How Twitter Will Ensure Brand Safety For Video Advertisers In 2019

As Twitter’s video ad business grows, so does the amount of user-generated content on its platform. The challenge for Twitter, and brands that advertise on it, is to keep brands safe from, well, the Internet.

In April 2018, 50% of Twitter’s business came from video advertising – and that still holds true today. In Q1 2018, the company made at least $287 million from video ads, according to Recode.

AdExchanger caught up with Sarah Personette, Twitter’s VP of global client solutions at this year’s CES in Las Vegas, to learn how the social media giant plans to grow its video ad business even more in 2019.

AdExchanger: What’s the current state of video advertising on Twitter?

SARAH PERSONETTE: The world has become mobile, and mobile has increasingly become video. We made a pretty significant investment in making our video products stronger, better and more performant. And with that, in-stream video sponsorships, in-stream video ads and website video cards are driving the bulk of our business.

Over 50% of our business is coming from video at this point. We believe that this will continue into 2019 as consumer behavior shifts there, but also as the demand from brand advertisers continues for using video to tell great creative stories. But [they] also want brand-safe, premium quality, scaled content that they can integrate their brands into, which is what our products offer.

With so much user-generated content on Twitter, what are you doing to help brands ensure their content stays safe?

There are a few ways that we do this. One is from a machine-learning perspective, making sure that we have the right tools and protocols in place to provide the right type of environment for [brands].

We also [ensure brand safety] from a content perspective. We have over 950 content partnerships right now that we’ve done in 2018 alone, and we’ve just launched five more partnerships at CES. The integration of brands into this brand-safe content, where they can choose which publishers they are associated with or which genres of content they’re associated with, also ensures a brand-safe, high-quality premium video environment.

What do some of those video partnerships entail?

On Monday we announced a partnership with PGA. We’re extending our coverage into the weekends. On Tuesday we launched our partnership with Fox Sports and the Women’s World Cup in Paris. I’m particularly excited about that because it helps to celebrate women in sports.

We have also launched with BuzzFeed. We are continuing a renewal of “AM2DM.” It’s an incredible example of a publisher understanding the fast, fun, real-time conversant nature of the platform, and they do it exceptionally well.

We also announced a partnership with The Ringer. We have done some work with them on “Game of Thrones,” and we’re also taking that to another show, “Big Little Lies.”

With all these new partnerships, are you thinking about any new ad units you’re going to roll out?

Not at the moment. Our ad units, between the in-stream sponsorships and in-stream ads, are doing exceptionally well for advertisers, so we’ll continue to focus on building the best, most performant tech stack to help propel that inventory forward.

Do you plan on doing anything in the programmatic space more in 2019?

Not at this time.

What do you think is the most powerful aspect of Twitter for advertisers?

The power of Twitter is our audience. It is the most leaned-in, receptive and valuable audience, because Twitter is what’s happening. We’ve found that our advertisers are really successful when they’re launching something new on the platform and when they’re connecting with what’s happening in the moment.

Our advertising capabilities are designed to drive business objectives across the entire purchase funnel.

read more here: adexchanger.com

Shopping ads for the small budget: Here’s what to expect in 2019

This year may (finally) see the end of feeds, but we can also expect an increasing adoption of smart shopping campaigns and more advanced bidding strategies with Bing Ads for smaller budgets.

Believe it or not, a new year is upon us (our surprise, of course, being in the speed of its arrival rather than the arrival itself) and in accordance with previous predictions, Shopping Ads are more important than ever for the e-commerce marketers toolbox.

What I have found to be frustrating about Shopping Ads at times, is that most articles and presentations seem to be primarily geared towards larger brands and accounts.

But what about smaller budgets? Marketing Land approached me with the idea of writing a predictions post for the SMB shopping advertiser and I loved it!

Here are my thoughts on what we can expect from Shopping Ads for smaller accounts in 2019. Please note that these aren’t completely devoid of value for larger Shopping Ads advertisers, they are just specifically created with the smaller budget account in mind.

1. The (true) beginning of the end of feeds

I think we will see full integration of Google’s page crawling service into Google Merchant Center by the 2019 holidays. In other words, I think we’ll see the feed begin it’s gasping, final breaths. To continue the metaphor at the risk of being somewhat violent… I’ll happily cheer (and assist, if possible) its demise.

I have often thought that of all the things for Google to invest its algorithm and machine learning and brain power regarding Ads, why not take the fairly easy step of eliminating the need for a product feed since virtually every important product element is already listed on the product page.

Yes, I realize there are many complicated things that go into this, but keep in mind I am writing this post to small brands or retailers.

My experience has been that with a few exceptions, limited budget accounts tend to be somewhat simplistic in product changes. That is, elements in the feed once set, rarely change with the exception of new products or updated pricing and stock status. By the way, those last two are already included in automatic item updates and already fully automated based on page data.

Because many small brands are also making a feed themselves, and have limited budgets, a feed provider isn’t always a great solution (and neither is Google Sheets for those with too many products to add manually) since they still have to get the product data uploaded to the feed provider.  It would be simpler for retailers or brands to request Google scrape their site for data so they can be feed free. I have a suspicion that many of them would go that route.

What about data accuracy? If all advertisers don’t use some form of structured data markup then doesn’t that mean we’ll just get what Google wants us to have?

