Digital Dive: September 2022

The Big Story

Netflix’s Ad Tier Coming Soon

Netflix’s ad-supported tier is expected to launch November 1st. As media buyers work quickly to lock down deals with the streaming giant, they are realizing that Netflix’s model differs greatly from typical TV and digital advertising.

According to media buyers, Netflix will not offer third-party measurement and will have minimal targeting capabilities. In the first quarter, Netflix will allow for specifications around age, gender, genre, Netflix top 10 shows and Netflix Originals at a premium. Interestingly, the streaming platform will offer rare transparency into what shows ads are running against after the fact, but it is still unclear how granular this reporting will be. Other streaming services have strayed away from providing this kind of insight out of fear that advertisers might start choosing what specific shows to appear in, as well as also violating the Video Privacy Protection Act, which prohibits the linking of identity with video viewing history.

Media buyers are also reporting that Netflix will set frequency caps to ensure spots are not being overplayed. Frequency will be capped at once per hour for a particular creative, with 4 minutes of ad time per hour. They will also offer limited brand safety options like exclusion lists, as well as parameters to block out from appearing next to specific sensitive content.

Lastly, Netflix is reportedly asking brands to spend at least $75,000 to advertise on its platform and recommends brands to commit to a $3-5 million dollar budget. Their higher than normal $65 CPM also has a lot of advertisers skeptical. Despite Netflix’s different approach to advertising, their 220 million users, which doesn’t include password sharers, uniquely positions them to do so. Time will tell if Netflix’s approach will be worthwhile.

Social Updates

Meta Introduces Advantage Custom Audiences

Meta has recently rolled out Advantage custom audience this month. With Advantage custom audience, marketers are able to reach more users that are likely to achieve their optimization goal based on their custom audience. According to Meta, Advantage custom audience will be automatically turned on when a new campaign is created that includes engagement, mobile or website custom audiences, however can be opted out of.

TikTok Cracks Down on Political Accounts

With the midterm elections in the U.S. just weeks away, TikTok has made some updates to its policies regarding political accounts. TikTok had previously banned political advertising across its platform in the form of paid ads or creators being paid to produce branded content. Now, the platform is moving to apply those restrictions on the account level by automatically shutting off advertising features for political affiliated accounts. They will also prohibit them from accessing monetization features like ecommerce, gifting and tipping as well as deeming them ineligible for the TikTok Creator Fund. TikTok isn’t quite done here as they plan to also forbid solicitation for campaign fundraising like videos from politicians asking for donations or a political party directing users to a donation page on its website.

Reddit Acquires Spiketrap

Reddit has recently acquired the audience contextualization company, Spiketrap. With this acquisition, Reddit aims to improve ad performance and relevancy through engagement prediction for auto bidding, quality scoring and stronger contextual targeting. As Reddit is a conversation-rich platform, utilizing a strong AI powered contextual analysis software, like Spiketrap, will allow them to target even more concisely based around the conversations Reddit users are having. For marketers, this will ultimately enable them to target more precisely in turn causing a higher return on investment.

Digital Updates

Google Announces September 2022 Core Algorithm Update

On September 12th, Google announced a core algorithm update that is expected to take 2 weeks to roll out. Although Google’s algorithm is consistently undergoing updates, core algorithm updates are a change to multiple parts, making the effect more noticeable to publishers and search marketers. The effects of this update have not been explicitly stated, however this may cause the Helpful Content Updateto become more apparent.

New Apple Ad Placement Available in Q4

Last month, Apple revealed to be possibly stepping up their advertising capabilities. This month, Apple unveiled new ad inventory spots that will be available before the end of the year and right in time for the holiday/advertisement competition season. Apple has reached out to developers to announce the expansion of ad placements in the App Store. Although Apple did not specify exactly where in the App Store that these placements would be available, many believe that there will be openings in the Today tab as well as within app product pages. With the expected inventory expansion, the Apple Search advertising requirements have not changed only allowing businesses with an approved App Store product page to be eligible to advertise.

YouTube to Monetize Shorts

YouTube plans to expand monetization to content creators in the coming months. They recently announced that Shorts, their short-form video platform, will soon be eligible for monetization. YouTube plans to run ads between videos in the Shorts feed and pay out the revenue generated to creators at the end of the month. Shorts content creators will be allowed to keep 45% of the revenue generated from viewership.