The WIR: RTL Sees TV Ad Recovery, Magnite’s CTV Revenues Accelerate, and Google Signs Up to TCF 2.0

In this week’s Week in Review: RTL sees promising signs for TV ad revenues, Magnite reports its first results post-rebrand, and Google finally signs up to the IAB’s Transparency and Consent Framework. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.

Top Stories

RTL Sees Signs of Recovery in TV Ad Market
European broadcaster RTL said this week it has seen signs of recovery in the TV advertising market, as it reported that total revenues were down 28 percent year-on-year in the second quarter. TV ad revenues for Q2 were down 40 percent according to RTL, but the broadcaster said it expects TV ad revenue to be down by just 10 percent in Q3 as advertisers begin returning to the medium.

CEO Thomas Rabe said there are further positive signs for the company too. Production arm Freemantle has been able to properly resume work as lockdown measures have relaxed, and streaming subscription revenues are seeing double digit growth.

Magnite Reports Fast CTV Growth
Magnite, the company formed from the merger of supply-side platforms Rubicon Project and Telaria, said that CTV revenues have been up 50 percent year-on-year so far in Q3.

The news came as Magnite reported its first financial results since the completion of the merger. Magnite’s total revenues were down around 24 percent year-on-year, compared to Telaria and Rubicon’s combined revenues in Q2 2019. But the company says it has seen strong signs of recovery since the end of Q2. CEO, president and director Michael Barrett said that so far revenues in Q3 have been roughly flat compared to 2019.

Google Finally Joins IAB’s Transparency and Consent Framework
Google this week announced it has finally signed up to the IAB’s Transparency and Consent Framework, a global cross-industry effort to help publishers, technology vendors, agencies and advertisers meet the transparency and user choice requirements under the General Data Protection Regulation. Google will integrate the second version of the framework, TCF 2.0, which is set to go live on Monday.

Google has delayed on joining the initiative for two year, opting to use its own ‘Funding Choices’ mechanism for gaining consent. And Google will still use its own framework for gaining consent on its owned and operated inventory. But ads which Google serves for third-party publishers will now collect consent through TCF 2.0.

The Week in Tech

Social Platforms Seek to Stem Spread of Misinformation Ahead of US Election
Facebook, Google and Twitter have each held talks with federal officials in the US around how they can help prevent the spread of misinformation ahead of November’s election. The talks have aired concerns around foreign bodies spreading misinformation in order to sway the public in both directions, according to the WSJ.

LiveRamp Posts 21 Percent Revenue Growth in Q2
Data onboarding specialist LiveRamp this week posted strong financial results for the previous quarter, with revenues up 21 percent year-on-year to $99 million. “As COVID-19 forces companies to innovate and transform to drive customer value, data matters more than ever,” said LiveRamp CEO Scott Howe. “Global brands and their partners are turning to LiveRamp to enable their data-driven marketing strategies, and our strong Q1 results reflect this.”

PubMatic Grows Out its Identity Hub
PubMatic this week announced its Identity Hub, which helps publishers connected with multiple identity solutions, now supports ten identity partners. Identity Hub also now has a server-to-server integration with OpenWrap header bidding, which PubMatic says provides streamlined wrapper and identity capabilities.

Integral Ad Science and Channel Factory Announce YouTube Product for Brand Safety
Integral Ad Science and Channel Factory this week announced the launch of a new joint product called ‘Channel Science’, which will allow buyers to use both companies’ technologies through a single product. The two say Channel Science will be an end-to-end solution, combining IAS’s channel and video level protection with Channel Factory’s curation of YouTube content and performance-led approach.

Index Exchange Partners with White Ops to Fight SIVT
Index Exchange and White Ops this week announced an expanded partnership that will see White Ops protect against sophisticated invalid traffic across all of Index Exchange’s global inventory. This means White Ops’ protection now covers Index’s emerging channels like mobile app and connected TV.

