Weekly relevant news highlights for Digital Publishers.

Week 16

Video Made Up Nearly a Quarter of US Digital Ad Spend Last Year

In 2023, total digital advertising spending in the US increased by 7.3%, reaching $225 billion, with video ads being a primary growth driver, according to the IAB and PwC's Internet Advertising Revenue Report. Video advertising revenues surged by 10.6%, totalling $52.1 billion and representing 23.2% of all digital ad revenues.

Audio also saw substantial growth, at 18.9%, although it remains a smaller market segment with $7.0 billion in revenue. Despite slower growth rates, search and display advertising contributed significantly to overall revenues, with video outpacing these categories in revenue gains.

The report underscores the critical role of CTV and OTT services, which accounted for 42% of video ad revenues and are projected to be the fastest-growing media channels through 2027. While CTV and retail media provide new opportunities for smaller entities, the concentration of digital ad revenues remains high, with the top ten companies increasing their share to 79.8% in 2023. Read the full article >> 

Roku Eyes Patent That Would Inject Ads Into… Everything

Roku has been escalating its user agreement terms to a level where refusal to agree may render devices like streaming hardware and TVs inoperable, restricting users' rights to legal action. This approach reflects a broader corporate trend in the U.S., endorsed since a pivotal 2011 Supreme Court decision favouring AT&T, where companies prioritise growth and revenue over user satisfaction.

Roku's latest patent application aims to overlay ads on any content played via HDMI-connected devices to Roku TVs, signalling a potential new intrusion into user experiences. While not yet approved, this patent illustrates an increasing disregard in the smart TV industry for product quality and user privacy in favour of data monetisation.

The author expresses a preference for simpler, non-smart TVs which prioritise privacy and user control, noting the difficulty in finding such products without smart features that often come with privacy concessions. The tendency of companies to push their limits for financial returns often leads to user dissatisfaction and could provoke a backlash, underscoring a disconnect between corporate actions and consumer preferences. Read the full article >> 

EDPB Opinion: Meta cannot rely on "Pay or Okay"

The European Data Protection Board (EDPB) has issued a decision against Meta's "Pay or Okay" consent model for platforms like Instagram and Facebook, deeming it an unlawful way of obtaining consent for processing personal data for ads in the EU. The decision emphasises that the concept of "freely given consent" is compromised when users are faced with a choice between paying a fee or agreeing to data processing for behavioural advertising.

Max Schrems from Noyb highlighted that Meta now needs to offer a clear yes/no choice for personalised advertising, noting that while Meta can charge for site reach and engage in contextual advertising, tracking for ads must require explicit consent. The EDPB's statement is likely just the beginning of broader discussions on the legality of the "Pay or Okay" model, with further guidelines expected later this year.

There are suggestions that more monetisation options beyond "Pay or Okay" should be considered, such as contextual advertising or freemium models, which the industry has largely overlooked. Max Schrems criticised the current model for significantly skewing consent rates, suggesting that it manipulates user choice far from being genuinely "freely given." Read the full article >> 

YouTube Introduces More Ad Targeting Options For Shorts

As announced at the Possible conference in Miami, YouTube Shorts, previously with limited ad targeting options, now allows advertisers to specifically target ads within the platform's short-form video content according to specific content categories. This development enables advertisers to place ads within videos related to distinct interests like sports, gaming, and fashion, enhancing the likelihood of reaching engaged viewers.

Melissa Hsieh Nikolic, YouTube’s director of product management, emphasised that this capability allows advertisers to connect more effectively with users passionate about specific topics. YouTube also released an updated guide offering strategies for creating effective Shorts ads, advising brands on how to tailor content to achieve desired marketing outcomes, whether increasing product consideration or driving conversions.

This guidance comes as brands are still adapting to the short video format, traditionally accustomed to YouTube's long-form content. The rollout of these targeted ads follows a pilot program and several phases of introducing more granular targeting options, including choosing ads to play in the first ad slot of a scrolling session or between top-viewed Shorts.

Despite the availability of these options, YouTube still recommends purchasing Shorts as part of a broader media bundle for optimal reach. However, YouTube is expanding advertisers' control over ad placements, acknowledging the ongoing demand for precise targeting within its diverse viewing platforms. Read the full article >> 

To Make Auctions Greener, Publishers Need More Data – And A GuaranteeThey Won’t Go Broke In The Process

At the Green Media Summit in New York City, publishers expressed a strong desire to reduce media-related carbon emissions but emphasised the need for more data to understand the financial impacts of such changes. Bridget Williams of Hearst Newspapers highlighted a significant gap in the ecosystem data, which is essential for making informed decisions about ad auctions.

Stephanie Layser of AWS suggested that publishers could use their internal data on revenue, engagement, and ad performance to make holistic business decisions that also promote sustainability. Examples from the industry, like Unwind Media and Mediavine, demonstrated that reducing the number of bid requests does not necessarily lead to a loss in revenue, with benefits in efficiency and viewability.

However, concerns about significant revenue losses prevent some publishers, like Mediavine, from drastically reducing their SSP partnerships. The summit concluded with a shift in focus towards valuing and incentivising publishers who adopt sustainable practices, encouraging broader industry adoption. Read the full article >> 

Publishers test new TikTok feature that adds links to organic videos

TikTok is experimenting with a feature that allows publishers to add links to organic videos, a timely development as social referral traffic from platforms like Facebook and X declines. The effectiveness of this feature in driving significant traffic to publishers' websites remains uncertain, although Wes Bonner of BDG expressed hopes of converting a fraction of their 25 million TikTok followers into website visitors.

Another publishing executive described the performance of the feature as "decent" but noted the difficulty in encouraging users to leave TikTok. Despite testing the feature, Sarah Marshall of Condé Nast indicated that their focus remains on storytelling within TikTok rather than driving traffic outside, highlighting TikTok’s nature as a platform designed to keep users engaged internally.

Condé Nast leverages TikTok primarily for brand awareness and monetisation through in-video ads as part of the TikTok Pulse Premiere partnership. Overall, while TikTok offers potential for increased visibility, the platform’s design and user behaviour pose challenges for driving external site traffic. Read the full article >> 

What Is the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA) of 2024?

On April 7, 2024, Chairs Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Maria Cantwell introduced the American Privacy Rights Act (APRA), a legislative proposal aimed at creating a federal privacy framework in the U.S. The APRA is designed to streamline the complex, fragmented state-level data privacy laws into a single national standard, placing more stringent legal requirements on U.S. publishers but simplifying compliance overall.

The bill empowers American consumers with enhanced control over their personal data, including the ability to manage, correct, delete, and restrict the sale or transfer of their information, mirroring the EU’s approach of requiring explicit consent. APRA mandates data minimisation, requiring companies to collect only the data necessary for their services, and introduces stronger protections for sensitive data such as online activities and biometric information. 

It also introduces regulations specifically targeting high-impact social media platforms based on their revenue and user engagement, recognising their significant role in the digital landscape. The bill emphasises transparency and accountability, requiring entities to make privacy policies easily accessible and understandable to consumers, enhancing trust and ethical data practices. 

Enforcement of APRA involves multiple stakeholders, including the FTC, state attorneys general, and individual consumers, who can initiate private lawsuits against violators. However, the bill's passage faces challenges due to political issues, preemption concerns, and debates over the private right of action, with significant opposition from various sectors, including some state agencies and privacy advocacy groups.

If passed, APRA could significantly affect publishers. Publishers should understand their data handling processes thoroughly and ensure compliance with the new requirements. Despite potential benefits for publishers leveraging first-party data, the transition could disrupt current advertising practices significantly.

Read the full article >> 

Media Briefing: Q1 is done and publishers’ ad revenue is doing ‘fine’

The first quarter of 2024 presented a mixed outcome for publishers' advertising revenues, with some experiencing gains in programmatic CPMs while direct-sold advertising lagged, extending campaign delays from previous years into Q2. The Atlantic had a strong end to 2023 but described Q1 as just "fine," attributing this to advertisers needing more time to organize their annual budgets.

Despite the slow start, The Atlantic saw a 40-50% increase in RFP volume year-over-year, with a significant improvement in proposal win rates compared to 2022. The Guardian U.S. faced challenges in achieving its revenue targets for Q1, as early-year RFPs were lower than expected, and some advertisers postponed campaigns to Q2.

Another anonymous media executive reported a positive shift, noting an increase in RFP volume and budgets, suggesting a recovery from the cautious advertiser behaviour seen in 2023. Overall, there is cautious optimism for a better performance in Q2, fueled by an uptick in programmatic advertising and renewed advertiser activity.

Read the full article >> 

Why the New York Times is forging connections with gamers as it diversifies its audience

The New York Times has significantly expanded its gaming section, notably integrating popular games like Wordle, contributing to substantial digital traffic. Renamed to NYT Games, the platform has become a key part of the Times' strategy to diversify and attract a broader audience.

Despite speculation, the Times is not transitioning into a gaming company but rather enhancing its digital content offerings across various sectors. The expansion into games complements its journalistic endeavours, serving as an entry point to attract new subscribers and retain existing ones. Read the full article >> 

Week 15

Publisher strategies: How publishers are optimizing revenue streams

In 2024, publishers are diversifying their revenue streams, continuing to rely on direct-sold display ads despite challenges like declining ad revenue from 2023 and ongoing media industry layoffs. With the decreasing effectiveness of third-party cookies, publishers are emphasising the importance of first-party data obtained from subscriptions, which offer a reliable revenue stream and valuable user data.

Additionally, there's a renewed interest in organising events, viewed as a significant revenue and engagement opportunity, recovering from pandemic setbacks. High-quality content has become a primary strategy for advertising, with publishers like The Atlantic leveraging impactful editorial content to enhance newsletter subscriptions and advertising appeal.

