CTV Drives Digital Video Ad Spend; Twitter Snaps Up Scroll

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CTV On Top

People love to talk about streaming surpassing linear TV viewership, and that trend shows no sign of slowing down. Digital video advertising is on track to account for more than half of total video ad spend and to outpace traditional TV by next year, according to a new IAB outlook released to coincide with the NewFronts. CTV and related technology solutions have dominated the NewFronts this year. During its presentation, Vizio noted that OTT buying needs to be done “in lockstep” with linear buys, and that it no longer makes sense for advertisers to have standalone TV buying strategies. The shift to audience buying has resulted in increased demand for CTV, said Eric John, VP of the IAB Media Center. “This is a bellwether moment in media that reflects the continued acceleration and shift to digital,” he said. CTV ad spend experienced 22% growth year-over-year in 2020 – its highest gains to date – while nearly three quarters (73%) of CTV buyers report shifting budget from broadcast and cable to CTV this year. Advertisers, on average, spent $20 million on CTV in 2020, and more than a third (35%) of buyers expect to increase the amount they spend on CTV video in 2021. Read on.

On A Scroll

Slightly more than three months after acquiring newsletter startup Revue, Twitter continued its acquisition spree on Tuesday with the purchase of Scroll, a $5-a-month subscription service that scrubs ads from news sites. Unlike a classic ad blocker, Scroll sends a portion of a user’s subscription fee to the participating sites that a person visits, The Verge reports. So, what does Twitter want to do with Scroll? Sounds like Twitter is planning to slot Scroll into the subscription service it’s been working on. In a blog post announcing the acquisition, Mike Park, Twitter’s VP of product, shared the company’s vision for how it’ll all come together: “As a Twitter subscriber, picture getting access to premium features where you can easily read articles from your favorite news outlet or a writer’s newsletter from Revue, with a portion of your subscription going to the publishers and writers creating the content.” Fun fact: Scroll’s CEO is Tony Haille, who was also the founding CEO of analytics firm Chartbeat back in the day. Haile, along with all 13 Scroll employees, will be joining Twitter.

Decision Desk

Facebook’s oversight board is expected today to make a decision on whether to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s Facebook and Instagram pages, In the past few weeks, Facebook reps have been quietly working to prepare ad agency executives for the long-anticipated ruling, The Wall Street Journal reports. Specifically, Facebook is taking pains to explain the board’s process in detail and emphasize that Facebook’s own management team has no sway over the board’s decision. During one call with an ad agency, Facebook policy execs reportedly seemed to be trying to gauge how advertisers would react to various outcomes. Facebook suspended Trump earlier this year after saying that his posts helped to incite the Capitol riot on Jan. 6. But even if Trump is reinstated, don’t expect brands to suddenly stop spending on Facebook. “If a brand was to jump off of Facebook because they felt it was inappropriate for Trump to be on, they could potentially alienate the 75 million people that voted for him,” said Barry Lowenthal, chief executive officer of Media Kitchen.

But Wait, There’s More!

WarnerMedia's new ad-sales head, JP Colaco, is forming his leadership team. Here are his top deputies and some of the open roles he's looking to fill. [Business Insider]

The UK is poised to see a massive wave of ad spend as quarterly reports and forecasts bode well for swift recovery. [Adweek]

Account-based marketing vendor Demandbase had made two acquisitions: sales and marketing intel platform InsideView and technographic data provider DemandMatrix. [MarTech Today]

PubMatic is extending its fraud-free program to CTV, which provides a money-back guarantee for demand-side partners if fraud is verified on the SSP’s platform. [release]

Sinclair Broadcast Group has entered into a multiyear partnership with Operative Media in order to consolidate all of its inventory across platforms and markets into a single ad sales system. [release]

Growth marketing platform OnePortal is giving free access to its first-party cookie-based ad offering. [release]

Market intelligence company has raised a $22 million Series B round led by Baird Capital. [VentureBeat]

Admix is partnering with Integral Ad Science to independently measure its in-game advertising. [release]

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