Affinity Answers’
1-Quick Stat

June 13, 2024

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Number of Streaming Services in “Top 100 Publishers”

Remember the song “Blurred Lines”. Is Robin Thicke an AdTech profit?

We have had so much fun talking about TTD and their buzz-worthy new offering of the Premium Open Internet, we thought that it might be worth one more 1QS (that is short for 1-Quick Stat, the kids love abbrevs).

This highly anticipated compilation features the 100 most popular and engaging digital publishers across all digital channels, offering a comprehensive look at the top-tier content providers that shape our online experience.

But here is the wrinkle. It’s mostly streaming.

 

For advertisers and marketers, the prominence of streaming channels on The Trade Desk’s list signals a clear trend: video and streaming content are where the audience is. However, it also highlights the need for a balanced approach. While streaming channels offer extensive reach, traditional digital publishers still play a crucial role in providing in-depth, varied, and high-quality content.

While the dominance of streaming channels on The Trade Desk’s “Best of the Open Internet” list highlights the significant role these platforms play, it also prompts a critical conversation about content diversity and the future of digital publishing. As consumers, advertisers, and industry leaders, it's up to all of us to champion a balanced and inclusive digital media ecosystem. As always, contact us at anytime at hello@affinityanswers.com.

 

June 7, 2024

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Time Spent on the
Open Internet vs. Walled Gardens

Move over Jake Paul vs. Mike Tyson. This is the fight to watch.

The Trade Desk is making a lot of headlines with their Premium Open Internet. And why not? It is exciting. The AdTech industry has been laboring under the rain clouds of bad actors like MFA sites for a while. The Premium Open Internet might just be the first ray of sunshine to hit our faces in years.

As CTV, Digital Audio, and Premium Web Destinations have all joined the ranks of the Open Internet, time spent has rocketed. As TTD mentions in their most recent TTD Sellers and Publishers Report:

This shift comes as more advertisers prioritize the very best of the premium internet. Whether it’s the best in live sports featuring the world’s top leagues and tournaments, the best scripted TV shows and movies, or trusted journalism, the most premium digital content is now on the open internet.

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The Premium Open Internet is coming at the right time. Advertisers and Agencies alike are searching for more scale, but with quality impressions. As measurement continues to struggle to become the unifying driver of trust, curation has taken center stage. Almost as a call back to the old days prior to programmatic. What if we just chose the trusted places we want to run our inventory? Genius! Next, we should think about bundling all streaming services into just one service, and call it CABLE!

 

We are excited for the Premium Open Internet. We think that it is going to have a positive impact on the industry and its performance overall. But, it is also important to remember, curation is only the start. Finding the right people amongst they 500 top sellers and publishers is key. Oh yeah. That is where we come in.

 

Let us know if we can help you target your customers in this new age of Premium Open Internet.

May 22, 2024

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Social Video spend projected in 2024,
a 20% YoY increase

I know we are talking about ad spend, but have you seen the little british girl yelling about the ice cream man. Classic.

We reported earlier this month about the increase in Social spend projected for 2024. We are very bullish on social, and everyone else should be too. And now IAB is projecting a huge jump in Social video. Social Video is expected to grow 20% year over year to $23.4 billion by the end of 2024, actually outpacing CTV (+12% YOY to $22.7 billion).

The reason, at least as IAB is reporting, attribution (and just when we thought it was safe). “Social video ‘is taking more of a lead over CTV’ because it provides better campaign reporting based on an advertiser’s preferred business outcomes, a capability that CTV lacks in comparison”, said Chris Bruderle, the IAB’s VP of industry insights and content strategy.

If you have been in the marketing world over the last 25 years like I have (I still look young though) you’ve had the opportunity to ride the complex rollercoaster we broadly call attribution. It started, before the dawn of digital, with grandiose dreams offered by MTA, MMM, and other complex algorithms offered by strategy and analytics departments. When asked to prove the actual attribution, teams and clients were often asked to take a “leap of faith”.

Then came the digital revolution. And along with it, the promise of one-to-one. Performance marketing became a drug and we all became addicted. Budgets shifted. Benchmarks came and went. Performance became less about how well it did, and more about, well at least it was measured. And so begins the plight of CTV.

For all of its promise, CTV won’t truly reach Saint-hood until it figures out attribution first. But in the meantime, we have Social Video. And the best way to activate Social Video is with native social data. Oh wait, that’s us. Contact us at anytime at hello@affinityanswers.com.

May 16, 2024

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Global Estimated Programmatic CTV Spend in Q1 2024

Am I the only one who doesn’t understand Reindeer Baby?

Finally a "One Quick Stat" for our friends in CTV. Pixalate recently released their Connected TV Ad SupplyChain Trend Report and it was chock-full of good stuff. And we are here to give you the headlines so you don’t have to read. We are like Buzzfeed, if that was still a thing.

