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The Rundown: TV networks, streamers concentrate on content categories on NewFronts Day 4

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The Rundown: TV networks, streamers concentrate on content categories on NewFronts Day 4

Digiday’s NewFronts coverage is presented by Amazon.

On the final day of the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s four-day NewFronts, TV networks, streaming services and digital video publishers pitched new ad-supported programming and streaming properties. A pair of measurement providers also took the stage, with one looking to sell more than measurement.

The key details:

  • A+E Networks will debut a new FAST channel for diverse, young audiences, as well as a home and lifestyle vertical. Tastemade will also lean into the home category this summer with a new streaming channel. 
  • Subscriptions to FuboTV are growing, as the company introduces a new targeting tool to reach sports fans. Wave Sports & Entertainment announced content deals with the WNBA and The Volume.
  • Despite its large portfolio of media titles, Dotdash Meredith focused primarily on People’s video programming.
  • Crackle Plus unveiled ad-supported streamers and FAST channels in the lifestyle and entertainment categories and snagged a content deal with BBC. 
  • Presentations by Nuestra TV, Estrella and Canela Media shone a light on the growth of streaming channels for Hispanic and Spanish-speaking audiences.
  • Vevo shared its expansions plans for its contextual “mood” targeting product, and WMX is exploring CTV “products” as it launches a podcast network.
  • Measurement providers Comscore and Samba TV talked up new tools, including an advertising product.

A+E Networks

A traditional TV network owner, A+E Networks concentrated its NewFronts pitch on the company’s digital properties, specifically its portfolio of free, ad-supported streaming TV channels and its podcast network.

A+E Networks already has 10 curated FAST channels and four single series FAST channels and will debut a new one this fall called 4UV. It will aim to share the stories of people from different races, genders, sexualities and neurodiversities, to reach a younger and diverse audience. “Our goal is to build a bridge between mainstream and unheard voices through stories that take an intersectional approach to diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Peter Olsen, president of ad sales at A+E Networks.

Meanwhile, the company’s home and lifestyle vertical Home.Made.Nation — previously a weekly programming block on A+E Networks’ basic cable channel FYI — will get new shows and short-form video, for distribution across A+E’s own channels, apps, websites and social platforms.

A+E Networks also promoted its podcast network during the event. Rapper Grandmaster Caz will be part of a new podcast called “Origins of Hip Hop.” And A+E’s top three podcasts (“History This Week,” “Cold Case Files” and “I Survived”) can be sold as an always-on package or combined with video for podcast specific deals, promoted through social and newsletter channels, said Stacie Danzis, A+E Networks vp, digital media sales.

FuboTV

Streaming pay-TV provider FuboTV closed the first quarter of 2022 with 1.36 million global subscribers, up from 1.32 million at end of Q4 2021. In its presentation to advertisers, FuboTV claimed that 94% of its audience is using the service on a TV screen and that most are watching live.

The company announced a new targeting capability that allows FuboTV to create custom audience segments based on viewership behavior. Audiences are categorized as light, moderate or heavy viewers of specific sports, leagues or content categories — based on how many hours of content they watch. FuboTV CEO David Gandler said this means advertisers can target an NFL fan with a campaign outside of football-specific content.

FuboTV’s live, free-to-consumer TV network, Fubo Sports Network, will have a new show this summer, hosted by Orlando Magic guard R.J. Hampton. The company also pitched its interactive games, where advertisers can buy custom and branded sponsorships and integrations, as well as its mobile sportsbook, which is now available in Iowa and Arizona. The company plans to expand Fubo Sportsbook to more states this year. 

Dotdash Meredith

In its first NewFront as Dotdash Meredith, the publisher focused its presentation on the variety of publisher titles it now operates under one umbrella — from Better Homes & Gardens to The Spruce — and particularly spent time sharing new shows under People, including three new series around parenting: “Mom Famous,” “Me Becoming Mom” and “I Wish Someone Told Me.”

