Discovery CEO Blasts Nielsen; Twitch Launches A New Ad Format

Here’s today’s news round-up… Want it by email? Sign up here.

Big Discovery

Fresh off the news that it will merge with WarnerMedia next year to create a media behemoth, Discovery Inc. reported powerhouse earnings in Q2. Discovery ended Q2 with 17 million direct-to-consumer subscribers, up from 11 million last quarter, netting the company $400 million, Adweek reports. That includes Discovery Plus, the ad-supported streaming service that launched in January, though the company didn’t include specific subscriber numbers for the platform. CEO David Zaslav, who will lead the combined company when the deal with WarnerMedia is finalized – which could give it a huge competitive edge in the streaming wars – also had some “scathing” words for Nielsen after it underreported audience measurement during the pandemic. “It’s massively disappointing that Nielsen can’t get its act together, and the answer is we’ve lost money. Everyone’s lost money. You’re dealing with a very antiquated delivery system. We’ve all learned how to get along with it, we do it by augmenting it with our own data. But recently they’ve just been wrong,” he said.

Talk About Viewability

Twitch is introducing a new, less disruptive ad format called Stream Display Ads, which serves display ads in or around a stream without stopping or obscuring the content itself. The ads last for 10 seconds, and users can’t close out or minimize the ads, The Verge reports. Twitch also said it won’t serve more than eight per hour. The other ads on Twitch are mainly pre-roll and mid-roll video spots that pause the livestream. In theory, Twitch could run video spots in the new format, similar to how TV stations might run a splitscreen of a commercial and live play during a sports broadcast. Twitch is also in the process of being integrated directly into the Amazon DSP for programmatic buyers. That integration is anticipated as a way to extend video reach to younger audiences, but off-site display is the Amazon DSP’s bread and butter, and these Twitch display units might fit the bill as well. 

More Walled Gardens?

Are app installs on the way out? Apple’s AppTrackingTransparency (ATT) framework and national privacy regulations will create platforms that are “content fortresses,” filled with their first-party data and unreliant on the App Store for distribution, according to Mobile Dev Memo editor Eric Seufert. Essentially, ATT could lead to more walled gardens. Native platform content such as FB Shops, Snapchat’s Spotlight and TikTok’s Jumps feature are changing the content discovery landscape. “This content feels native to these platforms based on historical precedent and context. But it won’t always feel that way. Other platform and regulatory initiatives motivated by privacy will push other forms of content into these content fortresses in ways that steal viability from the broader mobile landscape. Influencer content and viral videos are the first step. Perhaps the next step represents the end of app installs,” Seufert writes

But Wait, There’s More!  

Publicis Groupe formed a global ecommerce partnership with TikTok. [The Drum]

Cable and internet companies will benefit big time from the $1T infrastructure bill. [WSJ

Data Axle acquires Exact Data, SMB marketing services firm. [release]

S4 Capital merged MediaMonks and MightyHive to form Media.Monks. [Ad Age]

iMedia acquires Synacor’s advertising business segment. [release]

Blanket opt-out tools are not in compliance with the California Consumer Privacy Act. [Digiday]

Bounteous announces investment from New Mountain Capital. [release]

Edelman acquired Basilinna. [Campaign

Verve Group added Pixalate’s analytics tool to its fraud detection capabilities. [release]

Twitter teamed up with The Associated Press and Reuters to help curb the spread of misinformation on its platform. [TechCrunch]

You’re Hired

Horizon Media tapped Karen Hunt as West Coast president. [MediaPost]

Lamar Advertising hired Sukhvinder Singh as SVP, technology innovation. [Martech Series]

Deloitte Digital hired Kenny Gold as managing director, head of social, content and influencer. [LinkedIn]

Enjoying this content?

Sign up to be an AdExchanger Member today and get unlimited access to articles like this, plus proprietary data and research, conference discounts, on-demand access to event content, and more!

Join Today!