Amidst a shift away from third-party data, publishers are increasingly focusing on subscriptions to enhance their ad strategies and broaden revenue sources, utilising first-party data to offer targeted and valuable content to users. Publishers predict a rise in ad impressions driven by first-party data in the coming years, reflecting a strategic pivot towards data they directly control.

Meanwhile, subscription strategies are evolving, with some publishers finding success in unique models like newsletters which build loyalty and encourage higher conversion rates compared to traditional paywalls. Overall, the industry is witnessing a complex interplay between maintaining ad revenue and enhancing subscription services, necessitating a balanced approach to content and monetization strategies. Read the full article>> 

Alternative Identity Provider ID5 Nabs $20 Million In Series B Funding

The identity solution market is highly fragmented with around 20 competitors, but ID5 CEO Mathieu Roche predicts that only a few will remain viable in the next five years, with ID5 among them. ID5 recently secured $20 million in Series B funding, led by TransUnion and Sir Martin Sorrell’s S4S Ventures, increasing their total funding to about $27 million since 2021.

Roche reflects on the initial challenge of securing Series A funding when the problem of signal loss was not widely recognised, describing it as "preaching in the desert." Currently, ID5 is focusing on expansion and collaboration within the industry to increase market penetration and prepare for a future beyond third-party cookies, emphasising the broader implications of identity across different digital platforms. Read the full article>> 

Publishers Caught in the Crosshairs of Vendor MFA Tools

A publisher was informed by an SSP that some brands were blocking their website due to an adtech tool from DoubleVerify, designed to prevent ads from appearing on MFA websites. This tool, and a similar one from Integral Ad Science, were intended to help brands avoid websites that mainly aim to generate ad revenue rather than provide substantive content, but legitimate publishers have been inadvertently affected.

Despite complaints and a lack of transparency from DoubleVerify regarding the specific reasons for blocks, publishers are struggling to understand the criteria used, which affects their revenue and relationships in the industry. Both DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science are refining their tools to offer more nuanced solutions that balance fraud prevention with the need to support legitimate publishers, amidst ongoing industry efforts to better define what constitutes an MFA site. Read the full article>>   

Publishers bank on their own first-party data amid Privacy Sandbox concerns

Publishers are shifting focus to first-party data, seen as critical in the evolving digital advertising landscape, with 64% indicating it plays a significant role in their ad strategies for 2024. Despite the growing importance of first-party data, the trend shows a decreasing reliance on subscriptions, with a notable drop in publishers reporting significant revenue from subscriptions between Q3 2023 and Q1 2024.

The decline in subscription-based revenue and the challenges around brand safety on platforms like X reflect broader shifts in the digital advertising and publishing industries. Additionally, the ongoing refinement of tools to manage and utilise first-party data suggests publishers are adapting to a market less dependent on third-party cookies and more focused on direct audience engagement. Read the full article>>   

‘More distrust in the marketplace’: Agency execs press pause on Forbes spend after domain spoofing report

The operations of Forbes' subdomain designed for advertising have raised concerns within the advertising industry. A report revealed that Forbes deliberately maintained a subdomain that loaded articles with significantly more ad placements than the main site. The subdomain received a substantial portion of its traffic from paid advertisements, unbeknownst to many advertisers whose ads appeared there.

The disclosure has led to concerns about the extent of domain spoofing and the ad industry's ability to detect such practices. Agency executives are reassessing their investments in Forbes and demanding greater accountability, potentially impacting trust in premium publishers more broadly. Read the full article>>   

Week 14

LinkedIn Is All Business With CTV

LinkedIn has expanded its advertising capabilities to include new CTV ad placements, targeting audiences off-platform during their streaming sessions. This strategic move allows B2B marketers to reach LinkedIn users beyond the platform, utilising detailed user data such as location and media preferences, during various times of the day, including leisure time at home.

This aims at enhancing the reach to existing LinkedIn members, acknowledging the unique and intentional usage patterns of LinkedIn users who are focused on professional networking and job hunting. Penry Price, VP of marketing solutions at LinkedIn, emphasises the distinct needs of B2B advertisers, who require specific information about their audience's professional roles and decision-making capabilities, which is challenging to achieve through traditional TV ad buying or other streaming platforms.

LinkedIn's foray into CTV is designed to foster brand awareness and consideration among B2B audiences early in the purchasing journey, leveraging LinkedIn's rich data for targeted advertising. The effectiveness of these CTV ads will be measured by engagement increases on LinkedIn and core TV metrics, aiding B2B clients in accelerating the customer's progression through the purchase funnel.

Read the full article >>

 Privacy Sandbox and the Countdown to Cookieless

Since Google began phasing out tracking cookies from Chrome, affecting approximately 300 million users, with full depreciation expected by autumn 2024, the Privacy Sandbox initiative has faced mixed reactions from the advertising industry. As the deadline approaches, opinions on the progress of the Privacy Sandbox vary, reflecting the industry's diverse readiness and attitudes towards adapting to a future without third-party cookies.

Alice Beecroft - Senior Director, Global Strategy & Partnerships, Yahoo - Alice Beecroft emphasises industry collaboration in embracing the Google Privacy Sandbox for campaign insights, seeing its refinement as key to advancing privacy-centric advertising solutions. The company remains hopeful about its potential, subject to positive client feedback during testing.

Wilfried Schobeiri, CTO, Ogury - Google's engagement with the industry on phasing out cookies marks a cautious approach, with the Privacy Sandbox's success and timeline still uncertain. Advertisers are urged to adopt dependable, cookie-independent strategies, emphasising the critical shift towards enhanced consumer privacy.

Gil Sommer, VP of Product, OpenX - Gil Sommer highlights the industry's urgent need for more proactive preparation and testing of alternatives as the phase-out of cookies approaches, noting a significant uptick in engagement with Google Privacy Sandbox's Topics and PAAPI, despite their nascent stage compared to established programmatic methods.

Yang Han, Co-Founder and CTO, StackAdapt - Privacy Sandbox faces industry skepticism due to its APIs that limit ad platform capabilities in Chrome and could centralise control with Google. The reduced functionality for real-time ad decisions and shift towards less detailed reporting have dampened enthusiasm for adoption, amid concerns over competition and innovation.

Benoit Hucafol, VP of Product Management, Equativ - Privacy Sandbox seeks to reconcile user privacy with advertising effectiveness as the industry moves away from cookies. However, concerns about its implementation, the complexity of adoption, and the preference of media buyers for alternative solutions highlight significant uncertainties in the transition.

Read the full article >>

US and UK announce formal partnership on artificial intelligence safety

The United States and Britain have launched a new partnership focused on AI safety, underscoring concerns over the implications of advanced AI technologies. This collaboration, announced by US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo and British Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan, aims to develop testing for AI models and address national security and societal risks.

The partnership includes plans for joint AI model testing exercises and the exploration of personnel exchanges, alongside efforts to foster similar agreements with other nations. Amidst the excitement and fear generated by AI's capabilities, this initiative seeks to harness AI's benefits while managing its risks, highlighted by efforts in both countries to enhance AI safety, security, and regulatory frameworks. Read the full article >>

 Digiday+ Research: Publishers turn their focus away from subscriptions

Digiday+ Research early this year forecasted a decline in publishers' reliance on subscriptions for revenue as 2024 progresses, a trend now evidenced by their surveys. The percentage of publishers generating revenue from subscriptions has notably decreased from 74% in Q3 2023 to 56% in Q1 of 2024, with those not earning any revenue from subscriptions rising from 26% to 44%.

Furthermore, the proportion of publishers for whom subscriptions are a major revenue source has steadily decreased over the last year and a half, plummeting from 27% in Q3 2022 to just 7% in the Q1 2024. Publishers increasingly view subscriptions as a smaller portion of their revenue, with a significant 40% stating subscriptions contribute a very small or small portion as of the first quarter of 2024.

This shift indicates a growing acceptance among publishers that subscriptions are diminishing as a primary revenue driver, reflected in their strategic focus away from subscription business models. The emphasis on building subscription businesses has consistently declined, with only 30% of publishers prioritising it in the Q1 2024, down from 44% in Q1 2022.

Specifically, the focus on significantly growing subscription revenue has decreased, from nearly a third of publishers in 2022 to only 9% in 2024. Conversely, the percentage of publishers not at all focused on building their subscription businesses has risen, reaching 41% in Q1 2024, up from 14% in Q3 of 2022. Read the full article >>

Publishers give on-site search a long-needed upgrade in the form of AI chatbots

Publishers like Forbes, Financial Times, and Snopes are integrating GenAI chatbots to revamp on-site search and enhance user engagement and leverage their content archives. These initiatives aim not only to improve site functionality but also to offer added value to subscribers - Financial Times providing an AI search chatbot for professional members. 

Despite the potential, some publishers face challenges in encouraging subscriber adoption, with one executive noting low usage rates but high content engagement among those who do use the tool. Snopes' development of a proprietary AI search tool aims to strengthen its position in negotiations with AI tech companies, highlighting the strategic importance of AI in content discovery and engagement.

The implementation of these chatbots has been relatively quick and cost-effective, suggesting a growing trend among publishers to invest in AI to enhance search capabilities and build first-party data. Despite these advancements, marketing AI tools to increase adoption and integrating them into a broader subscriber engagement strategy remain ongoing challenges for publishers. Read the full article >>

Week 13

CTV to Generate $20 Billion in US Ad Revenues This Year

CTV in the United States is expected to generate $20 billion in ad revenues this year, showcasing an 18 percent growth in 2024, as forecasted by Brian Wieser from Madison and Wall. This growth positions CTV to account for 29 percent of all TV advertising, despite national TV ad revenues facing a decline due to shifts towards performance channels and the impact of cord-cutting.

