Facebook No Fan of iOS14

AdMonsters Wrapper: The weekly ad tech news wrap up
This Week
September 01, 2020
No FAN of Apple’s iOS 14 changes
Is It Too Soon to Call Programmatic the Comeback Kid
Consumers Further Warming Up to Ad-Supported CTV
Not a FAN of Apple’s iOS 14 changes

(Update 9/4/20—Will you look at that? Apple has stepped back and says the iOS 14 IDFA changes will not appear until next year. Does that mean they'll be quietly rolled out, incrementally to avoid less trade fanfare? 🤔 We'll update when Facebook comments, but you can also keep an eye on the FAN blog.)

Most of the ad tech industry is grumbling—possibly panicking—over changes that Apple is making to the long heralded IDFA, also known as identifier for advertising. In case you’ve had your head under a digital rock, with the adoption of iOS 14, consumers will be asked whether they want to make their personal IDFA available to advertisers on each and every native app.

As many publishers with iOS native apps lean heavily on Facebook Audience Network for monetization, the ad tech world has been waiting for the social media giant’s response. Well, the company has made a statement—in a blog titled, “Preparing our partners for iOS 14,” Facebook announced it will no longer collect IDFA on FB apps following iOS 14, a decision the company says it may reverse depending on guidance from Apple.

Moreover, the company seems to be admitting defeat in the wake of Apple’s drastic move: “[P]ublishers should expect their ability to effectively monetize on Audience Network to decrease. Ultimately, despite our best efforts, Apple’s updates may render Audience Network so ineffective on iOS 14 that it may not make sense to offer it on iOS 14.”

In-house testing apparently shows revenue drops of 50% for publishers where users were not opted in, and a Tap Research survey suggested that 85% of users would forgo sharing IDFA.

Gasp—since Facebook’s ad network already closed up shop on the mobile web, does this mean it’s all over for FAN?

Why This Matters
Before you pull out your mourning outfit for FAN, consider that it still has a lot of web inventory to monetize and will potentially have quite a field day with the death of the third-party cookie and a lot of header integrations. And then there’s the cookie-less CTV space, where Facebook and its identity stash could have a huge advantage.

Sure, the loss of iOS mobile apps will take a big chunk out of the $3.4 billion Jounce Media estimated FAN would bring home in 2020 (ahem—before Covid reared its ugly head), but the ad network Mark Zuckerberg said would never exist still has a lot of revenue to grab this year and for many years to come.

The big questions are around Apple—the tech giant is building some kind of new ad network, and it’s not clear whether its strict app data-sharing rules will apply to that service. Along with moves to redirect traffic into its News+ subscription service, Apple seems to be building an alternative ecosystem that it will play monetization tyrant over.

So the question for many premium publishers is do they want to play ball in Apple’s world? Because supporting a native iOS app may not make a whole lot of revenue sense going forward for many premium publishers. Gaming apps are unfortunately going to find themselves tied up

But keep this in mind—in April, Apple stepped back from its policy of taking a 30% cut on TVs and movies bought on Apple devices by certain media-selling partners (advantage Amazon). Why? Mainly because the AppleTV platform is struggling to catch on with consumers due to lack of choice. There may be a path forward in starving the beast.
A Little Soon to Call Programmatic the Comeback Kid
Is this the rebound
Or is increased spend just fantasy?
Praying that Q4
Marks a return a reality

Lower your floors
Look up to the exchange and see...

We knew the river would flow again if we just gave it time. According to ad intelligence specialist MediaRadar, programmatic is back, baby! Total spend flowing through the programmatic pipes jumped by 11% between April and July of this year and the number of programmatic advertisers increased by 36% Hot diggity, the great rebound came early!
Why This Matters
Wait—an 11% increase? Oh my, that’s not really jaw-dropping compared to the drought we’ve all been through. According to MediaRadar, programmatic spend took a plunge of 9% between the beginning of 2020 and May. So potentially we’re back to January 2020 numbers, and January is typically a weak moment for the market—and oh yeah, MediaRadar notes, travel spend is still next to nonexistent. If it don’t feel like a recovery, it likely ain’t a recovery.

You best to listen to the advice that Goodway Group’s Amanda Martin shared at the Publisher Forum Virtual—spend is coming in fits and bursts, and when agencies get ahold of it, they spread it far and wide. We’ve all got to roll month by month, week by week—and hopefully, when the trickle turns into a firehose, we’ll all be too busy to note the moment.
Webinar: Goodby Cookie, Hello New Data Strategy
Consumers Further Warming Up to Ad-Supported CTV
We’ve seen the data showing that connected TV streaming has gone way up during the pandemic, but how much of that viewing has been on ad-free (or limited) subscription-based services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu? The real question for those of us in advertising is will consumers flock to channels with ad opportunities—and continue to watch even after life returns to some kind of normal?

Unruly’s survey of 1,800 US consumers sheds some light on that question. Nearly three quarters of respondents (73%) would rather watch their favorite TV program with ads than pay for a subscription. In fact, 65% are “actively” seeking ways to watch TV and movies ”for free”—which we read as ad-supported channels.

During the pandemic, 35% of consumers have tried a new ad-supported streaming service, and 79% plan to continue using one or more. Moreover, 64% of consumers plan to reduce the amount they pay for TV services, with 42% planning to cancel cable subscriptions… And 44% planning to cut back on the number of paid streaming services they use.
Why This Matters
At the same time, broadcasters are acquiring existing ad-supported (Fox grabbed Tubi, CBSViacom snatched up Pluto, NBCU snagged XUMO) while introducing proprietary FAST (free ad-supported television) channels like Peacock to lure in consumers with vast catalogs. Amazon and Hulu are both pondering similar FAST options. The CTV space may be getting crowded with ad-supported options, but it’s a lot of familiar names on the back end.

So is there an opportunity in CTV for non-broadcaster, digital-native publishers trying to jump on the biggest screen in the living room? This is something we tackled during a panel with TVREV’s Alan Wolk and Turnstil’s John Osborn during PubForum Virtual, and the conversation revealed there may be an opportunity with targeting regional audiences, though the amount of CTV bot traffic calling out to exchanges makes programmatic an unappealing option for many advertisers.

But again there’s an interesting spot for publishers—advertisers are inking a great deal of their CTV spend through the surprisingly traditional form of upfront or guaranteed buys with broadcast networks. So digital-native publishers could set up CTV private marketplaces with no guarantees attached and let advertisers see how they perform.
Sweet Tweet
For the ad-supported media haters:

Before we hired our first ad seller at BR, our investors tried to convince us to pivot away from ads.

We were sub-$1M rev at the time. We pushed back and made the hire.

3 years later, we did $30M+ in ad rev and were acquired.
Worth a Listen
Demystifying the Supply Path with Chris Kane (Jounce Media)
Jounce Media has become the master of the supply path. They’re behind bid caching becoming a hot topic. They put Google on blast for a half-assed Sellers.json file. They put out the definitive guide to reselling. And their blog is the single best source of SPO knowledge. This What Happens in Ad Tech podcast episode will help publishers understand what they need to know about the supply path and how we can clean up this whole mess.
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