Adtech Perfect Storm
This is one key quote from the press release;
Through our examination of this market, we have discovered how major online platforms like Google and Facebook operate and how they use digital advertising to fuel their business models. What we have found is concerning – if the market power of these firms goes unchecked, people and businesses will lose out. People will carry on handing over more of their personal data than necessary, a lack of competition could mean higher prices for goods and services bought online and we could all miss out on the benefits of the next innovative digital platform.
The question of a full market investigation has been kicked down the road - and will now be considered when the Digital Markets Taskforce report. So quite what happens next is unclear but remember the Budget set out a plan for this taskforce, so despite being on page 102, this is likely to happen;
2.266 Boosting competition in the digital and wider economy – The government will accept all six of the Furman Review’s 35 strategic recommendations for unlocking competition in digital markets. The government will consult on these in due course. A new cross-regulator
taskforce, based in the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), will report to the government within six months on a pro-competitive regime for digital platform markets. This will include advice on implementing a pro-competitive code of conduct for digital platforms with strategic market power. The government will also look at existing domestic or EU derived regulations that might hinder digital competition and entrench monopoly behaviours and will ensure that regulatory reforms applying to digital and tech businesses are pro-innovation and coherent.
It’s sure to drive debate in our Guild group - now up to 130 people from across the industry - so come and share your thoughts and see what others think. The IAB were quick to respond and plan a briefing next week
The other big topic in this space is the Facebook boycott - with new brands announcing their involvement every day. But as this chart shows the big advertisers are - relatively - a side show.
The Wall Street Journal makes a similar point, looking at the spend of the 8 key boycotters, showing how insignificant it is - and in a very fresh graphic approach. (Why don't online ads look that good?)
They have got some reaction - and expect more. We should point out that Facebook do take down a huge amount of bad content, but there is so much there. And the problem isn’t confined to Facebook - YouTube announced they are to ban the leader of the Klu Klux Klan and others.
I still think they all shoot themselves in the foot by accepting any political ads.
A good new IAB report from the US looks at the whole video market; CTV, Social, Desktop and Mobile. We think that this converged view is the right way to approach newTV. It is very heartening to see that 60% have one team across all video - and most of the rest plan to combine. This gets away from the nonsense we used to see - one person on ITV, someone else buying facebook and yet another buying video on the Daily Mail
A post New Front discussion with Agencies shows there is still some separation - and a lot comes down to reach versus niche. Because video can be more challenging to execute - buying a big player (Linear broadcaster, Facebook or YouTube) for reach is the first priority and adding smaller niche audiences comes later. I think this is the opportunity where Amazon and Roku see themselves as bundlers - but through them and get the reach of an aggregated set of newTV players. More about Amazon and newTV in next Wednesday midweek Fix.
The other side of the bundling is selling consumers access to channels. Again Amazon and Roku are playing hard here - and so is YouTube. They have been offering YouTube TV for 3 years and adding a few new channels, including HBO Max. But the new bundle has a new price tag - $65 a month. There are some service benefits but for some it feels like cord cutting hasn't really saved much money. Add in Amazon, Netflix and Disney and you are getting close to $90 a month.
We know Quibi is struggling - the Guardian is the latest to put the boot in - and I expect we will see churn rise amongst others as post lockdown unemployment hits. So could we see some M&A as people decide the rosy forecasts for Streaming just don't make sense post Covid? In Asia iFlix has struggled and Tencent have stepped in to buy their assets. And I heard a rumour that Netflix could buy Quibi, which isn’t as daft as it sounds. Netflix need to keep acquiring fresh content (and virtually no one has seen the Quibi roster) and it would give Katzenberg a honourable way out - especially if they give him some role with content.
The division between big flat screen TV content and mobile content is melting away. As part of the marketing for Tenet - the new Christoher Nolan movie - Fortnite showed one of his previous films. Instagrams IGTV is luring YouTubers as they can now monetise on Instagram. And Snap have a shoppable show on Discover which sounds really promising.
This week TikTok gets the wrong sort of headlines - it seems the data they collect is a little surprising - The new version of iOS showed the app reads users clipboard. And the furore over this reminded people of a reddit post a couple of months ago which was scathing about TikTok
The competition are keen to slow down the TikTok growth - but attempts to close the service are struggling. The Facebook version Lasso is to close down but amongst a number of experiments YouTube have a new tool for recording videos of 15 seconds or less. Just like TikTok. The Instagram Reels lookalike app is expanding into Europe though.
Tech can still be a barrier to entry for a digital business. As the NHS know with a £12m bill for an app that doesn’t work. But some firms remove the friction and just like SquareSpace and Shopify have democratised sites and shopping we now see similar approaches on Mobile.
Amazon are leveraging their AWS expertise with HoneyCode, allowing anyone to build apps - which is similar to Appsheet which Google bought earlier this year. A start up GoMeta has raised to launch a tool that speeds up app development.
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