The overall TV sector, however, could see a slight uplift from events like the Summer Olympics, which remain appealing to advertisers for their broad reach. Amazon Prime Video's new ad-supported tier is anticipated to significantly contribute to CTV's revenue, primarily at the expense of traditional TV ad inventory.

The broader US ad market is expected to see a 5.6 percent growth in 2024, fueled by economic optimism and the rise of online businesses, which tend to spend more on advertising. Digital advertising is projected to increase its share significantly, with commerce media and social media expected to see substantial growth, benefiting from the challenges facing the open web. Read the full article >>

Ad execs sound off on Amazon’s DSP dilemma

Amazon is eager to attract more advertisers to its DSP, facing significant challenges due to negative perceptions around the platform's user-friendliness, measurement capabilities, and inventory range. Despite concerted efforts to improve these areas, Amazon's DSP has yet to emerge as a strong competitor to Google's DV360 and The Trade Desk, as reflected in a Digiday survey where only 5% of respondents favored Amazon’s DSP.

However, the platform does offer valuable audience-targeting capabilities outside of Amazon's ecosystem, which has been underrecognised compared to its competitors. There is a notable demand among advertisers for more competition in the DSP market, with 43% of survey respondents indicating that an improved Amazon DSP could persuade them to allocate more programmatic ad spend to Amazon

The industry's desire for a third major player in the DSP market suggests that if Amazon can effectively address its current shortcomings and reposition its DSP, it could significantly increase its market share. This potential shift comes at a time when some advertisers are seeking alternatives to Google and The Trade Desk, indicating an opportunity for Amazon to capitalise on its strengths and reshape the narrative around its DSP. Read the full article >>

IAB Europe Unveils First-Ever Mapping of Greenhouse Gas Estimation Solutions in Digital Advertising to Support an Industry-Wide Transition to More Sustainable Operations

IAB Europe has published the inaugural report on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Estimation Solutions in Digital Advertising, offering an overview of the various models available for estimating emissions. This aims to help stakeholders understand and manage their environmental impact using different tools and methodologies, amid the backdrop of digital technology's significant contribution to global emissions. 

The report highlights the industry's urgent need for standardisation in estimating emissions, given the plethora of tools available and the absence of uniform standards. It details the features of different solutions, emphasising the importance of data quality, supply chain boundaries, and modeling methods in making informed decisions towards sustainability goals.

Participants in the study, including major media groups and trade associations, underline the movement towards reducing digital advertising's carbon footprint through better measurement and reduction strategies. The report calls for more collaboration and standardisation in methodologies to enhance the accuracy and effectiveness of GHG estimation tools, aiming for an industry-wide approach to sustainability.

Read the full article >>

Nubai Ventures Sues Outbrain, Claiming Its Traffic Is Riddled With Bots

Nubai Ventures has initiated legal action against Outbrain, accusing the ad platform of delivering traffic dominated by bots, particularly when clients do not pay for premium site placements. The lawsuit highlights a significant issue in digital advertising, where Nubai paid over $1 million for traffic that resulted in an 80% drop in ad revenue due to the high volume of sophisticated invalid traffic (SIVT).

Jamarlin Martin, CEO of Nubai, alleges that Outbrain's system unfairly penalises those not opting for more expensive placements, leading to a surge in bot traffic for lower-tier campaign settings. Outbrain refutes these allegations, claiming they attempted to address Martin's concerns, which were met with a lack of cooperation.

Nubai's lawsuit seeks punitive damages, accusing Outbrain of contributing to the broader problem of ad fraud, and calls for greater transparency and accountability in the industry. Outbrain maintains that the lawsuit is baseless and expresses its commitment to combating non-human traffic across its network. Read the full article >>

Commission publishes guidelines under the DSA for the mitigation of systemic risks online for elections

The EC has issued guidelines under the DSA for Platforms and Search Engines with +45M EU users to address systemic online risks affecting electoral integrity, particularly for the upcoming European Parliament elections. They are urged to enhance internal processes and implement context-specific risk mitigation measures.

The guidelines also emphasise the need for clear labeling of political advertising and AI-generated content, such as deepfakes, and advocate for collaboration with authorities, experts, and civil society for efficient information exchange and incident response. Post-election reviews are recommended to assess the effectiveness of these measures, with results to be made publicly available for feedback.

In preparation for the European elections, platforms are encouraged to allocate sufficient resources for risk mitigation and cooperate with the European Digital Media Observatory Task Force. The guidelines, informed by public consultation and cooperation with Digital Services Coordinators, also highlight the importance of third-party research into the effectiveness of these measures.

Platforms not adhering to these guidelines must demonstrate to the Commission that their alternative measures are equally effective, with the Commission able to initiate formal proceedings for non-compliance. A stress test with stakeholders is planned to ensure readiness and effective use of established mechanisms. Read the full article >>

A Pubmatic Server Anomaly, $1 Billion CPMs, and a Complicated Programmatic Ecosystem

Pubmatic swiftly resolved a significant error in its ad auction system that mistakenly showed $1 billion in CPMs to publishers, avoiding substantial financial repercussions.
This incident revealed the vulnerabilities and complexities within the programmatic advertising ecosystem, underscoring the potential need for increased regulation.

The error, caused by a server anomaly at one of Pubmatic's US data centers, resulted in abnormally high CPM bids being displayed for a brief 40-second period, without actual financial loss to advertisers or publishers. Despite the quick resolution, the event led to discussions about the implications for the programmatic supply chain, highlighting the intricate network of agencies, platforms, and services involved.

The incident serves as a reminder of the fragility of the ad tech ecosystem and the importance of robust systems and collaborations to prevent similar issues. Industry experts are now advocating for clearer regulations to safeguard against such anomalies, emphasising the need for better oversight and cooperation across the programmatic landscape. Read the full article >>

How Forbes is testing its SSPs to improve programmatic ad revenue

Forbes is reassessing its relationships with SSPs to enhance ad tech contributions to its revenue, diverging from the standard reliance on SSPs' recommendations based on other publishers' success. The publisher embarked on a strategy of testing different SSP integrations, starting with one that previously showed mediocre revenue, to determine if alternative approaches could yield better results.

During these tests, Forbes experimented with various implementations, like Amazon’s Transparent Ad Marketplace and Prebid, aiming not to shift but to uncover new revenue streams. Remarkably, some tests doubled revenue in new integrations compared to existing ones, with Forbes carefully monitoring these experiments over three-month periods to ensure reliable outcomes.

By 2024, Forbes had expanded its testing to a third and was preparing to test a fourth SSP, selectively choosing which SSPs to examine based on performance, treating these evaluations as a form of performance improvement plan for SSPs. This innovative approach allows Forbes to tailor its SSP strategy, enhancing revenue and refining its ad tech ecosystem. Read the full article >>

Prebid Mobile webinar

Join Prebid for their Mobile Webinar on April 11th. Tune in to hear PMC Chair Alex Savelyev, Vice Chair Mike Mullin, and Mobile engineer Jonathan Sligh share the latest updates on the current state of Prebid Mobile, including the focus on in-app, version 3.0 release, and identity updates. Register here >>

Week 12

Amazon sees opportunity amid the demise of third-party cookies

As 3P cookies face deprecation in Chrome, Amazon is poised to benefit significantly, emerging as a key platform for targeted and measurable advertising. They are promoting their "durable solutions" like Amazon Audiences and Modeled Conversions, which don’t rely on 3P cookies.

A major focus for Amazon is the development of its own identifier, ID++, aimed at enhancing its ads business and providing a unique connection to publishers' authenticated inventory. This initiative, along with efforts in contextual targeting, positions Amazon as a strong contender in a post-cookie advertising landscape, potentially attracting advertisers seeking privacy-compliant data sharing and measurement solutions.

Despite the uncertain future of 3P cookies, Amazon's strategic moves could enable it to secure a more significant share of the advertising market. However, success in this new environment will require more than just technological innovation; it will also depend on Amazon's ability to offer compelling solutions that address advertisers' and publishers' needs in a privacy-first world. Read the full article >>

Frequency management is capping CTV ad spend

Ad tech is exploring new avenues like CTV advertising as traditional online advertising faces challenges with the deprecation of foundational audience targeting tools. CTV advertising, which is expected to grow significantly, presents both opportunities and challenges, such as the need for more efficient frequency capping to encourage increased investment from marketers and publishers.

At the CTV Connect conference, industry experts discussed overcoming the limitations experienced in desktop and mobile advertising and improving ad frequency management. Despite the promise of CTV, issues with data signals and inventory transparency from legacy TV networks complicate frequency capping, impacting viewer experience.

Solutions include using measurement tools to enforce frequency caps and negotiating directly with content providers. Additionally, AI and identity signals like UID2 are being explored to enhance ad targeting and frequency management across CTV and linear TV, potentially transforming CTV advertising effectiveness. Read the full article >>

Google’s Adoption Of New Instream/Outstream Standards Could Spell Disaster For Some Online Video Platforms

Google AdX's upcoming video policy update on April 1 aims to align with industry standards by differentiating instream and outstream video, potentially lowering CPMs for previously considered premium inventory. The change, based on guidelines from the IAB Tech Lab, seeks to clarify these categories to better meet advertiser expectations.

This significant shift, given Google's market dominance, could impact monetisation for platforms relying on types of video inventory now deemed less lucrative. Publishers have already reported substantial revenue drops during testing phases on AdX, indicating a potential shake-up in video ad monetisation strategies.

