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‘The ad experiences that consumers find most annoying are also bad for the environment’: The business case for sustainable digital advertising



‘The ad experiences that consumers find most annoying are also bad for the environment’: The business case for sustainable digital advertising

Sustainability is one of the hot-button issues in the 21st century and one that’s increasingly generating discussion at the highest echelons of the advertising industry. 

True, the cause is noble, but now ad execs are increasingly starting to see the opportunity for cost-efficiencies as well as new business opportunities posed by embracing such thinking. 

The Ad Net Zero report from the Advertising Association cites a 2020 study of U.K. execs noting that 71% of respondents are worried over the potential negative impact the ad industry could have on the environment. Not only that, 91% claimed employers taking positive steps to reduce their carbon footprint will likely lead to an increase in their job satisfaction.  

Harriet Kingaby, co-chair of the Conscious Advertising Network, explained to Digiday how the rise of technologies such as AI has prompted multiple marketers to ponder how digital is impacting their brands’ CSR commitments. 

“A lot of these technologies such as NFTs etc. are using a lot of carbon,” she said referencing a study from the University of Cambridge that details how mining for Bitcoins uses more electricity than nations the size of Argentina, Pakistan or Sweden. 

“As we use these kinds of technologies more and more, it’s really important that they are not increasing the carbon load of their advertising placements,” added Kingaby. “If we think of how brands have been trying to think about making their physical supply chains carbon-neutral, then it only makes sense that their digital supply chains follow suit.”  

Such notions have also caught the attention of some of the industry’s leading names with serial ad tech entrepreneur Brian O’Kelley making sustainability the central purpose of his latest venture Scope3. Both Kingaby and O’Kelley, claim media agencies have increasingly started to mirror the public sustainability pledges of their consumer-facing clients in the past 12-months with the latter noting how ad tech companies using such wares are starting to see material benefits. 

Scope3 uses multiple data points to help companies model the carbon footprint of their activity. “There are four major components for emissions to a web page,” he explained to Digiday. “There’s the device or browser, like, when the CPU from Javascript and rendering page, then there’s the energy from data transmission when things are going through 5G or WiFi, the production cost of the content, then there’s the targeting and analytics.” 

It’s on the final aspect where O’Kelley, an executive who helped usher ad tech into the mainstream of the ad industry, aims to help the media industry realize the benefit of more responsible thinking by aggregating data from multiple sources to assess the carbon footprint of an ad impression. 

“We’ve built one of the most accurate pictures of the advertising supply chain that’s ever been put together by building a proprietary model for how a DSP or SSP works … we can run a full simulation of the internet,” he explained. 

For instance, Scope3 recently ran an analysis of The Trade Desk’s recent decision to stop bidding on ad inventory sold via Google’s Open Bidding platform, estimating that the demand-side platform saved 5,387 tons of Co2 in the process. 

O’Kelley told Digiday that such thinking is increasingly top of mind for both consumer-facing brands, their media agencies, and even for potential investors in, otherwise, potentially niche areas such as ad tech. For instance, those companies taking a responsible approach to their carbon footprint are less likely to experience employee disgruntlement, or even a consumer boycott, over such issues in the future, he points out.   

“I would say that in the U.K., France and Australia it is the number one [CSR] topic from [media] agencies and brands,” he added. “I think in the U.S. it is, probably number two or three, but definitely rising.” 

Speaking separately with Digiday, Kevin Flood, a partner at investment firm First Party Capital, explained his theory on how a low carbon mindset could also equate to savings when it comes to running ad campaigns. 

Presently, the high number of transactions processed across multiple trading platforms means the carbon footprint involved in the monetization of a single web page — not to mention the processing fees involved — can escalate quickly. 

However, Flood claimed that a ‘batch-based’ approach to media buying (as opposed to constantly listening to bid requests in real-time) could reduce the carbon footprint required for each ad loaded on a page. For instance, if a buy-side player seeks to purchase ad impressions on search or social, they can push an API-based order into the walled garden of their choosing on an intermittent basis.   

“If sellers are going stop communicating IDs in the bid stream then increasingly, audience execution will be done in the publisher ad server,” he explained. “So there’s no need for impression-by-impression real-time buying. Then you pull the results every one-or-10 minutes, or every hour, update your pricing, targeting algorithm so it’s not done in real-time … [then] there’s no need for all of those server costs and that high-bandwidth or the environmental impact of that.” 

Meanwhile, Scope3 is also partnering with Blockthrough, a company that helps publishers recover revenue that could potentially be lost to adblocking software, to help buyers access low carbon ad inventory from a single trading platform by the close of June. 

Marty Krátký-Katz, CEO of Blockthrough, told Digiday the impending launch demonstrates that publishers don’t have to trade off “doing what’s right” and revenue and that the platform is on course to host inventory from up to 20 publishers by the close of the second quarter. 

“We’ll be packaging up low carbon ad products in PMPs [private marketplaces],” explained Krátký-Katz.  “Interestingly, it turns out that some of the ad experiences that consumers find the most annoying are also bad for the environment.”


