Home Ad Exchange News Amazon Bullish About Gaming; Nielsen Combines Streaming Measurement Solutions

Amazon Bullish About Gaming; Nielsen Combines Streaming Measurement Solutions


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Big Game

Amazon CEO Andy Jessy (Jeff who?) issued a bold statement at the GeekWire Summit in Seattle this week. “In the case of games, we have a belief that that could end up being the largest category in entertainment over a long period of time,” he said. Video games? The biggest category in entertainment? Seems strange, but it’s not outlandish. And gaming is particularly tempting because of the costs compared to entertainment. Practically every Marvel movie earns a billion-dollars the year it’s released, as well as a handful of other films. But there are dozens of mobile games that earn a billion dollars per year. Most Americans probably think of Pokémon GO as a summer trend from five years ago, if they recall the game at all. In 2019, Pokémon GO earned $7.3 billion from in-app payments alone, according to Sensor Tower data; that compares favorably to “Avengers: Endgame,” the highest-grossing film that year, which earned $2.8 billion. And consider how much less a game costs to produce, with voice-over artists instead of cast lists worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Without even mentioning Twitch, Amazon has billions of reasons to be all-in on gaming.

Keeping Pace? 

In the run-up to the launch of the Nielsen One omnichannel ratings service late next year, Nielsen said it will combine three of its streaming measurement solutions – digital ads, content and platforms – into a single currency, Adweek reports. Consolidating a few of these fractured media channels is a necessary precursor to the creation of a single holistic rating. Nielsen will rebrand two of its streaming measurement products, which the company said is also part of the buildup to the bigger rebrand with the switch to Nielsen One. The steady drumbeat of news and announcements will likely continue, too, because Nielsen is trying to fend off alternative measurement providers, since broadcasters are testing many other currencies or measurement providers right now, or outright disputing the notion of a single referee serving as the industry’s only currency. Nielsen wants those broadcasters to be testing its products, not alternatives.

Rethink Button

Digital ad prices are through the roof. The pause in ad spending during the pandemic led to an online boom, fueled as well by consumer trends as people added CTV subscriptions or changed their home internet service (sometimes with a switch from cable TV to streaming). But the increased competition has also jacked up ad prices. The cost of a Facebook CPM, for example, spiked 33% from late 2019, while Instagram CPMs jumped 23%, Axios reports. Costs per click on Google, meanwhile, are up 23%. The added costs are significantly more prohibitive for digital-native brands that depend on social platforms to find first-time customers, since most don’t have a retail presence. And along with price increases, online targeting has lost some of its muscle, mainly due to Apple’s recent iOS privacy changes and Google Chrome’s commitment to phase out third-party cookies. As a result, some ad budgets are shifting back to linear TV and even direct mail as marketers take a hard look at their strategy and media mix.

But Wait, There’s More!   

Comcast gets in on the smart TV game with the rollout of Sky Glass in Europe. [WSJ]

Google’s four main rivals are leaning on the EU to rein in the Chrome browser. [Insider]

Super League Gaming acquires Bloxbiz. [Ad Age]


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Facebook is pushing back against the FTC’s revised antitrust case. [Digiday]

Zynga acquired mobile game developer StarLark for $525M. [release]

TikTok added six certified sound partners to its marketing partners program. [Adweek]

You’re Hired

TBWA/Worldwide hires Ben Williams as global chief creative experience officer. [release]

Kathryn Spaeth joins Wavemaker as global chief transformation officer. [Campaign]

ID5 adds a senior director of publisher development, and head of legal. [release]

Wieden+Kennedy hires Jai Tedeschi as global director of culture and operations. [Ad Age]

FreeWheel promotes Virginie Dremeaux to VP of marketing and comms in Europe. [release]

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