Video content creators, especially those focusing on AI-generated content, may need to adapt by prioritising instream content or exploring new formats. Google asserts that this update will benefit publishers and advertisers by ensuring more accurate inventory representation, despite the immediate challenges it presents. Read the full article >>

IAB Europe Sends Letter to the EDPB on the 'Consent or Pay' Model

IAB Europe and other digital advertising groups have submitted a joint letter to the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), requesting a public consultation on the forthcoming guidelines regarding the "Consent or Pay" model. They urge the EDPB to align its stance with existing EU and EEA legal frameworks and to collaborate with competition and consumer protection bodies to define what constitutes "reasonable" pricing. 

The letter emphasises that most Europeans prefer to choose between paying for online services or accessing them for free with advertising support. It counters the claim that the "Consent or Pay" model infringes on data protection rights, asserting that GDPR compliance is required regardless of consent status. Read the full article >>

New York’s MTA Enables Programmatic Across Its Entire DOOH Network

Programmatic DOOH is now accessible across New York's transit system, encompassing 3,800 screens, following a partnership between OUTFRONT and the MTA. This expansion offers advertisers direct access to a significant daily audience, improving flexibility and efficiency by allowing for real-time bidding and targeting without the need for long-term direct buys. 

The transition facilitates more precise audience targeting and measurement, incorporating advancements like location-based attribution and dynamic creative optimisation to appeal to advertisers seeking more nuanced campaign strategies.  OUTFRONT aims to increase its share by offering more flexible buying options and integrating data for richer audience insights, even as it anticipates direct deals will continue to dominate premium placements. Read the full article >> 

Publishers Look to Diversification Amid Falling Video and Display Revenues 

UK digital publishers experienced a revenue decline of 1.8 percent YoY in Q4, as reported by the AOP and Deloitte, with significant drops in online video and display advertising revenues. Despite these challenges, there were positive developments in other revenue streams, such as subscriptions and sponsorships, which saw significant growth, along with a 300 percent increase in digital audio revenue in Q4.

The varied impact on publishers, with half reporting growth in Q4, underscores the importance of diversifying revenue streams beyond traditional digital advertising. Industry experts emphasise the necessity of diversification and the potential of emerging areas like digital audio and subscriptions as vital for publishers navigating declines in ad revenue and evolving market demands. Read the full article >> 

Ad execs enter crucial phase of Google’s Privacy Sandbox experimentation

Google's Privacy Sandbox enters a critical test phase with major ad tech firms like Adform, Criteo, and Magnite participating to evaluate alternatives to 3P cookies, focusing on the Protected Audiences API, Topics API, and Attribution Reporting API. This testing is part of compliance with the U.K.'s CMA, aiming to provide advertisers and publishers with valuable insights into ad effectiveness and pricing dynamics without 3P cookies.

The tests, involving only a small portion of ad traffic, seek to measure the potential impact on ad prices and demand, with companies committed to maintaining a stable test environment to ensure reliable data. Despite the limited scope, this period is seen as a crucial step in understanding how the Privacy Sandbox can balance advertiser ROI and publisher CPMs in a post-cookie landscape.

Results from these tests are not expected to be conclusive but will inform ongoing discussions and development around alternative tracking mechanisms. The industry's exploration of the Privacy Sandbox reflects broader efforts to find privacy-first solutions to the challenges posed by the phasing out of third-party cookies. 

Read the full article >> 

How Disney Juggles Direct Supply Paths Without Disintermediating SSPs

Disney is pushing to automate its ad sales by the end of the year, introducing DRAX Direct to facilitate direct advertiser access to Disney+ and Hulu inventory through The Trade Desk and Google’s DV360. This direct approach aims to offer advertisers more transparency and higher audience match rates by bypassing supply-side platforms, enhancing the efficiency of ad buys.

DRAX Direct allows for first-party data matching with Disney’s audience through integrations, improving upon the slightly lower match rates seen through supply-side platform matches. Despite this direct path, Disney clarifies that the move is not about disintermediating SSP like Magnite but offering advertisers more options for accessing inventory. 

This strategy reflects a growing buyer preference for direct paths, yet Disney maintains partnerships with over 30 DSPs to cater to a wide range of advertisers, from small to mid-market. Disney's initiative with DRAX Direct is not expected to reduce demand through SSPs but rather to simplify the technology process for advertisers seeking direct access to its ad inventory. Read the full article >> 

Retail Media to Make Up One-Fifth of US Ad Spend This Year

Retail media spending in the US is projected to significantly increase, accounting for one-fifth of the US ad spend in 2024 and potentially almost a quarter by 2025, as forecasted by Advertiser Perceptions. The growth is primarily driven by offsite programmatic retail media platforms, with spending expected to surge to over $20 billion this year.

Despite the rise in retail media, programmatic ad spending on mobile and desktop is expected to remain flat or achieve only single-digit growth, presenting challenges for publishers. However, digital ad spend continues to grow, fueled by the popularity of short-form videos on social media and anticipated boosts in CTV spending due to the elections and Olympics, underscoring the evolving landscape of digital advertising.

Read the full article >> 

Week 11

Adalytics Report Torches Ad Tech For Touting MFA Prevention While Scarfing MFA Supply

The advertising industry faces challenges with the prevalence of made-for-advertising (MFA) sites despite claims of reducing such inventory. An Adalytics report highlights this issue, showing major SSPs and DSPs still engage with MFA sites.

This situation underscores a complex ecosystem where incentives misalign; SSPs removing MFA might see reduced reach and higher CPMs, while DSPs driven by client demand for reach and low costs continue utilising MFA. The report also commends companies like The Trade Desk for effectively filtering out MFA. It suggests ongoing maintenance and stakeholder alignment are essential to tackle MFA effectively.

Read the full article >> 

Criteo is exploring a services layer for Privacy Sandbox

Ad tech vendors concerned about the complexities and costs associated with Google's shift away from cookies may find a solution in Criteo's technology. Criteo, having acquired IPONWEB, a key player in the ad tech infrastructure, is in discussions with Google's Privacy Sandbox team to offer services that would alleviate the burden on smaller SSPs and DSPs lacking resources for this transition.

This move taps into IPONWEB's legacy of enabling connections within the programmatic ecosystem, potentially offering sandbox solutions to support the industry's move to a cookieless environment. Developing and maintaining technology compatible with Google’s Privacy Sandbox alternatives could cost companies around $7 million, highlighting Criteo's proposition's financial advantage.

Despite Criteo's readiness and the industry's apparent need, it remains uncertain if the broader ad tech market will embrace Criteo’s services, given the competitive dynamics and the significant resource allocation required for such a transition. The industry faces a pressing timeline, with Google committed to eliminating third-party cookies by the end of 2024, amid concerns about the readiness of the Privacy Sandbox APIs.

Read the full article >> 

Privacy Sandbox: What’s Wrong With Video?

A technical mismatch between VAST, the video ad serving standard, and Google's Protected Audiences API (PAAPI) within the Privacy Sandbox complicates video ad delivery as the industry transitions from third-party cookies. The integration challenges between these two technologies require significant changes across the ad ecosystem to maintain publisher revenue and fill rates.

Current proposals limit video ad fallback options, impacting ad delivery reliability. Publishers and ad tech partners are urged to increase their testing with the Privacy Sandbox to adapt to these changes, seeking technical compromises to ensure seamless video ad operations. Read the full article >>

IAB Europe's Guide to the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)

Since the European Green Deal's launch in 2020, the EU has introduced the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) to improve transparency and accountability in
corporate reporting.
IAB Europe's Sustainability Committee has developed the ‘Guide to the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD)’ as an educational resource, providing valuable insights and guidance on the CSRD. Link to the Guide >>

Publishers sort out their revenue priorities for the year, with direct-sold ads leading the way

As the first quarter of 2024 concludes, Digiday+ Research's surveys of over 150 publishing professionals reveal a strategic shift in revenue generation priorities following a challenging 2023. Direct-sold advertisements have emerged as the primary focus for publishers, overshadowing other revenue streams like subscriptions and affiliate commerce. 

The research indicates a stable hierarchy in revenue sources, with direct-sold ads, programmatic ads, branded content, and video advertising leading. However, there's a notable decline in emphasis on branded content and other areas compared to the previous year. Specifically, branded content decreased from 80% of publishers benefiting from it in Q1 2023 to 72% in Q1 2024, with a similar downtrend in intent to focus on this area.

Subscription, events, and affiliate commerce revenues also experienced reductions, highlighting a broader trend of decreased diversification in publishers' revenue models. Despite these shifts, the surveys highlight significant increases in publishers' intent to focus on direct-sold ads, programmatic ads, branded content, and video advertising in the upcoming months, marking a concentrated effort to bolster these areas in 2024.

Read the full article >>

Prebid Cookieless Future Webinar Recap

If you missed Prebid’s “The State of Cookie Deprecation” webinar on March 5th, check out the recap for industry insights and findings. Read the full article >>

Week 10

The Dawn of Hedged Gardens: The Evolution of Data Collaboration

The transformation within the data management and privacy landscape leads to a new approach called "Hedged Gardens," emphasising balanced data collaboration. This shift, propelled by advancements in decentralised data clean rooms and privacy-preserving technologies like differential privacy and identity resolution, aims to foster a secure and collaborative data environment.

"Hedged Gardens" allow for controlled data collaboration with safeguards for privacy, while "Clean Houses" focus on maintaining data integrity and privacy. This evolution addresses the limitations of traditional "Walled Gardens" by enabling secure data sharing and analysis, paving the way for a more interoperable and privacy-conscious data ecosystem. Read the full article >> 

Privacy Sandbox’s Latency Issues Will Cost Publishers

As the advertising industry adapts to Google's Privacy Sandbox and the deprecation of third-party cookies, there's a push towards privacy-centric advertising. Early testing of Privacy Sandbox's Protected Audiences API (PAAPI) reveals challenges such as increased latency affecting ad viewability and yield, making large-scale testing financially risky for publishers.