Quick Topline

  • Spend is up (+2%)
  • Fraud is down (-43%)
  • APAC is way up (+43%)
  • LATAM is way upper (+60%)
  • Hulu is tops (#1 in Revenue)

The increased presence of CTV is being cited as the primary driver of growth currently in programmatic. The Trade Desk confirmed recently that their largest driver in Q1 was in fact CTV free ad-supported digital video ads along with social media ad spending.

So where do we go from here? It is going to be interesting. If anyone read about the Upfronts, Jimmy Kimmel had a lot to say about the future of streaming - especially bundling:

May 9, 2024

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Organizations State Their Customers

Won’t Buy From Them if Data is Not Properly Protected

That sounds important. Could definitely be important.

Recently, our very own Josh Raper was asked to join a Neutronian panel to talk about Data Privacy and the Cost of Inaction. As the stat above (sourced from Cisco Data Privacy Benchmark Study) clearly states, privacy is a powerful driver of consumer purchase behavior. Maybe equally as important, a lack of privacy can result in real consequences.

The panel went in depth into some of the most recent real world consequences for data and retail companies:

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Cerebral: $7 million fine because of careless marketing, improper or lack thereof training policies, inadequate data privacy framework and unsecure data access methods.

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Sephora: $1.2million fine to settle complaints from the California Attorney General that the cosmetics company had broken the state's consumer privacy legislation

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Door Dash: $375,000 fine and ordered to deliver annual reports to the Attorney General about any sale or sharing of consumer data

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Ultimately, we feel that there are a few key takeaways for anyone in a position to collect, handle, or activate against consumer data:

  1. The laws are changing every day and ignorance is not an excuse. Increased proactivity and vigilance is required in order to protect consumer privacy and stay compliant.

  2. There are plenty of bad actors out there, it is equally important to vet and research any company with which you are partnering to activate against consumer data.

  3. There are also good companies out there, Neutronian for one. Neutronian is working to instill processes to identify and promote data companies who are meeting and exceeding data privacy compliance for collection, quality and transparency.

Data privacy is going to be a huge topic for years to come. What do you think is going to be most pressing? Would love to hear from you.

May 1, 2024

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Wasted Across Open Market Programmatic

To think, I feel badly about not taking home leftovers.

Waste is definitely out there. Especially across the open web. There has been a lot of differing reports about this figure over the last few years, but recently the ANA report highlighted approximately $22 billion in waste within the open web programmatic market. There are solutions, but adoption has been slow.

 

To discuss such solutions we recently we had a chance to chat with Michael Guzewicz, Vice President, Strategic Partnerships at OpenX for some insight. This was his take on the situation.

 

"We already know there’s a lot of waste associated with MFA, both economic and environmental (MFA sites contribute about 26% more carbon emissions than non-MFA sites).

At the same time, buyers are looking to maximize their working media more than ever. There are a few components to that, but it starts with transparency. Buyers need to understand what’s in a deal — and what’s not, which is why OpenX has eliminated MFA domains by default in all direct deals.

By allocating some of their budget to targeting on the supply side via direct deals that don’t contain MFA or indirect supply, buyers can increase their efficiency, especially when these deals are built on rich audience data."

 

The adtech and data industries are seemingly laser focused on cookie deprecation but there are certainly more monsters out there lurking. Increasing efficiency and transparency are paramount to the sustainability of our industry. Direct Deals and PMPs are certainly a good start but there are many more innovations and approaches to be considered and implemented.

 

Have thoughts? Tell us what you think

April 26, 2024

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Increase in Social Media Spend Over the Last 5 years

That's a lot of Hims Subscriptions.

According to the outstanding report published by the IAB last month, Social continues to increase becoming more of prominent media line item for most Brands and Agencies.

 

A variety of reasons are cited for the increase. Leading the way is continued investment in User Generated Content. Platforms like TikTok and products like Instagram Reels are driving brands to appeal in a more authentic manner to its potential customers.

 

The other undeniable benefit is the opportunity for hyper-interest based targeting. Influencers, Celebrities, Athletes, Brands, and Entertainment properties all position and power their brands using social media. Understanding users engagements across everything they watch, follow, buy, and share is the ultimate first step in higher-level targeting.

 

Social data is vast and valuable. If you are interested in the best social data available, please let us know by clicking the link below. Look forward to chatting.

April 11, 2024

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Average Data Privacy Score

"Not great, Bob"

Neutronian has just released its Quarterly Data Privacy scores for Q1 and, frankly, they don’t look great. The average data score across all data providers reviewed is a paltry 40.83 - which in Neutronian’s grading scale comes out to about a “C” (in case you were wondering, we are once again an “A-Grade” Data Provider).

 

This stat of the day isn't to point fingers. But it is to say that, for marketers, it is becoming more and more important to "trust but verify". There are so so many articles about fraud in our industry. And it is driven by bad actors. But for a long time there haven't really been too many checks and balances to give marketers and data-side professionals clarity inside the black boxes we call data. We applaud companies like Neutronian for bringing accountability and transparency to the forefront of an industry that so desperately needs it.