A valid concern, but in my opinion:

  1. Google is filled with brilliant engineers. If they can’t write a program to tell when there is a product description or price on the page even if that doesn’t have the exact correct markup then c’mon. (That’s my cynicism talking.)
  2. Feed rules could be used by smart advertisers to tell Google what to map each field to based on the options that Google gives them (in this fantasy non-feed world of mine).
  3. Feeds would still be an option (also why I don’t think third party feed providers are doomed… well, at least the ones who offer optimization assistance. The ones who simply push up fields, yeah, they’re doomed eventually if they don’t evolve). Some advertisers will want to specifically control and test with feeds and they could be set to override anything Google pulls.
  4. Individual field kill-switches. Similar to automatic item updates currently, I’d expect to see an option for brands to be able to kill specific fields that they don’t want running that Google suggests.

Think of it though, all of those suggested fields that no small advertisers fill out, unless they are 4.0 students who can’t stand to leave test answers blank, would automatically be pulled.

While we’re probably still a little bit away from this, I think the signs are there that Google is focused on adding it. Remember that they announced automated feeds last July (start at 48:00), but to my knowledge, they’ve been silent since.

The warning signs are there. This is on Google’s radar and I think 2019 will be the year we see it pushed out.

2. Increased adoption of smart shopping campaigns

While many advertisers I speak to dislike the control Smart Shopping campaigns have taken away, others have begrudgingly noted the ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) success they have observed in these campaigns.

My experience so far has been fairly mixed. As can be expected because of the need for data to feed the hungry algorithms, I’ve certainly noticed more success in larger accounts than smaller accounts in running Smart Shopping.

Because of that, I still can’t personally suggest Smart Shopping campaigns to smaller advertisers. But I think that will continue to change and I expect to see Google push these even harder in 2019 on small, unsuspecting advertisers.

While their algorithms are sure to get better, I suggest treading cautiously in your limited budget accounts. Even the best machine learning algorithm needs good data in for good results to spit out. If you just don’t make a lot of sales in Google Shopping, I would suggest experimenting in a non-crucial time of year with only a subset of your products. Perhaps testing a few product brands in a Smart Shopping campaign, or a single category.

As you take over accounts, be prepared to see a lot of them with Smart Shopping switched on (which may or may not be related to the account’s need for new management) and the need for thinking wisely about its impact and testing manual, or other automated bidding options such as Target ROAS in order to utilize Google’s smart bidding, but retain control as well in other areas.

Regardless, be prepared for an onslaught of Smart Shopping campaigns this year. They work at times, and because of that as well as Google’s insistence on every campaign in every account (rolls eyes) being pushed to Smart Shopping campaigns, you can bet there are a lot of small advertisers who will follow the siren call of the “easy management” option and push the button in 2019.

3. Increased Bing Ads bidding automation

Lastly, I would be negligent to leave out Bing Shopping in a predictions post. I think we’ll see the addition of more advanced bidding strategies in 2019 for Bing Ads.

Currently, we can only bid manually or with enhanced CPC in Bing Shopping Ads and I would expect this to change this year. It would be interesting to be able to bid according to Target CPA and Target ROAS (with the Bing UET pixel set correctly, of course) and I would be surprised if this wasn’t in the works already.

read more here: marketingland.com

OTT Overload: All the Media Companies Preparing to Launch New Streaming Services in 2019

It’s hard to imagine that the OTT space could get even more crowded than it already is, but that’s what 2019 is about to usher in. A slew of new streaming services will arrive on the scene, going toe-to-toe with current big players like Netflix, HBO Now, Hulu, Showtime, Amazon and YouTube Premium.

Here are the biggest streaming offerings set to roll out next year.

AT&T

The company, which completed its $85 billion purchase of Time Warner in June, will launch a direct-to-consumer offering in Q4 of 2019.

The still-unnamed OTT product, which AT&T first announced in October and shared more deals about with investors last month, will rely heavily on content from WarnerMedia, including HBO and the Warner Bros. library.Randall Stephenson said earlier this month that it will be a three-tiered service with a “core platform of movies,” which will be followed by a second tier of original programming and blockbuster movies and a third layer that features the library content (some of which could be licensed from third-parties), including classics, kids/family and niche programming.

AT&T doesn’t intend for the service “to become another Netflix,” said Stephenson, explaining that it is “not our ambition” for the OTT product to rival Netflix as a “warehouse of content.”

Disney

Disney has slowly rolled out information about its upcoming OTT channel, Disney+, which is expected to launch in late 2019.

The channel will feature a second live-action Star Wars series, currently in development, and though it will have less content than Netflix, Walt Disney Company chairman and CEO Robert Iger said it would be cheaper. The app will feature programming from brands such as Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm.

“We’re going to walk before we run as it relates to volume of content, because it takes time to build the kind of content library that ultimately we intend to build,” Iger said in August.

Apple

Apple has greenlit a number of original shows during the past year—including one about the morning news starring Steve Carell, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston—but it’s not clear on which platform that content will live when it is finally released. That content is finally expected to be rolled out next year, though specifics remain under wraps.

Viacom

Viacom CEO Bob Bakish said his company is taking a “multifaceted” OTT strategy and will include direct-to-consumer options as well as producing content to sell to other services or content library.

“We do believe there is an opportunity on AVOD, ad-supported video on demand, and that is useful for building a funnel into our subscription products,” Bakish said at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference.

Viacom has already tiptoed into the OTT space and has content from its Nickelodeon brand on a standalone “NickSplat” channel on video aggregation platform, VRV.

Discovery

Discovery, Inc. executives have said they’re considering a direct to consumer offering, especially now that the company has 17 networks in its portfolio after merging in March with Scripps Networks Interactive.

Though execs have said they’re only considered the options, which could include bundling a number of brands, like HGTV, Food Network and TLC, in one channel. In theory, it could cost as low as $5 to $8 per month, said president and CEO David Zaslav in July.

read more here: www.adweek.com