October 2, 2018 | by Alexian Chiavegato

AdTech Weekly Roundup

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

Facebook takes on YouTube with More Video Advertising Options
Facebook is giving companies more selective video advertising choices, addressing some of the concerns brands have brought up against them and their competitors. The company announced it will allow companies to advertise on premium video content through the In-Stream Reserve program. The Facebook-selected content, which it said includes “the most engaging, highest quality publishers and creators,” would be shown to specific target groups verified by Nielsen. In-Stream Reserve Categories lets advertisers choose which topics they want their ads to run on, including sports, fashion and beauty, and entertainment. Facebook claimed its in-stream video ads are fully watched 70 percent of the time. The offering is similar to Google Preferred, an option that lets brands advertise on the top 5 percent of YouTube videos. In both cases, the advertising is paid for in advance, similar to how television ads are bought during the upfront market season before programming airs.

Apple News is Delivering Big Audiences to News Organizations, But Not Much Revenue
Launched to rather tepid fanfare three years ago, Apple’s mobile news app has recently surged in popularity and influence, if publishers’ traffic figures are any indication. Sources at several news outlets say they’ve seen their audience on Apple News multiply in 2018 alone. Some now say it has become one of their top traffic sources, alongside Facebook and Google. At Slate, which disclosed its data for this story, page views on Apple News have roughly tripled since September 2017, and the app recently surpassed Facebook as a driver of readership. Conversations with social media consultants and people who work in audience development at major publications, along with recent reports by other outlets, suggest Slate is not an outlier—which is why many news organizations are now making Apple News an important part of their strategy to reach as large an audience as possible. There is, of course, a catch. Whereas Facebook sent hordes of readers from its news feed to publishers’ websites, Apple tends to keep them inside its app. And so far, several sources at media outlets say that they’re seeing little to no revenue from Apple News

Global Martech Budgets are Growing Rapidly
Brands and agencies are greatly increasing the budgets they allocate for marketing technology and almost a quarter of total budgets are now dedicated to this area according to a new study by WARC and Moore Stephens based on responses from more than 800 brands and agencies in the UK, North America, Asia-Pacific and Continental Europe. In the UK and North America alone, brands increased their martech budgets by 44% over the past year to $52bn. Nearly a quarter (23%) of their total marketing budget now goes on martech, up from 16% a year ago. And this trend is on course to continue, with around one-in-five marketers in North America (18%) and the UK (17%) reporting that they expect their martech budgets to increase more than 25% over the next year. Globally, those who say their budgets for martech will increase expect to see an average increase of 13%, while as many as two-thirds (63%) of brands in Europe (excluding the UK) say they expect their martech budgets to rise.

Twitter Seeks Broad Input on New Policy to Regulate Hateful Conduct
Twitter has decided it wants the fashioning of platform rules and policies to be a more democratic process. Specifically, Twitter is seeking broad input regarding the development of a new policy addressing dehumanizing language on its platform. The new policy will represent an expansion of Twitter’s hateful conduct policy, which prohibits the promotion of violence against or direct attacks or threats against other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease. Under the expanded definition of “hateful content,” Twitter now plans to include content that dehumanizes others based on their membership in an identifiable group — even when the material does not include a direct target. To gather feedback, Twitter is circulating a short survey through October 9th. After processing the additional feedback, Twitter plans to follow its regular process, which passes through a cross-functional working group, including members of its policy development, user research, engineering, and enforcement teams.

Facebook and Messenger Stories Start to Hit Their Stride at 300M Daily Actives
Organic use of Facebook Stories is on the rise, and now Facebook is making the case to advertisers. On Wednesday, Facebook announced that Stories has 300 million DAUs across its core app and Messenger combined. Facebook Stories ads, which appear between organic Stories as either six seconds of photos or 15 seconds of video, are also now available to all advertisers globally. All the same audience targeting, optimization and measurement capabilities are available for Stories as for any other format across Facebook’s family of apps. Advertisers will be able to select to include Facebook Stories as an additional placement for their news feed or Instagram Stories ad campaigns. Facebook likes to encourage advertisers to let its algorithm select where to place ads across its apps for what it terms the most “optimized results.” Next up, Messenger Stories ads are set to roll out in the coming weeks, which will give businesses another opportunity to extend the reach of their Stories campaigns. To round things out, WhatsApp also started testing its own disappearing Stories-like feature, dubbed Status, in September.