Ad Tech Weekly Roundup

A look at how last week’s news affects mobile publishers…

Ad-Supported Video Services Edge toward Audience Ratings Standard
Times are good for streaming services in the U.S. Ad revenue for such services is expected to climb 39% to $3.8 billion in 2019, according to a forecast from Magna Global USA Inc.

However, industry experts says things would be so much better for services like Tubi Inc. and Pluto TV if they were actually connected to outside measurement firms such as Nielsen Holdings PLC or Comscore Inc. to back up its numbers. Tubi Inc. says it is getting 20 million people to use its service. Pluto TV says it has more than 15 million monthly active users. But without verification, marketers won’t spend what they would like to. And it is frustrating for these marketers because they would be extremely interested in spending more due to the relatively young audience and its targeting capabilities the services provide.

For example, SwellShark, an advertising agency specializing in TV and streaming video, suggests advertisers would spend two to four times more money on services with data from a Nielsen or a Comscore than they spend on services without it. Such verification is described as “table stakes” by marketers.

Facebook Now Shows Who Uploaded and Shared your Information for Other Advertisers to Target You
Facebook has announced it is updating the kinds of information users can see about why they’re viewing a particular ad. The changes are connected to Facebook’s “Why am I seeing this ad” feature.

Users will now also be able to see and browse information about the businesses uploading lists of their information and the advertisers using those lists to target ads. The changes also include more specific information about why a user is being targeted by an ad based on interests and categories.

Facebook says that uploaded information is matched to a person’s profile “without revealing your identity to the business, through a hashing process.” The company is claiming this ensures Facebook doesn’t see that information and that a business can’t see the contact information of its users.

The move is said to be part of Facebook’s efforts to change its privacy practices and how it uses personal data to display ads.

The Washington Post is Preparing for Post-Cookie Ad Targeting
A marketing tool known as “Zeus Insights” is coming soon from the Washington Post as a way to give marketers something they can use for ad targeting that is not reliant on third party cookies yet still gets results.

In a stricter era of data privacy regulation, Zeus Insights provides a first-party data platform with detailed contextual targeting capabilities along with user-intent predictions for marketers. It will monitor contextual data such as “what article a person is reading or watching, what position they have scrolled to on a page, what URL they have used to arrive there and what they’re clicking on.” The data is matched by the publisher to existing audience data pools and uses machine learning to create assumptions on what that news user’s consumption intent will be.

The Post plans to license the Zeus platform to publishers both domestically and internationally. And, like so many ad tech advances lately, is designed so publishers can compete more effectively for scale with Facebook and Google.

UK Marketing Budgets Stall over Political Uncertainty
After a positive start to 2019, marketing budgets in the UK have stalled in the second quarter, according to the latest IPA Bellwether. The slowdown is attributed to the uncertainty created by the country’s political leadership, especially in regards to Brexit.

The report showed growth slowed to zero in Q2 after a Q1 that saw 8.7 percent growth. The Q1 growth was attributed to companies taking a “more proactive approach to offset risks to their businesses.” But consumer confidence has waned with the Brexit controversy and it was reflected in Q2.

The latest IPA Bellwether shows that the 8.7 per cent growth in the first quarter was short-lived, slowing to zero in Q2. The Q1 growth has been attributed to companies taking a more proactive approach to offset risks to their businesses. In the second quarter, the 20 per cent reporting greater marketing spend was completely offset by those cutting expenditures, with the remaining 60 per cent keeping budgets as they were.

As to what’s to come, the IPA panel found that 34 percent reporting a pessimistic outlook toward marketing finances. Only eight percent were optimistic which produced a net balance of negative 25.6 percent.

Analyst Reduces Twitter Revenue Forecast Through 2021
Stock market expectations regarding Twitter from analysts are being reined in. The Pivotal Research Group just reduced its revenue forecast for the second half of 2019 through 2021.

Citing a more challenging third-quarter this year for advertising comps compared to the same period last year, Pivitol also cut its target price for Twitter from $48 to $47 but still maintained its “buy” rating for the social media platform.

The research firm had been assuming 8 percent sequential growth for domestic ad revenues. But that now appears too optimistic and Pivitol is now stating sequential ad growth to just 3 percent. On broader terms for social media platforms, big and small, Pivitol is worried about oversaturation of online marketing within overall ad budgets.

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