In this week’s Week in Review: The Trade Desk continues its winning streak with a strong Q3, Cadent launched a new addressable TV buying platform, and Disney reveals new details about its upcoming streaming service. To receive an update on the industry’s top stories every Friday, sign up to the weekly Video Round-Up.
The Trade Desk’s Success Story Continues with Revenue Up Fifty Percent
The Trade Desk’s run of impressive financial results continued in Q3, with the company reporting 50 percent year-on-year growth of revenues, which reached $118.8 million. TTD said that connected TV and video were once again primary drivers of this growth, alongside audio and mobile. “A steady stream of new brands and agencies continues to join our platform. The market continues to validate our business model and we’re seeing the measurable results,” said CEO Jeff Green.
The Trade Desk has been one of ad tech’s standout performers over the past year or so, and Green attributes their success to the access TTD provides to the fragmented TV landscape. “The Trade Desk is the best way to target audiences effectively across fragmenting distribution channels,” he said on an earnings call. “This fragmentation enhances our value proposition because we are independent and objective we nimbly move where the advertising ecosystem moves.”
Cadent Launches New Addressable TV Ad Buying Platform
Cadent on Wednesday launched a new addressable TV platform for advertisers and media planners which it says connects buyers with over 70 million addressable households through cable, network and OTT supply relationships. The ‘Cadent Advanced TV Platform’ will provide unified reach, frequency and attribution across its addressable inventory which includes linear, IP and VOD, according to the announcement. Cadent says advertisers can build target audiences using a mix of first, second and third-party data, which are anonymously matched to US addressable households.
“We’ve streamlined the complexities of household addressable TV campaigns to help accelerate spend, while helping our partners expand the reach of their unique supply to meet the needs of national buyers,” said Cadent chief product officer Eoin Townsend.
Disney’s Streaming Service Gets a Name and Two New Series
Disney gave new details about its upcoming streaming service this week, announcing it will be called ‘Disney +’ and will launch in late 2019. Disney also revealed two new series which are being produced for Disney +, set in the Star Wars and Marvel universes. The new series appear to be high budget, with actor Tom Hiddleston reprising his role as Loki for the Marvel series, and the Star Wars series centring on a character from the ‘Rogue One’ film.
The timing of the release is significant, with Disney’s contractual ties with Netflix set to end in the same period. With many of Disney’s most popular franchises seemingly set to be hosted exclusively on Disney + and big investment in new series, it will be interesting to see how Netflix’s subscriber count is affected when the new service launches.
The Week in Tech
Ad Tech Startup Investment Will Plunge by 75 Percent Next Year says Forrester
Venture capital investment in ad tech and marketing tech startups will drop by 75 percent next year according to a report from Forrester Research, falling from $7.2 billion this year to $1.8 billion next year. The report says that with brands continuing to redirect their ad spend and adapt advertising practices to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), ad tech startups will find early stage funding deals to be “virtually nonexistent”, though it said its figures could be thrown off by an unexpected large deal.
Three UK Enters Programmatic Trading Market
Three UK is launching a new data offering for programmatic trading called ‘Relevant Advertising,’ which will allow marketers to use Three’s customer data to target mobile ads. Data will be collected through Three’s rewards app Wuntu, with customers consenting to their data being used for Relevant Advertising. Ninety-four percent of participants who took part in a trial run agreed to opt in according to Campaign.
Deltatre Acquires Massive
Deltatre, a tech company which provides over-the-top (OTT) video delivery for sports streaming services, this week bought OTT software firm Massive Interactive for around $127 million. The company claims that the new combined entity will be the largest independent OTT solutions provider in the world. Massive, which currently serves BBC Worldwide, Bell Media and Channel 5 among others, will operate as a division of Deltatre.
Roku Ad Revenues Double Year-on-Year
Roku’s ad revenues reached $70 million in Q3 this year, having doubled since the same time last year. Total revenue was up by 39 percent year-on-year, reaching $173.4 million, but Roku stocks fell by 17 percent nonetheless as shareholders were disappointed by platform revenue. The company posted an overall loss of $11.7 million, but expects net income in Q4 to be somewhere between -$4 million and +$3 million.