Crackle Plus

Crackle Plus, the ad-supported streaming company owned by Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment, Inc., touted its new Chicken Soup for the Soul ad-supported streaming service, which launched last month and has original, exclusive, scripted and unscripted content. It’ll soon have cooking shows like “Tia Mowry’s Comfort Kitchen” and property search shows such as “City, Burbs or Sticks.” Crackle Plus recently added five linear channels to its FAST portfolio.

Crackle Plus’ presentation also promoted its latest content deal between sister company Screen Media and BBC Studios. The agreement will bring over 2,500 hours of content to Crackle Plus, including exclusive rights to the “Sherlock” series. Screen Media is expected to release over 380 new titles this year, said Philippe Guelton, evp, online networks Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and president of Crackle Plus.

The namesake Crackle streaming service, which is free and ad-supported, is planning to introduce a rewards program, where viewers can earn points for watching content on Crackle. The points can be redeemed for in-app rewards and services (such as a sponsored, ad-free day on the service), or products from advertisers. The company said Crackle has over 40 million monthly active users.

Nuestra.TV

Mobile advertising and digital media company Adsmovil used the NewFronts platform to announce it will debut a bilingual AVOD service for Hispanic audiences (families, in particular) at the end of the second quarter, called Nuestra.TV. It will go live with over 40 FAST channels and 15,000 hours of video.

Tastemade

Digital video network Tastemade, known for its food and travel programming, will move into the home category this summer, with a new streaming channel aimed at homeowners and renters. New series for Tastemade Home will include “Weekend Refresh,” based on a Tastemade social series highlighting 48-hour home makeovers. Tastemade Home will join the company’s other channels, including its flagship Tastemade, Tastemade Travel and Tastemade en Español. 

Tastemade plans to premiere 27 original series this year, such as “Big Appetite,” “Dinner Party People” and “Best Thing I Never Ate.” Returning shows include “Struggle Meals,” “Mad Good Food” and “All Up in My Grill.” The company wants to host “themed weeks” this year around food categories, including “Grill Week” in June and “Pizza Week” in September.

The company said 84% of the Tastemade audience makes two or more recipes per month and 75% actively try to purchase Tastemade-recommended products. Derrell Smith, the host of “Mad Good Food,” said 60% of Tastemade’s audience identifies as multicultural — and that the network has gained over 300 million monthly viewers and 700 million minutes watched each month, a 30% increase over the last year. Tastemade spent much of the presentation introducing advertisers to its roster of “Makers.”

Tastemade sells ads through Samsung’s demand-side platform, noted Jeff Imberman, head of global sales & brand partnerships at Tastemade.

Estrella

The U.S.-based, Spanish language media company Estrella Media touted its recently-signed two-year deal with Mexico-based broadcaster TV Azteca. The two companies will work together to create, produce and air new series, creating over 600 hours of original content over the next two years. The first slate of programming will debut this fall.

In another new partnership, LG “will be the first platform” to carry Estrella’s fourth new FAST channel, said René Santaella, evp of digital and streaming media at Estrella. He did not say when the new FAST channel will launch, but said that Estrella will add to of its other FAST channels to LG.

“On digital, we now reach 30 million users and are approaching 1 billion streaming minutes across FAST, AVOD, online video, on YouTube, Facebook and audio. This is up 32% in users and 35% in minutes from just a year ago,” Santaella said.

Wave Sports & Entertainment

Thanks to a recently-announced deal, Wave Sports & Entertainment and the WNBA will create social-first, short-form programming about the league, rolling out throughout the 2022 season, such as “The 26,” a look at the top 26 players from the WNBA and “The Buckets Five,” a weekly show coming out this month on the biggest topics in women’s basketball. 

Buckets, WSE’s flagship basketball brand, has signed a deal with Colin Cowherd’s podcast network The Volume, to collaborate on coverage of the NBA playoffs on Twitter Spaces, during game halftimes. They will also produce post-game live reaction shows on the Buckets YouTube Channel. The shows will be produced as podcasts available on The Volume, with show clips distributed across both Buckets and Volume social channels. 

