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What: In Q1 2017, the number of programmatic advertisers dropped substantially, falling 12% year-over-year, according to MediaRadar latest results of its “2016 Consumer Advertising Report”.
Why it matters: After years of growth, the decline in programmatic buyers is likely attributed to concerns around brand safety – especially given recent problems for companies like YouTube. The number of print ad pages decreased 8% year-over-year to 107,698 pages, while native ad buyers stood the biggest growth in buyers for any ad format.

MediaRadar, a intelligence platform for ad sales teams, has just announced the results of its “2016 Consumer Advertising Report,” examining ad spend, ad formats, top advertisers, and more for both print and digital channels in 2016, as well as Q1 2017.

Programmatic buyers down 12%

According to MediaRadar data, 45,008 advertisers purchased ads programmatically in Q1 2016. In Q1 2017, however, the number of programmatic advertisers dropped substantially, falling 12% year-over-year. On the quarter, more than 5,000 fewer advertisers (39,415) bought programmatically.

“After years of growth, the decline in programmatic buyers is likely attributed to concerns around brand safety – especially given recent problems for companies like YouTube. This form of advertising is continuing to evolve as brands seek more control over where their ads are running. We expect to see programmatic rise as more brands move to programmatic direct models,” said Todd Krizelman, CEO & Co-Founder of MediaRadar.

The number of native ad buyers rose 74% from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017, representing the biggest growth in buyers for any ad format

Print ad spend declined 6%

The number of print ad pages in Q1 2016 was 117,551. Compared to Q1 2017, the number of print ad pages has decreased 8% year-over-year to 107,698 pages. Similarly, estimated print ad spend has declined 6% from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017.

“There has been a noticeable drop in ad pages and spend from the start of 2016 to now,” said Krizelman. “That being said, there are still a considerable amount of pages being bought. Niche and enthusiast titles are on the rise, with some regional titles flourishing.”

Native Advertising

Media Radar found the number of high-CPM ad formats increasing, especially in mobile and native.  The number of native ad buyers rose 74% from Q1 2016 to Q1 2017, representing the biggest growth in buyers for any ad format. In addition, demand for native has nearly tripled since January 2015, which logged fewer than 1,000 buyers (981). In January 2017, there were almost 3,000 (2,882).

The top 10 categories in 2016 for native advertising were media and entertaining, professional services, financial and real estate, technology, wholesale, home, travel, apparel and accessories, food, and toiletries and cosmetics.

The top five native advertisers by ad placements in 2016 were Secco Squared, Answers Corp., NextAdvisor, Potential Investments, and JPMorgan Chase.

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What: Advertisers will spend more than 10 billion in digital video in 1, representing an 85% increase from 2 years ago, based on“Digital Content NewFronts: Video Ad Spend Study,” a study conducted by Advertiser Perceptions on behalf of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
Why it matters: 68% of those marketers and agency executives believe that original digital video will become as important as original TV programming in the next 3 to 5 years.

Advertisers and media buyers have made an impressive 114 % increase in investments in original digital video programming over the past two years, according to the third annual “Digital Content NewFronts: Video Ad Spend Study” conducted by Advertiser Perceptions on behalf of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).

Reinforcing the critical role the Digital Content NewFronts has played in media buying decisions, eight out of 10 respondents said that their attendance at the 2015 NewFronts resulted in increased spending on original digital video content in the 12 months that followed, and/or motivated them to increase original digital video budgets overall.

Buyers who primarily focus on TV were more likely to commit those extra dollars at the NewFronts (64% vs. 42%), while digital-focused buyers were more likely to spend them throughout the year (49% vs. 41%).

Buyers who primarily focus on TV were more likely to commit those extra dollars at the NewFronts, while digital-focused buyers were more likely to spend them throughout the year.

Nearly three-quarters (71%) of those surveyed also said that they plan to attend the 2016 NewFronts, expecting to spend more than a third of their overall digital video budgets for the year at the annual marketplace.

The study further revealed that more than two-thirds of marketers and agency executives (68%) believe that original digital video will become as important as original TV programming in the next 3 to 5 years. In order to close the gap between digital video and TV programming, both groups want to buy digital video that reaches target audiences in high-quality programming and delivers more concrete ROI metrics.

68% of marketers and agency executives believe that original digital video will become as important as original TV programming in the next 3 to 5 years

While the majority of buyers surveyed plans to spend more overall on all digital video (63%) and mobile video (62%), original digital video content has grown in importance, now accounting for 44% of a typical digital video budget, up from 38% two years ago.

Native advertising has also established a foothold in dollars spent on original digital video, accounting for one-third (32%) of that investment.