UK Government Pledges to Improve Transparency of Online Political Ads
The UK government said it will work to improve transparency of political advertising online, forcing social media ads and videos to carry a ‘digital imprint’ which shows who paid for the ad.

Facebook Removed Nearly 40 Percent More Terrorist Content in Q2
Facebook announced this week it removed 8.7 million pieces of content categorised as terrorism in Q2, nearly 40 percent more than in the previous quarter. Facebook said this was largely due to improvements in its proactive detection technology to identify terrorist content.

Fraudsters are Using Public Domain Content to Fool CTV Platforms
DoubleVerify, a verification and ad fraud prevention company, says it has uncovered a new form of connected TV (CTV) ad fraud called ‘legitimacy cloaking’. The technique sees fraudsters use public domain TV and film content to get verified by the major CTV platforms, in order to commit fraud through third-party sellers. Read more on VAN.

The Week in TV

HBO Max to Open Up Ad Inventory to All Buyers
WarnerMedia’s new streaming service HBO Max will make its ad inventory available to all buyers when it debuts its ad-supported subscription tier next year, according to AdAge. While some rival services like Peacock and Quibi have sold sponsorships to a limited number of brands, HBO Max will open up its inventory to the entire marketplace.

BTs Head of Sports Says Pandemic will Dampen Sports Rights Inflation
BT’s head of sports Simon Green said in an interview with The Guardian this week that he believes the pandemic will lead to a correction in the sports rights market. “I think everyone will be more discerning about what they pay given that the country is facing a potential recession which could leave viewers with less money in their pockets,” he said.

Disney Drops Fox Brand from TV Studios
Disney this week announced it is rebranding it three TV studios, dropping the Fox brand from 20th Century Fox Television in the process. 20th Century Fox Television will now be just 20th Television. Meanwhile Fox 21 Television Studios will become Touchstone Television, and ABC Studios and ABC Signature will be united under the ABC Signature brand.

WarnerMedia Reorganises Leadership Structure
AT&T’s WarnerMedia has completely reorganised its leadership structure under new CEO Jason Kilar. Kilar has ousted the leadership of the company’s new HBO Max streaming service. Warner Bros. chair and chief executive Ann Sarnoff will now be in charge of all content distributed across WarnerMedia’s portfolio.

Media Tycoon Sumner Redstone Passed Away at 97
Sumner Redstone, chairman of the and majority owner of media holding group National Amusements, has passed away at 97. Redstone previously served as chairman of both Viacom and CBS, overseeing their merger in 2000.

Streaming Accounts for 25 Percent of US TV Usage says Nielsen
Nielsen’s latest Total Audience Report found that streaming now accounts for 25 percent of TV usage in the US.

Fox News Launches International Streaming Service
Fox News is launching a new service to stream its content to overseas audiences, the company revealed this week. Fox News International, set to launch in the UK, Spain and Germany in September, will cost $6.99 per month.

AT&T Looks to Offload Crunchyroll
AT&T is looking to offload its anime streaming service Crunchyroll, offering it to Sony for $1.5 billion. Sony owns Funimation, a US company which dubs and distributes anime, and runs its own streaming service.

The Week in Publishing

Twitter Emerges as TikTok Suitor
Twitter has approached TikTok owner ByteDance as a potential suitor for the video-sharing app, the Wall Street Journal reported this week. ByteDance is looking at offloading TikTok after US president Donald Trump threatened to ban the app if it remains under Chinese ownership. Microsoft is still seen as the most likely buyer, but given its size it would likely face more antitrust scrutiny than Twitter.

NYT CEO Expects Paper to be Purely Digital in 20 Years Time
Mark Thompson, CEO of the New York Times, said this week he would be “very surprised” if the new publisher was still producing a physical newspaper in 20 years time. But Thompson said the paper’s high number of subscribers means it’s not going to disappear soon. Thompson claimed the physical edition of the NYT could turn a profit without printing a single ad.

Apple Redirects Publisher Traffic to Apple News
Apple was found this week to be redirecting publisher site traffic on its Safari browser to its own Apple News app. The move is controversial moving audiences effectively out of publishers’ hands and into Apple’s.

