Online Advertising and Digital Media – February 23 2024

Online Advertising and Digital Media

  • BMBL appoints several new members to executive leadership team (LINK). BMBL appointed Ali Rayl as Chief Product Officer, Antoine Leblond as CTO, David Ard as Chief People Officer, and Selby Drummond as CMO. Rayl comes from Slack where he served in various product roles, Leblond previously served as Sonos’ SVP of Software, Ard was SVP of Employee Success at Salesforce and directed its people strategy for Slack, and Drummond was promoted from within the company.
  • CRTO receives letter from activist investor, willing to engage constructively (LINK). Petrus Advisers sent a letter to CRTO, which outlines certain concerns it has with the company. The firm made several demands, including that CRTO hosts an investor day, accelerates share buybacks through a self-tender, considers various ownership options, and adds more independent board members. CRTO publicly responded to the letter, laying out several recent steps it has taken to increase shareholder value, and indicated it is willing to engage constructively with Petrus.
  • GOOGL introduces Gemini models to Performance Max (LINK). GOOGL is adding Gemini models to Performance Max, which the company noted will help enhance asset generation capabilities for advertisers, including the ability to generate longer headlines and create sitelinks, both of which are coming soon. Additionally, the company will soon upgrade its image generation models to Imagen 2, which will allow advertisers to generate lifestyle imagery featuring people in action.
  • GOOGL licensing Reddit data to train AI models, reportedly paying $60m for access (LINK). GOOGL and Reddit announced an expanded partnership, which will give GOOGL access to Reddit’s Data API, which the company can use to train its AI models. According to media reports, GOOGL will pay Reddit $60m as a part of the deal.
  • GOOGL introduces Gemini for Google Workspace (LINK). GOOGL introduced Gemini for Google Workspace, which will give customers access to Gemini models within GOOGL’s Workspace apps. As a part of the announcement, the company is launching Gemini Business, which gives organizations of all sizes access to Gemini for Workspace starting at $20 per user per month through an annual commitment. GOOGL also introduced Gemini Enterprise, a replacement for Duet AI for Workspace Enterprise, which provides the same capabilities as Gemini Business but with higher usage, as well as additional functionalities for AI-powered meetings, and is available for $30 per user per month through an annual commitment.
  • GOOGL announces new line of AI models, called Gemma (LINK). On Wednesday, GOOGL announced that it has launched a new AI model suite, called Gemma, which are lightweight open models based on the technology used to develop Gemini. These models come in two sizes, 2B and 7B, and are available worldwide.
  • META tests cross-posting between Threads and FB (LINK). META is testing a cross-posting feature that would allow users to post on both Facebook and Threads at same time from their Facebook account. Tests are currently being conducted on iOS only.
  • MTCH using OpenAI’s ChatGPT Enterprise to boost employee productivity (LINK). MTCH announced it is providing over 1,000 employees with OpenAI’s ChatGPT Enterprise. The company expects that integrating the tool will increase employee productivity and creativity.
  • Tinder announces expansion of ID verification to multiple countries (LINK). Tinder announced it plans to expand ID Verification, which provides an additional step to confirm profile authenticity. The company expects to roll out the feature to the UK and Brazil by spring and the US and Mexico by summer, after initially launching the feature in Australia and New Zealand this past October.
  • PINS launches campaign highlighting ad products (LINK). PINS launched a digitally-focused ad campaign highlighting its suite of advertising tools and full-funnel approach. The campaign is set to run in the US, UK, and Australia before expanding to other markets later this year.
  • Innovid introduces publisher-level outcomes analysis (LINK). Innovid announced it is now providing publisher-level outcomes analysis for advertisers. The new offering will be available across all DSP and SSP campaigns, as the company aims to provide more granular measurement capabilities, which Innovid says will allow advertisers to realize higher ROI by discovering the most effective supply paths.
  • WMT to acquire VZIO for ~$2.3b (LINK). WMT has reached a deal to acquire VZIO for $11.50 per share, or roughly $2.3b. In the press release announcing the deal, WMT stated that it believes the acquisition can help improve and scale its ad business.
  • Reddit files IPO prospectus (LINK). On Thursday, Reddit filed its IPO prospectus with the SEC after initially filing a confidential draft in December 2021. In the filing, the company disclosed revenues of $804m in 2023, up 21% y/y, and a net loss of $90.8m. Reddit plans to IPO on the NYSE under the ticker RDDT, and media reports suggested that it is planning to IPO in March.

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