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Digital media industry trends, 9/11/20

Before we discuss the topics in today’s industry update, our team would like to take a moment to collectively remember those lost on September 11, 2001, and the incredible bravery of our nation’s first responders. Our hearts are with the...

By Paul Bannister

Before we discuss the topics in today’s industry update, our team would like to take a moment to collectively remember those lost on September 11, 2001, and the incredible bravery of our nation’s first responders. Our hearts are with the families of those who lost loved ones on this day, as we honor their memories. Never forget.

Ad trends and ad spending

We’re in the last month of the third quarter (Q3) of the year, and the last month in every quarter tends to be the highest for advertiser spending as businesses strive to hit their quarterly targets. 

As we highlighted last time, August finished quite strong, and September is trending even better, when we look at how the month compares to the same window of time last year. We’re expecting the rest of September to be quite strong, and then ad spend will ramp down at the end of the month and in early October as advertisers reset their quarterly budgets. All of this signals good things for Q4, which always contains the largest advertiser spending by far. 

We’re partnering with Spaceback on social media-inspired ad formats

When you think of advertisers and advertising agencies, you might think about Don Draper, from Mad Men, with smart people sitting in dark, smoky rooms coming up with amazing ad campaigns that consumers love. There’s still a bit of truth to that stereotype (although a lot less smoke these days), but the reality is often more mundane. 

One of the biggest challenges that advertisers face is they’re often restricted to one or two types of ad formats that they create for an ad campaign.

So an advertiser might make a TV ad and an ad for social media, and then not have a budget to make any more ad formats. Getting those ad formats onto the open web is difficult. For video, they can take the TV ad and re-encode it to work with smaller video players and different browsers. But turning social media ads into ads that work for websites has always been a pain-point for advertisers, reducing their spending on the web.

To solve for this, we’ve partnered with Spaceback, the leading company that provides advertisers with tools to automate this conversion. This makes it much easier for our sales team to get even more advertisers on board, and for those advertisers to bring larger budgets, as now they can turn their social media assets directly into web ads — and spend with CafeMedia publishers.

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Apple IDFA and what that means for Cafemedia publishers 

At Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference in June, the tech giant announced that it would require mobile app users on iOS to opt in to IDFA tracking. IDFA (Identifier For Advertisers) is the system by which advertisers have tracked users across all apps on their devices. It’s been around for years and never required users to opt in. Within the mobile app world, this announcement was tectonic — an enormous change to how advertising will work in the future.

This change was planned to launch with iOS 14. As the launch date approached, app developers, advertisers, and advertising technology companies became increasingly concerned about this, even to the point of Facebook saying they would completely shut down collection of IDFAs and might end their Facebook Audience Network product on iOS.

At the 11th hour, Apple relented and extended the deadline for this change into 2021. This gives the app ecosystem more time to get ready for this change and figure out how to target and measure the performance of ad campaigns in the future. This is certainly a show of Apple’s hypocritical approach to user privacy, touting privacy as a major benefit of their devices, and rampantly shutting down user tracking on the web to the detriment of publishers, but backing off changes that might have a negative impact on their own business.

How does this affect CafeMedia ads though? Not at all! IDFA is only used in mobile apps on iOS devices, and since CafeMedia only monetizes web publishers, this won’t have an impact on your ad earnings at all

That said, we’re following this very closely. I discussed the change with AdWeek recently, as well as how it impacts Facebook and others in the app ecosystem. The changes they are going through are quite similar to the changes that the web ecosystem will see in 2022 as Google sunsets third party cookies, so we’ll continue to keep a close eye as this unfolds.