In this week’s Week in Review: Ofcom says the UK is becoming a “nation of streamers”, CTV climbs to account for nearly 40 percent of Telaria’s revenues, and ProSiebenSat.1 says Joyn is proving popular with audiences. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.
Half of UK Households Now Subscribe to SVOD Services
Nearly half of all UK households (47 percent) now have at least one subscription to one of the major subscription video on-demand (SVOD) services, according to Ofcom’s Media Nations report this week. This is up from 39 percent last year, demonstrating the rapid rate at which adoption of these services is still growing.
Traditional TV viewing, which includes linear viewing and catch-up viewing, still accounts for 69 percent of TV time in the UK – though the amount of traditional TV viewing fell by 11 minutes per day to 3 hours and 12 minutes. While this may sound relatively small, Ofcom put it into perspective saying 34 extra series of the BBC’s popular series Bodyguard would need to have been broadcast and watched in 2018 to cancel out this decline.
CTV Grows to 40 Percent of Telaria’s Revenues
Telaria posted Q2 financial results this week in which revenues climbed 47 percent year-on-year to $18.2 million, while gross profits rose 31 percent to $14.7 million. But the overall loss of $0.03 per share came in higher than predictions of $0.02 per share, with Telaria’s stock price falling by over twenty percent as a result.
One of the more interesting aspects of Telaria’s results though was the growing importance of connected-TV (CTV) revenues to the company, with CTV sales now accounting for 39 percent of all revenues. CTV revenues grew 133 percent year-on-year, driven partly of Telaria’s addition of addressable targeting capabilities for CTV, as well as the addition of new OTT publishers to Telaria’s platform. “As programmatic CTV continues to scale, we believe we are well-positioned to take advantage of this growth,” said CEO Mark Zagorski.
ProSiebenSat.1 Says Joyn is Aleady Four Times More Popular Than its Predecessor
ProSiebenSat.1 posted mixed financial results this week, with revenues up four percent to €947 million, but total advertising revenues down by two percent. However, its digital and smart ad revenues grew by 26 percent – the loss came from TV core advertising revenues, which fell by three percent.
But one bright spot for the company was the success of its recently launched streaming service Joyn, which it built in partnership with Discovery. ProSieben said that Joyn has 3.8 million monthly users across devices, making it already four times more popular than its predecessor 7TV.
The Week in Tech
Facebook Sues App Developers for Click Injection Fraud
Facebook announced this week it has filed a lawsuit against two app developers, LionMobi and JediMobi, for click injection fraud. The developers created apps which infected users’ phones with malware, which then generated fake user clicks on Facebook ads on those users’ phones. Facebook says the two have been banned from Audience Network, and that impacted advertisers have been refunded.
Lotame Launches Lotame TV
Lotame this week announced the launch of Lotame TV, a new product which it says enables advertisers to connect, build, target, activate, and analyse TV viewership audiences for cross-screen digital campaigns through DSP partners such as AppNexus, Verizon Media, Google DBM, The Trade Desk, Adobe, and Amobee. “With Lotame TV, we have enabled impressive data connectivity between TV, a traditionally siloed channel, and digital,” said Tricia Masturzo, director of data and advanced TV solutions at Lotame. “By providing access to rich TV audience data and connecting it with DSPs to target TV viewers across digital platforms and channels, from mobile to desktop, Lotame allows advertisers to more effectively engage consumers wherever they are, maximising their investments.”
The Trade Desk’s Q2 Revenues Surpass $150 Million
The Trade Desk’s hot streak continued in Q2 as the company delivered another strong quarter, with revenues growing 42 percent to $159 billion. Mobile performed particularly well for the company, with mobile video spend growing 50 percent and mobile in-app growing 63 percent – total mobile revenues accounted for 47 percent of gross spend for the quarter. Connected TV revenues meanwhile continue to grow, with CEO Jeff Green describing Trade Desk’s recent partnership with Amazon to sell publishers’ Fire TV inventory “one of our most important initiatives in CTV to date”.