When explaining how advertisers can buy this content, WSE founder and CEO Brian Verne said: “It’s just like sports TV. You can sponsor our coverage… You can buy our talent-led daily original shows. And then we have the cross-platform commercial — just the six-second spot or a 15-second spot instead of the 30- or the 60-. And of course, we have custom branded content.” In the past year, WSE has debuted more than 40 original shows.

Canela Media

On Aug. 16, Hispanic-focused digital media company Canela Media will launch a new ad-supported streaming service for kids aged 2 through 12. Canela Kids will carry more than 1,500 hours of programming at launch, including “Cocomelon,” “Blippi Wonders,” “Barney” and “Garfield.” 

Canela’s existing ad-supported streamer Canela TV will debut more than 300 hours of new programming in 2022, said the company’s chief content officer Jerry Leo. The company announced two titles in development: “Abuela Knows Best” and “Between Borders.” Canela Media said it’s working on other shows, such as telenovela reunions, Hispanic celebrity profiles, an entertainment news magazine and a true crime magazine show.

Vevo

Music-centric streaming network Vevo is developing more “interactive ad experiences for the TV screen,” thanks to recent partnerships with programmatic ad platforms TripleLift and Infillion, which will be available “in the coming months,” said Rob Christensen, svp of global TV sales and distribution. No further information was shared during Vevo’s presentation.

Vevo will also expand its AI-powered contextual ad product called Moods, which “aligns creative against music videos that convey a specific sentiment,” such as “heartfelt,” the category for Adele’s song “Easy On Me,” said Aneessa Steilen, vp of media and distribution marketing at Vevo. This year, Vevo will categorize more music videos to have a larger variety of targeting options for advertisers, such as adding more moods like “thrill-seeking,” she said.

In 2022, Vevo wants to add more long-form content to its CTV properties, as well as live performances and feature-length concerts. The company’s music video programming (curated by decades and music genres) are available across more than 70 FAST channels, via platforms and services like Apple, Roku, Samsung, Amazon and YouTube.

WMX

WMX, Warner Music Group’s media and creative content division formed last fall, unveiled its data and audience storefront “WMX Connects,” allowing advertisers to tap into the company’s data on the audience they are trying to reach to inform their ad campaigns.

WMX is also exploring ad-supported, music and entertainment CTV “products,” said WMX CRO Erin Moran. While she didn’t specify what those products would be, they would feature music videos and live concerts from Warner Music Group’s roster of artists, documentaries and original programming from WMG’s media brands, such as UPROXX and The Pit.

New original programming rolling out later this year from WMX includes sneaker and streetwear show “Fresh Pair with Katty Customs”  and an eight-episode visual podcast on the legacy of Notorious B.I.G., called “Iconic Records,” part of WMX’s newly announced podcast network, “sitting at the intersection of music, pop culture and social justice,” Moran said.

Samba TV & Comscore talk up new measurement products

Measurement provider Comscore teased Comscore Total Digital, part of its Insight Studio suite. The offering combines digital, CTV and social media measurement to track the behavior of digital audiences across websites, mobile apps and social media, said Comscore CMO Tania Yuki.

Rival measurement provider Samba TV talked up its new “iCPM” product, which lets advertisers buy ad inventory based on incremental, guaranteed reach. The idea is this would tamp down the issues of duplication in TV advertising (though a measurement provider also selling ad inventory raises an issue for some ad buyers, according to agency executives). Ashwin Navin, Samba TV’s CEO and co-founder, said this product ”offers a way for advertisers to pay only for the audiences that are incremental to their linear campaign.”

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The Rundown: As e-commerce grows, the eCommFronts address data and communication issues

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The Rundown: As e-commerce grows, the eCommFronts address data and communication issues

Does the red-hot world of e-commerce — estimated to be in the neighborhood of $100 billion according to Boston Consulting Group — even need its own “upfront”? Horizon Media’s topical Night Market unit certainly thinks so.

