|News Round Up
Disney may ditch Comcast-owned FreeWheel as its video ad tech provider in favor of Google, reports Mike Shields of Business Insider. If Disney were to pick Google, it’d be a blow to Comcast and a huge step for Google in its pursuit of TV ad dollars. But it’ll be a tough sell. Switching TV ad tech requires heavy product unwinding and re-integrating, and TV networks have avoided working with Google, which they view as competitive to their overall business. But networks aren’t thrilled about giving so much of their viewership data to Comcast, a more direct competitor with NBCUniversal. Missing from Disney’s pitch roster is BAMtech, the streaming tech company it acquired for $1.58 billion last year. "It's a shake-up for sure – this space is wide open right now," says Brian Rifkin, co-founder of video tech firm JW Player. More.
Facebook Loses Some Brands
Facebook’s apology tour continued Thursday as Sheryl Sandberg gave a handful of media interviews, including one with Bloomberg in which she disclosed that some marketers have turned off their campaigns in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal. “We’ve seen a few advertisers pause with us and they’re asking the same questions that other people are asking,” Sandberg told Bloomberg. “They want to make sure they can use data and use it safely.” She also said Facebook will continue working with political campaigns, but with tighter controls around creative. Read it. Related in AdExchanger: Zuck Speaks.
The TVs Have Eyes
Nielsen relaunched its real-time TV analytics platform Grabix on Thursday with the ability to integrate smart-TV data from Gracenote, the measurement provider it acquired for $560 million in 2016. Nielsen Grabix combines traditional Nielsen ratings with smart-TV data to provide ad buyers “minute-by-minute insights into viewership behavior in 56 TV markets, and across 400 stations,” Variety reports. At launch, Grabix can access smart-TV data from 3 million devices, but that number is expected to grow given Gracenote’s footprint in 40 million smart TVs. To avoid a lawsuit à la Vizio, which was fined $2.2 million by the FTC last year for using similar technology to listen in on viewers without consent, Nielsen says it will ask users for an opt-in before turning on Gracenote’s technology. More.
When the US men’s national soccer team failed to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, it teed up an interesting case study in sports tentpole sponsorships and advertising. This will be the first time in more than 30 years that the world’s largest consumer economy isn’t represented among the World Cup teams. But Fox Sports paid $425 million for the US broadcast rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, more than double what ESPN paid for the two previous tournaments. So perhaps it’s no surprise that the first Fox Sports World Cup ad campaign will be with 23andMe, a genetic testing company, encouraging people to discover their ancestry and, uhhh … have a team to root for. AdAge has more.
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