Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

New Business Bulletin: The Independent, Magnite, Outbrain and more

The Independent is marking Black History Month by launching a major initiative to support and champion Black organisations and causes, with significant financial and editorial backing. In a wide-ranging campaign, The Independent will be partnering with eight Black-led organisations in 2024, donating £120,000 of advertising space within The Independent to aid their efforts in enacting change. This builds significantly on last year’s programme, which ran over one month, and underlines the title’s commitment to making change happen across sectors including education, civil rights and health. To ensure these organisations see continued progress, The Independent will provide funding from the start of 2024 throughout the whole year, illustrating its dedication to achieving lasting change for Black communities. The organisations partnering with The Independent are Black Equity Organisation, Five X More, Milk Honey Bees, The Safety Box, Mentivity, The Ubele Initiative, The Black Curriculum and Swim Dem Crew. To extend these organisations’ voices further, Nadine White, the UK’s first dedicated Race Correspondent, will be speaking to some of their leaders and co-founders to highlight their work in amplifying the rights, opportunities and achievements of Black people. Editorial coverage will include interviews with television presenter, actor and comedian Lenny Henry; television presenter Charlene White;  ITV weather presenter Alex Beresford; Irish author Emma Dabiri; beauty entrepreneur Jamelia Donaldson; Editor-in-Chief of Complex magazine Joseph Patterson; and Director of Africa at Sony Music Taponeswa Mavunga. Their conversations will offer a spotlight on the advancement of Black communities and what still needs to be done to achieve equality. Nadine and Roisin O’Connor, The Independent’s Culture and Lifestyle News Editor, have curated a special Spotify playlist, Black History Month UK 2023, amplifying the best sounds by Black British musicians over the years from Janet Kay, Ezra Collective, Little Simz and Tippa Irie to Stormzy, Estelle, Shirley Bassey, Billy Ocean and more. The Independent will also be hosting screenings of a brand-new film about the children of the Windrush generation. It today announces a new partnership with Picturehouse Cinemas to screen Nadine’s feature-length documentary Barrel Children: The Families Windrush Left Behind to secondary school children. The film stars Blacker Dread, Evadney Campbell MBE, and Neil Kenlock MBE and tells the painful story of Caribbean youngsters who grew up away from their parents who had moved to Britain and their stories of being reunited. The film is intended to foster learning of Windrush-related topics. To close out Black History Month, The Independent will be hosting a gala lunch on 31 October, in conjunction with UK Black Comms Network, to celebrate Black achievement.

Magnite, the world’s largest independent sell-side advertising company, has announced an expanded suite of measurement partners across EMEA. AudienceProject, Digiseg, Happydemics, and Innovid are among the providers Magnite is working with to equip buyers and sellers with the appropriate tools to streamline omnichannel measurement activation. As TV consumption shifts from linear to digital, measurement is key to enabling connected television (CTV) to achieve its full potential. Magnite is building a portfolio of partnerships with technologies designed to help buyers and sellers solve for fragmentation as the industry reevaluates how to optimise across all screens. Magnite’s relationships with these measurement providers help buyers and sellers across EMEA access solutions to help inform business decisions.

Outbrain, a technology platform for the open web, and DoubleVerify, a software platform for digital media measurement, data and analytics, has announced a strategic partnership to bring DV Marketplace Suite’s comprehensive pre-bid brand suitability, fraud avoidance, and viewability tools to Outbrain’s recently-launched branding platform, Onyx. Backed by 15+ years of AI-driven prediction technology, Onyx is designed to drive stronger brand impact from in-article video and high-impact display ads by optimizing for user attention. DV’s product suite combined with Outbrain’s predictive technology is designed to deliver a unique value proposition for enterprise brands looking to drive attention and impact in brand-suitable environments across the open web. Onyx customers can now control and curate high-attention inventory based on DV’s brand safety and suitability data across Outbrain’s premium publisher partners, and Onyx campaigns will be backed by DV’s fraud monitoring and viewability measurement.

ECI Media Management has released its Q3 Media Inflation Update, revealing that US TV pricing is set to deteriorate further into deflationary territory than their Q2 predictions, fuelled by the Hollywood strikes and deepening declines in linear TV viewership. TV pricing in the US is now set to deflate by 5.1% in 2023. The latest report in ECI’s quarterly updates has found that, for the first time ever, linear TV viewership in the US fell below 50 percent; however, sports content is expected to be an exception to the deflationary trend, with demand for and viewership of the NFL and NCAA likely to remain strong. The Q3 update for Online Video and Display is marginally higher than was forecast in previous quarters, while Print, OOH and Radio see little change. Meanwhile, in the UK, TV inflation has fallen further from ECI’s Q2 estimate, due to a combination of revenue decreases and continued decline in viewership, as well as the impact of the Hollywood strikes in the US. Online Video is forecast to be marginally higher than Display due to higher demand; Digital OOH continues to see higher inflation levels than in 2022, while Print remains deflationary. As of 2023, ECI Media Management has started publishing quarterly updates to its annual Media Inflation Report, providing forecasts for 10 key markets globally – the US, the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, China, South Korea, Australia and Mexico.

