When It Comes To Addressable TV, AT&T Has The Scale And Verizon Has The Speed

Verizon’s Oath wants advertisers to know that although it shuttered its programmatic TV offering OneTV, its addressable TV business based on Fios households – which launched in late 2016 – is here to stay. Verizon knows that for addressable inventory, it’s later to the game than AT&T, its subsidiary DirecTV and Dish network. But itContinue reading »

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Setting Up For Success Amid The Unspoken Challenges of Multitouch Attribution

“Brand Aware” explores the data-driven digital ad ecosystem from the marketer’s point of view. Today’s column is written by Amy Loesch, vice president of digital marketing at RetailMeNot. Multitouch attribution can be intimidating for some marketers. Where does one start and how can brands get executive buy-in? More than half (57%) of marketers surveyed inContinue reading »

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Digiday Research: Marketers say campaign measurement is the biggest challenge to transparency

At the Digiday Programmatic Marketing Summit Europe last month in Portugal, we sat down with 52 client-side and agency marketers to understand how important the issues of arbitrage and transparency are for them. Check out our earlier research about the roadblocks companies face when bringing media buying in-house here. Learn more about our upcoming events here.

Quick takeaways:

  • Eighty percent of the marketers in Digiday’s survey said resolving arbitrage issues is important.
  • Lack of trustworthy campaign measurement is the most common hindrance to transparency in media buying.
  • Only 26 percent said they can reliably measure campaign attribution.

Most marketers are addressing arbitrage
Issues surrounding data arbitrage and inventory arbitrage continue to plague the digital media industry. Data leakage gives agencies easy access to publishers’ data that they can then combine with third-party data and resell to advertisers at a premium. One agency executive went so far as to say that data arbitrage can lead to such inflated prices, advertisers should avoid third-party data altogether. Resolving arbitrage issues has come to the forefront of marketers’ agendas. Eighty percent of the marketers surveyed by Digiday said resolving arbitrage issues is an extremely important or very important objective.

This article is behind the Digiday+ paywall.

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When Is It Best To Use Social Video In A Media Plan?

“On TV And Video” is a column exploring opportunities and challenges in advanced TV and video. Today’s column is written by Sarah Wilson, associate media director at DWA Media. By 2021, 1 million minutes of video content will move over the internet every second, according to Cisco. That’s 17,000 hours of video – every single second.Continue reading »

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Ads Come To Facebook Stories; Google Extends Olive Branch To Publishers

Here’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign up here. Story Time Advertising is coming to Facebook Stories, a sleeper hit on the Facebook platform that draws 150 million daily active users. Ads will be 15- to 20-second videos that users can skip and are for now limited to branding initiatives, TechCrunch reports. Click-throughsContinue reading »

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Escaping the algorithm: Why young football fans are leaving big social platforms

by James Kirkham, head of COPA90

Young football fans are coming of age in a paradoxical environment. They’re priced out of the live game, yet social platforms have given them unlimited access to football content and players.

Most 16-to-24-year-olds got their first introduction to football through FIFA video games, blurring the line between real and virtual clubs. They reject traditional broadcast models and often support more than one club. They’ve also created and embraced a new fan experience by turning the action on the field into social “moments” — the memes and GIFs that have become an established part of the football lexicon. But a new shift in fan behavior is coming — one that brands ignore at their peril.

Young fans, hungry for fresh and authentic football content, are turning away from an established style of publishing on social platforms like Twitter and Instagram. This is what the young people we surveyed told us as part of our recent research into the passions and values of the modern football fan. COPA90’s Modern Football Fan [Actually, it might be a good idea to hyper-link to the report here. Is that available yet?] report shows that brands can no longer rely solely on shared social media content to engage fans.

Memes, GIFS and emojis have become just another means of communication. A massive 42% of 16-19-year-old fans in the UK regularly share football-themed memes or funny videos, according to our research. Other generations are starting to follow suit, with even the over-50s watching and sharing looping goals as GIFs on Twitter. They’ve become part of the online discourse, along with the banter around every minute of gameplay. But as exciting moments in football are continually rehashed through memes, it’s harder than ever to create a piece of content that stands out. Publishers are at risk of becoming indistinguishable from each other.

Fans are turning away from cluttered news streams. That’s in part because content creation is no longer the domain of an elite few. One in five 16-24 year-olds now create and craft their own graphics, GIFs, image reactions or memes, our report found. On April 3 of this year, 6,881 videos focusing on Cristiano Ronaldo’s bicycle kick goal in Real Madrid’s Champions League quarter-final match were created by 5,622 accounts and posted on Twitter and Instagram, according to our analysis. The days when a single brand could own the social moment, like Oreo did with its “Dunk in The Dark” Super Bowl tweet in 2013, feel a long way off.

