AT&T’s Lesser Coy On AppNexus Buy; Facebook Rakes In The Ad Revenue

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Rumors And Rosé

“Cannes is really good at rosé, heat, parties and rumors,” Brian Lesser, president of AT&T’s Advertising and Analytics group, told CNBC at the Cannes Lions Festival on Wednesday. The rumors swirling at Cannes this year center on AT&T’s reported deal for AppNexus. Lesser wouldn’t comment on the AppNexus reports, but said the company does need more tech. And AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson told CNBC last week to expect ad tech deals in the coming weeks. AT&T is uniquely well-placed to capitalize on ad tech capabilities, Lesser said. For example, it’s already got technology that can identify an AT&T mobile customer watching a DirecTV broadcast and use TV ads to prompt mobile calls to action, like the ability to learn more about a car or buy an item of clothing. Now that AT&T has a television and studio content library – Time Warner and its Turner broadcast networks – “we can really get to work and hit the gas,” Lesser said. Watch the interview.

“Facebook Surge” Makes Waves

Advertising investment worldwide will grow by 4.5% this year and by 3.9% in 2019, according to GroupM’s mid-year global media forecast. Greater spending on digital advertisements will drive 95% of the growth in 2018, the group predicted, and will drive 99% of growth in 2019. Most of that comes from Facebook, which increased its global digital market share from 15% in 2015 to 27% in 2017. That “Facebook Surge” will finally show signs of slowing down soon, said Adam Smith, futures director at GroupM – but not too much. “Facebook growth seems likely to remain well into double digits in 2018,” he said. Read the release. But don’t just take GroupM’s word for it. Magna’s global ad revenue forecast pegs the ad market to grow by 6.4% this year, thanks in large part to Facebook and Google. More on that in AdExchanger.


Tiring of copying Snapchat features, Instagram announced its bid to scoop market share from YouTube Wednesday with the launch of a long-form curated video service. IGTV, as it’s being called, will allow creators to upload hour-long videos, a big upgrade from the previous one-minute limit, writes Josh Constine in TechCrunch. The videos will be accessible from a button inside the main Instagram app and through a standalone app that’ll spotlight popular videos from Insta celebs. Competition for YouTube could be good for creators looking for a better rev share – YouTube creators make most of their money through advertising – but Fortune reports Instagram isn’t planning to pay its video creators, although if they happen to already have marketing deals in place with third-party companies they’ll be able to display those ad links in their IGTV profile page. “It’s time for video to move forward and evolve,” said Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom at IGTV’s launch event in San Francisco. YouTube, your move.

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