In this week's episode of The MadTech Podcast, Janine Liu, head of marketing, Germany at HONOR, joins Anne-Marie Sheedy and Mat Broughton to discuss Google delaying cookie deprecation again, Meta's first year-on-year revenue decline, and TikTok Music.
Google push cookie deprecation back to 2024
Was this delay inevitable? What impact might it have on the development and adoption of cookieless solutions?
Google has pushed back sunsetting third-party cookies until the end of 2024. The tech giant had previously postponed deprecating the tracking technology from 2022 until mid-2023, but have now announced a further delay to give advertisers more time to test the solution (which is part of the company’s Privacy Sandbox) that will replace cookies on Chrome.
The Alphabet subsidiary initially held off on removing cookies in part due to regulatory scrutiny, with both the Department of Justice in the US and the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) investigating the Privacy Sandbox’s potential to entrench Google’s dominance in online advertising. Google agreed to have their work on the suite of post-cookie solutions supervised by the CMA, and VP of the Privacy Sandbox Anthony Chavez said that the decision to delay further is in accord with the CMA’s order that “Privacy Sandbox provides effective, privacy-preserving technologies and the industry has sufficient time to adopt these new solutions”.
Meta sees revenue decline for first time
Will Meta’s focus on building Reels pay off? Do you think Reels can really compete with TikTok?
Meta’s total revenue fell 1% in Q2, marking the first year-on-year decline in the company’s history. Total revenue stood at USD$28.8bn (~£23.58bn) — lower than the $28.94bn (~£23.69bn) anticipated by analysts — and ad revenue fell from $28.58bn (~£23.4bn) to $28.152bn (~£23.05bn). Despite the number of ad impressions displayed across Meta’s properties growing 15%, the average price of an ad has risen by 14% thanks to lower demand and Meta’s meek revenue forecast for Q3.
Another factor behind the decline is Meta’s continued pushing of short-form video service Reels, which is yet to become as monetisable as the company’s other ad inventory. A clear attempt to replicate the immense success of rival TikTok, Reels has grown (users spent 30% more time on it this quarter than they did in Q1), but has also alienated some Instagram users. The move has yet to yield further ad revenue, with some advertisers reportedly struggling to adapt to the new format. According to Bloomberg, some Meta staff have unofficially asked some advertisers to test video ads on TikTok and bring the most successful ones to Reels.
TikTok may be building a music service
What could a TikTok music service mean for advertisers? What impact could it have on competition in the audio space?
Short-form video giant TikTok may be in the process of creating their own music service. Business Insider reported that the ByteDance-owned company have filed a trademark application for “TikTok Music”, which could be applied to an app that would allow users to listen to, share, download and purchase music.
Music is already a big part of TikTok, and the platform can be fundamental to a song’s success, with 175 of the tracks that trended on TikTok last year making it into the Billboard 100 chart. Parent-company ByteDance operate a music service called Resso in Brazil, India, and Indonesia, which grew 19% year-on-year in H1 2022 and which, it’s understood, will serve as the format for TikTok Music. The service would allow TikTok to make money from popular songs, posing a threat to incumbents like Apple Music and Spotify, who previously benefited from TikTok users’ desire to listen to trending tracks. However, other uses have been included under the trademark filing, meaning that it’s unclear whether TikTok Music will replicate its competitors’ models entirely or in part.
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