October 8, 2018 | by Alexian Chiavegato

AdTech Weekly Roundup

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

YouTube Is Launching New Ad Formats and Ways to Measure Them
YouTube has announced that it will soon offer “extensions” to its TrueView ad formats that will let audiences research and even complete a purchase without having to leave the platform, as well as the addition of market research company IRI to its Google Measurements Partners program. It is also planning the introduction of new tools within Google Ads or Display & Video 360 that will let marketers conduct brand lift studies within the platform in real time. This includes the introduction of two new metrics (“lifted users” and “cost per lifted user”) which they can then use to adjust how they evaluate media placements. The planned YouTube updates work similarly to existing features available in search ad formats with the video sharing network currently beta testing extensions that let viewers research the location of a business and generate more qualified sales leads by submitting contact details, etc. from within an in-stream ad. Brands including Chili’s, 20th Century Fox and L’Oreal-owned Maybelline have participated in early trials of the YouTube ad formats with pan-European telco Vodafone reportedly achieving an incremental lift in ad recall of 2.3x and a clickthrough rate (CTR) of 3.5 percent in such tests.

Facebook Ups Protections against Bullies, Harassers
Facebook is working to do a better job protecting users from cyberbullies — especially young people. A recent survey from Pew Research Center found that 59% of teens say they have been the target of online bullies, while 63% say it is a major problem for people their age. In response, Facebook is rolling out some new tools and programs to help users feel safer on its flagship property. “We are giving you more control over how people interact with your posts on Facebook because comments can sometimes be used to bully or harass people,” Antigone Davis, global head of safety, Facebook, promises in a new blog post. Among other changes, users will soon be able to hide or delete multiple comments at once from the options menu of their posts. If people see friends or family members being bullied or harassed, they can now report the activity on their loved one’s behalf. Once reported, Facebook’s Community Operations team should review the post, and — while keeping the report anonymous — determine whether it violates the company’s Community Standards.

Six-Second Ads: It’s All About the Context
A recent advertising panel discussed the topic of six-second ads, which have become commonplace in digital video advertising. Six second ads have secured prime placements on social networks like Facebook and Snapchat, video services like YouTube, and even on traditional linear television. And yet it is still early days for the short-form ad genre, and where it fits into media plans is still very much up for debate. One big takeaway is that context is key. Six-second ads work best when placed alongside other content that makes sense, and as part of larger media buys. They are a particularly powerful tool for brand recall, and if a brand has some sort of iconography (whether a logo, a signature sound or color — i.e., T-Mobile’s magenta color-way), it can be effective in driving home that message. The big benefit is that these shorter ads can be a way to hold a user’s attention at a time when media consumption is ever more fragmented.

Gen Z ‘More Receptive’ To Advertising than Older Generations
The generation growing up in the wake of millennials, also known as “Gen Z,” appears willing to embrace advertising whereas millennials are often thought to shun it. This is the takeaway of research conducted by Hulu, specifically looking at Gen Z, which the company defines as around 15-25 years old. The research showed Gen Z-ers are 39% more likely than the base population to watch an ad, and 29% more likely to actually pay attention to it. “We offer choice, we offer different versions of our products, including our ad-supported model, which is our lowest price point,” Hulu CMO Kelly Campbell said. “What we find with Gen Z is that they understand the value trade-off — and are actually more receptive to advertising.” Of course, that doesn’t mean evolution isn’t needed in the advertising space. Consumption habits for younger viewers are quite different than older viewers, with a heavier emphasis on mobile, and according to Campbell a desire to stream order shows from start to finish. “They don’t think of television as channels or networks; they think of it as shows, galleries of shows,” Campbell said. “They are also more likely to want to binge. They want to watch an entire library, from the pilot to the final episode of the final season. We see more and more interest in slightly older content, slightly less interest in newer content.”

SoundCloud Partners with Pandora for US Ad Sales
Open audio platform SoundCloud has announced that streaming music service Pandora will become its exclusive US advertising and sales representation from 2019 onwards. The announcement comes less than two weeks after Pandora was acquired by SiriusXM, the US satellite radio service, for $3.5bn (£2.7bn). The agreement between the two music-focused platforms will enable advertisers and brands to purchase SoundCloud’s US ad inventory directly through Pandora, leveraging the company’s direct sales, targeting data and recently launched audio programmatic product. Together, SoundCloud and Pandora have a combined US audience of more than 100m unduplicated listeners, with 13 per cent audience overlap between the two companies. According to IAB figures, digital audio advertising grew 40 per cent in 2017 to $1.6bn, and thanks to the proliferation of voice-enabled apps and devices, is becoming an increasingly important channel for reaching consumers. In recent years, Pandora has focused heavily on improving its audience targeting technology, including acquiring AdsWizz for $145m earlier this year. According to Pandora, it now has the ability to place ads on around two-thirds of all digital audio inventory, making it the largest publisher of digital audio advertising in the United States.