Despite this, industry participation in Sandbox testing is crucial for navigating the cookieless future. Feedback to Google is essential for refining PAAPI, emphasising the need for publisher control and reporting within the Sandbox. The industry's collective effort in testing and feedback is vital for developing privacy-friendly, effective advertising solutions. Read the full article >> 

Reach results 2023: Revenue falls 5% as print outperforms digital

Reach, a UK media company owning Mirror, Express, and +100 local news brands, saw a 5% revenue decline to £568.6m in 2023. Digital revenues fell by 15% to £127.4m, while print decreased only by 2% to £438.8m, aided by reduced newsprint costs and cover price hikes. Despite the overall decline, print remains the major revenue source, contributing 75%, as Reach focuses on transitioning to a digitally-focused, data-driven business model. Read the full article >> 

New Privacy-Preserving Ads API coming to Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge enhances user protection against tracking and introduces the Ad Selection API to allow relevant advertising without third-party cookies, incorporating strong privacy measures. This API leverages Trusted Execution Environments for data protection and is part of efforts to responsibly phase out third-party cookies, starting with small-scale experiments.

Microsoft urges the industry to test and provide feedback on the Ad Selection API.

How to test third-party cookie deprecation in Microsoft Edge today:

  • Go to edge://flags/#test-third-party-cookie-phaseout in a new tab.
  • Enable the Test Third Party Cookie Phaseout flag.
  • Restart Microsoft Edge.

    Read the full article >> 

Google in Europe: Complying with the Digital Markets Act

The European Union's Digital Markets Act (DMA) is now in effect, imposing new regulations on designated companies. Google has announced various changes to comply with the DMA, including modifications to search results, the introduction of choice screens on Android devices, and new consent requirements for linking Google services.

These changes are designed to foster transparency and offer users more control, but they also present trade-offs affecting users and businesses. Google aims to balance innovation with user privacy and security, navigating complex issues while engaging with stakeholders. Compliance efforts include enhancing data portability, allowing third-party apps and alternative billing systems, and focusing on data sharing and transparency measures. Read the full article >> 


ICO calls for views on allowing UK publishers to tell readers: ‘consent or pay’

The UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) is assessing the regulatory stance on "consent or pay" models for personalised advertising, offering users a choice between consenting to share personal data for targeted ads or paying to keep their data private.  This approach addresses the lower revenue from non-personalised ads for publishers.

The ICO emphasises the need for fair user choice in consent mechanisms for non-essential advertising cookies, understanding that publishers are exploring "consent or pay" models and seeking clarity on regulatory positions to inform their investment decisions. Read the full article >> 

CJEU Ruling Clarifies Limited Role of IAB Europe in TCF

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled on IAB Europe's appeal against the Belgian Data Protection Authority's decision on the Transparency & Consent Framework. The court clarified the concepts of personal data and joint controllership, finding that digital signals (TC Strings) indicating user preferences are personal data, and IAB Europe can be considered a joint controller for their creation and use.

However, IAB Europe isn't seen as a joint controller for subsequent processing by TCF participants for digital advertising and related purposes. This ruling allows the ongoing legal process to proceed with clarity on these points. Pending the Belgian Market Court's further examination, the suspension of the authority's decision continues. This outcome has broad implications for organisations with digital activities. Read the full article >> 


IAB Europe Unveils Latest Supply Chain Transparency Guide with a Focus on Sustainability

The IAB Europe's Programmatic Trading Committee has released a new version of the Supply Chain Transparency Guide, reflecting the industry's commitment to transparency and sustainability. The guide provides key questions and guidelines to help stakeholders make informed decisions and promote digital advertising supply chain accountability. 

Link to the Guide >>

Digiday Report: What subscribers want from their subscriptions in 2024

Subscribers are increasingly seeking flexibility and transparency in their subscriptions due to rising costs, with video streaming and retail subscriptions being the most popular. Despite the popularity, 57% have cancelled subscriptions anticipating price hikes, highlighting a desire for control over costs and content. 

Successful publishers and brands in streaming and retail see growth by aligning with these preferences. Download the full survey (conducted by Bango from 5,000 U.S. subscribers) for more in-depth information. Download the full report >> 

Prebid event: ASCENT London May 1st

Industry leaders will gather to discuss the future of privacy-focused, ad-supported digital ecosystems, focusing on channels like CTV and in-app. The event will highlight Prebid's open-source solutions to enhance programmatic revenue and encourage collaboration among publishers, ad-tech firms, and buyers. Read more & tickets >> 

Week 9

Google hit with $2.3 bln lawsuit by Axel Springer, other media groups

Google has been hit with a $2.3 billion lawsuit by 32 media groups, including Axel Springer and Schibsted. The companies allege they have suffered losses due to Google's digital advertising practices.

The group accuses Google of restricting competition and claims that without Google's abuse of its dominant position, media companies would have earned significantly more from advertising and paid less for ad tech services. Read the full article >>


Ad tech’s take: early reactions to Google’s third-party cookie demise

Although the end of third-party cookies was expected to be catastrophic for ad tech, it has proven to be a win for many players.

For example, The Trade Desk has managed to weather the challenge well so far, with its alternative Unified ID 2.0 increasing cost-effectiveness and prices. Magnite and PubMatic have responded to the challenge differently: Magnite supports the Privacy Sandbox, while PubMatic has focused on growing areas where cookies are unnecessary.

Criteo expects a challenging year ahead, while LiveRamp is ready for the removal of cookies and is heavily involved in new targeting opportunities. Integral Ad Science, on the other hand, focuses on filling the gap left by cookies with contextual data and attention metrics. Read full article >>


Publishers’ Q4 earnings paint a gloomy picture of 2023

Analysis of Q4 2023 results hinted at a potential recovery in ad revenue.

Publishers like Gannett, IAC, News Corp, and The New York Times have already released their full-year 2023 results, showing a decline in ad revenue but highlighting the importance of subscription revenue as a stabilising factor. The New York Times saw a 9.9% growth in digital subscriptions over the year, while Gannett reported an increase in digital subscriptions in the last quarter.

Looking ahead to 2024, publishers anticipate positive developments, with BuzzFeed expecting financial benefits from the sale of Complex. Read full article >>


DoubleVerify and Roku uncover CTV ad fraud scheme costing advertisers $7.5M per month

DoubleVerify and Roku uncovered a major CTV ad fraud scheme called "CycloneBot" in early 2023, estimated to have siphoned off $7.5 million per month from advertisers.

The fraud utilised traditional domain spoofing in a new way, generating impressions that mimicked prolonged CTV viewing sessions. Roku leveraged its own Advertising Watermark technology to unveil the fraud, underscoring the increasing sophistication of CTV ad fraud. This raises concerns among advertisers as frauds are possible across all buying paths. Roku is considering making Advertising Watermark the industry standard to combat future CTV ad frauds. Read the full article >>


IAB TECH LAB: Introducing Initial OpenRTB Support for the Protected Audience API

Google's Privacy Sandbox introduces innovations in advertising buying and selling through several APIs. OpenRTB is gearing up to meet these new challenges, especially for the Protected Audience API, which requires a clearer support framework.

With this development, ad tech industry standards like OpenRTB will adapt to support in-browser real-time bidding, opening new opportunities for programmatic advertising.
Read the full article >>


Magnite’s CTV Spend Swelled By 20% In 2023

Magnite's Q4 revenue hit $187 million. While CTV's portion of the revenue grew, its actual revenue was slightly lower than the previous year.

CEO Michael Barrett emphasized CTV's expansion through partnerships with companies such as Roku and Warner Bros and new market opportunities. Additionally, the company is gearing up for the end of third-party cookies by integrating and supporting Privacy Sandbox. Read the full article >>


FreeWheel Introduces Programmatic Ad Buying to the 2024 Upfronts with Industry-First, Allocation Module Solution

FreeWheel has launched a solution called the Allocation Module, which allows marketers to comprehensively manage their advertising commitments and explore new opportunities in bid-based TV advertising.

The platform provides advertisers and publishers with improved tools for managing the upfront commitments of video advertising across various transaction types, including direct campaigns, programmatic guaranteed, and, for the first time, bid-based programmatic deals. The allocation Module enhances transparency and optimises the process by which advertisers fulfil their upfront commitments across different advertising channels, offering better control and efficiency. Read the full article >>


Doordash Must Pay $375,000 Fine for CCPA Violation

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) amendments took effect in February.

DoorDash has been ordered to pay a $375,000 fine for violating the CCPA and the California Online Privacy Protection Act (CalOPPA), warning the industry about the importance of adhering to privacy practices. The decision by the California court confirms the enforcement of the amended CCPA regulations, marking a new phase in privacy protection oversight. Read the full article >>


Google Faces Wider Antitrust Probe Over Online Ads in Canada

The Canadian Competition Bureau is extending its investigation into Google, scrutinizing the company's dominance in the advertising market. The probe, which commenced in 2020, now centres on Google's role in the online advertising technology market, examining how the company's actions could restrict choice and innovation.

The company contends that its products are selected for their effectiveness and pledges to maintain collaboration with the Competition Bureau, highlighting the competitiveness of its sector. Read the full article >>


The Post Third Party Cookie Countdown Series

Join IAB Europe's Post-Third-Party Cookie Countdown Webinar Part 2 on March 7th at 15:00 CET. The webinar series provides information and preparation tips for the removal of cookies, bringing together industry stakeholders to discuss alternatives and share experiences, and offers participants the opportunity to ask questions to experts.