At the same time, young fans voice concern about trolling and are wary of attracting negative comments on public posts. This is driving many of them to more private online environments, such as WhatsApp, in their search for a social safe haven where they can air their views without fear.

Clubs have jumped on the meme bandwagon as well. Some content, such as Bristol City’s much lauded goal GIFs, manages to be clever and tongue-in-cheek. But when clubs of all sizes get involved, it’s an indicator that meme marketing may have reached its peak. Social reaction happens in an instant; carefully crafted and pre-planned content no longer has the same relevance to fans.

Without even noticing it, we’ve all become slaves to big social players like Twitter and Instagram, and the algorithms that power them. This has fueled brands’ and agencies’ obsession with getting likes and retweets. But now, as the cacophony of content reaches a fever pitch, it’s clear that young football fans are pursuing something fresher and more vital.

The fans we surveyed told us that they wanted, as they put it, to “escape the algorithm.” They are looking for an entirely new approach from social networks and those who engage with them. They don’t want everyone saying the same thing at the same time about the same moment. They want more varied content.

Social platforms are starting to feel the effects of this. As communities rebel against pre-ordained algorithmic control and group together around their passions, new social apps like Vero are thriving. Vero’s downloads jumped from fewer than 150,000 to 3 million in March, driven by users’ search for a more authentic form of self-expression.

Meanwhile, Snapchat’s ability to retain what was always fresh and exciting about its visual language could wind up saving it. Its redesign may have dented the platform’s pace of growth, but its original content will help keep core users loyal.

Earlier this year, Facebook announced it wanted its news feed to create more “meaningful interactions,” and to prioritize content shared by family, friends and groups over that from businesses and media outlets. Time well spent is now more vital than just time spent. That brings true craft back into play. Could we finally be on the cusp of an era where content experiences are designed to live long in our memory, instead of disappearing from our consciousness as soon as we’ve hit the ‘like’ button?

Instagram has just announced that it too is focusing on quality over quantity when it comes to the amount of time users devote to its platform. Its CEO, Kevin Systrom, has said that any time spent on Instagram “should be positive and intentional.”

Brands have a major opportunity here, so long as they’re able to inspire a real emotional response from their audiences and find their purpose in the sport – be it promoting equality, adding value to fans’ lives or to their experience of football and the culture around it, or just bringing them closer to the game. That’s what the fans are telling us.

The post Escaping the algorithm: Why young football fans are leaving big social platforms appeared first on Digiday.

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How Spin is marketing itself in the scooter wars

Euwyn Poon had shown up just under 10 minutes late to our meeting in the lobby of the New York Hilton Midtown, where a blockchain conference had drawn him into town. The delay? The Silicon Valley founder had taken a cab in midday New York City traffic to get from Bryant Park to Central Park. 

“I’m just so used to the scooter life,” he said.

Poon is one of the co-founders of Spin, a tech startup competing in the electric scooter wars. Back in San Francisco, these internet-connected, dockless scooters litter the streets. Little distinguishes the flood of e-scooters from Spin, Bird and Lime beyond their colors: orange, black and green, respectively. Even the cost is the same: $1 plus 15 cents per minute. In fact, some of the hardware is identical. The name “Spin” and the color orange are just two of the ways Poon and his co-founders are trying to win consumer love, city approval and venture capital dollars.

“In this hyper-competitive market with three players creating a very identical product, [branding] is the next challenge for us,” Poon said. “As a young company, we want to embody the spirit of a company that works well with cities. Cities are our long-term partners.”

Bird declined to comment on its marketing strategy. LimeBike did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

So far, Spin has spent little on advertising. The company has bought search ads in Apple’s App Store to help when people search “Spin,” a “pretty generic name,” Poon said. They also have put up posters on the streets where the scooters are available to help drive brand awareness.

“I think our marketing guy has the easiest job,” Poon joked. “A rider who wants to ride [Spin] is literally advertising our service. It’s not very useful for us to have a gigantic billboard. You can download the app, but you can’t summon the scooter to you. The hardware is the best ads.”

Choosing a scooter tends to come down to availability. Loyalty also has some scooter enthusiasts selecting a particular scooter over another.

I’d like to think of myself as the most passionate, unpaid evangelist of Bird. Personally, I’m very loyal, and Bird was the first scooter I tried,” said Hunter Owens, who works in product at digital entertainment network The Viral Fever and lives in the Bay Area.