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Ongoing Strong Growth for Digital Video

  • Advertisers are spending on average more than US$10 million annually on Digital Video, representing an 85% increase from 2 years ago, based on a survey of 360 advertisers and marketing professionals.
  • Video represents an increasing share of Digital/Mobile Ad Spending, with growth driven by a substantial increase in Mobile Video allocations.
  • Robust spend optimism (plans to invest more in next 12 months) for both Digital and Mobile Video; while most are expecting to maintain current TV spend levels.
  • Cross-Platform spending (TV + Online Video) seeing continued growth in 2016 – driven by TV-Primary Buyers, 82% of whom plan to increase crossplatform spending.
  • Cross-Platform spending (TV + Online Video) seeing continued growth in 2016 – driven by TV-Primary Buyers, 82% of whom plan to increase crossplatform spending.
  • Original Digital Video Content Spending & Trends – Robust growth: Ad spending on original digital programming has more than doubled since 2014. Nearly one-third of ODV dollars are going to Native advertising opportunities.

In addition, Yahoo partnered with Nielsen & Hunter Qualitative to collect insights related to different variables within the pre-roll and native video ad formats. The study suggests the greatest growth in digital video consumption is coming on mobile devices, while traditional TV viewing time has declined slightly.

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The study further suggests cross-platform digital video ads are more effective for brands than PC or mobile-only video campaigns.

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Yahoo’s video creative best practices:

  • Larger logos deliver higher brand metrics than smaller logos, and even more so for Millennials.
  • CTA’s should be included in video ads, as they generate increases in lower-funnel metrics such as Purchase Intent and Brand Recommendation.
  • The brand should be introduced at any point in the video ad. Key brand metrics are not impacted whether the brand is introduced in the beginning, middle, or end of the video.
  • Different ad tones should be employed to drive Millennials down the purchase funnel.
  • Video ads must be optimized for screen alignment.Horizontal is more effective at increasing familiarity and purchase intent when compared to the relatively newer vertical portrait ads.
  • 15/:30 ads in pre-roll formats as they drive higher aided recall, affinity, purchase intent, and recommendation than : 05.
  • :15 native video ads drive greater recall and purchase intent than longer video units.
  • When it comes to native, auto-start ads drive a slight increase in brand affinity and outperforms userinitiated ads in recall and fixation.

“Marketers and agencies are telling us they clearly see great value in original digital video programming,” said Anna Bager, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Mobile and Video, IAB. “This study demonstrates that the NewFronts has the ability to move ad dollars. Considering this year’s presenter line-up of top-tier, innovative media companies, and content creators, we expect that the event will inspire spend during the marketplace’s two-week period and beyond.”

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What: Content Discovery Platform Taboola has announced a large deal with MSN to integrate Taboola’s software into MSN digital properties in more than 50 markets, including the U.S. Hispanic market and all major Latin American markets.
Why it matters: The deal is a major partnership in the fast growing content recommendation and native advertising market. This type of advertising is not threatened by the growing trend of ad-blocking. In addition, as Geek reports, MSN choosing to use Taboola, rather than develop their own unique content recommendation system like Google and Yahoo! did, is a vote of confidence for Taboola.

Global Content Discovery Platform Taboola®, announced a strategic business relationship with Microsoft Corp. to further expand content discovery on MSN worldwide. Taboola-powered sponsored content recommendations and native content ads are already seamlessly integrated into MSN’s desktop and mobile sites across 28 global markets with rollout plans to reach a total of 50 international markets fully localized in 24 different languages.
Content recommendation by Taboola are live or will be rolled out live as a result of the Taboola-MSN partnership in the following Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries/regions.

    • U.S.
    • U.S. Español (Spanish)
    • Spain (Spanish)
    • Brazil (Portuguese)
    • Portugal (Portuguese)
    • Argentina (Spanish)
    • Venezuela (Spanish)
    • Mexico (Spanish)
    • Latin America-pan regional (Spanish)
    • Peru (Spanish)
    • Chile (Spanish)
    • Colombia (Spanish)


According to a November 2015 report by digital measurement intelligence firm comScore Media Metrix, MSN content websites currently welcome over 397 million unique visitors every month around the world.

The core aspects of the cross-platform business relationship focus on audience development, engagement, and monetization for MSN.com by leveraging Taboola’s sophisticated predictive technology, and span all page types and placements including homepage, article, video, and photo gallery.

Taboola founder and CEO, Adam Singolda, tells Portada that “sponsored content recommendations are the more common way Taboola is presented on many publishers, at the bottom of articles, where sponsored recommendations from multiple marketers/publishers/brands are suggested to users. In addition, Taboola-Native enables publishers to create premium “specific” locations, as an example on the homepage, and enable a higher price/performance to be achieved that way. Taboola Native also allows the publishers own sales team to go to market and sell those slots similar to historically it was done with DoubleClick for banner advertising.” Both sponsored content recommendations and Native Ads are typically priced on a cost per click basis.”

