The WIR: Fifty-Nine Percent of Buyers Plan to Boost CTV Spend, BARB Launches a BVOD Planner, and Project OAR Begins Live Market Trials


In this week’s Week in Review: The IAB forecasts strong increases in CTV spending, BARB launches a tool to help advertisers buy on BVOD, and Project OAR begins trialling its addressable TV advertising tools. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Top Stories

Fifty-Nine Percent of Buyers are Increasing Their CTV Budgets in 2020
Fifty-nine percent of buyers in the US are planning on increase their connected-TV (CTV) budgets in the second half of this year, compared to the same period last year, according to research from the IAB, an industry trade group. Fifty-six percent meanwhile plan to increase budgets for digital video outside of CTV/OTT. CTV is also expected to be the biggest winner in terms of overall changes in total ad spend. The IAB forecasts that CTV spend in Q3 will be up 25 percent year-on-year, and up 27 percent in Q4, a bigger increase than any other channel.

Linear TV meanwhile is predicted to suffer. While 22 percent of those surveyed by the IAB say they will increase their spend on linear TV in H2, 54 percent say they will decrease linear spend.

BARB Launches a BVOD Planner
UK measurement body BARB this week released a beta broadcaster video on-demand (BVOD) planner, which it says is designed to help agencies and advertisers plan advertising campaigns across commercial broadcasters’ linear channels and VOD platforms. The tool will forecast reach and frequency across screens and platforms for campaigns run with commercial broadcasters. It will use both BARB’s panel data and BVOD and smartphone viewing data independently collected and reported by IPA TouchPoints, a media consumption database.

“Assessing the performance of television campaigns across linear channels and BVOD services is critical for buyers and sellers of advertising,” said Justin Sampson, CEO of BARB. “Our beta BVOD planner provides valuable guidance on how BVOD campaigns can extend the reach of linear advertising campaigns, and does so because it relies primarily on independently-specified and collected data sources.”

Project OAR Goes Live for Addressable TV Campaigns
Project Open, Addressable, Ready (OAR), an addressable TV advertising initiative launched by a consortium of US broadcasters, began live market trials this week. For now, Project OAR lets advertisers buy addressable campaigns for linear and on-demand inventory on smart TVs from FOX Corporation, ViacomCBS, NBCUniversal, Scripps, and AMC Networks. Other members of the initiative, including Disney, Discovery, and WarnerMedia, will begin their trials later in the year, with a full rollout of the product planned for Q4.

Project OAR’s members believe that with Upfronts cancelled and TV viewership up, there’s more appetite for addressable TV advertising from buyers. “We’ve heard growing interest from the buying community in ad solutions that combine data-enhanced targetability with premium, curated inventory,” said Eric Meyrowitz, SVP of sales at Hearst Television (a Project OAR member). “This effort increases opportunities for all parties; the ease of execution and the type of ad-effectiveness offered by Project OAR are good for the agencies and brands, providing a new component of the ad model going forward.”

Coronavirus News

Magna Forecasts $11 Billion Drop in Ad Revenues for US Media Owners in 2020
IPG-owned media agency Magna this week forecast that media owners will see an $11 billion drop in ad revenues this year as a result of the pandemic. Magna expects that ad revenues will begin to recover next year, but also predicts “more subdued economic growth and advertising spend” than previously forecast for 2022 to 2024.

UK TV Ad Revenues Set to Drop 15 Percent This Year says GroupM
Total TV ad revenues in the UK will fall by 14.8 percent this year to £3.7 billion, according to forecasts from GroupM, WPP’s media buying arm, as the coronavirus pandemic takes a heavy toll on traditional media. GroupM’s ‘This Year, Next Year’ report released this week predicts a swift rebound of sorts, with TV ad spend expected to grow by 13.7 percent in 2021. But TV ad revenues won’t fully recover to their pre-pandemic levels until 2024, according to GroupM’s forecast. Read the full story on VAN.

UK Creative Industry Faces £74 Billion Hit from Pandemic
British creative industry trade group the Creative Industries Federation this week warned that the UK is facing a “cultural catastrophe”, as research from Oxford Economics projects a combined revenue drop of £74 billion for the UK’s creative industries in 2020. The Creative Industries Federation said that 400,000 creative jobs could be lost as a result.

England’s Premier League Returns
British sports broadcasters got a boost this week as the English Premier League returned, following in the footsteps of other European football leagues, having paused as a safety measure during the pandemic. One of the opening games, Manchester City vs Arsenal, saw a 94 percent increase in viewership compared to the 2019/20 season average.

Pinterest Reports 70 Percent Surge in Online Grocery Shopping During Pandemic
Social sharing platform Pinterest saw a 70 percent surge in the number of its users who buy groceries online between March and February, in a study conducted with market research company Numerator. The study also found that Pinterest users were fifty percent more likely to buy groceries online during the pandemic than non-users.

