ViacomCBS announced the planned launch of ViacomCBS EyeQ, a new connected video advertising platform that will serve as a single transactional point of entry for digital video content from ViacomCBS’ portfolio networks, with enhanced capabilities to deliver incremental reach. “The launch of EyeQ marks the arrival of one of the biggest premium video platforms in digital media,” said John Halley, COO of Advertising Revenue at ViacomCBS. “In unifying the operating backend and go-to-market of three large pre-existing players – CBS Interactive, Pluto TV, and Viacom Video – we have consolidated a massive audience footprint that will deliver quality, scale, and capabilities that cannot be matched.”
The Partnership for Responsible Addressable Media, made up of industry organizations including the ANA, 4A’s, IAB, along with advertisers and agencies, has been created to “advance and protect” ad companies’ ability to serve personalized digital ads and collect data used for analytics, in a way that safeguards privacy and improves the consumer experience. The group will approach browser and platform developers about reconsidering decisions to limit tracking that could have a major impact on the advertising ecosystem, like Google’s plan to configure the Chrome browser to block cookies set by third parties, and Apple’s upcoming new operating system, which will allow consumers to prohibit tracking by an app.
RMT and Semasio announced a strategic partnership to bring targetable audiences based on motivational understanding of 276 million Americans to DSPs, as well as to LiveRamp’s Data Marketplace. The partnership will allow advertisers and agencies to choose from among 15 RMT Motivations, which are a summary view of 265 psychological traits or states, for campaigns so that they can better understand their audiences and adjust according to their needs.
Ad technology provider Centro announced transparency requirements that bridge the relationship between programmatic marketers and publishers. Now, advertising exchanges and advertising networks that want ad spend from Centro will need to implement sellers.json and SupplyChain Object. Centro will block ad intermediaries that do not comply. Centro is also setting a “two-hop” limit, whereby its demand side platform will accept an impression only when an exchange works with a publisher directly, or when an exchange works with an ad monetization intermediary that works with the publisher directly. “Centro’s supply path optimization strategy focuses on minimizing the number of partners it takes to deliver an ad to a publisher and reducing the duplicative efforts of advertisers,” said Ian Trider, director of RTB operations, Centro. “By operationalizing our new requirements in parallel with our ongoing enforcement of ads.txt and app-ads.txt, Centro’s actions clean, shorten and streamline the programmatic ad ecosystem’s supply chain.”
Survata, the intelligence platform for brand campaigns, announced the launch of an enhanced suite of CTV measurement capabilities, including a new Targeting Verification technology and expanded scale of the Survata Digital Network. Targeting Verification confirms the percentage of a campaign that truly reaches a specific behavioral and/or demographic segment across CTV, linear and digital video channels. “CTV is now in the position digital was in ten years ago. Marketers are turning to it with increasing frequency, and they’re asking for proof that their investments are paying off,” said Survata CEO Chris Kelly. “They are tired of flying blind, so are demanding proof their CTV ads reached the right people and drove those people down the brand funnel. And they want this measurement on all CTV campaigns, not just their largest ones.”
In a new report, “Tracking Metrics,” FreeWheel looked at metrics that can help buy and sell sides understand inventory. Four sets of metrics were identified to help manage revenue, improve the viewer experience and deliver the most value to advertisers. Key takeaways include:
* The most sophisticated publishers in the video industry don’t just monitor a small set of metrics, they’ve built full dashboards customized to how they run their business, looking out for viewers, advertisers, and their own revenue.
* Publishers commonly look at “fill rate” to see how well they are monetizing their inventory, but with video commercial breaks, the added dimension of time means that a “fill rate” can look different depending on how you calculate it.
* Digital video viewers want to see relevant ads with minimal repetition, but many systems need to work together correctly to ensure that happens.
“Through our work with some of the largest video publishers, we found a nuanced set of metrics that help them identify risks to their revenue, viewer experience and advertisers that are unique in long-form video,” said David Dworin, Head of Global Advisory Services, FreeWheel.
Sixty-eight percent of digital ad spend in 2020 is expected to be programmatic, according to the IAB International Report on Programmatic In-Housing. With programmatic ad spend in the US set to hit $91 billion by 2021, and third-party cookies vanishing, nearly two-thirds of all U.S. brands have insourced some or all programmatic advertising, said the report. Almost a fifth of brands have completely moved programmatic advertising in-house in 2019, and 51% are taking a hybrid approach, shifting some functions in-house while letting partners handle others – an increase of 4% year-over-year.
Mediaocean has expanded its European operations with the acquisition of Symsys, the Dutch media management software provider. The deal expands Mediaocean’s global presence and will integrate media planning and digital media buy management to its existing production, creative, and bill-pay applications in the Dutch market. “The acquisition of Symsys is another key step in Mediaocean’s continued expansion in Europe and worldwide, servicing global marketers, agencies, sellers and the wider advertising community.” said Bill Wise, CEO, Mediaocean. “Incorporating the Symsys team and platform will helps Mediaocean deliver our modern system of record for omnichannel advertising across geographies.”
Live Board, a joint venture between NTT Docomo and Dentsu, has joined out-of-home marketing organization DPAA. Headquartered in Tokyo, Live Board is the first DOOH network in Japan to offer impression-based, programmatic sales. They’re building an ad network of DOOH screens in locations with heavy foot traffic.