Native Advertising
Example of Native Advertising

AOL recently closed a deal with MSN to sell into MSN properties. For programmatic MSN struck a deal with AppNexus. Asked whether the MSN-Taboola relationship will be integrated into these other ad sales arrangements. Singolda notes that, “Not as of now, AOL/AppNexus are operating the display and Taboola operates the Native but as of now, separately.”

“MSN is one of the largest global publishers, aggregators and distributors of premium content online, enabling our media partners worldwide to reach hundreds of millions of consumers every month,” said Joe Cepollina, Universal Store Principal Program Manager Lead of Microsoft. “Through our relationship with Taboola, we have built a new pillar of scalable monetization while giving our audiences a more deeply immersive and personalized content experience.”

Video Recommendations

Content Recommendations and Native Ads powered by Taboola on MSN also include videos: “Absolutely, we surface video recommendations to users visiting MSN to help them discover videos they may like and never knew existed”, says Singolda. He adds that “Taboola started as a video company, I started 8 years originally where the first 5 years we were mainly focused on video, so we have a long time experience in driving video growth to publishers in general.”

Fast Growing Market…

Adam Singolda, CEO Taboola
Adam Singolda, CEO Taboola

Content recommendations and Native Ads (sponsored posts) is a fast growing subsector of the overall digital advertising market. “When you think of all dollars going into Native as a category from the demand side, Facebook is probably the largest generating about US $16 billion a year from “sponsored posts” in-feed natively. If you think about all native dollars only on the publisher side, it’s probably few billions, but growing fast.”

Facebook is probably the largest player generating about US $16 billion a year from “sponsored posts” in-feed natively. Only on the publisher side, it’s probably few billions, but growing fast.

…Potential in Spanish-Speaking Markets

According to Taboola”s Singolda content recommendations and native ads have a particularly high growth potential in Spanish-speaking markets in the U.S. and Latin America: “I think Latin America has a massive opportunity while it’s still relatively young.” Singolda thinks Latin America will be huge because of three factors. First, is mobile usage and growth. “There is a big growing mobile population in Latin America where native advertising works the best, providing good experience to consumers as well as publishers and advertisers.” Second, is the high usage of the Internet: “many publishers have hundreds of millions, if not billions of page views a month given high usage of consumers online which creates a meaningful opportunity as well on the revenue side.”

Eventually native advertising at scale will help marketers to not only drive awareness, but also conversion.

The third factor, Singolda cites as boding very well for the growth of content recommendations and native ads in Latin America are “very developed commerce markets”. “I believe eventually native advertising at scale will help marketers to not only drive awareness, but also conversion, and as part of that will absorb bigger and bigger budgets over time — a la ROI drive storytelling”.

Hispanic YouTube stars come out of nowhere … Una chica makes some videos in her bedroom. Two years later, maybe she’s talking to 15 other kids – or maybe she has 7.5 million subscribers to her YouTube channel.

Source: JustJaredJR.com
Source: JustJaredJr.com

The most high-profile of the latter is Bethany Mota, AKA Macbarbie07. Mota began producing “haul” videos in 2009, showing off new purchases. Her first video shows a shy, subdued tween sitting in an under-lit bedroom rambling on about some makeup she bought.

Fast forward to 2014, and Mota is on the cover of Fast Company and launching her own clothing line from Aeropostale, while flying around the world producing kicky videos about style and shopping – oh, and appearing on Dancing with the Stars.

There are plenty of Hispanic video stars, including Rosanne Pansino, Tiffany Garcia and Divino.

There will always be competition in launching new video destinations, but nothing of the scale that YouTube has achieved.

Why one blows up and another doesn’t is somewhat mysterious. For example, in her second-ever video, Mota gives a shout-out to a mentor, Blair Fowler, known on YouTube as juicystar07. Fowler began covering the style and beauty territory earlier than Mota, yet she’s coasted along at around 150,000 views per video. That’s nothing to sneeze at: Any brand would be happy with that many views of its video. But it can’t compare to the 5 to 8 million views Mota typically garners.

Secret weapons

While YouTube provides information and tools for its creators to help them garner more views, some stars have an extra edge in the form of multi-channel networks, or MCNs. This confusing moniker refers to companies that act as talent agencies and ad-sales networks for video bloggers. Many of them also produce custom content for brands featuring the stars in their networks.

MCN Omni Media and Channel Factory recently launched a joint venture called Content Labs to act as a branded content studio. Channel Factory is a native video marketing and YouTube video-ad-buying platform.

