The Big Story: Will Google Reopen YouTube?

The Big Story podcast

Digital advertising is poised to grow despite a looming economic slowdown, according to midyear advertising forecasts from Zenith and GroupM.

The macro trends are distressing: As inflation rises, tech stocks crater, and the potential for a recession increases. The only certainty is that uncertainty is on the horizon. But even though both Zenith and GroupM cut their growth forecasts for digital advertising, both agencies are projecting more than 10% growth.

Still, signs of a slowdown are evident, from excess stock piling up at retailers, such as Target, to companies like Microsoft pulling TV advertising in an effort to avoid layoffs.

But while tech stocks are down overall, former digital media darling BuzzFeed is breaking records. BuzzFeed’s stock price has decreased by more than 80% from the time of its IPO late last year. When employee share lockups expired last week, the stock took a nosedive. Not a great sign of confidence among those who know the business intimately.

Then we discuss Google’s reported plan to compromise with European competition regulators to avoid an $18 billion fine. According to Reuters, Google is considering allowing outside ad tech companies access to YouTube inventory for the first time since 2015.

When Google took YouTube inventory out of AdX, third-party ad tech companies lost millions.

Although restoring access to YouTube inventory could help save Google billions of dollars in fines, regulators are going to want more before they settle. Listeners, what else should Google offer up to resolve the EU’s antitrust case?

Regulators around the world are watching.


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