Programmatic maturing: Measurement & transparency are critical

Programmatic is maturing and with the continued growth of gaming, CTV/OTT, and audio, programmatic will continue to surge and reshape the digital landscape.  TV, for instance, has seen big shifts from linear to CTV but with the great expectations that digital innovation brings marketers need to know the what, where and who of those impressions to optimise their investments.

Over the next few months, the evolution of programmatic will bring increased maturity, accountability and a coming together of technology and standards that offer realistic, everyday gains.

Jeremy Fain, CEO & co-founder Cognitiv

Furthermore; innovation continues with new launches such as Magnite’s Live Stream Accelerator which optimises the programmatic sale of live streaming video ad inventory.  Sling TV reportedly saw a 47% lift in ad conversions for its live sports inventory – a significantly growing area of streaming; for instance media giants battling for Indian Premier League (IPL) rights.

Sticking with the SSP Magnite will power GroupM’s Premium Marketplace in the US & Canada, as well as becoming their global preferred tech partner.  GroupM will consolidate its programmatic media buying across omnichannel environments including CTV, digital video, and display within Magnite in the US and Canada.

New taskforce unveils programmatic transparency strategy

The Cross Industry Programmatic Task Force released a toolkit to help improve transparency in the programmatic ad supply chain this week.  The toolkit of three documents aims to reduce the size of the 15% ‘unknown delta’ discovered by ISBA research in 2020.  Several in the industry have seen this toolkit as a “significant step forward”.

CTV – The next key ad arena

Campaign’s “What you need to know about the CTV viewer” provides great insight into the users fueling the CTV boom with the pandemic accelerating use of Smart TVs for streaming, gaming, connecting with friends and more.  For instance; 83% of Ipsos/Samsung Ads research respondents said they’d turn to streaming rather than linear TV, with many of them focused on what they were watching more so than when watching linear – providing opportunities for high engagement and high impact.

With 41% of those survey respondents suggesting they’re already paying too much for streaming services, 56% of Smart TV users willing to watch ads in exchange for free content, and high advertiser demand for online video, AVOD a key arena.  Roku is one potential winner here with recent reports of Roku’s platform revenue topped $2bn for the first time.

However, according to The Drum advertisers are wasting billions with antiquated measurement with TV just as much in the firing line as more traditional digital.  The article cites research from Samba TV which suggests 97% of all linear ad impressions served in the US reached the same 55% of consumers, serving the same ads multiple times – with similar findings in UK and Germany.  Nielsen Media Impact analytics tool is coming to streaming as Nielsen looks to improve media buying and planning across channels including CTV.

Embracing the post-cookie future

According to Teads latest annual survey of small, medium and premium publishers; 50% of publishers see an opportunity to differentiate through first party data and the quality of their content.  Whilst there’s also an increase in understanding of the addressability alternatives; the most popular alternatives are first party data (63%), contextual (59%), with 43% considering unique IDs and under 30% considering the Privacy Sandbox.  Logins is another key topic covered though only 45% of publishers have a strategy for increasing use of logins, whilst for many publishers less than half of their users use them.

After last week’s announcement that Google will propose a privacy sandbox for Android there are concerns that it could leave Google with exclusive control over monetisation of media & apps on Android.  Movement for an Open Web (MOW) group – which represents a number of publishers and advertisers – believes the announcement undermines the CMA’s position and Google’s commitments given a lack of alternatives.

Industry views & learnings:

WSJ touts its first party approach

According to AdWeek; WSJ first party data has been key to repeat media buys with advertisers 37% more likely to renew if their prior campaigns used first party data.  Challenges remain around “fly by visitors” – which outweighs logged-in users – with associated issues of scale and attribution.

Conde Nast inks deal with TikTok

This week it was announced that a monetisation deal between CondeNast and TikTok had been struck which will see exclusive content made for TikTok such as sponsored live streams.  This follows on from similar deals with BuzzFeed in November 2021, with more deals likely to enable publishers to generate direct revenue on the platform.

News publishers using non-news content to hook readers

A Digiday piece looks at why news publishers are turning to non news content in a bid to slow the slowdown in subscription sign ups and reduce churn.  For instance, US publisher Salon has turned to food content which has seen 30% higher RPMs than their news and politics coverage.  The Atlantic, on the other hand, is combining verticals such as lifestyle with their site’s recirculation algorithm to encourage users to click through more verticals; whilst USA Today Network is leveraging topic-specific landing pages with a mix of free and paywalled content.

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Carbon is now part of Magnite.