For Owens, his loyalty to Bird is similar to why he chooses Amazon’s Alexa over Google Home and Siri — it’s simply his go-to voice assistant. Now, in the age of the e-scooter, scooter companies are finding their loyalists as well as cementing their position in the industry on topics like customer care and government relationships. For users, the conflict is similar to choosing between Uber and Lyft or Seamless and Caviar. At the end of the day, a car, food delivery or a scooter is just a service.

The idea of Bird loyalty doesn’t scare Poon. 

“Bird, simply by having more scooters on the street, can earn some mindshare,” Poon said. “Our interview with users shows that they’re pretty agnostic. [They’ll say,] ‘I’ll have the three apps on my phone, and whichever one is closest, I’ll end up using.’ I feel the same. If one’s closer to me, I’m not going to use the other one.” 

That vibe is quite unlike Lyft co-founder John Zimmer, who would rather die than take an Uber. It’s early days for e-scooter startups, and Spin has focused on creating a strong brand with its relationships with users and with cities.

Of course, the people behind the three major players are different.

“You literally have a guy named Travis running the Uber playbook,” Poon said, referring to Bird’s chief executive, Travis VanderZanden, who formerly worked at Uber. “You have a VC running Lime, and you have us, the younger tech dudes running Spin and messing around with blockchain stuff.”

When it came to choosing the company’s name, Poon said his team wanted something simple and catchy that could also be used as a verb.

“We called the company Spin, not SpinBike, for a reason,” Poon said. (LimeBike released its bike sharing program in early 2017 and branched into e-scooters earlier this year.) 

One of the few differences between the scooters beyond availability, battery length and stability is color. Spin’s choice of orange stemmed from the team’s desire to create something eye-catching. It’s also a nod to early-stage startup accelerator Y Combinator, Poon said.

Poon said he’s not envisioning a winner-take-all market. Rather, he likened the future of e-scooters to the competition between wireless providers and cable companies.

“Every city can pick a few, and there can be good, healthy competition. I think the user will flip from one to another,” Poon said.

Poon said he and his co-founders were inspired to launch an urban transportation company, starting with bikes and then adding scooters, in part because of Citi Bike in New York. Right now, revenue for these companies comes from users, but in the future, they could become vehicles for advertising — just as the bikes and scooters are already ads for themselves.

The post How Spin is marketing itself in the scooter wars appeared first on Digiday.

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How Wattpad is using its platform, data to sell shows to TV studios and streaming services

Publishers aren’t the only ones looking to make it in Hollywood. Platforms are also getting in the mix.

Two years ago, Wattpad, an app where anyone can publish their own text-based stories, created a division, Wattpad Studios, to adapt those stories into TV shows, movies and books. It signed development deals with NBCUniversal’s Universal Cable Productions and Canadian TV network Entertainment One. This year, its work has accelerated, premiering a pilot on The CW’s streaming service CW Seed in February, signing a deal to produce a show with Sony Pictures Television and developing a show with AwesomenessTV that Hulu bought earlier this month — all based on stories that people had originally published on Wattpad.

More than a brand-building exercise, Wattpad sees these adaptations as a way to diversify its business in the same way that many media companies are getting into digital video. “At the end of the day, it’s a strong business line,” Wattpad Studios head Aron Levitz said.

For example, Wattpad has a first-look deal with Universal Cable Productions for stories in the teen and science fiction genres, where if the studio opts to turn a story into a show, Wattpad acts as the producer, he said. While Levitz wouldn’t get into specifics, Wattpad can make money from licensing fees and royalties.

Wattpad Studios’ adaption of its stories is an old trope with a new twist. Like a traditional book or magazine publisher, Wattpad can sell film and TV companies on content that already has an audience. But like a digital media publisher such as Vox Media and Gimlet Media, it can also sell them ads to promote these shows or movies to Wattpad’s original audience. Then, there is the advantage of Wattpad owning its platform. The company has data that other publishers may not have, such as how various pieces of content compare and people’s propensity to return to a piece of content, which it uses to identify which stories to adapt to the screen.

“We’re really starting to figure out how to translate the billion points of data we collect every day into useful decision-making points for our studio partners,” said Levitz.

Conceivably, anyone could go on Wattpad and see which stories are most popular among its 65 million users, how many total times people have read a story, how many votes (similar to likes) it has received and how it ranks in various categories, such as “teen,” “2018” and “summerlove.” Then, they could privately message the author and sign a deal to adapt a story without letting Wattpad in on the action.

But such publicly available data is not the best predictor of off-platform success, said Levitz. Instead, Wattpad looks at private data it has, like engagement time, how many times things are reread, the completion rates, what parts of the world it was read in most, he said. Wattpad also looks beyond individual stories to identify trends such as subgenres that are on the rise.