Roku Invests in New Ad Formats as Advertising Continues to Drive Impressive Growth
Advertising is continuing to drive Roku’s impressive growth, with the company’s overall net revenues growing 59 percent year on year in Q2 to $250 million. While Roku was once solely an over-the-top (OTT) device manufacturer, the company’s move into advertising has seen ad sales become a key revenue stream for the company, with the company investing in new formats to help continue this growth. Read the full story on VAN.
Google Announces Support for App-ads.txt
Google this week announced its support for the IAB Tech Lab’s app-ads.txt standard, a version of its ads.txt standard designed for apps. App-ads.txt is designed to prevent unauthorised or domain-spoofed inventory from being transacted across mobile, connected TV and other devices. “We’ve actively contributed to the specification of app-ads.txt since the beginning and will support the standard across all relevant products including AdMob and Ad Manager,” the company said in a blog post. “Starting August 27, 2019, we will begin to block ad serving of unauthorised app inventory in both AdMob and Ad Manager as identified by a publisher’s app-ads.txt file.”
The Week in TV
Amazon Isn’t Opening Up Fire TV So Much After All
After news last week of Amazon opening up access to Fire TV ad inventory for The Trade Desk and Dataxu, the Wall Street Journal reported this week that this is limited to inventory not sold by Amazon itself. Amazon owns inventory both via its own apps, like IMDb TV and Twitch, and through deals it agrees with publishers who give Amazon a slice of their inventory in return for being on the platform. None of this inventory will be available to the two DSPs, the WSJ reports – but Amazon is letting app publishers set up private marketplaces for their Fire TV inventory via Dataxu and The Trade Desk.
Viacom Ad Sales Climb After Five Year Slump
US media giant Viacom said domestic ad sales grew by six percent, the first uptick in five years, which CEO Bob Bakish said “ushers in a new era” for the company’s operations. Bakish said OTT service Pluto TV, which it bought earlier this year, was a big contributor to ad sales growth and the company’s successful upfronts. Pluto TV’s user base has also grown significantly since the acquisition, rising from 12 million monthly active users in January to 18 million now.
The company is meanwhile still negotiating a merger with CBS, a move which has been attempted several times since the two split in 2005. The two had reportedly been hoping to have reached a deal in time for their financial results this week, but are still yet to agree on the exchange ratio according to CNBC.
Disney Unveils Netflix-Competitive Price for Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu Streaming Bundle
Disney this week unveiled fresh details behind the pricing of its upcoming streaming service, Disney+. Disney+ on its own will cost $6.99 at launch, but consumers will be able to a buy a bundle of Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ subscriptions for $12.99 per month – the same prices as Netflix’s most popular streaming plan. CEO Bob Iger said marketing for the new service will begin in full force at the end of this month, saying that “comprehensive is probably understatement” for the marketing strategy. Iger described Disney+ as “the most important product that the company has launched during my tenure in the job”.
RTL and ProSieben Get Approval for Addressable TV JV
Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland and ProSiebenSat.1 got approval from Germany’s competition regulator this week for their proposed joint venture which will see them cooperate on addressable TV advertising, as well as digital video advertising. The two plan to create a unified platform for booking addressable TV and digital video campaigns across the two company’s properties.
The Week in Publishing
Twitter Removes Third Party Data from Ad Platform Following Data Leaks
Twitter announced this week that data from third party sources will no longer be available to advertisers via its ad buying platform. Any advertisers wishing to leverage third party data will instead have to buy the data themselves outside of Twitter, though Twitter says it will vet these data sources too. The company had earlier in the week revealed that it may have leaked users’ data to advertising and measurement partners without users’ permissions, and also used data to target ads at some users who hadn’t given permission. Twitter says these issues have now been fixed, and claims the clamping down on third party data sources is unrelated to the leak.
New York Times Expects Ad Revenue Drop in H2
The New York Times Group reported Q2 revenue growth of 5.2 percent this week, as the number of paid subscriptions continues to grow, reaching 4.7 million across digital and print. Operating profits were down from $40 million last year to $37.9 million last quarter, which chief executive Mark Thompson attributed to investment in the subscription business. But the company’s stock price fell by over 18 percent in the wake of the results as it warned it expects ad sales to struggle in the second half of the year. In Q2, digital ad revenues were up 14 percent while print ad sales fell by eight percent. But in Q3 and Q4, the company expects total ad revenue and digital ad revenue to both be down compared to last year.
