A roundup of the week's key news from MediaVillage member companies and the wider media industry. This week, Publicis restructures, podcasts get more popular, March Madness generates record ad revenues for CBS and Turner, Facebook battles the ad bots and Gannett and ABC explore virtual reality, plus plenty more real news.
Publicis Restructures Media Agencies and Consolidates Ad Buying Power
The firm’s two largest agencies -- Starcom and Zenith -- will remain separate entities. Umbrella companies such as Starcom Mediavest and Zenith Optimedia will be disbanded (via WSJ).
Digital Ad Spending to Surpass TV Next Year
In 2017, TV will account for 35.8% of total media ad spending in the US and digital ad spending will account for 38.4%, says eMarketer, which also lowered its growth projections for TV ad spending In the long term (via eMarketer).
Monthly Podcast Consumption Surges to More than One in Five Americans
The percentage of Americans 12+ who say they have listened to a podcast in the last month is now 21%, up from 17% last year, according to Edison Research (via Edison Research).
Record Ad Sales for March Madness
CBS and Turner Broadcasting say they're virtually sold out of commercials for March Madness and have generated record ad revenue on both TV and digital (via Broadcasting & Cable).
+ Turner Sports Teams Up with Snapchat Live Story (via Broadcasting & Cable).
WPP CEO Martin Sorrell Says In-House Programmatic Buying is “Short-Lived” Trend
Marketers who have brought programmatic ad-buying in-house have run into challenges retaining talent and investing in the necessary technology (via WSJ).
Viacom Aims to Make Data Accessible to All Marketers
Cable programmer is bringing to market a suite of five new products designed to make audience buying more accessible to a broader pool of marketers (via Ad Age).
Facebook Pulls Plug on DSP Ad Software
Company pulls demand-side bidding software from service after tests showed that banner ads that were served attracted too many fraudulent impressions by bots (via The Information).
+ Facebook Just Debuted Video for Its Growing Suite of Lead-Generation Ads (via Adweek)
Gannett Plans First Regularly Scheduled News Show in Virtual Reality
Its USA Today Network will launch a regularly scheduled VR news show this spring called “VRtually There,” which will cover a range of topics, including politics, sports, technology and finance (via WSJ).
Cadreon and Rubicon Project Partner to Power the Programmatic Upfront
IPG Mediabrands’ ad tech unit, Cadreon, will use Rubicon Project’s Guaranteed Orders platform to power the reservation of direct inventory across desktop, mobile and video advertising (via Business Wire).
+ Mediaocean Partners with Rubicon Project to Offer Global Automated Guaranteed Solution for Industry’s $60 Billion Direct Buying Market (via Business Wire)
Dentsu Aegis Acquires Analytics Shop Cardinal Path
While Cardinal Path will maintain its brand within the network, it will work closely with media agencies Carat and Vizeum, as well as performance marketing shop iProspect (via Ad Age).
Hallmark to Take Hallmark Channel Operator Crown Media Private
Move will give the company "greater flexibility to respond to the many risks and challenges of the rapidly changing cable and entertainment landscape and protect its substantial investment in Crown" (via Dow Jones).
iHeartMedia Hires Moelis to Tackle Debt Burden
The reported move comes as iHeartMedia, one of the world's largest leveraged buyouts when it was taken private by buyout firms for $26.7 billion in 2008, battles digital competitors for listeners (via Reuters).
ABC Tests Virtual-Reality Ads by Weaving Lexus Into “Quantico”
Viewers can go into the world of the program and assume the role of a new recruit on a mission as they track down a target -- all with the assistance of a Lexus LX 570 flagship SUV (via Variety).
Watch the Gap: Should Broadcast TV Rethink Long Midseason Breaks?
As we head into the Upfront season, when networks will decide the fate of their shows and reveal their fall lineups, it's likely that programmers will rethink the model yet again (via Ad Age).
People on the Move
Publicis Media Consolidates Agency Brands, Reshuffles Leadership
Current CEO of media agency network Zenith Optimedia Tim Jones will become regional CEO for the Americas division of the newly-created Publicis Media network. Iain Jacob is named regional CEO for Europe, the Middle East and Africa; Séverine Charbon will become the chief talent officer, and John Sheehy will oversee global clients (via Ad Age).
Clear Channel Outdoor Americas Hires Wade Rifkin as Senior Vice President of Programmatic
Newly created position, reporting to CEO Scott Wells, will define the company’s programmatic strategy and manage the company’s programmatic approach (via Business Wire).
A+E Networks Elevates Christopher Barry
Former Senior Vice President of International Strategy and Digital Media is promoted to the position of Senior Vice President and Head of Finance and Business Planning for international and digital (via World Screen).
Advertising in a Post-Screen World
Marketers are racing to adapt to a mobile where newer generations are tethered to their smartphones. Even as they begin to get comfortable, though, interactive technologies like augmented and mixed reality are just around the corner (via Forbes).
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