The Week in Tech

IAB Tech Lab Shutters DigiTrust
IAB Tech Lab announced this week it is sunsetting DigiTrust, a platform for sellers to sync cookies with buyers in order to improve match rates. With Google’s announcement that it will soon stop supporting third-party cookies on Chrome, DigiTrust’s days has been numbered, since it relies on third-party cookies.

PubMatic Brings Its Header Bidding Solution to OTT
PubMatic, a sell-side ad tech company, this week announced it is bringing its OpenWrap header bidding product to over-the-top environments, allowing multiple demand sources to compete simultaneously for over-the-top (OTT) inventory. PubMatic says its OTT header bidding product has been adapted to optimise monetisation across entire ad pods (clusters of ads within a show). Read the full story on VAN.

LiveIntent and Rubicon Partner for Identity Solution
Independent ad tech companies LiveIntent and Rubicon Project are partnering on an open identity solution, designed to function as an alternative to third-party cookies, Adweek reported this week. The partnership will use LiveIntent’s ‘Authenticated Bridge’, which uses hashed email addresses as an identifier.

TikTok Owner ByteDance Sees 130 Percent Revenue Growth
ByteDance, the Chinese tech company which owns video-sharing app TikTok, recorded $5.6 billion in revenues in Q1, which represents 130 percent growth year-on-year according to Reuters.

Apple Reviews IDFA Uses
Apple is putting its mobile identifier, the IDFA, under the microscope according to AdExchanger, cracking down on companies using it without authorisation. Developers looking to post apps on the App Store are now asked to state if their apps use the IDFA, and if so, why. They are also warned that IDFAs must only ever be used to serve ads, for attribution, and to tie actions within the app to previously-served ads.

Researcher Claims One Third of Chinese Traffic is Invalid
Nearly one third of all internet traffic in China last year was invalid according to Miaozhen Systems, a Chinese measurement and analytics firm. Miaozhen Systems estimates this would have cost $3.9 billion in lost ad spend.

Google Loses Appeal Against €50 Million GDPR Fine
Google has lost an appeal against a €50 million fine issued in France for non-compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). France’s Conseil d’Etat sided with France’s data protection authority, the CNIL, who issued the fine due to opaque data gathering practices.

UK Competition Authority Probes Facebook/Giphy Deal
UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced this week that it is probing Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy, a search engine for gifs, worth a reported $400 million.

The Week in TV

Thinkbox Updates its Demand Generator
Thinkbox has updated its Demand Generator, a media optimisation tool it released last year. Thinkbox says buyers using the tool can now deselect advertising channels from the optimisation, choose different media spend budgets in years two and three, and get more detail on how advertising effects accumulate over three years.

Free Football will Pay Off for Amazon says Kantar
Mark Inskip, CEO UK & Ireland of market research company Kantar’s Media Division, this week said he believes Amazon’s decision to let non-Prime users watch Premier League games for free will pay off for the company. Amazon has the rights to four Premier League games during the remainder of the season, and will make all four available for free on Prime Video and Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch. “Ultimately, audiences are driven to streaming platforms by the premium content available and these matches will draw in high volumes of potential new customers for Amazon,” said Inskip.

Disney Plans for Unified Ad Tech Platform
Disney is merging its own ad tech team with that of Hulu, the streaming platform which Disney holds a majority stake in (and will fully own within the next few years thanks to an agreement with Comcast, the only other stakeholder). The goal is to create a unified ad platform for the two, making it easier to buy, plan and attribute across Disney’s properties, AdExchanger reported this week.

Molotov Launches ‘Molotov Solutions’
French OTT platform Molotov this week announced the launch of Molotov Solutions, a B2B offering aimed at media, content owners, and telco operators. Molotov says Molotov Solutions will help companies create, manage, host and editorialise both linear and non-linear content, for free and paid platforms, and both live channels and video on demand content.

NBCU Revives 30 Rock for Upfront Special
NBCUniversal has announced it is reuniting the cast of its popular comedy 30 Rock for a one-off, remotely filmed special, which will double up as an upfront presentation for the broadcaster. The special, which will air next month, will be oriented towards fans of the show, but will also highlight NBCU’s slate of programming for the months ahead.

Court Date Set for Mediaset Merger Case
Mediaset’s effort to have its planned merger between its Italian and Spanish units approved will be heard by a Madrid court on July 1st. The merger has been tied up by a compliant from Vivendi, a stakeholder in Mediaset, with a Spanish court suspending the merger last October.

WarnerMedia Reorganises its OTT Services
WarnerMedia is rebranding its HBO Now OTT service to just HBO, and will discontinue HBO Go following the release of its new subscription service HBO Max last month. The reorganisation comes as WarnerMedia tries to clear up confusion around its plethora of streaming services, following the release of HBO Max.

