Future of Media: Google's last click, cautious ad spend hope, can programmatic be greener?

John McCarthy

The Drum's media editor John McCarthy rounds up the latest media trends each Thursday, this is also available in your inbox. Sign up here.

Welcome to your weekly Future of Media briefing from media editor John McCarthy. You can get a more comprehensive version sent to your inbox here - if you'd prefer.

Google’s plan to replace last-click attribution

Google has updated how marketers measure the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns by shelving last-click attribution (LCA) for a supposedly smarter machine learning tool that has a broader view of the conversion pipeline. More here.

There’s huge implication for how marketers benchmark their campaigns. I asked experts from across the adtech industry about the shift to the machine learning model.

With Google cooking up supposedly user-friendly ad products (like its anonymized Floc segments), this new tech ought to accommodate the modern demands of marketers who acknowledge that a last-click maketh not a conversion. There’s about a month before this tool hits the market so read up here.

Ad spend prediction

Both GroupM and IAB UK released their ad spend predictions.

There’s optimism, record growth and HUGE caveats ahead.

As per IAB over the first six months of the year, new figures show an eye-opening 49% year-on-year rise to £10.5bn. The market is significantly outperforming its pre-pandemic baseline.

But, as per GroupM (it thinks UK adspend will be up 30% on 2020), there’s caution for advertisers and ‘speed bumps’ ahead – it lists staff shortages, supply chain issues and rising infection rates as causes for concern. [Check The Drum on Friday for more on those supply chain issues…]

The world’s been rocked by a pandemic and tech giants are upending the digital foundations we’ve all built upon – but so far so good. Growth’s returning and ensuring those livelihoods and the services/content it supports.

Can programmatic cause less environmental damage?

It’s the question I posed to Ryan Cochrane, chief operating officer of global adtech platform Good-Loop. He penned an op-ed you should read. But I respect your time. So here’s some facts/tips.

  • The internet represents almost 4% of emissions today (that’s more than the pre-Covid-19 airline industry) and is set to double in five years.
  • NYSE processes 3-6bn transactions a day. A single day in

    programmatic, meanwhile, is around 8tn according to best estimates. That’s 2,000x the volume of bid requests and auctions.

  • Surfacing large quantities of inventory through open auctions increases the computing requirements to process. Advertisers should seize this opportunity to migrate from the open exchange and focus on curated private marketplace lists and programmatic guarantee deals.

With Cop26 ahead, I expect all media agencies to be sizing up their impact on the environment and plan to minimize and offset that.

TikTok commerce

I spoke to Goal’s James Lamon this morning. Just as you receive this email, it’ll have run its first TikTok livestream sale, punting Fifa 22 and the PS5 to its 1.8 million fans (and more). It’s an early push into social commerce for the former BuzzFeed man and I looked at how he planned the deal and how he will build upon it going forward.

What I know – if Goal can’t sell Fifa 22 to football fans on TikTok, no publisher has ANY business trying to sell anything. We’ll check back in with that once the dust has settled.

Other stuff

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