In this week’s Week in Review: SpotX and DoubleVerify team up to tackle a new form of ad fraud, Rubicon Project drops its buy side fees as part of a transparency push, and WPP delivers disappointing Q3 results. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.
SpotX and DoubleVerify Tackle New Form of Ad Fraud
SpotX and DoubleVerify say they have identified a new form of ad fraud called ‘verification stripping’ which by their estimates is responsible for up to 10 percent of ad fraud spikes they see, and are releasing a new joint solution to combat it. The pair recently identified verification stripping as a new bot tactic through which fraudulent actors manipulate or “strip” out code transmitted to verification partners to hide evidence of domain spoofing and other fraud and in some cases, prevent impressions from passing through the verification process. The new solution is able to identify inventory that has been subject to verification stripping and remove the fraudulent supply sources from the platform, which SpotX says gives assurance to publishers and advertisers that impressions served on its platform are fraud-free.
Rubicon Project Drops Buy Side Fees
Rubicon Project announced this week that it is getting rid of buy side fees as part of a current push for greater transparency. According to a blog post explaining the decision, internal testing has shown that removing buyer fees encourages buyers to bid more actively and competitively, resulting in higher revenues for sellers, but the decision also comes after a period during which Rubicon Project has faced competition from other who don’t charge fees, and has come under scrutiny after being sued by the Guardian over undisclosed fees.
“This move to simplify our pricing model is the latest in a series of efforts to deliver value, transparency and control to our buyers and sellers. Moving ahead, we will continue to evolve our business and we look forward to providing further updates in the near future” said CEO and president Michael Barrett in the blog post.
WPP Reports Disappointing Earnings
WPP’s Q3 results showed disappointing earnings, causing the holding company to downgrade its earnings growth expectation for 2017 to zero. WPP saw reported Q3 revenue growth of 1.1 percent in sterling, but a fall of 0.4 percent with constant currency. “It’s not Facebook and Google, it’s not consulting” said CEO Martin Sorrell, speaking at the third quarter results presentation in London, “it’s the distortion caused by low interest rates”, leading to low growth and low client spending. Sorrell also revealed that his company has spent over $7 billion on Facebook and Google this year.
The Week in Tech
YuMe Launches “People-Based Video Marketing Solution”
YuMe this week launched its People-Based Marketing Suite to enable cross-screen audience targeting, sequential messaging, and attribution for U.S. audiences. YuMe’s says the new solution lets brand and agency clients create custom, screen-agnostic audiences intended to target consumers using device identifiers across online, mobile, tablet, smart TV and connected TV (CTV) devices.
To help deliver this, YuMe has partnered with Drawbridge to use their Connected Consumer Graph, which includes more than 1.3 billion consumers across more than 3.3 billion devices.
Snapchat Enables Pixel Tracking
Snapchat has launched a new tool to enhance ad tracking and targeting on its platform. The tool, called Snap Pixel, will help brands to monitor how Snapchat ads lead to website interaction, and also aid retargeting, though initially it will only be available for measurement use. CEO Evan Spiegel has previously described hyper-targeted advertising as “creepy”, but the step is seen by analysts as a necessary one for helping Snapchat compete with other ad-driven online companies.
Envivo and Cisco Launch OTT Service in Africa
Envivo announced plans this week to launch a new OTT streaming video service, nVIVO TV, in partnership with Cisco with the aim of offering subscribers throughout Africa access to more ‘Nollywood’ and international video content. The new offering, powered by Cisco’s Infinite Video Platform will allow streaming across mobile devices including phones, tablets and PCs. The new services will be available some time in early 2018.
The Week in TV
BBC Warns it’s Ability to Compete May Plateau as Costs Spiral
Craig Holleworth, the BBC’s head of business, drama, films and acquisitions, warned during a speech at the at the MIA Market TV and film conference that the BBC may lose its ability to compete with companies like Netflix and Amazon as the costs of producing quality TV shows rise.
“I wonder when the bubble will burst, at some point it probably will. [With] rising prices … about 5 years ago we could make a programme for under £1 million, now they’re costing two, three, four million. It’s incredible how much the market has changed with inflation, driven in the UK by tax credits and the rise of Netflix and Amazon,” the Telegraph reports Holleworth as saying.“It’s difficult for a public service broadcaster, particularly when funding is limited. We’ve had the same license fee for around eight years, so it is about how we partner with people to meet those budgets.”
