Fox/Magnite Deal Latest Example of a Growing Trend

Ask anyone in the TV advertising business what their biggest problem is with streaming TV (aka “CTV”, fka “OTT”) TV, and the answer is most likely “complexity”.

This seems to be a universal complaint about streaming advertising which, with its multiple levels of ad tech players and aggregators that sit between advertiser and programmers, can often sound like a Joseph Heller storyline. Catch 22.

This is especially true for those who come from a traditional TV background where there is only one measurement department, inventory is largely sold out during spring upfronts and everything seems designed for maximum efficiency. .

The situation is, on many levels, not so surprising. Most infant industries go through a period of multiple players vying for market share – usually a period of massive growth and innovation – followed by market maturation marked by a period of rationalization.

The telecommunications industry is a prime example: after the breakup of AT&T in the 1980s, there were dozens of small regional telephone companies. The introduction of mobile has created even more opportunity (not to mention confusion) as has the ability of telecommunications companies to offer high-speed broadband.

What followed, however, was a period of massive consolidation, so that we now have only three telephone companies. Which, let’s note, is still better than one phone company.

Something similar is happening with TV ad technology right now, with major media companies making deals with different ad tech companies to simplify the various processes and make them more appealing to linear TV advertisers.

One area that major media companies (those with their roots in broadcast and cable) have looked at is how to streamline their ad sales process. This is a bigger issue for them than just streaming players, as they have inventory across the ecosystem, from linear to streaming, and as a result their offering often includes a number of different streaming services. .

This is all a long way to explain why the deal announced this week between FOX
and leader SSP (supply side platform) Magnite, fits perfectly into this trend.

The deal makes Magnite the sole launch partner (i.e., seller) of FOX’s OneFOX platform, which allows advertisers to buy on all of FOX’s various streaming properties, with the key property being Tubi, their aggregator service FAST (ad-supported free streaming TV) and the linchpin of their current streaming strategy.

The benefit for advertisers is that they will be able, through Magnite, to create a single, unified plan for all of their guaranteed private market (PMP) and programmatic campaigns across the entire FOX streaming portfolio, which includes services such as FOX Weather as well as Tubi.

The deal also makes it easier for advertisers to plan, at least on FOX properties, because they only deal with one vendor on guaranteed PMP and programmatic campaigns. (Open programmatic is another story…as is the fact that there are three different flavors of programmatic, another reason streaming can seem so complex to buyers with linear backgrounds.)

“By unifying our vast library of assets, we recognized the need to identify the right technology provider that could help deliver our premium inventory to advertisers,” said Dan Callahan, SVP Data Strategy and Sales Innovation at Fox Corporation. “Magnite’s programmatic expertise and industry-leading technology make it the ideal solution for connecting shoppers to FOX audiences across all of our properties. We’ve been impressed with what Magnite has created to support our inventory monetization efforts and look forward to looking forward to the growth of our relationship.

“With OneFOX, FOX has cemented its large audience footprint and as viewers turn to CTV and OTT, buyers are increasingly turning to programmatic as a way to reach these audiences with greater efficiency.” said Mike Laband, SVP, Programmatic Platforms at Magnite. . “We look forward to developing technology to support this change and streamline access to FOX’s premium inventory suite for advertisers.”

Make it easy for dollars to follow eyeballs

Laband’s first sentence speaks to the ultimate meaning of this offer and others like it: as viewers spend more and more time watching TV through streaming rather than linear, advertising dollars will have to follow suit. If the system continues to be extremely complex, many brands will hang in there and slow down the rate at which they move their ad dollars, ultimately making TV advertising less effective as ads reach fewer viewers, especially TV viewers. key demographic groups.

So the more the industry is able to streamline its internal processes, the faster advertising dollars will follow the eyes to streaming. Agreements like this show that there is an awareness of the problem and a desire to solve it.

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