As advertisers boycott Facebook, publishers see video ad revenue fall in July
Publishers’ social video revenue rollercoaster continues. After seeing video ad dollars on Facebook rebound since April, some publishers have observed a downturn in July, coinciding with hundreds of advertisers boycotting the social network.
Publishers’ Facebook video ad revenue in July has fallen anywhere from 10% to 50% below the June mark, according to executives at three publishers. However, the executives said it is hard to know how much of that decline to attribute to the advertiser boycott, which is connected to the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign calling for Facebook to do a better job combating hate speech on its platform.
Publishers cited various factors that could be contributing to the July revenue drop. For starters, the coronavirus crisis continues to weigh down ad dollars. Additionally, July marks the start of the third quarter, and the beginning of any quarter generally sees weaker advertiser demand compared to other periods, the publishers said. And then there’s the advertiser boycott. Many of the companies boycotting Facebook are major brand advertisers like Coca-Cola, Ford and Levi’s that are considered by publishers to be more likely to spend that money on video ads than the small- and medium-sized businesses that make up the bulk of Facebook’s advertiser base.
“I don’t think you can draw any clear conclusions from this moment about the decline in ad spend. You can still see the effects of the pandemic and some of that is now converging with this boycott,” said one publisher.
In some cases, publishers have been able to draw a direct connection between the Facebook video ad revenue decline and the advertiser boycott. A second publisher said they have had advertisers redirect upwards of a quarter-million dollars from the media company’s Facebook videos to its YouTube videos because of the boycott.
Meanwhile, one of the publishers has joined the boycott itself by opting not to run ads on Facebook to promote its videos and increase viewership, though it is still uploading organic videos to the platform and receiving ad revenue from them. Another of the publishers had considered joining the boycott but opted against because of the potential impact doing so could have on its overall revenue, such as its commerce business that generates more revenue for the company than its Facebook videos.
Publishers’ social video ad revenues bottomed out across Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat in early April. Since then, they have rebounded, and some media executives thought the trajectory could lead to a full recovery back to pre-crisis levels as early as July. Publishers were disabused of that hope by the first week of July, though.
After the first week of July, one of the publishers saw that its Facebook video ad revenue for July was on pace to be 35% lower than the June figure, with Facebook video ad CPMs down 18% in July compared to June. But it seems that the initial downswing may have had more to do with the Fourth of July holiday than the advertiser boycott. As of mid-July, this publisher saw its Facebook video ad CPMs rebound to be $1 higher than they were at the beginning of July and 10% lower than their June average, with revenue on pace to be 16% lower in July compared to June.
While the publishers did not welcome the revenue decline, they had feared it would be worse than what they are currently seeing. “It’s a little bit lower than June, but not that bad. I was predicting we would be back to where we were in April,” said a third publisher. Of course, July is only half over.
Future of TV Briefing: CTV continues to be a black box to programmatic marketers
This week’s Future of TV Briefing digs into the CTV-related, behind-closed-doors discussions among brand and agency executives during last week’s Digiday Programmatic Marketing Summit.
Future of TV Briefing: The big questions heading into this year’s upfront market
This week's Future of TV Briefing highlights the top questions facing TV and streaming ad buyers and sellers heading into this year's upfront market.
Future of TV Briefing: How TV and streaming businesses fared in the first quarter of 2023
This week’s Future of TV Briefing reviews the state of the TV and streaming business in light of companies' latest quarterly earnings reports.
SponsoredWhat the measurement and currency discussion really means to TV advertisers
This article is also available in Spanish. Please use the toggle above the headline to switch languages. Visit digiday.com/es to read more content in Spanish. Ali Mack, head of TV and agency, Experian Major streaming video providers have recently made headlines by adopting new currencies for ad measurement, threatening Nielsen’s long-standing TV ratings monopoly. NBCUniversal, […]
TelevisaUnivision’s Donna Speciale sees TV’s measurement shift shoring up underrepresentation issue
The Hispanic-centric TV network has seen its core audience undercounted by measurement panels by as much as 35%, Speciale said in the latest Digiday Podcast.
How YouTube is mixing up the TV ad market
Now that YouTube has become the streaming service people spend the most time watching on TV screens, it’s becoming hard to argue that YouTube isn’t TV.