TikTok Violated Android Rules to Collect User Data, says WSJ
The Wall Street Journal this week said its own analysis has found that TikTok used tactics banned by Google to collect personal data from Android users. The WSJ says TikTok collected users’ MAC addresses, which are unique and fixed identifiers linked to internet-connected devices. Users were not informed that these MAC addresses were being collected or used to track their behaviour, according to the report.

Evening Standard Cuts One Third of Jobs
UK newspaper The Evening Standard has cut one third of its staff as ad revenues have been hit by the pandemic. Management have also said the publisher will focus more on mobile and digital going forward, though it will continue printing its free physical edition.

Meredith Launches New First-Party Data Tools
US publishing giant Meredith this week rolled out Data Studio this week, a new tool which builds out its first-party data capabilities. “Meredith possesses rich, exclusive data with massive scale in content-rich environments,” said Alysia Borsa, Meredith’s chief business and data officer. “Using those assets, we’ve built an exclusive, in-depth 12,000+ term taxonomy, a proprietary identity graph and over 12 billion intent signals to achieve an unmatched, comprehensive and timely understanding of women and their purchase intent – the holy grail for our partner.”

Facebook’s Gaming App Arrives on iOS
Facebook’s standalone app for its Facebook Gaming product launched on iOS this week, having rolled out on on Android earlier this year. But Facebook has had to strip out the ability to actually play games on the app in order to pass Apple’s approval process.

The Week for Agencies

Dentsu’s Q2 Profits Fall 54 Percent
Japanese agency group Dentsu posted its Q2 financial results this week, which showed profits down 54 percent year-on-year. Revenues meanwhile were down 16 percent year-on-year, beating analysts expectations. Dentsu expects improved performance in Q3 and Q4 as advertising spend returns.

IPG Mediabrands Begins Assessing Social Platforms’ Content Policies and Practices
IPG Mediabrands, Interpublic Group’s media buying arm, will begin running quarterly assessments of social media platforms’ content moderation policies and practices, the WSJ reported this week. “It’s important to have an objective assessment and not simply allow the news cycle to dictate how we vet these partners,” said Elijah Harris, global head of social at IPG agency Reprise.

Accenture’s Media Auditing Arm Closes its Doors
Accenture Media Management, the media auditing arm of Accenture, is formally shutting its doors in the coming days. The move was announced earlier this year, after Accenture faced backlash for moving into programmatic media buying while also acting as an auditor.

Nathan Young Steps Down as President of 600 & Rising
600 & Rising, an industry collective formed earlier this year to push for meaningful progress in diversity and inclusion from adland, is restructuring as president Nathan Young is stepping down. The organisation’s board of directors said they came to realise the current structure of the organisation didn’t accurately represent the voices of all of those supporting the collective.

Hires of the Week

ITV Appoints Ade Rawcliffe as Group Director of Diversity and Inclusion
Ade Rawcliffe has been appointed Group Director of Diversity and Inclusion at ITV. Ade will lead, develop and grow ITV’s D&I strategy to deliver its published targets and will partner with all management board leaders, the commissioning teams, social purpose team and the HR team to deliver the ITV Diversity Acceleration Plan.

JW Player Hires Elliot MacNay to Drive Ad Monetisation
JW Player has announced the appointment of Elliot MacNay to help grow ad revenues for publishers in the EMEA region. JW Players says MacNay will work with local advertising agencies and brands to drive more video ad targeting revenue to the 12,000+ publishers using JW Player’s video technology.

This Week on VAN

The Sell-Side View: Q&A with Jungle Creations’ Nat Poulter, read more on VAN

Fraudsters are Using Public Domain Content to Fool CTV Platforms, read more on VAN

Server-Side Ad Insertion Explained, read more on VAN

Why Facebook Is Worried About Apple’s IDFA Changes, read more on VAN

Ad of the Week

Deutsche Telekom, What We Do Next, Saatchi & Saatchi

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