Custom KPIs Used By Almost 9 in 10 UK Marketers
Eighty-six percent of UK brand marketers now use custom KPIs to link marketing activity with business objectives, compared with only a quarter (24 percent) of marketers still relying on click-through rates as their primary metric, according to new research from Xaxis. The report finds that 81 percent of digital marketers are looking to increase investment in outcome-driven media based on custom KPIs in the next 12-24 months. This is in direct response to organisational priorities identified as increased efficiency (50 percent), better use of resources (40 percent), and aligning marketing strategies with business objectives (38 percent).
ABC Recertifies Integral Ad Science’s Video Viewability Solution
Integral Ad Science (IAS) has announced the recertification of its video viewability capabilities by ABC. ABC’s certificate verifies that IAS’s technology effectively measures viewable impressions for desktop video, in accordance with the JICWEBS Viewability Product Principles. “We are delighted that ABC has recognised the commitment we have at IAS to deliver the most effective measurement solutions in line with industry needs,” said Nick Morley, EMEA MD at IAS.
The Week in TV
ITV Digital Ad Revenue Grows 43 Percent
ITV saw overall revenue growth of six percent in its Q3 financial results, driven by growth of the broadcaster’s digital ad revenues and content production revenues. Total ad revenue grew by two percent, driven by 43 percent growth of digital ad revenue. Total ITV Studios income meanwhile grew by ten percent. However due to tough market conditions the broadcaster forecasts total ad revenue to be down by around three percent in Q3, and broadly flat over the full year.
Disney/Fox Gets EC Approval
Disney’s acquisition of the majority of 21st Century Fox’s got conditional approval from the European Commission this week. The Commission’s only concerns were based around the supply of factual TV channels, and Disney has committed to divest its interest in all factual channels it controls in the EEA to alleviate these concerns.
RTL’s Digital Bets Continue to Pay Off with Continued Revenue Growth
RTL Group’s digital offerings are continuing to power revenue growth according the the company’s Q3 financial results, with the group planning further investment and expansion of its digital business over 2019. Overall group revenue for Q3 reached €1,422 million, up 3.6 percent year on year, bringing total revenue for the year so far to €4,468 million. Digital revenue for January to September reached €660 million, representing 17.9 percent revenue growth year-on-year. Read the full story on VAN.
German Broadband Association Calls for Block on Vodafone/Liberty Global Deal
Bundesverband Breitbandkommunikation (BREKO), a German broadband operators association, this week called on the European Commission to put a halt to Vodafone’s planned takeover of Liberty Global’s German business Unitymedia. BREKO says that should the deal go through, it would result in an effective duopoly in the German broadband market between Vodafone and Deutsche Telekom, and would lead to reduced investment in the sector.
The Week in Publishing
Vice Media Cuts Workforce Amid Stuttering Growth
Vice Media is to cut its workforce by up to 15 percent according a report from the Wall Street Journal, and will halve its selection of digital sites as the company struggles for growth. Chief executive Nancy Dubuc reportedly hopes to merge several of the company’s online verticals and focus more on areas of growth, including its in-house ad agency virtue. Vice expects revenues this year to be flat, coming in between $600-$650 million.
Verizon to Retire Oath Brand Name
Verizon is set to rename Oath to Verizon Media Group according to a tweet from a Huffington Post journalist showing an email circulated by chief executive Guru Gowrappan. “Becoming a larger part of Verizon’s overall strategy allows us to really take off and build on the work we are doing for consumers and customers,” said the email.
Reach Merges Mirror and Express Sales Team
British publisher Reach (formerly Trinity Mirror) this week announced it is merging The Daily Express and Daily Mirror’s ad sales team to create ‘Reach Solutions’. The move comes at a time when falling print ad sales are continuing to hamper the company – like-for-like group revenue was down by seven percent in Q3 despite digital revenue growing by seven percent.
