Things Are Looking Up For WPP; Nielsen Panelists Don Portable People Meters

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The Agency Revival

“Broad-based recovery” is the term of the week, repeated in quarterly earnings calls by ad giants like Alphabet, Amazon and Facebook, as well as the publicly traded agency holding companies, which capped off unexpectedly strong years with additional growth in Q2 2021. WPP CEO Mark Read told investors on Thursday that in the past year, the initial conversation with most clients flipped from analog media (not bought in real time) to buying online – a shift he said will outlast the effects of the pandemic, The Wall Street Journal reports. Consumer technology, CPGs and healthcare companies in particular are outpacing other categories, Read said. “It’s more than just a cyclical bounceback. There’s structural growth in their spending as they desire to grow and hold on to market share.”

Is It Wearable?

Starting next month, 3,000 panelists from Nielsen’s 60,000-person Portable People Meter (PPM) program will receive wearable watches, clips and pendants. The PPM panel consists of people who wear a beeper-like device that picks up radio, television and streaming audio either in the background during the day or in someone’s home. The new wearable devices serve the same purpose, but are “more appealing among demographics that typically have lower compliance,” according to the release. In other words, younger people won’t wear the clunky portable meter, and that throws off the overall ratings. "By modernizing our panels with the PPM Wearable, we are not only improving the overall panelist experience and increasing engagement, but also ensuring our measurement is durable and can adapt to evolving technology changes," said Chief Research and Data Officer Mainak Mazumdar. 

Tubular

Fox flexed its muscle with the ad-supported streaming service Tubi during its earnings report yesterday. Tubi’s total viewership time jumped 50% to 3 billion hours. Fox acquired Tubi for a cool $440 million last year and wants to make it a billion-dollar business over the next few years. Fox is putting big money behind that push – up to $300 million in the next year, Adweek reports. And why not? Tubi is clearly a money-maker that brought in $100 million in ad revenue in Q4 alone, and is on track to generate more than $400 million for the year. Fox has fully embraced AVOD as its DTC strategy to set it apart in a crowded streaming market, and is ramping up original content for Tubi. “We have no interest or plans in investing in high-cost programming to drive subscriber acquisition, as we are not in the subscriber business. The return on our programming investment is measured in weeks, not years,” CEO Lachlan Murdoch said. [Related in Adexchanger: Fox Betting Big On Tubi Becoming A Billion Dollar AVOD Business]

But Wait, There’s More!  

Tech’s pandemic boom is coming to an end. [CNBC]

London-based Playcart raised $1.4M. [release]

Beefing up merger enforcement by banning merger remedies. [ProMarket]

Phoenix MI acquired advertising consultancy Communicus. [release]

Twitter may have scrapped Fleets, but it’s bolstering Spaces. [TechCrunch

Scarlett Johansson’s lawsuit against Disney shows how streaming models impact creators and talent. [The Verge]

Eleven agency execs driving ad industry M&A. [Business Insider]

You’re Hired

Integral Ad Science tapped Jose Ramirez as SVP of technical customer operations. [release]

Havas Media Group hired Laura Kell as chief data and product officer. [Camapign]

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