Viant Going Big On CTV; Publisher-Direct Deals On YouTube Prove Challenging

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Booming Biz

The DSP Viant reported a year-over-year revenue increase of 66% to $50.4 million. Viant IPOed in February, part of a recent boom in programmatic companies on the public market. As with most of those companies, Viant is going big on CTV, which more than doubled in the past year. In many cases, high year-over-year CTV growth rates indicate that those budgets were relatively small a year ago. But Viant CEO Tim Vanderhook told investors that CTV is “not only our fastest-growing channel, but also our largest channel by any metric.” The company reported a net loss of $18 million and expects to earn between about $210 million for the full year. “We feel great about our strong positioning in the market and we are in the very early stages of capitalizing on the market opportunity for programmatic advertising.”


Publishers can sell direct ads for their YouTube channels, but they’re finding it harder to attract those deals because YouTube offers the same inventory at a significant discount. The issue is particularly keen for digital media companies like BuzzFeed and Vice that produce a lot of content at a high production value – plus lending their respectable news brands to YouTube – The Information reports. A brand-name publisher often sells a direct deal on YouTube for $25 per CPM. But YouTube has that same publisher’s inventory available in the $5 to $10 range. News companies make the pitch that advertisers will know the quality of the content and have strong contextual signals with a direct deal (plus a dash of sentimentality about supporting journalism). But it’s hard to compete with the numbers. “The power of YouTube is in its scale and reach,” said OpenSlate CEO Mike Henry. “Trying to sell just a part of it, as traditional publishers are, can be challenging.”

Walmart’s Summer Of Savings

Walmart US named Publicis Groupe as its new media agency after a review this summer. “​​Walmart, one of America’s largest advertisers, continues to push forward to be a best-in-class marketing organization, acknowledging that agency partners play a pivotal role in that journey,” according to a Walmart press release. MediaLink oversaw the RFP process. Publicis had a foot in the door, so to speak, since it’s been Walmart’s creative agency for the past five years. Reading the tea leaves, the move is probably not good for Criteo, a major Walmart ad reseller. As Walmart develops its own self-serve platform, it has less need for a reseller. And last month, Publicis acquired CitrusAd, a retail media startup that emerged as Criteo’s boldest challenger. It will also be interesting to see whether other global brands consolidate creative and media agency accounts – many holdco’s have already squashed their own creative and media shops into single units. 

But Wait, There’s More!  

The Media Ratings Council could remove Nielsen’s accreditation as early as this week. [Adweek]

Disney Plus saw its subscriber numbers reach 116 million globally in Q2. [Campaign]

Reddit is launching a video feed button on iOS that’s similar to TikTok. [TechCrunch]

Unscrupulous performance marketers sell Catholic Church abuse victim contacts to law firms as class-action deadline looms. [Business Insider]

HBO Max is scrambling to fix glitches in its app. [Vulture]

You’re Hired

Electric Entertainment hired Anthony Tapay as director of programming and operations. [TVTechnology]

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