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Weekly Roundup: CCPA Market Survey, SPO on the Rise, Adapting to New Reality.

Adtech weekly
“Advertisers can also run experiments and tests to identify the ‘pipes’ [that] yield lower cost impressions while still delivering scale and performance outcomes.”

IAB CCPA Benchmark Survey

CCPA isn’t new and we’ve been discussing the California Consumer Privacy Act for a while now. If you read our weekly roundups, you might have noticed that IAB’s work towards making the ad tech industry compliant — isn’t going as per expectation. 

When it released the CCPA framework, there was chaos and confusion. Recently, NAI warned that publishers and brands shouldn’t take the ‘service provider’ approach as it is risky. But IAB is trying its best to update the framework, educate the industry, and to keep up with the laws. Last week, IAB released a CCPA benchmark survey that aimed to get answers to the questions including:

  • What activities are within the scope of “sale” in the context of delivering a digital ad impression?
  • Who is the “business,” “service provider,” or “third party” in a digital advertising transaction?
  • What constitutes a “sale” of personal information?

Here are the highlights of the survey:

2/3rd of the respondents believe that when personal information is disclosed in a ‘bid request’, in a ‘direct deal’, in a ‘PMP deal’, and while ‘data matching/identity resolution’ — it is a “sale”. 

– Approx. 90% of respondents say that when a publisher puts a script/pixel/SDK of an ad tech company, it becomes a “business” and the ad tech company becomes a “third party”.

– 72% believe that the publisher is “selling” personal information to the ad tech company by “making it available” through its property. 

Opt-out rates are low, mostly at 1 to 5 percent regardless of channel (e.g., website, mobile, OTT/CTV) and data access/deletion requests are at or under 100 to date. 

You can take a look at the complete survey here


Publishers can use this survey results to see if they are taking a “market” approach to become compliant with CCPA. While the approach and CCPA itself has evolved, especially in recent months, IAB expects benchmarking against the industry can prove helpful. And, we’ve created a guide to help publishers to become compliant with the privacy laws.  

Key Challenges for Digital Publishers – Study

DoubleVerify study surveyed 300 digital media executives to find the key challenges publishers face during COVID-19 and we’re here to show you the highlights:

Delayed Payments:

Though digital advertisers have indeed paused or canceled their ad campaigns (back in Q3), publishers experienced payment delays due to — the lack of resources to effectively handle the billing and reconciliation process. Yes, nearly half (47%) said that their organization faced this issue. 

 “Publishers and advertisers need to work together to streamline pacing and delivery discrepancies, and to reduce billing cycles.”

– Steven Woolway, EVP of Business Development, DoubleVerify.

Processing Data:

73% said that they spend too much time manually processing inventory performance and revenue data. 80% indicated that the time spent on data collection and processing limited their ability to focus on optimizing inventory performance and revenue. No surprise here, as a programmatic partner for hundreds of media companies, we have seen the importance of having a unified analytics dashboard in place to cater to the requests from publishers. 


Communication is the biggest campaign delivery challenge. They aren’t talking about internal communication, but the synchronization b/w internal and external parties to take the campaign live. Again, this means, less time to focus on optimizing the performance. 

SPO on the rise

Supply Path Optimization is on the rise and the pandemic made it even more important for buyers to carefully vet the vendors and avoid redundancy, thus saving costs. One more advertiser is accelerating its SPO efforts — Diageo. 

While the advertiser hired its head of programmatic media back in 2016, it plans to cut down the number of SSPs it uses to reach the publishers. 

“Diageo is working through a process to optimize how they buy programmatic media, which is going to take months rather than weeks. The plan is to put more [programmatic dollars] into less [SSPs].”

How? Diageo’s marketers are reaching out to the handful of ad tech vendors, meeting with them, and analyzing how the vendors run auctions to pick the best ones that suit the company. 

Group M SPO Project:

Group M is already known for its SPO efforts. It directly worked with SSPs and exchanges to cut down the unnecessary vendors and figure out the optimal route to reach the inventory. Last week, it launched a new SPO project. 

GroupM gathered a significant amount of data (log-level data from over 400 DSPs seats at an APAC level) into a single visualization tool for over a period of six months. It also developed a set of guidelines to improve transparency and the SSPs agreeing to it, are on-board. What are the guiding principles? As you have guessed, SSPs should have direct integration with publishers, share log-level data, and never send unknown or obfuscated domains. 


“Advertisers can also run experiments and tests to identify the ‘pipes’ [that] yield lower cost impressions while still delivering scale and performance outcomes.”

– Alex Perrin, VP of programmatic strategy, Adelphic. 

It all comes down to how SSPs justify why an agency or advertisers should partner with them (or stay partnered). Other than agreeing to the expected demands, SSPs are trying to do the groundwork themselves. 

Publisher Adapting to New Reality 

COVID-19 changed several industries dramatically and we don’t even live in the same way as we used to. Publishers are no exception. Publishers have been dealing with the pandemic in their own ways and now we are going to look at some examples from last week’s news cycle. 

Approaching the Advertisers Relying on Offline Events:

Even when many B2B media companies are struggling to stay afloat and hit their revenue targets, Industry Dive is emerging as a winner. It launched two new verticals, acquired a content studio business, and grew its revenue 30% YOY. 

How? It capitalized on the fact that advertisers have to spend the events budget elsewhere this year. Initially, buyers turned to walled gardens and digital platforms as usual. And, this, in turn, increased the competition there and pumped the price up a lot. 

“When there are shocks, it’s great from an audience standpoint. But when budgets get real tight for folks, being able to generate real demand for partners is key.”

– CEO Sean Griffey. 

Industry Dive understood the dynamics and rolled out several digital ad packages targeting the B2B businesses and agencies, thanks to its new content studio, Studio ID. Well, it worked. 

“Our clients often had budgets where they said, ‘Help us solve goals that we can’t solve in person now.’”

Changing Account Manager Roles: 

Account Managers are becoming a ‘growth-oriented role’ recently. The AM role was seen as a position to hold on to the relationship and cater to the demand from the other side. But now, according to Digiday, publishers are trimming the sales team and converting the Account Managers into a dual role — build relationships and pitch ideas, and try to increase the revenue from a single agency/advertiser. 

“The key is to not just think about that account manager role as what it used to be, but what it can be. It’s supposed to free up time to sell more, but it can be a growth-oriented role.”

– Matt Bartels, principal and media practice lead at the Alexander Group.

Slate’s 1P Data Ad Targeting Tool:

As Google’s phasing 3P cookies, established media brands have either started banding together or building their own technology to ensure audience-based targeting is available as an option for advertisers. Slate is promoting its ‘Slate Select’, an ad targeting tool that allows buyers to reach audiences across its sites and audience network using — first-party data.  

It started as a way to help advertisers target audiences on its podcasts and eventually grown into a tool that can go beyond podcasts. 


If you’re a media group, it’s time to see how you can centralize your first-party data and leverage it. Keep up with the market changes and change your pitch to advertisers accordingly and stay ahead of the cookieless developments in the industry. 

Moments that Matter

Why The Narrow Scope Of The DOJ’s Antitrust Suit Could Solidify Google’s Power – AdExchanger

Journalism Has Been Disrupted. Can Product Thinking Save It? – Knight lab

Apple’s Safari browser blocks CNAME cloaking in Big Sur privacy boost – The Daily Swig.

Automatad Team

At Automatad, we help publishers to monetize better without hampering the user experience. Our products are live across hundreds of publishers, earning them incremental ad revenue with every passing second. You can request a free audit to get an estimated revenue uplift today.

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