I hope you’ve all had a good start to the year, the first newsletter of 2019, is action packed. Amazon started the week by announcing they were taking a leadership position on attribution by adopting the MRC viewability standard for conversion attribution. On the Tuesday RTL announced they were acquiring Yospace a specialist in Server-Side Dynamic Ad Insertion, which delivers dynamic ads in OTT environments, RTL also own SpotX so this is a really interesting development.
Speaking of interesting developments Verizon Media have renegotiated their sales agreement with Microsoft, which will give the artist formerly known as Oath increased access to native inventory and some platform exclusives. We round off the newsletter with a look at Xandr who post some internal tests are bringing their set top box data to TV buys for HP & L’Oreal. Enjoy!
p.s. Due to a number of new business wins my optimization team at Dentsu is growing, so if you’re currently reading this & looking for a role as a Senior Trader or Trading Manager in a fun team, that does great work, for amazing clients, give me a shout on LinkedIn via a DM.
Amazon Implements Viewed Conversions
In my last AdExchanger article of 2018 I said that for us to move the conversation around viewability forward “view-based impression tracking needs to become a standard UI-based report” it seems someone at Amazon HQ was listening & at the start of 2019 they announced this really big news:
“Effective January 1, 2019, only viewable impressions based on the MRC standard (50% of pixels in view for at least 1 second) are eligible to be credited towards a conversion on Amazon”. Marketing land had the scoop:
It is fair to say that Amazon had a stellar year in 2018 & it looks like they are starting 2019 as they mean to go on. This move should be applauded, it makes attribution meaningfully better, as non-viewed impressions will no longer be inadvertently attributed sales in standard their standard platform based reporting.
Historically buyers have used log level data for view based attribution, but having the heavy lifting done in platform is preferable as it is a real time saver.
Beyond simplicity it is well documented that some vendors (including Google) removed user IDs from log files to ensure GDPR compliance midway through last year, which does complicate this type of attribution. In this context it is unsurprising that this move was universally welcomed.
So what’s next? Well Google owns the dominant DSP & is ad-server of record for a rumored 75% of advertisers, so I’d imagine the pressure will be on for them to react to an Amazon that is aggressively improving it’s product. I’d also expect to see the leading independent The Trade Desk react to this move to defend its position. If Amazon’s key competitors do react, attribution will improve & the increased competition will certainly be good for the market.
RTL Buys Yospace
Another big story this week was that RTL bought Yospace a start up which offers Server-Side Dynamic Ad Insertion (SSDAI). It is expected this type of tech will become the de facto standard for serving dynamic ads into quality streaming environments. The deal is said to be worth $33 million:
In their press release RTL highlighted that the premium streaming segment is the fastest growing and most significant market for them & in this context being better placed to deliver personalize ads makes sense. Indeed on the other side of the Atlantic AT&T are aiming to do the same thing: personalization at scale, via their acquisition of AppNexus.
RTL also owns SpotX one of the leading video SSPs, so it is fair to say that they are building out an interesting stack that looks very well placed to deliver programmatic advertising in cookie-less environments. After a rocky 2018 with lots of talk of commoditization, 2019 is shaping up to be an interesting year on the supply side.
Verizon Renegotiates Ad Sales Deal With Microsoft
Verizon Media (the artist formerly known as Oath) announced this Tuesday that three years into a reported ten-year sales agreement with Microsoft they are expanding the amount of native Microsoft inventory they can sell:
Through the deal it is said marketers will gain additional access to 20 percent more native inventory on properties such as MSN, XBOX,Outlook & Microsoft News via Oath’s Ad Platforms.
Interestingly Verizon also announced that this would include exclusive placements, Google were widely criticized for making YouTube an exclusive to their buying platform a few years ago, so it will be interesting to see how the market reacts to this development.
That aside it’s no secret that Oath/Verizon had a tough 2018 , they reportedly struggled not only with a number of senior leadership departures, but also to integrate the technology they had acquired, Hopefully 2019 will see a stable, resurgent business powered by unique data & inventory that can give Google, Amazon & Trade Desk a run for its money, as I mentioned above with Amazon competition will push the market forward.
Turner To Use AT&T’s Data to sell targeted TV Ads
AT&T’s advertising business Xandr has started using AT&T’s subscriber data to target ads for Turner which the US giant owns via its $85 million acquisition of Warner media:
The move will allow buyers to combine insights from AT&T’s 170 million direct-to-consumer relationships & first-party data collected from AT&T’s 40 million set-top to improve the targeting & attribution of its TV ad products.
The use of AT&T data to fuel TV ads grabbed the headlines, but the deal will also see Turner using this data to deliver more relevant ads across its digital properties, including the global news brand CNN.
Following an initial test with their own brand late last year which delivered a 30% increase in on target reach vs their legacy approach the plan is to roll the products out more broadly in H1 2019, with HP & L’Oreal said to be external trial partners of the new proposition. Exciting times for Xandr, longer term I’m interested to see how they scale this outside of their home market.
Okay that’s the first newsletter of 2019 done, thanks for making it this far, if you want to suggest anything I should cover in next weeks installment you can connect with me here:
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Thanks & have a lovely weekend