Night Market, which specializes in guiding clients through e-commerce and retail media offerings and inventory, hosted its third annual eCommFronts beginning Tuesday through today. The virtual event examines the changing and growing world of e-commerce and shoppable media, focusing more intensely on the collapsing funnel (the coming together of brand gain with performance results) and the melding of data sets, said Randy Browning, president of Night Market. The event had 539 registered users.

The companies presenting cut across the growing swath of retailers that have opened up new revenue opportunities by selling ad inventory on their own digital presences and weaponizing their data to help other media hungry for insights on consumer behavior.

“The opportunity is that you have an ability to create a collapsed funnel in a purchase journey that is starting online,’ said Browning.

Here are some takeaways from the event:

Among the companies presenting are retailers Walmart and Kroger, both of which have committed deeply to building out an e-commerce and retail media revenue stream, but are now also generating data that has its own revenue value.

“People assume retail media is just sponsored product listings in e-commerce,” said Jill Smith, director of agency partnerships with Kroger Precision Marketing, which now operates within a data science division called 84.51°. “But we’ve entered a new phase of retail media. Now brands are using Kroger Precision Marketing’s first-party sales data to target and optimize programmatic ad campaigns on the open web.”

That said, retail media is still fighting for a greater share of media buyers’ attention, even if it’s caught on pretty well with marketers. A recent Digiday+ Research survey of 59 agency and marketer executives found that the bigger retail players haven’t yet seen a significant uptick in media investment. That could have something to do with why the eCommFronts are taking place.

New channels

Of course, ad-tech and platform players are also part of the eCommFronts, including Meta, GoPuff, Instacart, Criteo, Roku and The Trade Desk. Now that the retailers have established their media channels, next steps include setting some of the inventory for sale programmatically, as well as other offline opportunities. “Think about it from a branding perspective where we move from awareness through to consideration,” said Browning, “And all of this with a closed-loop approach to attribution without the need of cookies. We are very bullish on where this opportunity goes.”

Streaming, a seemingly omnipresent element in any media plan, is winding its way into the e-commerce equation as well. “Streaming TV is the next frontier of commerce,” said Kroger’s Smith. “Roku CPG advertisers can now use our sales data to identify the households they want to reach — like people who are lapsed buyers of a particular salsa or toothpaste brand — and then measure the incremental impact of that advertising.”

Uncertain near-term future?

The road ahead isn’t just paved with gold, acknowledged Browning, who sees the still-unresolved disconnect between shopper marketing budgets and media planning as an obstacle to seamless progress. He added that better alignment of data between client and retailer is another area that needs to see improvement — an area where the use of clean room technology might help.

Still, the revenue potential remains higher than most other media, even at this time of darkening economic clouds. “Retail Media is foundationally built on the premise that the best opportunity to speak to a customer is at the point of purchase, or when they are in the closest proximity to conversion — pushing a physical shopping cart or adding to a digital one,” said Albert Thompson, managing director of digital innovation at Walton Isaacson. “Given its high correlation for directly impacting sales, it is the revenue return solution in marketing. What gives it even more power is that it possesses supply-chain acumen, meaning it’s oriented around the volume of product available in real-time so spending is adjusted in direct correlation with supply and demand.”

One major commerce expert added that agency budgets in tight economic times tend to go down, but rarely are e-commerce budgets affected since they are directly tied to sales, which companies need when market conditions worsen.

https://digiday.com/?p=449058

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Future of TV Briefing: How Amazon, Roku and YouTube are figuring into this year’s TV upfront market

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Future of TV Briefing: How Amazon, Roku and YouTube are figuring into this year’s TV upfront market

This week’s Future of TV Briefing looks at how Amazon, Roku and YouTube stand to play a bigger role in this year’s upfront market after leveling up in the last couple years.

Upstream TV

The key hits:

  • The upfront gap between traditional TV networks and streaming-only sellers has closed.
  • This year some agencies may strike their first upfront deals with Amazon, Roku and YouTube.
  • The streaming-only sellers’ flexible upfront deals models also factor in, though those models may be changing this year.