DIRECT TO CONSUMER
Discovery Inc. will share details on a new direct-to-consumer offering in the very near future, said CEO David Zaslav in an earnings call. Describing the product as “a new SUV,” Zaslav said, “We’ve got a lane. It’s almost like that lane is ours.”
ViacomCBS Networks International is launching a premium streaming service internationally, aimed at all ages and “competitively priced.” The new SVOD service will offer exclusive premieres of new Showtime series and CBS All Access originals, along with movies from Paramount Pictures and premieres and box sets from Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Network, and originals from ViacomCBS International Studios in some markets. Rollout is slated to begin in early 2021.
TEGNA’s. True Crime Network has launched on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, via mobile and table apps on iOS and Android operating systems, with Roku coming later this month. “The app is free, setting it apart from other true crime OTT streaming apps that require a subscription fee or cable login,” said Brian Weiss, President and GM of True Crime Network. “The True Crime Network app is an unbeatable bingeworthy option for true crime fans, and further sets TEGNA apart as an innovator in the OTT space.”
MAVTV Motorsports Network’s new, free streaming channel, MAVTV Select, has been added to Plex. The channel broadcasts motorsports and auto racing events.
Amazon Prime Video reported the highest growth in new subscriptions in second quarter 2020, according to Kantar’s latest Entertainment on Demand reports. Prime Video subs accounted for 23A% of SVOD subscriptions, up from 14% last quarter. HBO Max snatched one in ten new SVOD subscriptions, with 33% of respondents saying content was a motivating factor for signing up; The Sopranos, Westworld and Game of Thrones were HBO Max’s most-cited titles. “HBO can be pleased with progress to date in terms of new subscriber numbers, and importantly at the end of Q220, just 18% were on free trials,” said Kantar SVP Dominic Sunnebo. “The key challenge for HBO Max will be enduring longevity of subscribers – there are already some signs that attitudinally, HBO Max subscribers do not view it as a long-term commitment, in the same way they do Netflix. Driving engagement with newer HBO content, alongside headliners like Sopranos and Game of Thrones will be important.”
Disney+ counts 57.5 million subscribers, up from 54.5 million at the beginning of May and well on the way toward the 60-90 million subs the company told investors to expect by 2024. Hulu now has 35.5 million subscribers, and ESPN has scored 8.5 million – more than triple the number it had one year ago. “Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, we’ve continued to build on the incredible success of Disney+ as we grow our global direct-to-consumer businesses,” said CEO Bob Chapek. “The global reach of our full portfolio of direct-to-consumer services now exceeds an astounding 100 million paid subscriptions — a significant milestone and a reaffirmation of our DTC strategy, which we view as key to the future growth of our company.”
Pluto TV announced a global distribution deal with LG Electronics, making Pluto TV available on LG smart TV models (2020) in the US, with rollouts on 2016-2019 models beginning in the fall. Expansion plans to other regions will be announced at a later date. Pluto TV currently has a global footprint spanning 22 countries across three continents.
AMC Networks streamers Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and UMC “delivered impressive year-over-year growth in revenues and subscribers,” said Josh Sapan on Tuesday’s call with investors, with horror service Shudder “doing extraordinarily well.” Added Sapan, “What is uniquely attractive about targeted subscription services, which is somewhat less true of something-for-everyone, big SVOD services, is they are slightly less individual-show dependent.” AMC Networks said it expects to see 3.5 million to 4.0 million paid subscribers for its streamers by the end of 2020.
Despite complaints from filmmakers, Netflix is moving forward with a feature that lets users of its Android mobile app to slow down and speed up video playback, and is testing the feature on its iOS and web apps. “We’ve decided to press ahead for several reasons,” said Netflix VP Keela Robinson in a blog post. “Similar functionality has been available on DVD players and DVRs for years and the feature has been much requested by members. Most important of all, our tests show that consumers value the flexibility it provides whether it’s rewatching their favorite scene or slowing things down because they’re watching with subtitles or have hearing difficulties.”
Sony Pictures Television has launched two Spanish-language AVOD channels, targeting the US Hispanic audience and available via VIZIO SmartCast. Sony Canal Competencias features reality competitions and game shows, and Sony Canal Comedias will air comedies and dramady remakes from Latin America. “The addition of Sony’s Competencias and Comedias channels to the VIZIO SmartCast line-up is an important move for us as we look to expand the entertainment options for our Spanish-speaking audience,” said Katherine Pond, VP of Business Development for VIZIO.
Cinedigm is partnering with Fantawild, a Chinese theme park operator and producer of children’s animation, for the launch of a new global streaming service. The Fantawild channel is set to debut in the second half of 2020 and will be available worldwide for linear and AVOD platforms on connected TVs, digital set-top boxes, media-streaming devices, as well as the web. In addition, Cinedigm will distribute select Fantawild programming in North America across the broader OTT landscape to its network of of distribution partners in the streaming space.
Netflix has rolled out support for the Hindi language in India, allowing subscribers to choose it from the “Manage Profiles” section on the welcome screen. “Delivering a great Netflix experience is as important to us as creating great content. We believe the new user interface will make Netflix even more accessible and better suit members who prefer Hindi,” said Monika Shergill, VP-Content at Netflix India. Hindi speakers number about half a billion in the country.