The Week in Publishing

Quibi On Course to Miss 2020 Subscriber Target by Five Million
Mobile-first streaming service Quibi, which debuted earlier this year, is on course to miss its 2020 subscription target by five million, according to the Wall Street Journal. Quibi had reportedly targeted 7.4 million paid sign ups by the end of the year, but is currently on course for around two million. The WSJ report also outlined internal difficulties for the company, claiming there has been friction between founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman.

‘Winner Takes All’ with News Subscriptions finds Reuters
While paid subscriptions are a viable way for news publishers to cope with a fall in ad revenues, a ‘winner takes all’ trend is emerging in the US and UK, where a select few publications pick up to majority of subscription revenues, according to the Reuters Institute. Reuters says that around half of those that subscribe to any online or combined package in the United States use the New York Times or the Washington Post, and a similar trend can be seen in the United Kingdom with The Times or the Telegraph.

YouTube Rebrands its Influencer Platform to ‘BrandConnect’
YouTube this week announced that FameBit, its service which matches advertisers with YouTube creators for branded content and influencer marketing, has been rebranded as ‘BrandConnect’. YouTube says the service’s tools have been updated to allow more efficient matching between brands and creators.

Civil Rights Groups Encourage Brands to Pause Facebook Spend
A number of civil rights groups in the US including the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and Sleeping Giants this week launched a campaign calling on advertisers to pause spending on Facebook. The Groups accuse Facebook of “amplifying the messages of white supremacists, permitting incitement to violence, and failing to disrupt bad actors using the platform to do harm”.

The Week for Agencies

WPP Commits $30 Million Over Next Three Years to Fighting Systemic Racism
Agency holding group WPP this week pledged $30 million over the next three years to fund its inclusion programmes and support anti-racism charities, in response for calls for agencies to do more to fight systemic racism.

Black Advertising Professionals Launch 600 & Rising
A group of over 600 advertising professionals who last week signed an open letter calling for agency leaders to do more to fight racism, this week incorporated as a non-profit called 600 & Rising. The group has partnered with US advertising trade group 4As to jointly provide guidance on steps agencies need to take to address systemic racism.

ASA Launches UK Scam Ad Alert System
The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority this week launched a new UK Scam Ad Alert system in partnership with the major digital advertising and social media platforms, including Facebook and Google, designed to help tackle fraudulent ads. The Scam Ad Alert tool was developed in response to ongoing concerns about online paid-for ads linking to fraudulent content, particularly crypto investment scams, according to the ASA.

IPG Releases Data on Internal Diversity
Interpublic Group this week released data detailing ethnic representation within its executive and leadership ranks, following a number of calls from within the industry for agencies to do more to fight systemic racism. The data finds that amongst IPG’s senior and executive level managers, 2.6 percent are Black or African American, 5.5 percent are Asian, and 5.2 percent are Hispanic or Latino.

Group of UK MPs Call for Total Ban on Gambling Ads
A group of more than MPs and peers in the UK have issued a report calling for a total ban of gambling ads, both on TV and online. The cross-party group has previously campaigned successfully for a ban on credit card bets and the curbing of fixed-odds betting terminals, according to The Guardian.

Xaxis Launches Xaxis Creative Studios
Xaxis, GroupM’s advanced programmatic arm, has launched Xaxis Creative Studios (XCS), a new creative hub which it says is designed to bridge the gap between creative ideas and data-driven, multi-channel execution. Staffed by designers and interactive developers, Xaxis says XCS collaborates with creative and media agencies to design and deliver advanced programmatic executions.

Agencies Pay Tribute to Grenfell Victims Three Years On
London-based ad agencies BBH London and Anomaly London this week paid tribute to the victims of the Grenfell fire in London on the three year anniversary of the tragedy. BBH London ran a print and outdoor campaign naming all of those who lost their lives in the fire, while Anomaly London asked people to illuminate their homes in green on Sunday evening, Adweek reported.

Hires of the Week

Sky and NBCU Announce One Platform Leadership
Sky and NBCU this week announced the leadership team for their combined One Platform Global Advertising & Partnerships offering. KC Sullivan has been picked as president and MD of global advertising and partnerships, Andrew Mortimer will become SVP of global partnerships, and Max Raven will lead advertising and partnerships for global news.

This Week on VAN

A German GDPR Ruling is Spurring the Growth of Publisher Login Alliances, read more on VAN

UK TV Ad Revenues Set to Drop 15 Percent This Year says GroupM, read more on VAN

PubMatic Brings Its Header Bidding Solution to OTT, read more on VAN

Are Big Budget SVOD Dramas Losing Their Shine? read more on VAN

Ad of the Week

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