In last year’s TV advertising upfront market, TV networks were willing to turn away linear TV ad dollars to move money to their respective streaming and digital properties. In this year’s upfront market, that move may come back to bite the networks. Some of that money did end up moving to streaming and digital, but it moved to other companies’ streaming and digital inventory and may not return to the TV networks given Amazon’s, Roku’s and YouTube’s rising roles in the upfront market, according to agency executives.

“We warned [the TV networks] last year: ‘Don’t overplay your hand because all your going to do is you’re going to force clients to shift money into some of these digital platforms that have great audiences, data, great measurement, great ability to prove that they’re reaching incremental audiences that you’re not reaching on TV. And once the money goes over, they’re not coming back,’” said one agency executive.

“People thought they could push money away, and it would just come back, and it doesn’t,” concurred a second agency executive.

This migration of money to companies including Amazon, Roku and YouTube is creating the conditions for the playing field to further level between traditional TV network owners and streaming-only sellers in this year’s upfront. “NBCU, Disney, Fox, Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount, Amazon, Google, Roku — that’s where 80% of the marketplace gets spent,” said a third agency executive.

Historically, the streaming-only sellers took a backseat to the TV networks in the upfront negotiations. Advertisers and agencies struck their deals with the TV networks first and then moved on to haggling with Amazon, Roku and YouTube. But over the past two years, that gap has effectively closed to the point where, in some cases, the streaming-only sellers are securing the first deals.

“YouTube’s been one of our first deals a couple of years in a row, as has Roku,” said Stacey Stewart, U.S. chief marketplace officer at UM Worldwide. “Whether they will be this year, time will tell. We look at them all at the same time. We don’t have windows anymore.”

“You’re going to see more agencies and clients push for broader deals or bigger deals across YouTube, Roku, Amazon, for sure,” said the second agency executive.

Agency executives were leery of discussing, on record or anonymously, what share of upfront dollars they expect will go to the streaming-only sellers versus the TV networks this year, but they did say that they expect at least 30% but no more than 40% of the total volume of dollars committed in this year’s upfront to be earmarked for streaming overall.

Some agency executives who have continued to haggle first with the TV networks seem to be holding a bit of a grudge against the TV networks for their handling of last year’s negotiations and are now eyeing opportunities to overhaul their deal-making hierarchy. “We’re going to do our first upfront deals — the first in market that usually set the tone of the market — it could very well be with YouTube or Amazon,” said the first agency executive.

In short, after last year’s upfront market heavily favored sellers and particularly traditional TV sellers, buyers are heading into this year’s negotiations looking to even the balance and see the streaming-only sellers as a big bargaining chip that can now be used in the same way that the buyers play the major TV network groups against one another. “If Disney tells me that their pricing is plus-20[%], I can say, ‘Go screw yourself. I’m going to Paramount, and I’m going to YouTube,’” said the third agency executive.

Further favoring the streaming-only sellers is the relatively lax terms of their commitments. Unlike the TV networks that require advertisers to commit ahead of time to spend a set amount of money with fairly limited cancelation options, the streaming-only sellers typically strike so-called “endeavor” or “enterprise” deals, in which an ad deal is done at the agency level so the agency can spread it across its client portfolio and unlock certain inventory and/or pricing tiers as they spend more money with a CTV platform or streaming service throughout the year. These deals’ flexibility — further buoyed by adhering to the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s 15-day, 100% cancelation clause — may be especially in demand in this year’s upfront market given the macroeconomic conditions affecting advertisers’ businesses.

“Do you want to put your money somewhere where you’re committed — at least a large percentage of it — 14, 15 months out? Or do you want to work with somebody to get out in two weeks in terms of endeavors?” said the first agency executive.

Of course, capitalism being capitalism, agency executives have to be careful about the downsides of rebalancing the upfront market too heavily toward the streaming-only sellers. For example, rising upfront demand being directed toward Amazon, Roku and YouTube could put those companies in position to make greater demands of advertisers and agencies in the upfront — potentially as soon as this year’s upfront.