YouTube TV App Released
YouTube’s paid subscription service which launched earlier this year, YouTube TV, is now properly being rolled out on connected-TV devices. The service was initially focussed on mobile, but now a YouTube TV app has been released for Android TV, with apps for Xbox One, Apple TV, Roku, and Samsung, Sony and LG TVs to be released over the coming weeks.
Online TV and Movie Piracy Losses to Reach $52 Billion says Digital TV Research
Digital TV Research’s Online TV Piracy Forecast predicts that revenues lost to online piracy will nearly double between 2016 and 2022, reaching to $51.6 billion. Covering 138 countries, these forecasts include revenues lost to TV episodes and movies – but not other sectors such as sports or pay TV, and the USA, China, and India are predicted to face the highest revenue piracy losses in 2022.
Simon Murray, Principal Analyst at Digital TV Research, said: “Piracy will never be eradicated. However, it is not all bad news. Piracy growth rates will decelerate as more effective government action is taken and as the benefits of legal choices become more apparent.”
The Week in Publishing
Facebook Puts End to Dark Posts
Facebook released new details in a blog post this week about its ongoing effort to increase transparency in its advertising, requiring all pages to make ads they run viewable to everyone. Advertisers were previously able to create ‘dark posts’, ads that were only ever seen by those who they were targeted at. Federal election related ads must also now provide details of how much was spent and which audiences they reached, with Facebook introducing new identity checks for political advertisers too.
The news was followed later in the week by an update from Facebook on the extent of Russia-funded political advertising during last year’s US election, with the social network estimating as many as 126 million Americans might have been exposed to Facebook posts paid for by Russia-linked groups.
AOP Releases Ad Quality Charter to Drive Digital Media Clean Up
The Association for Online Publishing (AOP) is inviting publishers to sign its new Ad Quality Charter, launched at the AOP’s Inside Out Digital Publishing Convention, which outlines terms supported by the AOP and aims to take the lead in promoting premium verified quality audiences and inventory. The charter covers issues including viewability, brand safety, and ad fraud, and outlines best practice guidelines which the AOP encourages the entire industry to adopt.
Sky Media Reaches 10,000 Milestone for Addressable TV Ad Campaigns
Sky Media’s AdSmart has now broadcast its 10,000th addressable TV ad campaign since its launch in 2014. Sky says its service has been successful in bringing back brands who had stopped TV advertising, and those that have never advertised on TV before, to use its addressable service.
Graeme Hutcheson, Director of Digital and Sky AdSmart at Sky Media said: “Addressable TV is growing the TV ad market by allowing brands of all shapes and sizes to harness the power, effectiveness and brand safe environment of TV. Because of Sky AdSmart, smaller and niche businesses are now able to compete with national brands on an even playing field. We would like to thank all our customers for their continued support and look forward to working with many more businesses that are yet to tap in the hugely successful approach to TV advertising.”
UK Ad Industry’s Record H1 Driven by Digital say AA/WARC
UK advertising expenditure grew 3.7 percent to £10.8bn during the first six months of 2017, the largest H1 total of any year since monitoring began in 1982 according to the Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report. The report finds that overall market growth is being driven by increased spend on digital advertising, which accounted for 54 percent of all advertising spend in the first half of the year (£5.8bn)., some £5.8bn of a total £10.8bn committed by advertisers.
Consumers Rank Premium Publishers Ahead of Facebook and Twitter says Sharethrough
Sharethrough on Monday released the results of a new UK survey which ranked premium publishers ahead of Facebook and Twitter for trust, transparency and engagement in the eyes of consumers.
The survey found that 79 percent of respondents thought it was very important to know the origins of news content, and they had more confidence in how premium publisher brands source their news than they do when they access news through social platforms. The survey also revealed consumers engage more deeply with news content on premium publisher sites than through social platforms, finding for example that respondents were 48 percent more likely to actually read an article on The Guardian than on Facebook.
