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Weekly Roundup: B2B’s Ad Spend, New Features in Chrome Beta, Industry Reacts to UK’s divergence from GDPR And More

Adtech Weekly Roundup
“We’re doing everything from the perspective that school is still not normal this year.”

Summary

  • eMarketer predicts that the share of B2B Digital Ad Spend will remain constant for the coming two years.
  • The number of paid digital audio subscribers in the US will hit 121.9 million this year; it’ll be an increase of 11% YoY.
  • Inews was the fastest-growing news site in the UK with 87% more visits in July (YoY). Eight local and regional titles made the top 15 fastest-growing sites.
  • Amidst the rising cases of the COVID-19 virus, parenting publishers are balancing between normal back-to-school content and relevant news updates.
  • As the subscription fatigue grows, more and more publishers have started investing in retention techniques. Hiring people, creating more content formats, using first-party data, are some of the ways to go.
  • A new feature in Chrome beta can take your visitor directly to your competitor’s site without the need of going back to SERP.
  • After UK revealed its plans to relax GDPR, the industry gives a mixed response to the move.

Ad Tech Trends for Publishers

B2B’s share in digital ad spending

B2B ad spend had a huge spike in 2020. Its share in the total digital ad spends increased from 4.9% to 5.7%. But, eMarketer predicts that the growth wouldn’t continue at the same pace. B2B will maintain the same share in the coming two years. It’ll reach 5.8% by 2023.

US B2B Digital Ad Spending

Kindly note that a stagnant share doesn’t mean that B2B isn’t growing. It only means that the B2B market will grow with similar proportions, that’s why it’ll maintain its share with the overall digital ad market. So, continue your efforts if you are a B2B publisher.

Rising paid audio subscriptions in the US

The number of paid digital audio subscribers in the US will hit 121.9 million this year; it’ll be an increase of 11% YoY. While the rate of expansion will keep slowing down, the absolute number of paid listeners will continue to increase. Over 40% of US internet users will be paid audio subscribers by year-end.

Paid Digital Audio Subscribers

This data indicates that paid audio has a potential for publishers. Listeners are willing to pay for quality content. When you are already creating content for your site, find out opportunities to reuse it for audio.

Uk’s top news sites in July 2021

PressGazette has released its analysis of the UK’s news site in July. Here’re the highlights:

  • inews was the fastest growing site with 87% more visits in July (YoY).

  • Eight local and regional titles made the top 15 fastest-growing sites.
  • Newsbrands like CNN and NYT were among the biggest losers. CNN lost 37% whereas NYT lost 26% of the traffic.
  • Most of the sites had more visits in July 2021 than in July 2020.

Digital News Sites visits in July

So, digital news may be a competitive space, but smaller publishers can grow if they’re appealing to the audience.

Strategies From top Publishers

Back to school publishing during the rise of Delta variant

Back-to-school season is here, but the delta variant of the COVID-19 virus is also spreading among children. Worried parents are seeking helpful information online. As a result, parenting sites are experiencing increased traffic. Parenting publishers like Meredith and BDG have already started their preparations.

Publishers are balancing between normal back-to-school content and relevant news updates. Parents are searching for both kinds of content, and publishers are also acknowledging the time-sensitivity of the situation. Focussing on the most important news for the target audience is the best balancing tactic. Romper’s piece on mask guidelines at schools is a great example. 

“We’re doing everything from the perspective that school is still not normal this year.”

– Elizabeth Angell, editor-in-chief, Romper

Managing subscription fatigue

The pandemic brought a surge in the number of paid subscribers for most of the publishers. The majority of the paying users hold an average of two subscriptions. But, the content consumption frenzy is cooling down, and many people are likely to unsubscribe from the least valuable plans. So, the current challenge is to retain the users.

Digiday has highlighted some of the approaches that the publishers are taking. Here they are:

  • Hiring more people whose duty is to maintain and bring new subscribers.
  • Investing in more content formats to make the subscriptions more valuable.
  • Using first-party data to retain current subscribers and find new audiences.
  • Increasing the coverage, etc.,

As a publisher, you should also think of the various ways to offer more value to your subscribers. It’s the only way to retain them.

New Features  in Chrome Beta

Chrome has brought three new features in its beta version:

  • The first feature allows you to revisit useful pages without searching your history.
  • The second one helps you share quotes from websites in the form of stylized images.
  • And the final feature makes it possible to visit the next search result without going back to the SERP.

While the first two may not have a significant impact, the third feature can influence user behavior on your site. Have a look 


The user can navigate to other search results without going back to the SERP. It removes the friction that can hold the user on your site. It means you need to make sure that the user experience and content are always the best on your site.

This feature might be unacceptable to many publishers because it can bring your competitor directly to your site. Imagine the user reading your article and Google is suggesting your competitor’s site over it? Wouldn’t it be a nightmare? The next concern can be about ads. What if Google decides to populate the space with ads and your competitors start paying to pull your traffic on their site?

We’re sure that Google would’ve thought about all such concerns in advance. But we suggest you keep a tab on this feature. 

The industry reacts to UK’s divergence from GDPR

Last week, we saw how the UK might relax some GDPR norms to ease business activities. The government wants to have a common-sense approach for online privacy and not just a box-ticking implementation. The Drum has discussed some of the reactions from the ad tech industry on the same matter.

The Drum highlights that the GDPR is based on third-party cookies, and the industry is already moving away from it. Even if the UK completely retracts GDPR, most companies will keep moving in the same direction. A Wired article says that even after Brexit, the EU still holds power on UK’s data because the free flow of data to the European Union is worth £85 billion to the UK. So, the UK isn’t free to take its decisions independently.

Julie Rubash from Sourcepoint says consumers are frustrated with cookie banners. But, proper implementation of banners can solve the issue without the need for policy changes. Other reactions talk in a similar tone where they suggest removing bureaucracy and complications instead of scraping the law and its framework. 

Moments That Matter

Google: Interstitials are Fine Under this Condition (searchenginejournal.com)

IAB UK develops unified ad framework for gaming and esports | The Drum

Tech companies will try to push private browsing into the mainstream (digiday.com)

Regulators and Reality – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

With iOS 15, Apple Will Get Permission Before Serving Its Own Targeted Ads | AdExchanger

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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