Social Platforms Made $11b Off Minors; GroupM’s Streaming TV Group; OpenAI Seeks Deals With News Pubs

AdMonsters Wrapper: The weekly ad tech news wrap up
This Week
January 8, 2024
Protect the Children From Social Media
The Murky Waters of MFAs
GroupM's Streaming Avengers
OpenAI Explores New Publisher Partners for AI Training
Group Black's Diverse 1PD Platform
Social Platforms Made $11B in US Ad Revenue From Minors
Image sourced from Shutterstock
According to researchers, the government needs to regulate social media, especially since social platforms making billions from minors fail to self-regulate. Harvard University conducted a study estimating the number of kids using social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok and discovered that these platforms make billions in U.S. ad revenue. There is also concern for children's mental health as social media’s personally tailored algorithms can drive children to excessive use.

"Although social media platforms may claim that they can self-regulate their practices to reduce the harms to young people, they have yet to do so, and our study suggests they have overwhelming financial incentives to continue to delay taking meaningful steps to protect children," said Bryn Austin, a professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Harvard.

There have been plenty of calls to action to protect children's data, even from President Biden. Still, there's much work ahead to make sure minors are safe online. Even with legislation like COPPA on the books, which helps parents regulate information collected about their children aged 13 and younger when they go online, more needs to be done to protect the 18 and under demographic. - AB
Automation and Inventory Quality at Odds, Says Ad Fraud Researcher
Made for Advertising (MFA) sites received plenty of attention last year, scaring advertisers and forcing SSPs to defend their inventory. To tackle the problem, industry associations got to work, taking the necessary first steps, such as defining what makes an MFA site. DoubleVerify and IAS went further, launching MFA detection tools (check out DV Chief Product Officer Jack Smith’s interview with AdMonsters on the topic). But are we making progress? Not really, says Ryan Barwick in Marketing Brew. Quoting Rocky Moss, co-founder and CEO of DeepSee, which investigates publisher quality, Barwick notes that despite the focus, promise, and standards, there has been no discernible improvement. However, Moss admits it’s still early days.

That said, he believes that advertisers genuinely interested in avoiding MFA sites and poor-quality inventory need to eschew publishers that rely entirely on automation. “Any totally self-serve publisher network is going to just be crap,” Moss said. “Without a proportionate level of oversight, it’s just going to get overrun with bad actors.” - SS
GroupM Launches TV Streaming Group To Create Efficient Ad Flow on Streaming
In a marvel-esque twist of events, we have our real-life Nick Fury, GroupM, coming to assemble the CTV Avengers — NBCU, Disney, Roku, and YouTube — hoping to streamline buying and placing ads on streaming platforms. Furthermore, the partnership aims to create new advertising formats on streaming services that attract various users and standardized measurement elements used across each platform.

Consumers are abandoning traditional TV for streaming, but the great migration has had unintended consequences on the media economy. Advertisers created one commercial on traditional TV for dozens of networks, but now they must diversify their content and tailor it to several different platforms and users. Unfortunately, CTV has evolved into a fragmented environment, but this group attempts to start the process of finding a solution. Can this team of streaming supes save the CTV industry from its own mistakes? - AB
OpenAI Exploring Deals With News Publishers
Right on the heels of The New York Times announcing its copyright suit against OpenAI comes news that the AI research and deployment company is talking with several news publishers about paying them $1 - 5 million to use their content for training purposes. It sounds like they're lowballing publishers, huh? Kind of reminds me of how Meta and Google devalue the importance of news publishers on their platforms.

OpenAI is ramping up quickly on these types of deals having already inked a deal with Axel Springer to “enrich users’ experience with ChatGPT by adding recent and authoritative content on a wide variety of topics. And they also have a deal with the Associated Press on the books. Meanwhile, Apple, mostly absent from this generative AI copyright conversation, is reportedly negotiating multiyear agreements with news publishers worth $50 million.

Still, some publishers are opting out of this game altogether. The New York Times, Vox, CNN, and Reuters have all blocked OpenAI's GPT crawler from accessing their content. The suit with the Times could make or break the AI company. It could end up costing them billions if the Times wins. Either way, it will complicate their negotiations with other publishers, especially given the low licensing fees they're proposing. It's definitely looking like innovation has a price, and publishers are tired of platforms taking a free ride off of their IP. - LdJ
Group Black Launches 1PD Platform
Group Black, a Black-owned media company that helps connect other Black-owned media companies to ad spend, has announced the launch of an audience and insight platform. The Platform leverages unique first-party data from diverse partners to provide an in-depth understanding of Black and Hispanic consumers. According to Digiday, "Group Black will push the aggregated data through its new partner, AI-powered martech cloud company Zeta Global, to activate those ads with individualized messaging based on identity and intent."

Critics contend that with many 1PD platforms on the market, it's hard to determine the upper funnel value of each offering and scale might also be limited. Still, others in the industry see the initiative as one that will help marketers to better reach underserved audiences. - LdJ
One X Post
New Year, New Industry?
Cookie deprecation officially (started in Chrome last week), so talk around first-party data, data collaboration, and data privacy will only heat up this year.

IN: Marketing performance with data protection cc: @InfoSum

OUT: Data sharing :-)
Worth a Listen
Pixel & Pitch: The Ad Tech Symphony of Storytelling and Strategy
This comprehensive episode delves deep into the intersection of ad tech and public relations. Featuring industry experts Lana McGilvray, Chris Harihar, Joe Zappa, and Lou Paskalis, this engaging conversation explores critical topics shaping the future of the ad tech industry.

The discussion highlights overcoming industry oversaturation, the optimistic future of ad tech amidst privacy changes, and the critical balance between brand safety and journalism. Strategies to combat misinformation, differentiate through experiences and narratives, and refresh the image of ad tech companies are also explored in detail.
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