Wistia Releases Inaugural State of Video for Business Report
Video platform Wistia has released its inaugural State of Video for Business report, outlining trends in video for business. The report studies the 6.7 million videos created and uploaded so far in 2017 by over 300,000 companies. Findings reveal businesses are incorporating more video into their engagement strategies, and reveals that video boosts email click-through rates, and helps sales representatives close deals. The data also suggests that people typically watch business videos while they’re at work, and that short, digestible content is preferred by businesses.
The Week for Agencies
New San Francisco Agency TBD Launched
180LA’s Rafael Rizuto, IDEO’s Virginia Wang and ARGONAUT’s Jordan Warren have collectively launched TBD, a new San Francisco based creative agency. According to the press release, TBD “will combine business and innovation strategy, creative communications and experience design with an agile approach to problem solving rather than a prescriptive set of solutions”.
Partnerships of the Week
TV4 Picks Yospace for Dynamic Ad Insertion
Swedish broadcaster TV4 has announced a partnership with Yospace to enable server-side dynamic ad insertions (DAI) on its live online content. Yospace’s tech has been used for dynamic ad insertion in TV4’s catch-up content since 2014, but its introduction to the TV4 Everywhere live stream service is a first for Sweden, where live stream advertising has so far been limited to pre-roll.
Pixability Joins Facebook Marketing Partner Program
Video advertising technology company Pixability been accepted into the Facebook Marketing Partner Program, which vets ad companies to then recommend to advertisers on Facebook. Pixability’s video ad technology equips advertisers with data-driven insights and targeting and optimization technology to help plan, buy, and report on high-performing video campaigns across Facebook and Instagram
“Pixability has achieved measurable success on Facebook for our brand and agency customers, and receiving Facebook’s Badge further verifies the quality of our technology solution, and the depth of our video expertise,” said Pixability Founder and CEO Bettina Hein in a statement.
Sizmek Partners with DoubleVerify, comScore and IAS
Sizmek on Thursday announced partnerships with DoubleVerify, comScore and Integral Ad Science (IAS) for greater HTML5 video measurement efficiency. Sizmek’s Verification API framework will work alongside Sizmek’s data enablement, creative optimisation and media execution capabilities and aims to provide a unified, streamlined way of trafficking, as opposed to manually wrapping and sending tags back and forth between technology providers.
David Gosen, GM EMEA at Sizmek, said in a statement: “These partnerships demonstrate Sizmek’s commitment to making the process of digital advertising as simple as possible. Together we make viewability measurement and reporting more streamlined and reduce the risk of errors being made. This will ultimately lead to greater efficiency, better results and client success.”
Hires of the Week
Lindsay Pattison Names as Chief Transformation Officer for WPP
Lindsay Pattison’s has been chosen to fill the new role of chief transformation officer for WPP, expanding her current role of the name name with GroupM. CEO Martin Sorrell is trying to promote greater coordination and more efficiency between its businesses, and has said that Pattison will play a key role in bringing this about.
Balan Nair Picked to Lead Liberty Global’s LatAm Operations
Liberty Global has picked Balan Nair for President and CEO of its Latin American and Caribbean operation which is due to split-off from Liberty Global towards the end of this year. Nair currently works as chief technology and innovation officer for the company, where he has held senior executive positions for ten years.
Ofer Druker to Join Tremor Video DSP as Executive Chairman
Taptica-owned Tremor Video DSP will take on Ofer Druker, previously of Soho Digital International and Cydoor Desktop Media, as its executive chairman from next year. Druker’s focus will be on “strategic matters, data partnerships, expanding Tremor into further global markets and engaging with the supply side segment” according to a company statement.
Russell Isaacson Appointed VP of Sales at Protected Media
Ad fraud solution provider Protected Media has hired Russell Issacson, previously of Sovrn Holdings, as VP of sales as part of expansion which includes the opening of a New York office. Isaacson will help ensure the legitimacy and effectiveness of Protected Media’s digital media investments, according to a company statement.
The Week on Van
AI is Only as Good as the Data that Feeds it say Texture AI’s James Carney, read more on VAN
Why Open Road Films has Shunned TV Ads for ‘All I See is You’, read more on VAN
Hot or Not: VR, AI and Blockchain, read more on VAN
NYIAX Want to “Change Everything” in Ad Trading, read more on VAN
Video Takes Centre Stage as Facebook Delivers Huge Growth, read more on VAN
Ad of the Week
Oxfam, The Heist No One is Talking About
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