NBCU Cuts TV Ad Load; French Publishers Explore Common Log-In

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Pod People

NBCUniversal is cutting its TV ad load, reducing the number of prime-time ads by 20% and total ad time by 10%, Alex Bruell reports for The Wall Street Journal. It hopes this strategy will appease consumers who are increasingly impatient with advertising and drive up the value of the rest of its ad inventory. For instance, the broadcast giant introduced a new 60-second ad pod for up to two advertisers. NBCU ads chief Linda Yaccarino had hinted that reduced ad loads were coming, during an event she hosted in November [AdExchanger coverage]. But the announcement Wednesday formalizes those intentions. Read more.

Sharing Is Caring

European media companies are forming national coalitions to share identities of online consumers as they prepare for life after GDPR and ePrivacy. French newspapers Le Monde, Le Figaro and Le Parisien may offer a unified login across their digital properties, Digiday reports. “We have so far not found better than advertising to fund free information,” says Laure de Lataillade, executive director of the French online publishing trade group Geste. “The consequence could therefore be the end of free content, which means that a very large part of the population would no longer have access to information.” More.

Damn Yanks

The European Commission is considering a proposal “to tax digital companies’ gross revenues at rates between 1 and 5 percent, based on where their users are located and how much advertising revenue they bring in,” according to Politico. This comes after French President Emmanuel Macron led an effort to increase taxes on digital companies last year that won the support of Germany and a dozen other EU nations, but failed to gain unanimous consent. “The suspicion of many in the US is that this is really protectionism,” says Dan Niedle, a partner at law firm Clifford Chance, since Europe has few large digital businesses that would feel the tax hit and so could quarantine the impacts with US competitors. More.

Mobile Shop Til You Drop

Smartphone users are getting used to shopping on mobile. According to data from Adobe Analytics, the money people spent per visit to a mobile website has increased 27% since early 2015, even as the amount of time spent on mobile sites decreased by 10% on average. While it’s still a minority of online shopping at 23%, mobile shopping is growing dramatically faster than either desktop or tablet. Adobe predicts that the adoption of 5G wireless will increase mobile sales to $12 billion by 2021. Recode has more.

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