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AMD CEO says 5-nm Zen 4 processors coming this fall



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Advanced Micro Devices revealed its 5-nanometer Zen 4 processor architecture today at the Computex 2022 event in Taiwan.

The new AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors with Zen 4 cores will be coming this fall, said Lisa Su, CEO of AMD, in a keynote speech.

Su said the new processors with Zen 4 architecture will deliver a significant increase in performance upon their launch in the fall of 2022. Additionally, Su highlighted the strong growth and momentum for AMD in the mobile market as 70 of the more than 200 expected ultrathin, gaming and commercial notebook designs powered by Ryzen 6000 Series processors have been launched or announced to-date.

In addition, other AMD executives announced the newest addition to the Ryzen Mobile lineup, “Mendocino;” the newest AMD smart technology, SmartAccess Storage; and more details of the new AM5 platform, including support from leading motherboard manufacturers.

“At Computex 2022 we highlighted growing adoption of AMD in ultrathin, gaming, and commercial notebooks from the leading PC providers based on the leadership performance and battery life of our Ryzen 6000 series mobile processors,” said Su. “With our upcoming AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors, we will bring even more leadership to the desktop market with our next-generation 5-nm Zen 4 architecture and provide an unparalleled, high-

performance computing experience for gamers and creators.”

AMD Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors

The new Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processors will double the amount of L2 cache per core, feature higher clock speeds, and are projected to provide greater than 15% uplift in single-thread performance versus the prior generation, for a better desktop PC experience.

During the keynote, a pre-production Ryzen 7000 Series desktop processor was demonstrated running at 5.5 GHz clock speed throughout AAA game play. The same processor was also demonstrated performing more than 30% faster than an Intel Core i9 12900K in a Blender multi-threaded rendering workload.

In addition to new “Zen 4” compute dies, the Ryzen 7000 series features an all-new 6nm I/O die. The new I/O die includes AMD RDNA 2-based graphics engine, a new low-power architecture adopted from AMD Ryzen mobile processors, support for the latest memory and connectivity technologies like DDR5 and PCI Express 5.0, and support for up to four displays.

AMD Socket AM5 Platform

The new AMD Socket AM5 platform provides advanced connectivity for our most demanding enthusiasts. This new socket features a 1718-pin LGA design with support for up to 170W TDP processors, dual-channel DDR5 memory, and new SVI3 power infrastructure for leading all-core performance with our Ryzen 7000 Series processors. AMD Socket AM5 features the most PCIe 5.0 lanes in the industry with up to 24 lanes, making it our fastest, largest, and most expansive desktop platform with support for the next-generation and beyond class of storage and graphics cards.

And AMD said the “Mendocino” processors will offer great everyday performance and are expected to be priced from $400 to $700.

Featuring “Zen 2” cores and RDNA 2 architecture-based graphics, the processors are designed to deliver the best battery life and performance in the price band so users can get the most out of their laptop at an attractive price.

The first systems featuring the new “Mendocino” processors will be available from computer partners in Q4 2022.

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AMD’s Ryzen 7000 desktop chips are coming this fall with 5nm Zen 4 cores



AMD’s Ryzen 7000 desktop chips are coming this fall with 5nm Zen 4 cores

AMD’s upcoming Ryzen 7000 chips will mark another major milestone for the company: they’ll be the first desktop processors running 5 nanometer cores. During her Computex keynote presentation today, AMD CEO Lisa Su confirmed that Ryzen 7000 chips will launch this fall. Under the hood, they’ll feature dual 5nm Zen 4 cores, as well as a redesigned 6nm I/O core (which includes RDNA2 graphics, DDR5 and PCIe 5.0 controllers and a low-power architecture). Earlier this month, the company teased its plans for high-end “Dragon Range” Ryzen 7000 laptop chips, which are expected to launch in 2023.

Since this is just a Computex glimpse, AMD isn’t giving us many other details about the Ryzen 7000 yet. The company says it will offer a 15 percent performance jump in Cinebench’s single-threaded benchmark compared to the Ryzen 5950X. Still, it’d be more interesting to hear about multi-threaded performance, especially given the progress Intel has made with its 12th-gen CPUs. You can expect 1MB of L2 cache per core, as well as maximum boost speeds beyond 5GHz and better hardware acceleration for AI tasks.

AMD is also debuting Socket AM5 motherboards alongside its new flagship processor. The company is moving towards a 1718-pin LGA socket, but it will still support AM4 coolers. That’s a big deal if you’ve already invested a ton into your cooling setup. The new motherboards will offer up to 24 channels of PCIe 5.0 split across storage and graphics, up to 14 USB SuperSpeed ports running at 20 Gbps, and up to 4 HDMI 2.1 and DisplayPort 2 ports. You’ll find them in three different flavors: B650 for mainstream systems, X650 for enthusiasts who want PCIe 5.0 for storage and graphics and X650 Extreme for the most demanding folks.

Given that Intel still won’t have a 7nm desktop chip until next year (barring any additional delays), AMD seems poised to once again take the performance lead for another generation. But given just how well Intel’s hybrid process for its 12th-gen chips has worked out, it’ll be interesting to see how it plans to respond. If anything, it sure is nice to see genuine competition in the CPU space again.

