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SMI on the Market – How the Advertising Industry Changed in August

Author: SMI Team

Here at SMI, we’re known for our data, and our relationships with top media buying agencies, giving us the ability to access spend directly from their invoice systems. What people don’t always get to see, is that we don’t just stop at the data we aggregate from media agencies – we make it our job to have our fingers on the pulse of advertising activity across the world.

A big part of that is monitoring what major media companies are doing. From financial performance to new ad strategies to new products to changes in key programming, we closely follow industry news and moves, to ensure when we give clients insights we’re not only sharing our data expertise, but our expertise as media analysts as well.

Our team wants to ensure that you’re not missing any key information either. We know how hard it is to stay on top of everything (and it’s our job to do it!). So, this is our first installment of SMI on the Market. Following the end of each month, we’ll share a list of what we believe to be the top moves and activities in the industry that happened, and what to keep your eye out for in the months to come.

Let’s get right into it.



Facebook and Google are focused on improving advertiser concerns on fake content. A look at SMI data indicates that YouTube is seeing the impact of these concerns as their ad spend fluctuated in the past few months compared to last year. Google is trying to make good by refunding advertisers whose ads ran on fake sites and has quietly been running tests to detect fake ads. Facebook, on the other hand, has been ramping up efforts by preventing pages that repeatedly share fake news from running ads and cracking down on cloaking of spam sites. We’ll recap this more in our September wrap-up, but news out on Fake Russian Facebook accounts, proves why this is such an important issue to figure out.


Fox launches six second video ads and reduces ad loads on selected shows. NBC Sports is exploring “playing through” a split-screen model that has commercials run alongside continuing sports coverage. CNN debuted live ads during eclipse. Viacom has stated they will continue to reduce ad loads on selected programs.


While it sometimes seems like digital platforms outside of Facebook and Google don’t matter, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. As you probably already know, Snapchat has been making a lot of news, and recently, launched a self-serve ad platform and new measurement program. The company is also offering more advanced campaign management options for its largest business partners. PinterestReddit, and LinkedIn all expanded their video offerings in August, the latter two, with native video ads. Last but not least, Yelp is creating custom audience segments similar to Facebook’s Audience segment.


Media is now changing so often that those who were of the new guard just a few years ago are having to evolve to keep up with the even “newer” media. In late July, Vice Media had a round of layoffs, citing a refocus on video. This came after news of similar restructurings happening at HuffPost and Vocativ earlier in the summer. Rumors are also flying around about a potential sale of Mashable, arguably a staple for anyone working in the media world. And, Buzzfeed has given into banner ads, and will now run display ads on its properties, something it had previously been strongly against.


We already said this, but it bears repeating, Facebook had a busy month. The company announced, or shared news of testing, several new ad products. In no particular order, we saw – Messenger Home Screen ads, six-second video ads, marketplace ads, adding audio to video ads, allowing publishers to set CPM target for ads on Facebook Audience network, targeted ad to in-store visits, and tools to help publishers boost subscription. Did you catch that all?

Interested to see how these insight pair with our data? Get in touch for a demo and see what SMI can do for your business.

Standard Media Index is now a Guideline company

Learn more