Snap to Raise $1 Billion for Content, AR, and Potentially M&A
Snap announced on Tuesday that it will raise $1 billion in short term debt in order to finance investments in more content, in new augmented reality features, and also possibly acquisitions. “We will continue to focus on developing our content, gaming, and augmented reality platforms to enhance the Snapchat experience for our community,” CEO Evan Spiegel said in a note to employees seen by Reuters.
New Media to Buy Gannett for $1.4 Billion
New Media, owner of US local print and digital media giant GateHouse Media, has agreed a $1.4 billion deal to buy Gannett, which owns USA Today alongside a number of local newspapers. The deal brings together America’s largest newspaper group by number of titles with its largest newspaper group by circulation, according to the Wall Street Journal. New Media’s CEO Michael Reed will be CEO of the combined company, which expects to make savings of up to $300 million annually by cutting overlapping costs.
The Week for Agencies
WPP Shares Rise as Q2 Results Beat Expectations
WPP revealed better than expected results in its Q2 financial report this week, with its share price rising over eight percent after the announcement. Overall revenues in H1 grew 1.6 percent to £7.6 billion, though revenues were down by 0.6 percent on a like-for-like basis. Profits before tax meanwhile fell by 43.5 percent, though this was attributed to an exceptional H1 2018 gain which wasn’t repeated, and a charge on the revaluation of financial instruments versus a credit in 2018.
“WPP’s performance in the second quarter was slightly ahead of our internal expectations but in line with our full-year guidance and three-year strategic targets,” said CEO Mark Read. “Clients are responding well to our new offer, as evidenced by recent wins and expanded assignments including from eBay, Instagram and L’Oréal. An encouraging number of our businesses and markets are achieving good growth.”
TikTok Chooses PHD as Global Media Agency
Video sharing app TikTok has chosen Omnicom’s PHD as its global media agency of record for all markets outside of its native China, the company announced this week. “This is yet another validation of our brand-led, group-powered approach in delivering market-leading solutions for our clients,” said Omnicom Media Group’s COO Claudine Kwek. “It is also a testament to all the transformation efforts we have undertaken as a group in China, attracting a new breed of clients with our agile systems and highly focused Centres of Excellence.”
DTC Agency Gin Lane Pivots into Products
Gin Lane, a specialist agency which worked with direct-to-consumer (DTC) companies, announced this week it’s closing its agency business and starting a new company called Pattern, a “multi-brand consumer goods company”. Pattern, which pitches itself as a family of brands that “provide the essentials to make, shape, and grow a home”, says it will use a “direct with consumer” model. Pattern says direct with consumer, or DWC, is an evolution of DTC which will place more focus on developing personal relationships with consumers at scale, through a multi-brand approach.
Hires of the Week
DoubleVerify Hires Google’s Bukhari as MD of EMEA
After over ten years working for DoubleClick and then Google, industry veteran Tanzil Bukhari has joined media measurement company DoubleVerify as managing director of EMEA, the company announced on Monday. Read VAN’s Q&A with Bukhari here.
IAS Appoints Kevin McCurry as CSO
Integral Ad Science announced this week that Kevin McCurry has been appointed as its new chief strategy officer. McCurry will lead the organisation in identifying and evaluating strategic opportunities for the company with a focus on M&A, according to a company statement.
This Week on VAN
Third-Party Cookies Won’t Die, but They Will be Re-Purposed: Q&A with Tanzil Bukhari, read more on VAN
Video Advertising Grows Three Times Faster Than Display in Europe, read more on VAN
Who Might Netflix Buy? read more on VAN
Roku Invests in New Ad Formats as Advertising Continues to Drive Impressive Growth, read more on VAN
Ad of the Week
Samsung, Galleried, Adam&EveDDB