Register here >>

Week 8

Publishers say Q1 is ‘off like a rocket’ after a lousy 2023

Ad revenue for Q1 2024 is showing positive trends compared to the previous year, with digital media executives noting a significant recovery. Apartment Therapy Media, for instance, reports a 20% increase in Q1 ad volume and a 40% rise in full-year bookings year over year. 

Despite a challenging 2023, publishers like BDG and Vox Media are also experiencing a 10% increase in ad sales. The industry observes larger deal sizes, higher win rates, and a significant rise in client renewals, suggesting a more robust advertising market as we move further into 2024. Read the full article >>


CTV providers court SME ad spend as the streaming wars enter a new era 

Roku is shifting focus towards its Roku Ads Manager, targeting small-to-medium enterprises by sunsetting its OneView ad platform, introduced in 2020. This move, part of a broader strategy to attract SME advertising spend, involves channelling resources into Roku Ads Manager, which offers a more accessible platform with a lower minimum campaign spend of $500. 

This adjustment aims to make Roku's extensive streaming inventory, which tallied over 100 billion hours across 80 million active accounts last year, more accessible to SMEs, aligning with industry trends where CTV providers like Disney’s Hulu and NBCUniversal target beyond large advertisers. Read the full article >>


How Criteo is playing within Google’s Privacy Sandbox

Criteo anticipates a significant revenue impact, estimating a loss of $30 million to $40 million in the latter half of the year due to Google's phase-out of third-party cookies. Despite historical reliance on cookies for ad targeting, Criteo is adapting by investing in Google's Privacy Sandbox as an alternative, with a dedicated team working on testing these tools. The company's comprehensive involvement in both the supply and demand sides of ad tech allows it to assess the broader effects of this transition on ad spend ROI and publisher revenue. Read full article >>


CTV, Targeting, and Sustainability - Europe 2023–2024

As the use of third-party cookies decreases, the share of campaigns executed through CTV in Europe is set to increase significantly, while brands and agencies are increasingly turning towards curated media purchases. The market is recognising the importance of sustainability and is investing heavily in practical actions to reduce carbon emissions, according to a research report "CTV, Targeting, and Sustainability - Europe 2023-2024", published by ExchangeWire and OpenX.

Marketers have noticed the increased attention and premium inventory offered by CTV, and 90% predict that many of their campaigns will be run through CTV in the next two years. At the same time, dependence on third-party cookies is decreasing, and probabilistic identity models are on the rise.
Download the full report here >>


Why Short-Form Video is "an Ambivalent Investment" for Publishers

As the popularity of short videos grows, many publishers have faced challenges in effectively monetising them, while the popularity of longer videos has declined.

The rise of TikTok and YouTube Shorts has reduced interest in traditional long-form videos. Although many publishers have invested in shorter videos, their financial success has not met expectations, putting pressure on the reevaluation of video strategies. Read the full article >>


IAB Europe investigates the industry's readiness for a cookie-less era

Less than a year remains until Chrome discontinues the support for third-party cookies, significantly changing the digital advertising landscape. A survey conducted by IAB Europe, with participation from over 160 European advertising professionals, revealed that although the majority are ready for the change, a large part of the industry still requires support to transition to a cookie-less era.

The survey also emphasized the importance of strategies for stronger first-party data, increased industry collaboration, and innovation beyond the traditional use of cookies. It highlighted divided opinions on testing the Privacy Sandbox and the need to enhance privacy protections. Download the report here >>


Transparency is the largest obstacle in CTV, reveals research

The report by DoubleVerify and IAB Europe highlights challenges in CTV advertising transparency and quality verification in the UK and Europe. It reveals only 30% of advertisers and publishers have full ad placement transparency, and a third of impressions serve when TVs are off. 

Despite these issues, optimism for CTV's potential remains, driven by its ability to deliver premium programming at scale. The study calls for enhanced verification measures to unlock CTV's full benefits and underscores the importance of transparency and quality control for growth. Download the report here>>

Week 7

IAB Tech Lab Report Reveals Privacy Sandbox Complications, But Google Addresses Criticism

Google faces resistance regarding its Privacy Sandbox initiative and the discontinuation of third-party cookies, which may delay the implementation of these measures in Chrome. The concerns raised by the United Kingdom's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) and the challenges outlined in the IAB Tech Lab's report require Google to find solutions to competitive and technical problems. Despite potential delays, Google continues its efforts to eliminate third-party cookies, working with the digital advertising ecosystem and regulatory authorities to develop sustainable solutions. Read the full article >>


Trade Desk's quality-focused product, SP500+, puts publishers at the center

The Trade Desk has launched the pilot of a new product named SP500+, offering buyers a unique opportunity to target advertising across a broad selection of premium publishers such as The New York Times, Disney+, Hulu, ABC, and The Wall Street Journal. Spotify and other audio content providers are unavailable via SP500+, but The Trade Desk plans to expand its service to include Spotify. The product is currently in beta testing, and the schedule for its full release remains open. SP500+ is part of The Trade Desk's broader product suite, Kokai, which is designed to facilitate cooperation between advertisers and third-party suppliers. Read the full article >>


MediaMath's new owner aims for cooperation with former partners

Infillion, the fresh owner of MediaMath, and AdLib, a platform offering programmatic media buying, especially for small and medium-sized advertisers, have announced a collaboration that signifies more than just traditional integration – it is actually a reintegration. AdLib was closely connected to MediaMath for over six years until MediaMath abruptly filed for bankruptcy, leaving AdLib and many other companies in a difficult position.

The bankruptcy news was a severe blow to AdLib, forcing rapid actions to transfer campaigns to other systems. Following this ordeal, AdLib expanded its operations by establishing new partnerships in the DSP market. After the collapse of MediaMath and its acquisition by Infillion, AdLib has now been reintegrated into the MediaMath ecosystem, now under the rebranded MediaMath by Infillion, which opens up broader customer segments for Infillion. Read the full article >>


The Trade Desk is rolling out OpenPath to CTV

The Trade Desk is expanding its OpenPath to the CTV media environment. Two years ago, it sparked discussion by cutting out SSPs with its direct publisher model, and now it's offering the same opportunity for CTV inventory. Cox Media Group and Vizio are among the first participants. After the initial confusion, the situation has stabilized, and The Trade Desk aims to handle its relationship with SSPs diplomatically. Read the full article >>


Most publishers grew their ad offerings, with a focus on branded content

Despite the challenges of 2023, many publishers succeeded in maintaining their staff and expanding their advertising offerings. According to Digiday+ Research, 56% of publishers specifically focused on developing branded content, highlighting the importance of diversifying ad products. Publishers' investments in programmatic ads, event sponsorships, and direct-sold ads reflect a strategic effort to create new revenue streams and meet the varied needs of advertisers. Read the full article >>


The State of Cookie Deprecation Webinar

Join the Prebid Webinar on March 5th, 2024, at 11:00 AM EST, discussing the topic of the year: A Cookieless Future.

Be a part of the conversation as Jeffrey Wieland, Matthew Whaley, David Dabbs, and Patrick McCann provide valuable insights and delve into an update on the current state of cookie deprecation with global, buy-side, and publisher perspectives. Plus, don't miss out on hearing from IAB Tech Lab special guests Hillary Slattery and Miguel Morales. Register here >>


2024 State of Readiness Report on Sustainability in Digital Advertising

Discover the advancements in sustainable digital advertising with the 2024 State of Readiness Report by IAB Europe's Sustainability Standards Committee. Now in its second year, this report gathers insights from 186 responses across 29 European markets, offering a detailed overview of the digital advertising industry's progress towards sustainability. Read the full report >>

Week 6

IAB Tech Lab Says The Chrome Privacy Sandbox Is A Time Bomb That Will Break Real-Time Bidding

According to IAB Tech Lab's analysis, the online advertising industry faces challenges with Google Chrome's Privacy Sandbox. Few of the forty-four use cases studied remain viable with the new APIs, hindering real-time bidding. Despite efforts to introduce privacy-centric features, concerns persist over their impact on advertising practices.

The Tech Lab's report prompts critical questions about the future of digital advertising and calls for collaboration to address industry-wide concerns. The Tech Lab collects feedback on its Privacy Sandbox report and gap analysis during a 45-day public comment period that ends on March 22. Read the full article >>


 Criteo Profits Bounce Back, But There’s A Tough Year Ahead

Criteo has reported strong profit growth and strategic partnerships, marking a turnaround from its previous focus. The company's revenue and stock value have increased, strengthening its market position. Criteo is preparing for a cookieless future by developing new targeting methods despite challenges such as anticipated losses due to changes in Chrome. Read the full article >> 


Stability with transformation’: Insights into the turbulent landscape of 2024 advertising

The beginning of 2024 has been busy and uncertain. Ad spending remains strong, although the growth rate is slowing down. Advertisers are responding strategically and continue to invest. Publishers are cautiously optimistic and focus on events, research, and video to boost direct ad sales. Advertisers and platforms grapple with cookie phase-out and staff cuts. The market sees an uptick in mergers & acquisitions.
Read the full article >> 

 Publishers assess Amazon’s role in their post-cookie ad businesses

Amazon is expanding its collaboration with publishers by offering the opportunity to combine their contextual data with Amazon's purchase data, improving ad targeting amidst the decline of third-party cookies. Dotdash Meredith and Reach plc are examples of companies testing this cooperation. This strategy mainly benefits publishers who have already collected first-party data.

Amazon's actions in the online advertising market, including its partnership with The Trade Desk and the introduction of the Amazon Publisher Cloud, underscore its efforts to strengthen its position in the advertising landscape in a cookieless future.

