June 4, 2018 | by Alexian Chiavegato

AdTech Weekly Roundup

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

Google Takes Conservative GDPR Approach; Confirms Consent Before Targeting Ads
Google continues to take a conservative approach on the European Union’s General Data Protection Privacy Regulations — and it seems to be paying off. While most companies have been scrambling to comply with GDPR, The Wall Street Journal describes Google as the “early winner” in Europe’s new data protection law — mainly because the company is making sure the companies it works with gather individual consent for targeted ads at far higher rates than many competing online ad services. Google told the WSJ that it has been serving up non-personalized advertisements on websites that cannot prove compliance or do not have full consent to target them an ad. Google also took a step this week to partner with KPMG, releasing an assessment tool for companies to meet European Union General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance.

Mobile Drives Increasing Time Spent Viewing Digital Video in the UK
Time spent viewing digital video in the UK continues to grow, driven by the ever-rising amount of time we spend consuming content on our mobile devices. According to eMarkter’s latest forecast, UK adults will spend an average of 59 minutes watching digital video each day, with around 28 minutes of that video viewing happening on a smartphone. Time spent viewing digital video on smartphones can be expected to increase to 35 minutes by 2020. Mobile video is predicted to grow by more than 16 per cent in the UK this year with screen sizes getting larger and more affordable, and platforms like Snapchat and Instagram growing their user bases.

Worldwide Sales of Smartphones Sales Returned to Growth in Q1 2018
Global sales of smartphones to end users returned to growth in the first quarter of 2018 with a 1.3 percent increase over the same period in 2017, according to Gartner, Inc. Compared to the first quarter of 2017 sales of total mobile phones stalled and reached 455 million units in the first quarter of 2018.Nearly 384 million smartphones were sold in the first quarter of 2018, representing 84 percent of total mobile phones sold. Samsung’s mid-tier smartphones faced continued competition from Chinese brands, which led to unit sales contraction year on year. This is despite the earlier launch of its flagship Galaxy S9/S9+ compared to the S8/S8+ in 2017, and despite the Note 8 having a positive impact on Samsung sales in the first quarter of 2018.The delayed sales boost for Apple from last quarter materialized. Apple’s smartphone unit sales returned to growth in the first quarter of 2018, with an increase of 4 percent year on year.

Amazon Replaces Microsoft as Third Most-Valuable Brand
Tech companies make up eight of the top 10 brands in the 2018 BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands ranking from a study by WPP and Kantar Millward Brown. Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Tencent comprise the top five most valuable brands, in that order. Amazon moved into the no. 3 spot, which Microsoft held last year, by adding 49% in brand value over the past year compared to a 40% gain for Microsoft. Tencent beat out Facebook to take the no. 5 spot, with the former’s value up 65% compared to 25% for the latter. For the first time, non-U.S. brands grew faster than U.S. brands, with 14 Chinese brands appearing on the list, compared to only one in 20016.

Pinterest Gives Advertisers a Way to Show Promoted Videos that Take Up the Screen
Pinterest is continuing its push into video as a potential avenue for advertisers by today saying that it will offer advertisers a promoted video tool that takes up the width of the entire screen. While Pinterest normally offers users a grid that they can flip through — compressing a lot of content into a small space — taking up the full width of the screen with a promoted video would offer advertisers considerable real estate if they’re looking to get the attention of users. Pinterest pitches itself to advertisers as a strong alternative to Facebook or Google, giving marketers a way to reach an audience that behaves a little more differently than when on those other platforms and coming to Pinterest to discover new things. Pinterest says more than 42 million people in the U.S. come to Pinterest for entertainment ideas, and that potential tool offers an interesting niche opportunity for advertisers to capture the attention of a user for a product — say, a movie — that needs a lot of awareness marketing. Getting a user’s attention for just a few seconds can be more than enough time to at least plant the seed of potentially buying a product down the line.