“I believe Roku has been out talking about trying to have more specific deals tied to clients and less about the enterprise. It’s the same for YouTube,” said the second agency executive.

What we’ve heard

“The mid-sized or smaller TV players can’t afford to subscribe to Nielsen plus three others. It’s a really big issue. You’ve already got a lot of cost in the system from programmatic fees. Then as we get into more data-driven linear and advanced TV, that has its own set of fees. Here’s another set.”

TV network executive on the additional costs introduced by supporting multiple measurement currencies

Streaming viewership hits highwater mark

Despite the timing of Netflix’s glum first-quarter earnings report, April wasn’t an entirely gloomy month for streaming. The dominant subscription-based streamer may have hit a low, having lost subscribers, but streaming overall gained share of total TV watch time to reach a new high, according to Nielsen’s The Gauge report for April 2022.

Aside from streaming’s overall uptick, the viewership share breakdown by major streamers didn’t change all that much — with one exception. Warner Bros. Discovery’s HBO Max earned a callout for the first time by accounting for 1% of total TV watch time in April.

Splitting HBO Max from the “Other streaming” bucket would help to explain that bucket shedding 0.6 percentage points month over month. More to the point, it’s notable that the fact that “Other streaming” only dipped by 0.6 percentage points despite losing the 1 percentage point that HBO Max would have contributed if it hadn’t been broken out. Excluding the HBO Max impact, the “Other streaming” category appears to have gained share by 0.4 percentage points. That’s not a lot, but it would represent the biggest month-over-month gain in watch time among the listed streamers. Combined with HBO Max reaching Nielsen’s reporting threshold, these two developments evince how streaming viewership continues to spread beyond the historical who’s who, though the category still appears to be pretty top-heavy.

Speaking of slightly waning dominance, traditional TV still accounted for 61.5% of TV watch time in April, though broadcast TV’s share dipped by 0.2 percentage points and cable TV’s share slipped by 0.1 percentage point.

Numbers to know

21%: Estimated annual U.S. revenue bump that Netflix could receive by adding an ad-supported tier.

17.4%: Percentage share of Snap’s U.S. employees who are members of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

$2.99: Monthly subscription price for non-pay-TV subscribers to stream The Weather Channel’s live broadcast.

1.95 million: Number of subscribers that major U.S. pay-TV providers lost in the first quarter of 2022, slightly more than they shed in Q1 2021 but slightly less than in Q1 2020.

What we’ve covered

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

  • Disney is seeking CPMs for Disney+ around $50.
  • Hulu, Amazon and Fox’s Tubi are also looking to press upfront advertisers to pay up.

Read more about streaming ad prices here.

Four takeaways on Upfront Week from a buyer’s perspective:

  • The upfront market will start quickly but may stay open a while.
  • TV networks’ presentations lacked the usual fall programming schedules.

Read more about Upfront Week here.

Why TV advertising’s measurement currency change won’t happen in this year’s upfront cycle:

  • The inclusion of alternative measurement providers in this year’s upfront deals will be largely limited to tests.
  • There remain discrepancies among measurement providers and other complications that need sorting.

Read more about TV advertising’s measurement currency change here.

As economic uncertainty grows, senior media buyers expect decent upfront pricing options across linear and digital:

  • One ad buyer said they expect TV networks to secure single-digit-percentage CPM increases.
  • Warner Bros. Discovery is looking for up to 40% increases in the amount of money advertisers commit with the company in this year’s upfront.

Read more about upfront buyers’ pricing expectations here.

Flexibility will be a focal point again in this year’s upfront negotiations:

  • Ad buyers want to maintain the looser cancelation options secured in the last two years, while TV networks want to return to firmer terms.
  • As likely as anything, the two sides will agree to maintain the current terms.

Read more about upfront flexibility talk here.

What we’re reading

Streaming’s belt-tightening era:

Netflix, Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery are taking steps to rein in their content costs, reflecting the end of streaming’s free-spending era, according to Bloomberg.