Read the full article >>

Buyers say the MFA panic is over – but not forgotten

Advertising experts now see MFA sites as a less urgent problem for 2024, with a priority level 4/10. Measures such as inclusive lists have increased confidence in ad safety. While AI-generated content challenges the avoidance of MFA sites, the industry continuously develops protective measures. Other challenges, like the end of third-party cookies, are now taking precedence. Read the full article >>

New sports streaming service will upset the balance of power in TV, media buyers say

Fox, Warner Bros. Discovery, and Disney announced a joint venture to launch a "skinny bundle" for sports content this fall, shaking up traditional TV amidst economic challenges and Netflix acquiring WWE rights. The move, seen as a response to digital giants like Apple and Amazon entering the sports rights arena, aims to consolidate sports streaming, offering an alternative amidst the third-party cookie's demise.

Still unnamed and unpriced, the venture represents a strategic shift to protect and expand legacy media's reach in a streaming-dominated market, potentially doubling the NBA's current $24 billion rights deal. This development signals a re-bundling era in sports broadcasting, challenging traditional models and consumer expectations in the evolving media landscape. Read the full article >>


IAB Europe's Updated Guide to Quality 2024

IAB Europe introduces its 2024 Updated Quality Guide, designed to improve transparency and accountability in the digital advertising ecosystem. The guide offers insights and best practices across key areas, including Ad Fraud, Brand Safety, Creative Execution & User Experience & Viewability. Download the guide to gain deeper insights. Download the guide here >>

Week 5

 IAB Tech Lab presents Google with Privacy Sandbox gap analysis following Annual Leadership Meeting

IAB Tech Lab and Google have discussed the capabilities and limitations of the Privacy Sandbox. IAB Tech Lab conducted a gap analysis, which found that Privacy Sandbox does not cover all necessary use cases, such as ad placement guarantees and reporting deficiencies. The analysis covers over 40 marketing use cases, with approximately 30 not currently supported by Privacy Sandbox.

The slow implementation of Privacy Sandbox APIs poses challenges for ad tech companies in allocating their resources. The meeting aimed to address these gaps and further develop Privacy Sandbox proposals to meet industry needs. The hope is that future iterations will address these issues. Read the full article >>


 ‘Pretty hacky’: Decoding publishers’ concerns over Google’s Privacy Sandbox’s Protected Audiences API

Publishers are concerned about the disappearance of third-party cookies in Chrome and the limitations of the Privacy Sandbox. They are particularly focused on the Protected Audiences API, which is essential for cookieless retargeting. However, the API lacks transparency and reporting, causing issues for publishers. Even those who have tested the Privacy Sandbox still have concerns due to the lack of necessary data and reports.

Collaboration with ad tech vendors is necessary, but the restrictions of the Privacy Sandbox complicate matters. Publishers hope for improvements in the functionality and reporting of the Privacy Sandbox to better understand its impact on their business. For now, the situation appears to be unchanged, and publishers must adapt while awaiting changes. Read the full article >> 

U.K. publishers and the ICO still grapple with offering a ‘reject all’ cookies option amid revenue concerns

In November, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) alerted leading publishers about non-compliant cookie consent pop-ups, insisting on a "reject all" option to conform with privacy regulations. This adjustment presents financial challenges for publishers, with trials indicating potential consent reductions of up to 50%. The ICO is advocating for compliance, whilst publishers investigate alternative revenue methods.

Despite obstacles, there's an effort towards educating on the effects of cookies and negotiating for compliance deadlines, highlighting a compromise between privacy and financial sustainability. Read the full article >>

How publishers are trying to get people to log in to their sites

Publishers in 2024 prioritize audience authentication, leveraging unique identifiers such as IP addresses and device IDs due to the diminishing reliance on third-party cookies. Employing single-step logins via major platforms is a strategic move to enhance user engagement and retention, addressing the crucial balance between seamless user experience and effective user identification. 

The challenge for publishers lies in navigating technological constraints and privacy regulations while maximizing the value of authenticated sessions. This approach underscores the importance of innovative authentication methods that maintain user privacy and trust, presenting a valuable insight into adapting to the evolving digital landscape. Read the full article >>

90% of U.S. Publishers Are Dropping the Ball on Data Compliance

Recent research by Compliant reveals a concerning trend among U.S. publishers, as many neglect consumer data protection, posing a risk to consumer trust. European publishers follow robust data privacy standards, U.S. publishers lag behind, with only 20% having a Consent Management Platform (CMP). Urgent steps are needed to align with data compliance standards and protect consumer data and advertisers' reputations. Read the full article >>


Premion Buys CTV-Focused DSP Octillion

TEGNA-owned CTV advertising platform Premion has acquired Octillion Media, focused on local CTV advertisers. The acquisition brings DSP technology in-house for Premion, improving access to CTV inventory and control over media buying, and expands its offerings with new tools and clients. This strategic move strengthens Premion's position in the local CTV advertising market. Read the full article >>


IAS The State of Brand Safety in the UK

Brand safety is a global priority for marketers. Amid a dynamic media landscape and content growth, they invest in safeguarding their brand and prioritizing brand-friendly content. Integral Ad Science's study explores UK consumers' views on brand-safe content and its impact on brand perception. Download the report to learn more.
Read the full report >>

Week 4

Buyers Can't Test Privacy Sandbox APIs in Google's Ad Platform DV360

Google's DV360 lacks a user interface for buyers to test the Privacy Sandbox, creating challenges in adopting its cookie alternative. This shortfall in direct testing capabilities and vague communication from Google is highlighted by two buyers, as reported by Adweek. The issue aligns with Google's broader plan to phase out cookies, dependent on regulatory approval.

Despite grants for testing Privacy Sandbox, DV360's difficulties signify a complex transition in digital advertising, with industry experts questioning the tool's effectiveness. Read the full article >>


Prebid Year-End Recap and ’24 Preview Webinar Recap

Prebid's remarkable growth, emphasising its status as a community-driven industry standard, is noteworthy. With over 400k installs of Prebid.JS and over 300k installs of Prebid Server, Prebid has established itself as a leader in programmatic technology. The recap presents impressive statistics, collaborative efforts, and product priorities, all led by dedicated professionals. 

Prebid's focus on interoperability and emerging marketplace dynamics remains strong, spanning platforms like CTV, Mobile, and Audio. Discover the roadmap for 2024 and how Prebid plans to navigate industry challenges while expanding its membership and technical capabilities. Read the full article >> 

Ad buyers say it’s still too early to pick which alternative IDs to prioritize

According to industry experts, publishers are exploring various alternative identifiers to replace third-party cookies, but it's too early to determine a clear frontrunner. While some identifiers like LiveRamp's RampID are gaining popularity in specific markets like the U.S., global adoption and scale are necessary before any solution is prioritised agency-wide.

Advertisers also take a holistic approach, combining publisher first-party cookie solutions with authenticated /deterministic IDs, recognising that these identifiers complement rather than replace other data sources. The consolidation of alternative IDs on the buy side will likely occur once universal adoption is established.

Read the full article >>


Prime Video’s pitch deck includes fixed CPMs and precision targeting in Amazon’s bid to advertisers

Amazon is launching an ad-supported streaming tier for Prime Video on January 29th, offering advertisers three options: Preferred Deal, Guaranteed Buy, and Premium Sponsorships. Preferred Deal is the most cost-effective option, while the other two models provide more complex targeting and exclusive program sponsorships.

This new advertising model represents a significant shift in the streaming market, combining premium content with targeted advertising, and has the potential to challenge competitors like Netflix in the ad-supported sector. Read the full article >>

As The Open Web Wobbles, Index Exchange Is Betting On Curated Deals

Index Exchange is introducing Index Marketplaces to streamline ad curation. This new approach combines marketer and publisher data within curated private marketplaces (PMPs), bypassing the need for extensive new integrations. Index Exchange's strategy aims to offer more targeted, cost-effective advertising solutions, leveraging its existing network and infrastructure. Read the full article >>


Google Admits That Chrome’s Incognito Mode Doesn’t Truly Camouflage Users Data

Google updated Chrome's Incognito Mode warning amidst a $5 billion lawsuit alleging user tracking without clear consent. This change addresses the lawsuit's claim of Google tracking Incognito Mode activity. The update highlights a privacy paradox: while Google pushes for privacy improvements like deprecating third-party cookies, its practices are under scrutiny. The situation raises doubts about Google's role as a privacy advocate in the tech world. Read the full article >>


It’s 2024, The Retail Media Revolution Is Here

In 2024, data will drive the retail media revolution, shaping personalised experiences and marketing strategies. As the industry adapts to a cookieless world and the rise of marketplaces, it's reimagining in-store experiences and embracing AI for predictive shopping. Data clean rooms reshape privacy-focused strategies, marking a transformative leap in the retail media landscape, merging digital and physical realms for a more personalised universe. Read the full article >>


IAB Europe Submits Observations to the European Commission's GDPR Multistakeholder Expert Group Questionnaire for the 2024 Report

IAB Europe has submitted its observations to the European Commission on the application of GDPR, emphasising the need for more consistent enforcement of data protection laws and an increased understanding of GDPR. They propose aligning national regulations and harmonising procedures across member states and providing additional guidance to clarify GDPR concepts. 

IAB Europe also highlights the importance of enhancing the operation of Data Protection Authorities (DPAs) and advocates for better integration of GDPR with other laws like the AI Act. Read the full article >>

Week 3

Worldwide ad spending growth will accelerate across the board in 2024

In 2024, digital, traditional, and total media advertising expenditures will grow faster globally than in 2023 by nearly 10%. Digital advertising will thrive, accounting for almost 70% of worldwide advertising expenditures.

