The Polar Report

The Polar Report: Industry Insights #19

May 3, 2023

Welcome to The Polar Report, a curated view of what’s happening in the world of Digital Monetisation, Audience Development and Measurement. This week we dive into YouTube enhancing Shorts amid ongoing monetisation challenges, Google breaking promises made to defund climate change lies, how broadcasters can succeed by utilising multiple tools to tackle new TV upfronts and the current state of the TV ad industry’s measurement system.


YouTube Enhances Shorts Ads Amid Ongoing Monetisation Challenges

YouTube is taking steps to enhance monetisation on its platform by incentivising advertisers to use its Shorts video format. To boost ad reach, Shorts and in-feed videos will now be eligible for video reach campaigns, which leverage AI to maximise reach through multiple ad formats.

This new feature will require marketers to include a 60-second vertical video or shorter along with other assets. YouTube has also brought its Select targeting tool to Shorts, which pairs ads with trending and relevant content in users' Shorts feeds. 

Furthermore, a new ad positioning tool, piloted with YouTube Select, allows advertisers to display ads at the start of a user's viewing session to increase visibility. These new capabilities could help offset ongoing struggles with YouTube's ad revenue, which declined by 3% YoY to $6.69 billion in Q1 2023, contributing to two consecutive quarters of revenue declines for Google. 

However, YouTube's Shorts offering has exceeded 50 billion daily views, indicating its growing popularity among creators and viewers. With TikTok remaining a formidable competitor, other platforms are also developing short-form offerings, including Meta's Reels and Snap's Spotlight.

Full Article on Marketing Dive

Google funds climate-change misinformation despite a previous promise

Google pledged two years ago that it would no longer allow ads to run alongside videos that denied the existence and causes of climate change. However, according to a recent report, these ads are still appearing on Google and YouTube. 

The policy update was designed to "prohibit ads for, and monetisation of, content that contradicts well-established scientific consensus around the existence and causes of climate change". It included language that banned content that referred to climate change as a hoax or a scam. 

The Center for Countering Digital Hate has since found 100 videos that violated Google's policy and were viewed at least 18 million times collectively.

Although some of the ads have been removed, researchers argue that YouTube has failed to keep its promise to prevent the monetisation of climate denial content. Many ads still appear before videos that promote misinformation about climate change. Major brands such as Costco, Politico, and Calvin Klein were found to run on the videos. While some brands, like Grubhub, have taken steps to prevent their ads from appearing alongside misinformation, the report calls for Google to take stronger action to enforce its policy.

The severity of a situation like this may seem insignificant right now, but it could have long-term effects on the company as a whole. Brands that take to YouTube to advertise their products will likely be displeased that they are appearing next to misleading and harmful content. This could result in them migrating and spending their money on another platform. 

Ultimately, Google and YouTube have a reputation to protect. Profiting off the spread of misinformation and harmful content when they have pledged to not, is definitely not a good way to go about doing so. 

Full Article on Media Post

Audience Development

How broadcasters can succeed using multiple tools to tackle the new TV upfronts

As discussions around the changing upfronts move from hypothetical to actual, having the right technology for planning, selling and activating will be crucial for broadcasters.

Although broadcasters still face challenges such as viewership fragmentation, disparate data sources, and a proliferation of technology partners in their stack, they also have access to several tools. 

Cross-platform planning tools help balance digital and linear planning and provide better insights to make more informed decisions. Advanced self-service SSP solutions allow for flexibility in packaging, pricing, and delivering inventory, enabling broadcasters to deliver against advertiser KPIs more effectively. 

Additionally, using ad servers purpose-built for CTV rather than retrofitted platforms allows broadcasters to streamline their processes and offer a better experience for viewers, resulting in better returns for themselves and their advertisers.

By leveraging these tools and platforms, broadcasters can navigate the changing landscape of TV upfronts and find success as they adapt to the new programmatic upfront world.

Full Article on Digiday


The TV ad industry's measurement system still needs work

The TV ad industry has been working towards updating its measurement system, recognising the need to keep up with the changing viewing habits of audiences. However, as outlined in the final episode of a recent series, there are still significant challenges that need to be overcome.

One of the major issues is the inconsistency across new currencies. There are currently several different measurement partners being used, but there is not enough consistency across all of them for agencies to execute a buy across every partner they want to execute a television buy against on one of these new currencies. This lack of consistency makes it difficult for media groups and broadcasters to agree on which measurement partners to support.

Another issue that needs to be addressed is the necessary technical work required to be able to support various measurement providers as currencies. This will require significant investment from advertisers and agencies and needs to be factored into their budgets.

Despite the challenges, there is a consensus in the industry that YouTube should be included in the new measurement landscape. As one of the largest video platforms in the world, YouTube offers scale across multiple providers, which makes it an attractive proposition for advertisers and agencies.

However, there are still questions about how expansive this new measurement landscape should be. While some argue that it should be limited to traditional broadcast and streaming channels, others believe that it should be extended to include social media platforms such as TikTok and Instagram.

Overall, there is a recognition that the TV ad industry's measurement system needs to evolve to keep pace with the changing media landscape. However, there are significant challenges that need to be overcome, and a consensus needs to be reached on which measurement partners to support and how expansive the new measurement landscape should be. Despite these challenges, there is a belief that by working together, the industry can create a more robust and effective measurement system that meets the needs of both advertisers and audiences alike.

Full Article on Digiday