Here’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign up here.
An Otter Acquisition
Most people are still busy digesting news of AT&T’s $1.6 billion acquisition of AppNexus – but the telco already has another little deal up its sleeve. AT&T is in the process of securing full ownership of Otter Media, the streaming media company it started as a $500 million joint venture with The Chernin Group in 2014, reports Digiday. AT&T is also in discussions with TV programmers to bring their cable content onto Vrv, a subscription streaming video distribution platform owned by Otter. Vrv mostly focuses on video content in the sci-fi, gaming and anime categories, but it has the infrastructure and direct-to-consumer ties AT&T needs to build out a channel store like Apple and Roku. “They already have full bundles and skinny bundles, so what’s next?” said Peter Csathy, founder of digital consulting firm Creatv Media. “[To] offer individual subscriptions all conveniently accessed through one app and on one bill.” Digiday has more.
Viral Video Antidote?
Publishers are pivoting to a different kind of video. Outlets including Vox, BuzzFeed and The New York Times are putting more resources behind long-form and episodic content rather than short viral videos, Axios reports. Viral clips, ubiquitous on Facebook just a few years ago – remember the watermelon? – proved an unstable source of ad revenue because their popularity was beholden to Facebook’s ever-changing feed algorithms. It may not make sense to ditch short-form video altogether, but long-form content may be a more effective way to grow a dedicated audience and licensing fees. Just look at Netflix’s recent deal with Vox to develop a news and explainer series. Selling ads against a series or show is also easier “in part because potential partners really understand what a premium show or episode is as opposed to a viral video – there’s transparency around it,” Shani Hilton, BuzzFeed’s VP of news programming, tells Axios. More.
Many of the longest-standing and best-known ad tech companies are fading away. It’s the end of an era for DoubleClick; Rocket Fuel was sunsetted by Sizmek and Amobee did the same with Turn. Collective rebranded to Visto in late 2017 and AppNexus will shed its name later this year after AT&T completes its acquisition, according to AdExchanger sources. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, perhaps, but for programmatic technology the rule is “whatever it takes to wash off this smell.”
But Wait, There’s More!
- Industry Insiders Buzzing About More AT&T Ad Tech Deals – Business Insider
- Video Makers Want YouTube To Change Subscription Tool – Reuters
- Unilever Global Media VP Master On Blockchain Goals – Beet.TV
- IMGN Tech-Driven Media Startup Raises $3M Series A – release
- Tech Platforms Are Now Pawns In The Culture War – BuzzFeed
- Microsoft And InMobi Sign Strategic Cloud Marketing Partnership – release
- CNN International Creates A Consultancy Unit – Digiday
- IAB Tech Lab Opens Beta Video Viewability For HTML5 – release
- Publicis Groupe Chief Data Officer Exits After 13 Years – Adweek
- G2 Crowd Co-Founder Godard Abel Takes On CEO Job – release
- Cadent Taps Eoin Townsend As Chief Product Officer – Multichannel News
- Jim Norton To Serve As IAB Executive-In-Residence – release
- Oath Taps Anna Winter As UK Managing Director – The Drum
- Spotify Names Dawn Ostroff Chief Content Officer – Variety
- Publicis Promotes Raja Trad To New Role Of Chairman, Middle East – release