TV Buyers Skeptical About YouTube; Zynga Buys Turkish Game Studio Peak

Here’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign up here.

Mobile Video In TV’s Clothing

YouTube may struggle to win TV buyers, who see the app as a mobile- and desktop-first platform. Time spent streaming YouTube on TV sets is up 80% year over year, and the platform is bidding for TV ad dollars this upfront season. But in the eyes of advertisers, YouTube CTV-specific buys are expensive, and there are brand safety concerns about where ads run, The Wall Street Journal reports. “Becoming a TV platform requires a lot of field work in curating the content and really defining the audiences you’re curating this content for,” said Gianluca Toccafondi, integrated media manager for IKEA franchisee Ingka Group. YouTube also obfuscates which devices ads are running on through its audience-centric platform, making a pitch for CTV-specific inventory less relevant.

Zynga’s M&A Game Plan

Mobile gaming companies are the hottest commodities in digital media during the pandemic. Zynga announced on Monday that it has agreed to buy the Turkish mobile game studio Peak for $1.8 billion, Bloomberg reports. The Istanbul-based game-maker will increase Zynga’s revenue in the second half of the year by a third, and boost the number of average players by 60%, since it has such a strong global footprint, said Zynga CEO Frank Gibeau. Zynga has acquired four other gaming companies since Gibeau took over in 2016, with a plan to consolidate studios that could turn out gaming franchises that endure for years (mobile gaming has a heavy boom-and-bust cycle, even for breakout successes). AdExchanger has more on mobile gamers, a more diverse and desirable audience than you might think. 

IGTV, Finally

Instagram will (finally) turn the revenue spigot for IGTV, its video-sharing hub. Instagram launched IGTV two years ago as a would-be YouTube rival, but held off on advertising because it’s been a long haul to gain traction with users. Starting this week, though, IGTV will run video ads and share 55% of revenue with creators, Digiday reports. There’s “tepid” interest from advertisers, since IGTV has lost its novelty but is still unproven. And tepid would be generous to describe publishers, who are wary of creating content for Facebook without monetization (or even if there is guaranteed revenue, frankly). News outlets and publishers will also have to wait until 2021 for IGTV ad revenue, since for the remainder of the year only individual creators and influencers will receive rev-share earnings. 

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