge in CTV viewing.
In a wide-ranging podcast discussion, he digs into the issues of transparency plaguing ad buyers hoping to invest in CTV. We also dive into other user experience challenges that stakeholders need to iron out, from managing ad loads to dealing with repetition.
We’ll also look at the way TV is changing as a whole. The broadcasters might want to organize around streaming, but how are they actually doing? Are the agency ad buyers following suit? And how can advertisers navigate an increasingly fragmented landscape, one populated with app owners, content owners and device manufacturers?
And of course, Baker gives his 15 billion cents (that’s the dataxu price) on all the TV-related M&A activity over the past few years. Has it reached its peak? And who else might be a tantalizing buy?
In one year, programmatic advertising won’t be able to use third-party cookies.
But how will the new infrastructure even work?
To understand the Privacy Sandbox and its most fleshed-out proposal, TURTLEDOVE, CafeMedia Chief Strategy Officer Paul Bannister – who has spent hundreds of hours over the past year figuring out these proposals – has compiled a 12-minute visual overview of the plan to re-create audience targeting.
Paul delves into how the browser does much of the heavy lifting that third-party cookies do today, including storing consumer interests, requesting ads and choosing the ad delivered on the page.
So grab a cup of coffee, listen in and tell us what you think in the comments.
Was this format particularly helpful in your understanding of TURTLEDOVE? What other topics would you like to know about?
This article is sponsored by Tubi.
Over the last few years, streaming has become a cultural force – changing the way entire segments of the population navigate and consume TV. Seventy-nine percent of people now report using streaming services to watch TV, according to a recent MRI Simmons Cord Evolution Study. Another study by eMarketer reported that 2.5 billion hours were streamed last year in 2020 – equivalent to a 1.9x increase year-over-year.
Yet, despite its vast potential as an emerging advertising platform for brands and marketers, streaming ad spend continues to lag behind. More than 90% of all video budgets still go to linear and cable ad platforms. Why? Advertisers still have apprehension about how to effectively integrate streaming ad inventory into their existing campaign strategies, according to a new streaming report by Tubi.
“Again and again, many advertisers cite concerns about quality and frequency and scale – which makes it difficult to incorporate streaming inventory in a well-organized fashion,” said Melinda Staros, director of audience research at Tubi. “Advertisers do recognize that the streaming audience is one they need to tap into, but they have been wary to make the shift because of technical or organizational uncertainty.”
As advertising-supported video on demand (AVOD) content is projected to continue to flood the market in 2021, now is a critical time for advertisers to develop advertising strategies that follow viewers to their new TV homes. However, they will first need to overcome their lingering concerns about the AVOD ecosystem. Here are three of the primary myths that haunt AVOD advertising and how advertisers can navigate them to drive more effective, efficient TV campaigns.
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Is It Safe To Come Out?
With the Trump circus leaving town, what does this mean for brand safety? Seb Joseph of Digiday wrote about how the political divide amongst American consumers has extended to the media channels people consume. “And it’s made the challenge of trying to market products and services to people all the harder,” Joseph pointed out. Go-to “legacy” online channels, particularly Facebook, have been called out for their role in enabling posts that call for violence. But what’s an advertiser to do? A Facebook ad boycott isn’t news these days, and buyers inevitably come crawling back. Still, in the days following the insurrection at the US Capitol, ad buyers faced even more scrutiny on where they place their ads. Joseph notes how Omnicom and Home Depot shareholders urged both companies to scrutinize whether their advertising inadvertently funds hate speech and disinformation. But the path forward for advertisers still isn’t clear cut, and it varies from brand to brand: “One option is to use the differences in ideology, political orientation and values as segmentation variables and see how they align with the core segments that the firm is targeting,” Joseph wrote. He acknowledges, however, that not every marketer wants to lean into socially-relevant issues. Mostly they just want to sell stuff.
Celebrate With A Pint
But some marketers are relishing what seems to be a safer media environment, at least for now. Audi, Ben & Jerry’s, Patagonia, Nickelodeon and numerous other brands chimed in on social media during Inauguration Day. Audi, for example, posted about President Biden rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement (while referencing its forthcoming electric car), while Ben & Jerry’s gave a civics lesson of sorts about the importance of the first 100 days of a new administration. Vice President Kamala Harris being the first female, Black and Indian-American VP also proved a popular subject for brands to applaud, such as female-designed dating app Bumble. Seeing brands align themselves with politics marks a stark departure from the Trump presidency, when “Trump” topped brand safety lists and marketers gave a wide berth to any action taken by the newly former president. Read on.
