Here’s your digest of Last Week in Digital Media, here’s the news you may have missed but be warned, it feels more like last week in acquisitions and rumored acquisitions as a lot of deals got done.
- Amazon has acquired Sizmek’s Ad Server and DCO business. Amazon has said that Sizmek will continue to operate as a separate standalone entity and separate from Amazon Advertising (for the time being). The acquisition raises a lot of questions, will Sizmek become the only way to activate Amazon’s 1st party data? How will CPG’s and other retailers react to the possibility of Amazon seeing a full picture of off-Amazon advertising and performance? Can Amazon succeed in ad-serving where Microsoft and Facebook failed? Will Amazon zero-rate ad serving to challenge Google? It will definitely be interesting to watch and see how this plays out. It’s clear the Amazon-Google battlelines are being drawn as Amazon continues to take a share of search, voice assistants, and data. As an aside, the only remaining Sizmek asset unspoken for is Peer 39.
- Foursquare has acquired Placed from Snap Inc. Snap owned Placed for around 2 years, acquiring Placed back in June 2017. What this means for the future of measurement on Snap is unknown.
- Linked In has acquired cross-device measurement company Drawbridge as part of a strategy to accelerate its “Marketing Solutions” platform. There is a theory doing the rounds that the acquisition was made because Microsoft may be looking to use the Linked In identity data with Drawbridge to build a competitor to Liveramp.
- it has been rumored that Target is considering acquiring Triad Retail Media. Triad historically represented retail media across companies such as eBay, Walmart, and the like but as retailers increasingly looked to leverage their data across end-to-end media, these services have started to move in-house. If it went ahead, the acquisition would probably sit in Target’s media arm, roundel.
- There’s an unusual rumor from Reuters that Amazon may be considering to buy the mobile carrier Boost from Sprint (as part of the proposed Sprint – T Mobile merger). It’s hard to see what Amazon would want to get out of the acquisition that it couldn’t achieve as an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) unless it managed to pick up some mobile spectrum as part of any deal.
And in non-acquisition related news:
- Somewhat related to the earlier Triad news, Walmart formally launched its standalone media group Walmart Media, ending the relationship with Triad. The Walmart Media launch event, called 5260, after the number of the Walmart store where they test retail innovation, is a direct attempt to take data-driven advertising spend away from Amazon, Google, and even Facebook.
- Google has made the move to make mobile-first indexing the defacto standard for all new domains from July 1, 2019. Announced on the Google Webmasters Blog, it’s a critical reminder that all client, media partner, and campaign landing pages should be optimized for a mobile-first experience.
- The IAB published a useful “Advanced TV Matrix” document (PDF link). The 12pp document is a great primer for anyone trying to understand all of the nuances of data-driven advertising in the TV landscape from a basic overview, the consumer experience, to how ads can me bought, measured, and trafficked. Worth a read or, at the very least, keeping handy should you want to better understand the Advanced TV landscape.
PRIVACY, TRUST, and SAFETY
- the 4As this week, via the APB (Advertiser Protection Bureau), launched the Brand Safety Playbook (PDF link). The 16pp document outlines 5 steps for agencies and brands to help manage brand safety. 1.establish a safety profile, 2. implement structured buying terms, 3. manage accountability, 4. evaluate optimize and re-plan, 5. participate in ongoing training and development. The report also references the Brand Safety Floor (PDF link) outlining what content is unacceptable for advertisers. Don’t forget, UM was the founder and originator of the Advertiser Protection Bureau (APB).
- the WSJ reports (paywall) that the DOJ is preparing for an antitrust probe of Google. Over the past several works the DOJ has been laying the groundworks for the probe, including a holding a public hearing on competition in advertising. UM was the only agency invited to participate in the DOJ panel.
As always, thanks for reading and have a great week.