Here’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign up here.
Reddit, Set, Go
That plucky startup Reddit picked up $410 million in new venture funding from Fidelity, and may raise as much as $700 million in a new round valuing the company at $10 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports. The company raised about $500 million in February, when it was valued at $6.5 billion. Reddit’s been flexing its pricing power in some categories – Redditors have confounded Wall Street investors this year by creating huge, bizarre runs on stocks like GameStop and AMC. Reddit’s ad revenue cleared $100 million in Q2, topping nine digits in a quarter for the first time. Though, interestingly, Reddit recently pulled the plug on all programmatic ads (https://www.reddit.com/ads.txt). That’s also no surprise. Reddit has been on and off with programmatic, largely because of how difficult it is to avoid brand safety or suitability trip wires. Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said the plan is still to IPO. “To go out successfully, there’s a lot of work between here and there and a lot of things we need to do.”
Nielsen is hitting pause on the Media Ratings Council accreditation of its National TV ratings. This is an “I dumped him first” situation, since some broadcast industry groups and particular networks wanted Nielsen stripped of its rating. Nielsen said the National TV ratings hiatus will allow it to focus MRC auditing efforts on “panel concerns” and Nielsen ONE, a cross-media currency expected to launch in Q4 2022. Nielsen has been under fire for months for undercounting TV viewership during the pandemic, an allegation backed up by the MRC in May. To be clear, Nielsen’s National TV ratings will still be in regular use, but the company – long synonymous with traditional TV measurement – will be without an independent “seal of approval” for a while, Variety reports.
The Creator Lotto
All the social platforms are bidding for creators as they follow in TikTok’s footsteps with short, viral videos. But it’s a costly effort, and is difficult to compete with YouTube’s ad revenue share. Since last November, Snapchat paid out $1 million per day to creators who posted to Spotlight, its content discovery and entertainment portal. But that fund appears to be running dry, CNBC reports. Snap said it’s still active, but the payments are more judicious – they pay out popular creators in particular niches, for instance, rather than using total views. Spotlight minted dozens of millionaires, but no reliable monetization for creators. Creators have shifted somewhat to Instagram Reels (its answer to TikTok), with Facebook dangling a $1 billion creators fund to incentivize new content over the next year and a half. And YouTube created a $100 million fund to incentivize new Shorts videos (you guessed it … a TikTok clone) through 2022. But YouTube doesn’t need to outbid rivals on endless creator lotteries, because making popular content for YouTube can already be a job. (h/t Dare Obasanjo)
But Wait, There’s More!
Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy is raising eyebrows among UK antitrust officials. [WSJ]
Merkle plugs its Merkury ID into Magnite. [release]
Trusted Media Brands acquires Jukin Media. [Variety]
Amazon vet Jeff Wilke among investors in the ad targeting startup CivicScience. [GeekWire]
Oliver hires Jeffrey Gorder as chief growth officer. [Campaign]
Videon taps Tricia Iboshi as CEO. [LightReading]