The Independent focus on retail media, Video and newsletters

As well as expecting a 30% increase in revenue, UK-news giant The Independent is investing in ecommerce, TV and audience targeting – highlighting 3 key areas for publishers.  For instance; IndyBest offers a range of product reviews and links to buy, and Independent TV offers a range of news videos.  Meanwhile, The Independent’s “audience match” promises to match their first party data with that of a brands’ to target readers with ads that are relevant, serving ads programmatically.

IndyBest is particularly interesting given the continued shift to retail media from a number of brands with room to grow.  Retail media “is generally up around 20% year-over-year for many brands and accounts for roughly 15-25% of the total media mix for brands investing in it.”  For instance; Future PLC’s commerce revenue accounts for 31% of its total and continues to grow the segment organically as well as through acquisitions.  The key drivers to retail media investments include the general mainstay of online shopping with brands looking to advertise where their customers are, as well as retailers adopting programmatic.

The Telegraph growing newsletters & subscriptions

Another British news publisher The Telegraph is betting on focused newsletters to help grow subscribers, having reached 500,000 paid digital subscribers as of October 2021.  By tracking engagement rates and other factors, they’ve been able to identify overlaps among audiences and topics in order to combine newsletters whilst maintaining the same editorial quality and efficiency, all the while developing habitual relationships with readers.  As well as driving sponsorship revenue and traffic to their site, newsletters have been effective in converting registrants into subscribers.

According to Digiday+ research from Q3’2021, 58% of publishers with subs businesses are focused on growing them over the next 6 months, second to direct-sold ads at 71%.

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Sky up their CTV game

Video & CTV are continually growing trends in the publishing & advertising industries, and now Sky is looking to create a whole new category.  Its new Sky Glass is the world’s first “streaming TV” that will stream content entirely over the internet; aggregating content from different streaming services.  Ultimately this will mean more data to strengthen Sky’s ad operations, and with IAB suggesting “better use of data” is the top driver of investment in CTV it will put Sky in a strong position.  According to the IAB, Connected TV is key to programmatic video growth with nearly one-fifth of advertisers allocating between 21-40% of programmatic budgets in CTV.

According to Criteo, 53% of Brits say streaming content is better than traditional.  Whilst Netflix is the most popular streaming platform (used by 72%), followed by iPlayer (68%), YouTube and ITV Hub (47% each) and Amazon Prime Video (45%); 47% prefer video ads because they’re entertaining and engaging.  And most significantly for retail, two in five say video streaming services have influenced their purchasing decisions in the last 12 months.

Advocates for ‘data minimisation’ in the US

Speaking at a conference at the start of October, FTC commissioner advocated for ‘data minimization in advertising based on the perceived failure of the current notice-and-consent framework.  Commissioner Slaughter suggested that this framework is leading to overcollection of user data, whilst privacy-focused initiatives such as the Privacy Sandbox will only strengthen the larger platforms.  Whilst stressing that these were the thoughts of the commissioner and not the FTC, Slaughter advocates for more contextual methods.
Meanwhile; the man leading CCPA enforcement Ashkan Soltani could push back on email-based identifiers.  Soltani – the new privacy chief in California – criticised email-based identifiers back in March, suggesting they are “more privacy-invasive than even cookies”.

The appointment of Ashkan Soltani by the [California Privacy Protection Agency] heralds granular attention on the ad tech ecosystem.  It seems that [Soltani] will be bringing this perspective to the CPPA

Dominique Shelton Leipzig, partner at Perkins Coie

Other interesting reads & events

In-game ads continue to grow

According to Admix/Atomik 93% of media buyers intent to run in-game ads by 2025 to target the 3bn active gamers globally as a general indication of gaming’s growth gamers globally spending a cumulative $176bn on games in 2021 which will surpass $200bn by 2023.

Tough read: Ad fraud, duopoly and the surveillance-based attention economy

A lengthy article from marketing professor Scott Galloway takes a fairly brutal view of the ad ecosystem; covering areas such as the rise of ad fraud, lack of transparency, and the role of Facebook/Google in fuelling the digital ad industry.  Whilst it lays bare a lot of the issues in the market, it’s the kind of opinion fuelling change where we’re beginning to see growing demand for industry standards on transparency and the drive to bring publishers and advertisers closer together in direct and programmatic environments.

Private Advertising Technology Community Group

A new Private Advertising Technology Community Group has been set up with the mission to incubate web features and APIs that support advertising while acting in the interests of users, in particular providing strong privacy assurances.

Upcoming events

  • Digital Media Buying Summit [18-20 Oct 2021] – There’s a host of interesting topics being covered here with programmatic, new channels, and of course navigating the post cookie world the main focuses.
  • Programmatic I/O [25-26 Oct 2021 / ] – This year’s agenda is built on 3 key areas of identity (From growing first party data and embracing contextual targeting), CTV, and marketing strategies.

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