Omnia has a stable of video talent, including Hispanic stars Baby Rasta y Gringo, Divino and Garcia’s iHasCupquake. It aims to continue creating custom branded content employing the digital influencers within its MCN. Channel Factory has expertise in the granular targeting of specific audiences and optimizing videos for high clickthrough rates and ROI, according to Tamoor Shafi, CEO of Omnia Media.

target omni promo2
iHasCupquake promo for Target

“Our focus in the past two years has been working with top influencers. Sales and interest from brands has increased exponentially,” Shafi says. For example, it landed a deal with Target for four iHasCupquake episodes in which Garcia decorated dorm rooms.

Omnia helps video bloggers develop their audiences on YouTube and beyond. For example, EME Music, Baby Rasta y Gringo’s label, had only a small presence on YouTube, so Omnia helped it establish a few new channels and launch content, making use of its expertise about best practices on YouTube, such as the best time to upload, how to properly tag content and search engine optimization.

Divino’s channel had only 5,000 subscribers. When he launched two new songs, Omnia helped EME cross-promote them with strategies including targeted ad buys and placements in more popular playlists, as well as driving views through likes and favorites. The campaign bumped his subscriber numbers up to close to 40,000.

MiTú is another of the many MCNs that provide talent development services as well as opportunities for their stars to participate in sponsorship and ad opportunities. It provides them with an internal platform called MiTuVero.com that lets them check out branded opportunities they might want to participate in, as well as submit their own original content ideas. They can keep abreast of what other channels are doing and what’s working for them.

A lot of Hispanic talent creates content for a global audience.

Says Charlie Echeverry, MiTú’s chief revenue officer, “Analytics means more money and audience for these influencers. Every one of them wants to create new, bigger-budget things that can be upstreamed to other platforms.”

Internationalization

It’s interesting that many of these young online stars are not creating Hispanic-specific content, nor are their fan bases predominantly Hispanic. At the same time, non-Hispanic stars recognize the importance of the Hispanic audience. According to Shafi, Inna has a very large following in Mexico, and Omnia is helping her to optimize her video content to bring in more fans from Latin America. “A lot of Hispanic talent creates content for a global audience,” he says.

Going Over the Top from YouTube?

Next, Omnia Media plans to create branded mobile and web apps for its talent that will be used to deliver their content outside of YouTube. It’s also launched a new ecommerce initiative called iRockCustom.com to sell merchandise for its talent stable. It will design, produce and sell merchandise for its stars; each star will have a unique URL that he or she can market to their fans.

More and more of these young influencers are, with the help of their MCNs, trying to build a strong brand that’s less dependent on YouTube. That’s partly due to the fragmentation of video and the rising importance of sites including Vimeo, Vine, Twitter and Blip.tv.

But it’s also because YouTube takes, in most cases, a 45 percent cut of all ad revenue, although it reportedly is trying to do better in supporting its top stars. YouTube did not respond to several requests for an interview.

Iddo Shah, Kaltura
Iddo Shai, Kaltura

Fueling potential flight from YouTube is a series of acquisitions of MCNs by mainstream entertainment companies. For example, Maker Studios, recently acquired by Disney, likely hopes to move as much of its audience as it can off YouTube and onto Maker.tv, according to Iddo Shai, director of product marketing for Kaltura, an end-to-end, over-the-top video platform.

He points out that right now, it’s difficult for advertisers to do integrated campaigns that include YouTubers’ videos and other media, as well as to create the innovative campaigns that marketers crave.

“On YouTube at this time, that is very hard to do. There are some changes on YouTube, and maybe they will become more flexible in what they especially allow the upper talent to do. But they will never give full access — and rightfully so. They are a strong platform and want to control much of the revenue and the content,” Shai says.

But the MCNs are becoming strong in their own right. They have to race with YouTube to reserve advertising on their stars’ videos. Whoever reserves first gets the inventory, making it harder to plan and execute the larger campaigns that MCNs are increasingly angling for.

Omni’s contracts with talent usually include obtaining exclusive rights to selling their YouTube inventory – except, of course, for YouTube, which also can sell it. Some contracts include the exclusive right to sell brand content on their channels. While Omnia competes with YouTube to sell its stars regular inventory, Shai points out that there are a lot of cases where the companies collaborate, with YouTube handling the media side and Omnia selling the custom ad products.

Will these rising stars flee YouTube altogether? Not a chance, according to Shai. He says, “There will always be competition in launching new video destinations, but nothing of the scale that YouTube has achieved.”

Other articles on the emerging (Hispanic) online video media and marketing sector: MCNs in Hot Pursuit of Brands and Are Multichannel Networks the Future of TV?