Australian OOH Sees Recovery; US Ad Demand Fuelled by DTCs

In this weekly segment, ExchangeWire sums up key industry updates on ad tech from around the globe. In this edition: OOH sees signs of recovery in Australia; research finds ad demand from DTCs is up in the US; DSPs have started clamping down on bid duplication; Buzzfeed pulls its news operations from the UK and Australia; and ExchangeWire releases the first MadTech Podcast Special.

OOH sees recovery in Australia

Out-of-home (OOH) is beginning to see signs of recovery in Australia. The sector had seen record lows last month, with weekly total average reach dropping to 54% and total contacts falling to 67% in the first week of April. However, as the number of Coronavirus cases in Australia has begun to fall, growth in OOH has been evident, with reach increasing by 26% and contacts by 18% as of 3rd May.

QMS, which reported the fluctuations in OOH’s performance, has asserted that the impact of the virus differed depending on medium and region: reach and contacts for suburban OOH had fallen by 41% compared to 34% for regional. OOH in Victoria proved to suffer most out of all the other states, seeing a 58% decline compared to 39% in Western Australia and 45% in Queensland.


US DTC ad demand on the rise

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands are bucking the trend of curtailing their marketing spend and have

driven an increase in demand for advertising inventory. This is good news for publishers, which have seen their revenues fall between 19% and 25% as brands attempt to shield their budgets from the Coronavirus-induced downturn.

Whilst some industries, such as travel, tourism, and leisure, have inevitably pulled the plug, DTC brands providing technology, e-commerce, B2B advertising, and food delivery, have been spending more to have their ads reach the millions stuck indoors and reliant on their services.

Some consider this drive an ‘opportunistic’ move by DTCs, which are capturing much of the market share from the brick-and-mortar providers that are failing to adapt. Others see the increase as a chance for publishers to develop deeper connections with advertising partners.


DSPs clamp down on duplicate bids

Certain demand-side platforms (DSPs) will begin blocking supply-side platforms (SSPs) that make multiple bid requests for a single ad impression. The move follows an increase in the cost of processing bid requests, which has been caused by a sharp rise in publisher traffic as consumers flock to news websites for the latest Coronavirus updates.

DSPs had been aware of the need to clamp down on bid duplication before the global crisis, yet the financial burden of allowing multiple bids go unchecked has served as a catalyst for change.

The change could prove perilous for SSPs, which used duplicated bidding to improve their chances of winning the desired impressions. Some assert that the move will deprive SSPs of the chance to sell their entire inventory, whilst others argue that it fails to account for the differences in how individual SSPs operate.


Buzzfeed pulls news from UK and Australia

Buzzfeed is pulling the plug on its UK and Australian news operations. The move comes only a month after the publisher announced its exit from Germany, and marks the end of its aspirations to become a global challenger to incumbent news media.

Buzzfeed stated that it is planning to scrap its coverage of current affairs and local news to concentrate on popular culture stories in the US. The publisher has furloughed all 10 of its news UK staff, with the UK office continuing to produce content with a “global outreach”, including investigative segments and celebrity news. Four members of Buzzfeed’s News Australia have also been furloughed so far.

The challenger media outlet, which launched in the UK just six years ago, has reportedly been floundering for some time. More vulnerable than some to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 crisis, Buzzfeed now has no choice but to return to the US.


ExchangeWire launches The MadTech Podcast Special

madtechIn addition to our regular weekly podcast, we’ve launched The MadTech Podcast Special. The Special will be an opportunity to take a deeper look at a particular subject area, and to have more detailed discussions about each topic over a series of two or three shorter episodes.

Our first series focuses on CTV, and the (debated) opportunity for ad tech in this channel. In this episode, Rachel Smith, ExchangeWire COO, interviews Jonathan Lewis, Head of Digital and Partnership Innovation at Channel 4; Emma Newman, CRO with Pubmatic; and Simon Macson, Senior Product Manager, Europe, Samsung Ads to hear their views on how brands are approaching CTV, and whether the technology tools are up to the challenge.