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To Understand Where TV Is Going, Track The NFL; Ad Buyers Grapple With Real Data Emissions


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The NFL has a history of media and marketing innovation. If we’re keeping score, it was the first sports league to reach every TV in America, the first to invest in studio-style production and the first to mic players on the field. To this day, the NFL is a test engine for major advertisers to launch products or try new broadcast marketing tactics.

“While the goal of reaching everyone remains the same, the way we do it is not,” writes Brian Rolapp, NFL chief media and business officer, in Sports Illustrated.

One example is the NFL’s Nickelodeon broadcast – which was so popular that the league and network hastily added more to the schedule. (If you never caught the NFL on Nickelodeon, it’s a wild and hilarious way to reach young viewers.) 

But Big Tech clearly has big advantages compared to legacy broadcasters to continue that innovation. 

Amazon Prime recently won exclusive, streaming-only rights to the NFL’s Thursday Night games. And “thanks to computing power from our friends at Amazon Web Services,” Rolapp says, the NFL sharpened its scheduling, sifting for local sports, concerts and other conflicts to maximize ratings. Plus, Twitch will co-stream games.

Also, sigh … the NFL will launch a subscription service called NFL+. Though that’s leading from behind. 

Carbon Cabana​​

Programmatic’s carbon trail is no secret. All that real-time bidding requires computing power – and burns carbon. The challenge is to build tools that reduce its footprint and convince advertisers to use them.

Since WPP declared a net-zero carbon commitment last year, GroupM has been working with programmatic consultants (including Brian O’Kelley) to outline a solution that aligns with Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP) standards.


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Turns out, 98% of digital advertising’s carbon emissions stem from third-party partners and the vendor-ridden supply chain.

GroupM’s global carbon measurement framework categorizes data inputs to track channel-specific carbon emissions related to electricity consumption from online ad buying.

The framework can’t yet determine the carbon output of an individual vendor or publisher, but that’s the next step.

The ad tech industry needs to “enable rapid reduction [of emissions] – not just calculations and offsetting – by putting data in the hands of advertisers,” says Krystal Olivieri, GroupM global chief innovation officer.

WPP’s net-zero commitment is benchmarked for 2030, but Olivieri says advertisers can take small steps now by getting more selective with their buys, which means cutting out intermediaries.

The trend predates the sustainability push. Buy-side players are already going around SSPs to curate higher-quality supply. But now there’s a new rationale for advertisers to pay premiums for higher-quality investments.

Facebook Unfriends The News

Looks like Facebook is backing away from news publishing.

Meta diverted engineering and product support away from the Facebook News tab and Bulletin, a newsletter service that competes with Substack, The Wall Street Journal reports. 

Facebook will reallocate those resources to “building a more robust creator economy,” according to a memo from Meta’s head of media partnerships Campbell Brown obtained by the Journal.

Facebook’s official dalliance with news publishing goes back to the News tab launch in 2019. At the time, Facebook entered multiyear agreements with publishers like The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal that paid tens of millions of dollars (at the top end) to post content and stories. Facebook even tried to become a kind of CMS with the launch of Instant Articles, which never took off. 

But Meta decided not to renew its new deals last month.

The shift away from paid news is the result of Mark Zuckerberg’s flagging interest in the category, especially since many governments have written laws compelling Facebook (or Google) to pay to feature snippets or links for news stories.

The widespread condemnation of Facebook for propagating divisive and “fake” news on its platform didn’t help.

But Wait, There’s More!

Amazon sues the admins of over 1,000 Facebook Groups over fake review schemes. [WSJ]

How Instagram dynamics have reshaped Bollywood music. [Vice]

Adam Singer: How to report marketing results like a boss. [blog]

At long last, Snapchat launches a site to bring the app’s core features to desktop. [TechCrunch]

Reddit’s advertising policy seems to differ between subreddits. [Marketing Brew]

The B2B publisher Industry Dive sells to Informa, an events and publishing company, for $525 million. [Axios]

ANA releases first-ever guidelines for measuring influencer marketing. [MediaPost]

You’re Hired!

The Atlantic hires Alice McKown as publisher and EVP and Mary Liz McCurdy as SVP of strategic partnerships and business development. [release]

Aki Technologies taps Mike Paley as SVP of business development, retailers. [release]

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