That data can reinforce the bets that movie studios, streaming services and TV networks make when they decide to adapt a piece of content into a movie or show.

“Thirty years ago, even if your book’s been published and sells a million copies, that’s a hit in book publishing, but then the movie flops. So this is a much more data-driven way to find out if [these stories] actually resonate with an audience,” said Bernard Gershon, president of GershonMedia. “As a platform that can play a key role in this virtuous circle of creating content, proving the content works and then marketing to people who are passionate about that content, it’s a great business model.”

What ultimately matters is whether Wattpad Studios can turn its stories into hits for the companies adapting them. The evidence is so far limited. The pilot that Wattpad adapted from Lauren Palphreyman’s story “Cupid’s Match” for CW Seed became the second-most watched show on CW Seed within weeks of premiering in February, according to Levitz. The CW did not respond to a request for comment by press time.

“Cupid’s Match” offers a template for how Wattpad aims to drive viewers to the other shows it has in the works. It promoted trailers in ads within the chapters of the original Wattpad story and in stories in the paranormal and fantasy genres with similar readerships. Wattpad plans to do the same with other projects. When AwesomenessTV’s adaptation of Wattpad story “Light as a Feather” premieres on Hulu, Levitz said, “Hulu is going to want a lot of people showing up on Hulu night one.”

The post How Wattpad is using its platform, data to sell shows to TV studios and streaming services appeared first on Digiday.

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With Facebook Live views falling, BuzzFeed looks to Twitch

Since the start of the year, BuzzFeed noticed significant decreases in Facebook Live video views on its News channel, pushing the team to find other platforms like Twitch to reach new audiences.

Over the last six months, BuzzFeed News has run four Twitch livestreams: a live broadcast from the bottom of the ocean and the rest covering election results. Over the weekend, BuzzFeed broadcast the royal wedding on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Twitch in order to tap into new audiences. Twitch, now owned by Amazon, rose to prominence as a platform for livestreaming of video game play.

“We’re seeing that start to switch over as more publishers put things other than gaming onto the site,” said Andrew Kimmel, head of live video at BuzzFeed, who leads a live video team of five people. “It feels like the time is right. Publishers are able to push out streams not directly related to video games to a whole new audience. That’s new territory to explore.”

In January, Macquarie Capital analyst Ben Schachter noted Twitch had an average viewership of nearly 1 million viewers, comparing it to cable channels Fox News and ESPN, although TV views and digital views are measured differently, making comparisons spurious.

BuzzFeed is still ironing out details with Twitch, working out what content would suit the Amazon-owned platform over Facebook Live. This year, BuzzFeed News’ four Facebook Live videos have had less than 50,000 views, with the exception of the broadcast of the bottom of the ocean, which had 168,000 views. According to NewsWhip data, interactions on Live videos has varied over the years. Kimmel was unwilling to share any numbers around fans or views this early in its testing. On Twitch, BuzzFeed is starting off with zero fans, so it will be an upward climb: Discoverability on Twitch is more similar to YouTube than Facebook; audiences search rather than scroll through a news feed, and building audience organically takes time.

Twitch is very much a playground of experimentation for publishers, just as Facebook Live was, although Facebook was paying publishers to experiment with Live before the social network cut funding at the end of last year. Facebook Live views had been plateauing for some time, and without financial incentive, publishers are naturally looking elsewhere.  The Washington Post has streamed three videos of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg facing Congress in April, with the most popular amassing just 7,000 views. “Saturday Night Live” and the NFL have also announced they’ll broadcast on the platform.

An added benefit on Twitch is BuzzFeed can schedule recorded content or series reruns, rather than only broadcast live video like on Facebook, adding more content that can be monetized. In BuzzFeed’s case, Twitch controls the pre-roll ads and splits the revenue with the publisher.

A spokesperson from Twitch said: “One of the fastest-growing nongaming categories on Twitch is IRL, where users can capture things going on in the world around them. Because of our highly engaged and interactive community in chat, events become a shared real-time experience on a global scale.”

During the snap election in the U.K. in 2016, BuzzFeed worked with Facebook to livestream a debate between the country’s politicians, creating interactive polls and encouraging viewers to ask questions. “We’re building content for the interactivity of live video — that’s the future,” said Kimmel, “engaging with viewers in ways that are not possible on live TV.”

For the election results in Alabama in December, BuzzFeed had 2.1 million live viewers on Twitter, which Kimmel said shows there’s enough appetite for an online audience wanting to watch political content online rather than on TV.

“The online audience is very different to the TV audience,” he said. “These platforms give us the opportunity to speak directly to these viewers.”

The post With Facebook Live views falling, BuzzFeed looks to Twitch appeared first on Digiday.

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