Who is Neutronian, you might ask?

Neutronian produces independent data privacy “credit scores” and in-depth data quality certification across the entire data ecosystem to provide marketers with the transparency they need to confirm that their data and inventory partners are privacy compliant and ensure that their campaigns are running in privacy safe environments.

Read more about the latest report from their latest press release.

 

For more information about our data reach out to us cs@affinityasnwers.com

April 4, 2024

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Average Time Spent
on Social Media per Day

141 minutes!! That’s like ⅓ of a Martin Scorcese movie.

Social media’s rise has been unprecedented. Over 35% of time people are spending online, is on their social media. As one of the largest social data companies in the world, we can’t say that we are too surprised. And as all marketers know, where the customers go, so go the brands.

 

Social media is the largest co-mingling of people and brands in the world. And, because of this, it is through social media that marketers can understand everything and anything they want about a customer across any industry vertical.. What they have bought, want to buy, listen to, stream, sports and influencers they follow, and on and on and on. Social data is limitless in its ability to understand human behavior.

 

Purchase and Demographic data have long been the stalwarts in the 3P targeting space. And it stands to reason. But, now social data is available for targeting programmatic rest of web, CTV, and even DOOH. It might be time for social data to have its day in the sun. Whether it is coverage, scale, or the ability to identify future purchase behavior, social data is making a great case to be the next big thing in data-led targeting.

For more information reach out to us cs@affinityasnwers.com

March 21, 2024

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Digital OOH Boards Available in NYC

Are you getting Minority Report vibes?

No. Not yet. But, digital OOH is growing and is becoming more and more of a bow in most programmatic marketers quivers. And it is set to make a definite impact in the NYC market as AdExchanger reported this week. We spoke to Amanda Flugstad-Clarke, Director of Data Partnerships at Vistar Media to find out just how impactful DOOH is going to be over the next 12 months.

 

 

"It is an exciting time to be in the DOOH space. As static inventory continues to become digital and available programmatically, marketers can start utilizing the strengths of OOH to amplify and extend their campaigns. The ability to leverage data-driven features such as precise targeting, dynamic creative, and weather triggers, is revolutionizing the way brands and marketers can engage with their audiences in public spaces.

Vistar is thrilled that the channel continues to expand its digital reach into environments that are critical to consumers, and in this case, to New Yorkers. As one of Vistar’s supply side partners, we have worked alongside Outfront to ensure this premium inventory is available in Vistar's DSP. I look forward to seeing marketers benefit from the unique value of this DOOH inventory!"

 

More and more opportunities are popping up for the right media planners to create the next big media plan. Data will also play a big role in how these DOOH are targeted, optimized and measured. But more on that later.

March 3, 2024

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Chrome Cookie-less Launch
Is Reaching It’s 3-Month Anniversary

What is the gift for 3 months? Do you think they are registered?

It's been roughly a quarter with the Chrome 1% cookie-less launch. A lot of discussions in-person, posts on LinkedIn and X (Twitter) have been exchanged. Topics ranging from Privacy Sandbox, Topics API, PAAPI (with arguments for and against) and also on the limitations of PS with Targeting, Measurement and Pricing models. Reams of paper (pdfs?) and documents have been created between IAB Tech Lab and Google to debate this huge infrastructure shift in the industry.

 

The timeline for the 100% phase out, while set to Jun 2024, is likely to get pushed out (just our opinion, would love to hear others thoughts).

 

“Cost of replacing a core infrastructure is like turning the direction of a huge ship”, borrowing from our Head of Engineering, Vivek Vijayan. And this exercise of replacing 3P cookies with PS or Alternative IDs is the Titanic of infrastructure (we should have said Icon of the Seas, but it just doesn’t sound as good).

 

On privacy, there's nothing more important than complying with regulations and doing the right thing for all in the industry. We love this quote from an AdExchanger article, by Allison Schiff, "Don't make privacy claims if you're not going to stick to them".

 

On the Buy side, Agencies and Advertisers are continuing to use cookies for targeting, until Chrome completely phases them out. Media Budgets are moving to CTV, DOOH, Social (including 3P data) & Contextual as these tech changes are quite tough to comprehend.

 

On our end, we've seen some budget going towards reaching a segment of people using Alternative IDs on all browsers, including Safari and Firefox (they've been cookieless for quite some time now), with pretty good results, 30-90% higher than 3P cookies.On our end, we've seen some budget going towards reaching a segment of people using Alternative IDs on all browsers, including Safari and Firefox (they've been cookieless for quite some time now), with pretty good results, 30-90% higher than 3P cookies.

 

The IAB Tech Lab "As the Cookie Crumbles" event is to take place tomorrow and is sold out, no surprise there.

 

What's your take as we end Q1?