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Industry Preview is a special, limited-run audio series, featuring interviews with key leaders in marketing, media and technology who share their predictions and key priorities for 2021. This podcast is sponsored by IBM Watson Advertising.
LiveRamp CEO Scott Howe has a unique view of the advertising industry’s crossroads.
The company is one of the key tech firms zeroing in on the reinvention of online identity, and how it will impact advertisers and publishers. Moreover, a lot of this innovation is happening at a time when publishers are hyper-aware of the ways their data is used. And with numerous legislative efforts worldwide designed to regulate data use, the tides are constantly shifting.
But despite all of this volatility, the biggest shakeup will come from the upcoming deprecation of third-party cookies in Chrome. And despite lawsuits from state Attorneys General and the DoJ, Howe is betting that that disruption is inevitable.
“When I talk to clients and publishers, there’s a group that wants to stick their head in the sand and say it’s not going to happen, or that anti-trust issues will push out the date,” he says. “Then there’s a group that’s realistic and recognizes that the timing might shift, or the policies might shift, but some profound truths are emerging, which is that there’s been a long term trend toward consumer transparency, which isn’t going away.”
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The Trade Desk is looking for the industry’s stamp of approval for the open source Unified ID 2.0 framework.
On Thursday, in response to a recent call from the Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media (PRAM) for input on potential new technologies to replace cookies and other identifiers, The Trade Desk submitted the code for UID 2.0 for review by the industry org.
TTD is the first company to take PRAM up on its appeal.
Launched in August, PRAM is an industrywide initiative that brings together more than 400 advertisers, trade orgs, agencies, publishers and ad tech companies. Together, they plan to create new digital media standards that consider both privacy and the user experience.
Last week, PRAM said it’s seeking contributions in the form of “addressability code for collaborative development,” which is a rather formal way of saying, “Hey, industry folks, got any ideas for cookie or IDFA alternatives up your sleeve?”
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“Data-Driven Thinking” is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.
Today’s column is written by Joel Meyer, Chief Architect at OpenX.
While there’s no clear cut answer around what the future of audience targeting will look like, practically every proposal is supported by one of two opposing core beliefs.
The first is the belief that the only way to fully protect a user is to make them anonymous, a task that must be accomplished by the browser or device used to consume content. Let’s call this the “Browser/Device Belief”. In proposals falling under this belief, the user is anonymous and the browser/device develops functionality to facilitate advertising. Google’s TURTLEDOVE and Apple’s SKAdNetwork are prime examples of this. It’s also worth noting that Google and Apple control the majority of browsers and operating systems used today.
The second belief holds that an informed and empowered user, with controls and transparency, can implement the privacy they desire while better understanding the value exchange powering the open web. Let’s call this belief the “user belief”, as the proposals motivated by it strive to educate the user and give them more control without requiring them to be completely anonymous. An example of this is Unified ID 2.0, which gives the user the ability to centrally manage and delete their information in exchange for providing vendors access to a stable identifier.
So what are the pros/cons of each solution?
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SOCi, a platform that helps national brands manage their marketing locally, closed its $80 million Series D on Thursday with an eye on growth.
The round, led by JMI Equity with participation from existing investor Ankona Capital, brings the company’s total funding to just over $137 million since 2014. Afif Khoury, SOCi’s CEO and cofounder, and Doug Winter, CEO and cofounder of sales enablement platform Seismic, also contributed.
Most of the money will go towards new product development, sales marketing and strategic M&A. SOCi’s plan is to increase headcount which stands at 200, by around 30% to 40% this year.
According to Khoury, demand has been up during the pandemic as national brands increasingly rely on local search to reach their customers with information on product availability, hours of operations, whether or not certain locations are open for business and other fluctuating logistical tidbits.
SOCi signed up around 100 new brand customers in 2020, including Hertz, Anytime Fitness and Ace Hardware.
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