Traditional media advertising spending will also recover, partly due to major sporting events and political advertising. Advertising spending will grow globally, with some regions experiencing slower growth. Read the full article >>


Tests Of Cookieless Chrome Ads Are Encouraging, But Don’t Get Too Excited

Google began phasing out third-party cookies for 1% of Chrome users two weeks ago, but it's too early to draw definitive conclusions about its impact on advertising. Early results from Raptive showed a 30% drop in CPMs for cookieless audiences compared to those with cookies, but this may change as more users are affected. The industry consensus is that early results are not indicative of long-term trends.

Read the full article >> 

Attack Of The Clones: Programmatic’s Hidden Scourge Of Bid Duplication

Bid duplication is plaguing programmatic auctions, threatening the entire system. This issue creates multiple copies of bid opportunities, leading to inefficiencies and making it difficult for demand-side platforms (DSPs) to scale campaigns. DSPs have attempted to combat bid duplication using traffic shaping, but this has not fully resolved the problem and can result in valuable bid requests being discarded.

Addressing bid duplication requires industry-wide coordination, algorithm changes, and policy adjustments to ensure the efficiency and sustainability of programmatic advertising. Read the full article >>

LiveRamp Acquires Habu, As Walled Gardens Put The Squeeze On Indie Data Collaboration Tech

US technology company LiveRamp has announced its intention to acquire Habu for $200 million. Habu specializes in processing clean data on various cloud platforms, including Google's Ads Data Hub and Amazon Marketing Cloud. On the other hand, LiveRamp provides a large commercial identity graph and enables offline data onboarding into the digital marketing ecosystem.

While the data clean room category is small, it is competitive, and this acquisition will help both companies compete more effectively against major players like Google and Amazon. Read the full article >>

The Privacy Sandbox proposals publishers are prioritizing in early tests 

Google is deprecating third-party cookies in Chrome, starting with 1% of its audience this month. This move allows advertisers and media professionals to explore the Privacy Sandbox as a replacement for individual tracking. Publishers are prioritizing the experimentation of proposals within the Privacy Sandbox, focusing on the Protected Audience API and Topics API.

However, concerns about the impact of cookieless advertising on revenue persist. Despite potential challenges, publishers see Privacy Sandbox experimentation as crucial in the face of impending cookie deprecation, as they continue to rely on Google for a significant portion of their revenue. Read the full article >>


IAB Europe Responds to the EDPB Public Consultation on their Draft Guidelines 2/2023

IAB Europe and national trade associations representing thousands of digital marketing and advertising companies have responded to the EDPB's public consultation on draft guidelines related to the ePrivacy Directive. While they support clarifying requirements for new technologies and ensuring data protection, they have reservations about the current draft. They believe it may lead to discrepancies in interpretation, particularly regarding applying the ePrivacy Directive to existing technologies. They recommend revisions to align the guidelines with EU principles and address practical concerns.

Read the full article >>


IAB Europe Expresses Strong Concerns on The European Parliament’s Draft Report on GDPR Procedural Regulation 

IAB Europe has communicated strong concerns to Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) regarding the draft report on the GDPR procedural regulation by the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee. If implemented in its current form, the draft report falls short of the initial ambitions to harmonise procedural rules, which could hinder a consistent and fair GDPR cross-border complaints process.

Read the full article >>

▸ Week 2

What Will the Next 12 Months Look Like for the Programmatic Supply Chain? 

The advertising industry faces significant shifts in 2024 with the deprecation of third-party cookies and generative AI advancements. 2023 saw challenges for the programmatic supply chain, with increased scrutiny on MFA sites and open market vulnerabilities. Experts predict industry consolidation driven by the need for transparency and technological innovation. 

The industry is expected to adapt to cookie deprecation, exploring new transaction models and focusing on brand suitability in curated marketplaces. Additionally, sustainability will become crucial, with a growing emphasis on reducing carbon footprints in digital campaigns. The year will also see efforts to streamline operations and reduce emissions within SSPs. Read the full article >>


Journalism, media, and technology trends and predictions 2024

The report highlights the transformative impact of AI on journalism in 2024 amidst global political and economic instability. It predicts significant changes in content creation and distribution, with a rise in AI-driven tools and a decline in traditional news site traffic. Publishers are expected to focus more on direct channels and protective measures for intellectual property.

AI's integration into newsrooms is seen as beneficial for efficiency but raises concerns about content creation and trust. The role of platforms in news distribution is shifting, with a decrease in social media referrals and an increase in the use of messaging apps and new platforms.

The overall sentiment is cautious, balancing the opportunities of AI with its challenges for traditional journalism practices and business models. Read the full article >> 

Heart Debuts Programmatic Marketplace For The Highest Bidder

Last year, iHeartMedia launched a programmatic marketplace using Magnite's SpringServe technology for omnichannel media purchases, covering broadcast, streaming, and podcast assets. This platform, driven by real-time data and bidding, sparked industry interest and concerns, particularly about ad rates and inventory.

iHeartMedia, following NBCUniversal's similar initiative, aims to broaden programmatic advertising's scope in audio, enhancing campaign efficacy through real-time data and trusted environments. Magnite collaborates closely with iHeartMedia to develop unique solutions, advocating for more direct connections in the advertising supply chain.

Read the full article >> 

Publishers’ revenues fell short of expectations in 2023, but most see growth ahead in 2024

In 2023, publisher revenues didn't meet expectations, with only a third experiencing growth, contrary to half predicting an increase. Nonetheless, optimism for 2024 remains, as half the publishers anticipate revenue growth. Disappointingly, in 2023, there was a significant 38% revenue decrease.

For 2024, most publishers expect modest growth between 1-10%, while a quarter predicts stable revenues and only 16% foresee a decline. Most remain cautiously optimistic about modest increases rather than expecting substantial revenue jumps. Read the full article >>

 Sustainability standards are coming for digital advertising

In 2024, the digital advertising industry will focus on establishing sustainability standards for measuring carbon emissions. The Global Alliance for Responsible Media (GARM) and Ad Net Zero are creating guidelines under the Global Media Sustainability Framework, aiming for transparency in carbon data reporting. 

Different firms currently report varying emission levels for the same ads, highlighting the need for standardised metrics and methodologies. These voluntary standards will guide advertisers and media companies in assessing their carbon footprints.

It will also encourage transparency and necessitate third-party audits to ensure data accuracy, potentially influencing campaign costs and the adoption of sustainability practices. Read the full article >>

▸ Week 1

Amazon Advances Flashtalking And Smartly As Alternatives 

Amazon is discontinuing the Sizmek ad server, previously a significant player in the industry, by Q4 2024, directing its ad server clients to partners Flashtalking and Smartly.io for transition. Flashtalking offers similar functionalities to Sizmek, while Smartly.io focuses on dynamic creative optimisation.

This shift signifies a broader trend in the industry away from traditional ad servers towards solutions more attuned to creative management and platform-specific needs, reflecting changes in targeting efficiency and the importance of creative elements in advertising campaigns. The move also raises questions about the viability and strategic value of owning or building an ad server in the current digital advertising landscape. Read the full article >>


TV Technology: VAB Report Examines $84B Digital Ad Fraud Market  

In 2023, digital ad fraud costs $84 billion globally, which is expected to double in five years. The Video Advertising Bureau's report, "Hidden Costs: Three Critical Business Ramifications of Digital Ad Fraud", highlights the financial, reputational, and legal risks of digital ad fraud.

Marketers face brand damage from ads in unsuitable environments and legal repercussions due to data breaches. The report emphasises the need for transparency and accountability in the digital ad space to counter these risks. The full report >> 

GROUPM Forms Ad Innovation Accelerator to Power Advertising Experience 

GroupM has launched the Ad Innovation Accelerator, a program to redefine advertising engagement across streaming platforms. Collaborating with Disney, NBCUniversal, YouTube, etc., the initiative seeks to create scalable, advanced ad formats. These ads will be designed for a range of ad-supported streaming environments.

The program enhances advertiser-audience interactions using digital technologies, streamlining ad campaign execution across the streaming ecosystem. It will begin in North America for GroupM clients, with plans to expand globally, and aims to revolutionise the traditional ad format, aligning with the projected growth in CTV advertising. Read the full article >> 

Google Finally Pulls the Trigger on Third-Party Tracking Cookies

As Google implements Tracking Protection to block 3P cookies in Chrome, marketers are adapting to new advertising strategies. Many already started experimenting with cookieless solutions like universal IDs and AI-driven contextual targeting. Despite the initial 1% user impact, industry experts view this as a significant step towards a new advertising era focusing on privacy and innovation.

However, if Google's revenue is affected, there's speculation they might retract the complete deprecation. The move is a positive step for consumer privacy, signalling a shift towards more respectful advertising practices. Read the full article >>

Publishers likely to depend on subscriptions less as they explore alternative revenue streams in 2024

In 2023, while programmatic advertising remained a key revenue source for publishers, they began exploring alternative sources like events, commerce, and non-traditional platform partnerships. Subscription revenue trends were mixed: more publishers earned from subscriptions, but this revenue contributed a smaller overall percentage.

A significant rise in publishers earning only a small portion from subscriptions was observed, while those profiting significantly from subscriptions declined. Additionally, interest in expanding subscription businesses appears to wane among publishers, with fewer prioritising this area for future growth. Read the full article >>

Privacy and AI policies to watch in 2024

2024 will see continued discussions around AI regulation and significant developments in data privacy across various levels. The year will be challenging for those tracking new privacy laws and regulations, both domestically and internationally, with the added complexity of rules concerning AI and antitrust issues. 

The phasing out of third-party cookies by Google will also significantly impact privacy and online advertising practices. The legal landscape will become more intricate with the introduction of various state privacy laws in the US, each with its nuances, posing new compliance challenges for global companies.

International laws, particularly in the EU, will further influence privacy practices, especially concerning AI. This evolving regulatory environment will require businesses to adapt swiftly to ensure compliance. Read the full article >>