Google Releases Second-Ever Advanced TV Report; Supreme Court Lets FCC Relax Media Ownership Rules

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CTV Winning

Google Ad Manager’s second annual Advanced TV Inventory Report is out, and surprise! Connected TV was a big winner during the pandemic last year. The report analyzed 35 global advanced TV partners. In Q2 2020 — at the height of the downturn — CTV was the only device where ad impressions grew year over year. While advanced TV ad impressions collectively declined 18%, CTV increased 14% YoY, fueled in part by increased viewership due to the pandemic. Impressions on OTT streaming apps grew 90% YoY, compared to 35% web viewership growth. Meanwhile, programmatic transactions grew by more than 70% and represented more than 80% of all impressions in Q4. Also, live content viewership bounced back in 2020. Although VOD represented 55% of TV ad impressions on digital devices, ad impressions served to live audiences increased by 85% globally YoY in Q4. The report found that 45% of ads served in live content were seen via CTV — suggesting that people prefer to livestream from their living rooms — while 40% of ad impressions in VOD content were watched on mobile devices. Read on.

Consolidation Ruling

Add one to the win column for the nation's broadcasters. NBC News reports that the Supreme Court on Thursday ruled that the Federal Communications Commission could begin to relax the rules restricting single-company ownership of multiple media outlets in a community, clearing the way for more industry consolidation. The justices overturned a lower court ruling that blocked the FCC from carrying out a Trump administration effort to repeal some media cross-ownership rules, after the industry argued that consolidation would help it remain competitive as audiences increasingly move to online sources. "The FCC considered the record evidence on competition, localism, viewpoint diversity, and minority and female ownership, and reasonably concluded that the three ownership rules no longer serve the public interest," Justice Brett Kavanaugh wrote, saying that the limits on cross ownership were adopted at a time when media sources were more limited. Facebook also scored a win — in a separate ruling, the court said that Facebook did not violate the federal law governing robocalls when it sent text messages to a man who said he never had an account with the social media company. Read on

Bulking SPO

PubMatic has certainly been bulking up since going public, and it plans on adding more muscle. We’re not talking whey protein: In an interview with Digiday, CEO Rajeev Goel discussed plans to build on its momentum throughout the rest of 2021, particularly around supply-path optimization (SPO). More than 20% of the ad buying on PubMatic’s platform in Q4 came from SPO agreements, compared to around 10% for the first quarter. AdExchanger reported in February that PubMatic has been deepening its relationship with the buy side and making SPO deals with marketers, such as P&G and Bayer, and striking more deals as consumers seek transparency into their supply chain. “We’re in the early stages of SPO where the market still mainly revolves around the early adopters,” Goel told Digiday. “These deals can take quite a while to implement, even after the deal is in place. A lot of our activity in this area last year came from us scaling up deals that were agreed to at the start of the year. It’s a complex thing for agencies and advertisers to do, which is why we see more interest from the latter, not the former.”

But Wait, There’s More!

InMobi is planning a US IPO reportedly valued at up to $15 billion. [Mint]

Facebook staff are concerned that the company is being used as a conduit for state propaganda, highlighting sponsored posts from Chinese organizations that purport to show Muslim ethnic minorities thriving. [WSJ]

Inside PrendeTV, Univision’s new AVOD service that launched last week. [CampaignUS]

Brands are turning to loyalty programs in order to ease into a post-cookie world. [Glossy]

How employees can check if company Black Lives Matter promises held true. [Adweek]

That spotty Wi-Fi? Biden has a $100 billion plan to fix it. [NYT]

You’re Hired!

Crocs promotes Heidi Cooley to CMO. [CampaignUS]

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