Google, The Guardian And MightyHive Test Ads.txt; Skinny Bundles Fattening Up

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Still Spoofin’

The Guardian teamed up with Google and MightyHive to investigate the state of domain spoofing on the open exchange and found Ads.txt has been an effective deterrent when implemented by buyers, but that many still pay for fake inventory on unauthorized exchanges. The test found 72% of programmatic video spend went to unauthorized exchanges, many of which claimed to sell inventory. The Guardian bought inventory from these exchanges and did not receive money for the sale. But it saw no spoofed inventory or discrepancies in revenue when working with authorized exchanges. “It’s unacceptable to see nearly 72% of video spend going to unauthorized exchanges and SSPs – it’s a scenario which shortchanges both buyers and sellers,” said Brendan Cleary, VP of programmatic sales and ad operations at the Guardian US. More.

Horses In Midstream

The five largest TV streaming services – Sling TV, DirecTV Now, Hulu with Live TV, YouTube TV and Sony’s PlayStation Vue – total almost 6 million subscribers, The Information reports. The category has grown about 75% since last October, though it pales in comparison to the 92 million people who still subscribe to cable or satellite. Still, that means there’s plenty of potential growth if streaming services cut more cords. And they’re going to need to see long-term growth to cover aggressive spending on programming and future costs. YouTube TV spends on average $9 more on content per month than it charges per subscriber. And as broadcasters consolidate, skinny bundles are struggling to remain skinny. When Discovery merges with Scripps, Hulu will be forced to add the Discovery networks into its bundle. And Sling TV could have CBS forced down its throat by a potential merger with Viacom. More.

Death By Print

Tronc has slashed newsroom staff at the New York Daily News by half and fired its editor-in-chief, Jim Rich. Managing editor Kristin Lee will also leave the paper, The New York Times reports. The Daily News, once one of New York’s most popular tabloids, has been effectively on death row since the struggling paper was snatched by Tronc in September 2017 for a reported $1. Shortly after announcing the cuts in a Monday morning meeting, Tronc sent a memo to employees that said the paper had “not gone far enough” in evolving with the digital world. More.

Pitch A Fit

Twenty-one independent Chinese agencies recently banded together to support a new policy asking brands to pay a small fee for time and resources spent on pitches. Offering a small upfront payment is “a way for brand owners to show respect for hard work, to exchange in good faith, and to seek the best partner,” according to an open letter published by the agencies. The idea seems unlikely to gain traction in China or other markets but does reflect the tough times that have fallen on agencies and agency holding companies, AdAge reports. “More frequent pitches have not only failed to inspire better ideas for solving clients’ business challenges, but have led to more unstable relationships between agencies and clients,” said Josephine Pan, CEO of FCB Shanghai (not one of the 21 agencies to co-sign the letter). “A healthy industry is fewer pitches and more long-term partnerships.” More.

But Wait, There’s More!

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