LinkedIn Rebuilds Self-Serve Ad Platform
LinkedIn on Monday released a rebuilt version of its self-serve ad platform, Campaign Manager, which puts more emphasis on outcomes rather than formats. Group product manager Nitin Julka told AdExchanger the change is designed to make it easier for advertisers to understand what’s happening when they run campaigns on LinkedIn, and to help them maximise ROI and performance.
AOP and The Media Trust to Help UK Digital Media Companies Manage Cookie Deployment and GDPR Requirements
The Association for Online Publishing (AOP) this week announced a collaboration with The Media Trust to provide its members with a centralised pool of verified cookie data, via a single login. The AOP says the platform will allow its publishers access to a centralised database of validated data gathering technology deployed by digital partners across all members’ websites. The initiative is designed to give publishers the information and communications channel they need to manage the risk posed by these technologies that, if unchecked, could undermine compliance with data protection regulations including GDPR and the ePrivacy Directive.
The Week for Agencies
WPP Freezes Hirings
WPP has put a halt on new hiring for most of its agencies as the business struggles with a slowdown, according to a report from Bloomberg. The move is thought to have shut down around 2,000 positions that WPP agencies were previously looking to fill. The freeze will reportedly remain in place until early 2019, and won’t affect Wunderman and Essence according to The Drum.
UK Ad Spend Rises 6.4 Percent
Total UK ad spend rose by 6.4 percent in Q2 this year to reach £5.6 billion, bringing H1 ad spend to £11.4 billion, representing 7.2 percent growth year-on-year according to the Advertising Association/WARC Expenditure Report. This marks the strongest second quarter and first half since 2014, according to the research. “Spend on advertising is showing real strength and resilience especially at a time of some uncertainty for UK business,” said Stephen Woodford, chief executive at the Advertising Association.
Havas NA CCO Suddenly Departs
Jason Peterson, chief creative officer at Havas North America, has left the company following claims that he established a “toxic work environment” in Havas’ offices. Ad Age released a report on Wednesday in which it described a “polarising” environment in which some former employees said they felt belittled and bullied. Havas spokespeople disputed the account, but have now said Peterson reached a mutual agreement with the company over his departure.
Vizeum and MAD//Fest London Launch Diversity Initiative
Global media agency Vizeum has teamed up with MAD//Fest London and young entrepreneur Jack Parsons for a new initiative aimed at increasing diversity with industry. The partnership, titled Flourish, will see Vizeum open the doors of marketing and advertising festival MAD//Fest London to 25 young people currently outside of the industry, looking to get their first step on the media ladder. Flourish will focus on supporting the progression of people from lower socio-economic and ethnic minority backgrounds – groups that are historically poorly represented in the media industry.
Hires of the Week
ITV Picks Chris Kennedy as CFO
ITV this week hired Chris Kennedy, currently chief financial officer at Microfocus International, as its new CFO. Kennedy, who previously worked with ITV CEO Carolyn McCall at easyJet, will start his new role in February next year.
Jules Kendrick Appointed CEO of JICWEBS
Jules Kendrick was announced on Thursday as the new CEO of the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS). Kendrick most recently worked at Business Insider as client director for UK & EMEA, and has also held roles at Amazon UK, Guardian & Observer, and Mumsnet.com.
Havas Media Group Hires Bret Leece in Global Data Role
Havas Media Group has appointed Bret Leece in the newly created role of global chief data and innovation officer, it announced this week. Leece joins from Dentsu Aegis Network, and has also previously worked at comScore, Initiative and AEG.
This Week on VAN
Did Comcast Overpay for Sky? read more on VAN
We Need More Stringent Standards for Outcome-Based Marketing says Xaxis’ Harcus, read more on VAN
Q&A: Amobee COO Domenic Venuto Explains the Videology Acquisition, read more on VAN
RTL’s Digital Bets Continue to Pay Off with Continued Revenue Growth, read more on VAN
Ad of the Week
CityMD, People Who Know Meredith Carlson, Terri & Sandy