While Ryzen 7000 will be AMD’s main focus for the rest of the year, the company is also throwing a bone to mainstream laptops in the fourth quarter with its upcoming 6nm “Mendocino” CPUs. They’ll sport four 6nm Zen 2 cores, as well as RDNA 2 graphics, making them ideal for systems priced between $399 and $699. Sure, that’s not much to get excited about, but even basic machines like Lenovo’s Ideapad 1 deserve decent performance. And for many office drones, it could mean having work-issued machines that finally don’t stink.

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Disney’s Disney+ ad pitch reflects how streaming ad prices set to rise in this year’s upfront



Disney’s Disney+ ad pitch reflects how streaming ad prices set to rise in this year’s upfront

With Disney+, Disney is looking to set a new high-water mark for ad prices among the major ad-supported streamers. The pricey pitch is representative of a broader rising tide in streaming ad pricing in this year’s TV advertising upfront market, as Disney-owned Hulu, Amazon and even Fox’s Tubi are looking to press upfront advertisers to pay up.

In its initial pitch to advertisers and their agencies, Disney is seeking CPMs for Disney+ around $50, according to agency executives. That price point applies to broad-based targeting dubbed “P2+,” which refers to an audience of any viewer who is two years old or older (though Disney has told agency executives that programming aimed at viewers seven years old and younger will be excluded from carrying ads). In other words, more narrowly targeted ads are expected to cost more based on the level of targeting. A Disney spokesperson declined to comment.

At a $50 CPM, Disney+ is surpassing the prices that NBCUniversal’s Peacock  and Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max sought in last year’s upfront market and that gave ad buyers sticker shock. The former sought CPMs in the $30 to $40 range, while the latter sought $40+ CPMs. By comparison, other major ad-supported streamers like Hulu, Discovery+ and Paramount+ were charging low-to-mid $20 CPMs that major ad-supported streamers charge. As a result, Peacock’s and HBO Max’s asks ended up being price prohibitive, with some advertisers limiting the amount of money they spent with the streamers because of their higher rates.

Unsurprisingly, agency executives are balking at Disney+’s price point. “They’re citing pricing that no longer exists, meaning Peacock and HBO Max recognized they came out too high and they’re reducing it. Disney+ is using earmuffs to pretend that second part didn’t happen,” said one agency executive.

However, Disney+ isn’t the only streamer seeking to raise the rates that ad buyers are accustomed to paying. Hulu is also seeking to increase its prices in this year’s upfront, with P2+ pricing going from a $20-$25 CPM average to averaging in the $25-$30 CPM range, according to agency executives. And during a call with reporters on May 16, Fox advertising sales president Marianne Gambelli said that the company will seek higher prices for its free, ad-supported streaming TV service Tubi in this year’s upfront market. It’s unclear what Tubi’s current rates are, but FAST services’ CPMS are typically in the low to mid teens, said the agency executives.

“We have to get the value for Tubi. Tubi has grown to a point — it’s doubled, tripled in size over the past couple of years. So we are going to obviously make that a priority and look for not only more volume but price,” Gambelli said.

Meanwhile, in pitching its Thursday Night Football package that will be streamed on Amazon Prime Video and Twitch, Amazon has been pressing for a premium on what Fox charged advertisers last year, according to agency executives. The e-commerce giant will be handling the games’ ad placements like traditional TV, meaning that it will run the same ad in each ad slot for every viewer as opposed to dynamically inserting targeted ads. “It’s streaming broadcast,” said a second agency executive.

An Amazon spokesperson declined to comment on pricing but did provide a general statement. “Thursday Night Football on Prime Video and Twitch is a purely digital broadcast, and we’re excited to bring fans a new viewing experience. There are 80MM active Prime Video households in the U.S. and, in a survey of our 2021 TNF audience, 38% reported they don’t have a pay-TV service – meaning TNF on Prime Video and Twitch enables brands to connect with cord-cutters and cord-nevers. Brands can also reach these viewers beyond TNF. Our first-party insights enable them to reengage TNF audiences across Amazon, such as in Freevee content.”

One of the agency executives that Digiday spoke to said the latest ask is for a plus-10% increase on Fox’s rates, though what Fox’s rates were are unclear and other agency executives said the premium that Amazon is asking for varies. Ad Age reported in February that Amazon was seeking up to 20% higher prices than Fox’s rates. “I don’t know if it is consistently plus-10, but it is definitely more. Which is crazy because Fox couldn’t make money on it, which is why they gave it up for this fall,” said a second agency executive.

“Someone was eating way too many gummies before they put the pricing together,” said a second agency executive of Amazon’s Thursday Night Football pitch.

Ad-supported streaming service owners also see an opportunity to push for higher prices as advertisers to adopt more advanced targeting with their streaming campaigns, such as by using the media companies’ and/or advertisers’ first-party data to aim their ads on the streamers. 

Said one TV network executive, “You’ll see premiums, especially as it relates to advertisers that really want to hook into [their company’s streaming service] and buy those targeted audiences across the platform and either use [the TV network’s] first-party data or bring their own data to the table. That’s the biggest business we’re in, and that’s where we see great growth from a pricing standpoint.”


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