Netflix’s long-term subscriber loss:

While newer subscribers continue to account for a bulk of the customers Netflix loses each quarter, the share is increasing among those who have been subscribers for more than three years, according to The Information.

Warner Bros. Discovery’s disruptor in chief:

Former WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar may have been described as a disruptor, but the label appears to apply to Warner Bros. Discoveyr COE David Zaslav, who has quickly shaken up the new conglomerate by cutting costs and canceling projects like CNN+, according to The Wall Street Journal.

TikTok’s live subscriptions test:

This month TikTok will start testing an option for creators to sell paid subscriptions for people tuning into their live streams, according to TechCrunch.

Candle Media’s Spanish-language studio:

A week after Candle Media acquired digital video publisher ATTN:, former Disney executives Kevin Mayer’s and Tom Staggs’ media company announced it is acquiring Spanish-language TV and film producer Exile Content Studio, according to The New York Times.

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Can contextual provide a better solution than cookie-replacement options, asks the MMA

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Can contextual provide a better solution than cookie-replacement options, asks the MMA

That’s what a recent report from marketing industry organization MMA Global and Boston Consulting Group determined as it works to examine the use of modern contextual advertising solutions that obviate the need for third-party alternatives that are being touted by other key industry players.

“The lack of maturity among the solutions, combined with a lack of understanding how to assess the impact by marketers, puts the industry in a real quagmire,” said Greg Stuart, CEO of MMA Global. “The solutions just aren’t fully established or completely understood yet.”

To wit, MMA hosted a series of webinars last year that allowed each cookie solution provider the chance to explain their offering — but industry response to the presentations was that none of them felt fully baked, Stuart acknowledged. That reality, he added, is hindering marketers’ ability to back one or the other, be it LiveRamp, ID5, Google Topics or others.

“Most marketers and publishers aren’t moving fast enough,” said Jeff Green, CEO of The Trade Desk, which has its own ID2.0 solution that it’s testing with the IAB. “Many are moving, but there’s just so much more to do.”

Findings by the MMA/BCG report, which surveyed 150 senior and mid-level marketers and digital executives, include stats that seem to both instill fear in marketers that a substantial amount of work still needs to be done to determine the right solutions — but also reassure them they’re not alone. For example:

  • While nine out of 10 marketers who participated in the report said they are experimenting with cookie replacements, only 12 percent reported feeling fully prepared for a post-cookie future.
  • Half of the respondents said they plan to stick with cookie-based solutions in the next two years shift to new identifiers.
  • Among mid-level marketers that took part in the survey, 50 percent said they don’t have faith that their CMOs fully grasp the problem and its implications to compliance, targeting and measurement solutions currently in market.
  • And 40 percent said they plan to increase their spending in search and social media, and not through programmatic options.

The ramping up of first-party data, for now, seems to be the patchwork solution, said Derek Rodenhausen, a partner with BCG. “Marketers know first-party data will be key and they know they will need new solutions when it comes to identity,” he said. “The problem is, it’s not clear exactly when cookies are going away, what the alternatives will be, or how to best tackle Identity in a post-cookie world.”

Thats’s perhaps why Stuart said MMA is looking for a completely different solution than either probabilistic or deterministic cookie-replacement tools. The organization is in the process of talking with brands about assessing the value of modern contextual marketing.

“We think the answer to these marketer challenges may lie somewhere else,” he said, adding that he’s lining up 10 marketers to participate in developing what he called a “consortium initiative for the industry.”

A February IAB report on the state of data also found marketers unprepared for the cookie-pocalypse, citing a possible $10 billion hit in annual sales if the industry remains in its current state of mind. The report was said to be more stern than usual in its criticism of its members for dragging their collective heels on finding solutions.

“I don’t recall a time when the IAB took such a direct approach to calling out its members,” said Insider Intelligence senior analyst Paul Verna, in a report analyzing the IAB’s findings. “Whether or not the report results in concrete action is an open question, but there’s no doubt the chaotic state of ad targeting and measurement is going to be a priority for ad buyers and sellers in 2022.”

https://digiday.com/?p=449093

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