Business intelligence platform Retail Week, has published its Retail 2024 flagship report, indicating a positive state of mind for retailers about finishing the current year on good form. Based on in-depth interviews with the leaders of 44 businesses – 41 UK retailers and 3 internationals (including the likes of Primark, THG, eBay, Majestic Wine, Fat Face, Pandora and others) – the report reveals that 54% are expecting year-on-year sales to be ‘slightly higher’ versus 2022 and a further 20% forecast them to be ‘much higher’. Furthermore, the same number, 74%, expect growth to continue into 2024. With direct insight into the strategic conversations happening across UK retail boardrooms across the country, the Retail 2024 report provides a health-check on the mood of UK retail. View the Retail 2024 report in full here.

Creative Equals – a global equity, diversity and inclusivity (EDI) consultancy – has partnered with Google to launch a scholarship programme that will provide individuals in the UK with the opportunity to develop job-ready skills in high-growth, high-demand employment areas. The Creative Equals x Google Career Certificate Scholarship Programme will equip people – particularly those from underrepresented, vulnerable, or otherwise marginalised communities – with tools, knowledge and support to enhance their professional development and provide bridges into employment. Creative Equals and Google have awarded fully-funded and mentor-supported scholarships to a cohort of 15 people who will undertake a training course of their choice in one of eight key areas: UX Design, Digital Marketing and E-commerce, Project Management, Data Analytics, Advanced Data Analytics, Business Intelligence, IT Support, and Cybersecurity. Throughout the training programme, candidates will receive one-to-one accountability support and mentorship from Creative Equals. In addition, each individual will be provided with access to Google mentors in their chosen subject areas, as well as technical support from a specialist team. The programme will run virtually over a six-month period and all courses are self-paced, giving everyone in the cohort flexibility around when and where they complete their training. The courses do not require relevant experience or a degree and are recognised by industry experts and employers. Additionally, Creative Equals and Google will be offering 500 certificate-only scholarships, opening the opportunity for more individuals to upskill, re-skill and pivot their careers into key employment areas.

Mediaocean, the mission-critical platform for omnichannel advertising, announces the reintroduction of Flashtalking as the leading independent ad tech stack for creative relevance and activation across all digital marketing channels. With refreshed branding and a new website to reflect its vision for the future of advertising, Flashtalking provides innovative solutions for the world’s biggest brands to unleash the power of creative and make media work better. In the latest G2 Fall 2023 Reports, based on authenticated customer reviews, Flashtalking was named a Leader in both Creative Management Platforms and Cross-Channel Advertising. 

In a first for the brand, Samsung UK & Ireland has announced a new partnership with Skateboard GB, the governing body for Skateboarding in Great Britain. Samsung epitomises the Korean spirit of ‘Tu-hon’ – a burning, under-dog spirit of grit and passion, and a relentless drive to succeed, which goes hand-in-hand with the athletes of the sport and their ‘guts to try’ mentality. When it comes to Samsung’s technology, innovative features such as Flex Mode in the new Galaxy Z Flip5 enable skateboarders to take the perfect action shot – effortlessly capturing those bold enough to get on a board, go up and down ramps, and to land that trick that would seem impossible to most. Together Samsung and Skateboard GB hope to combine their underdog mentality to nurture the next generation of skateboarding talent and inspire more participation in the sport across the country. Every kick-flip and trick will also be captured by the team on the show-stopping new Galaxy Z Flip5 – with its incredible camera and content capture capabilities. The better the quality of the content, the prouder skateboarders will feel showing off their skills, generating more kudos. To further empower the next generation of skateboarding athletes, Samsung has brought together a team of pro skaters, uniting leading British talent with the most exciting skateboarders on the scene, to help champion the sport. Jordan Thackeray, Stefani Nurding, Rianne Evans, Ashley Mercer and Alex Decunha will be led by Sky Brown, in capturing their #withGalaxy content with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip5. Sky made her Olympic debut at the Tokyo Games aged only 13, winning Bronze in the park event and has gone on to become Britain’s first skateboarding World Champion.