FB’s Pre-Roll Affirms ‘GoogleBook’ vs TV War

In an abrupt about-face, FB now joins YouTube with pre-roll ads.  AdAge reported that after Zuckerberg told investors pre-roll wasn’t in the company’s future, Facebook is now adding pre-roll.

A complete 180 in a matter of months.

Despite the arch rivalry between Facebook and Google (fighting for employees and ad dollars), this new decision by Facebook (which stuck to mid-roll ads), establishes there’s an enemy greater than Google.

That enemy is TV.  ‘Googlebook’ is united in one thing:  stealing ad dollars away from TV.

eMarketer projects TV ad revenue to remain flat at $72 billion per year but digital growing (that growth coming mostly from Google and Facebook).

Zenith Media at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference also announced that US TV advertising spend for 2018 will decrease 0.4% while digital grows 14.6%

TV’s Kryptonite:  Performance Metrics

Despite P&G’s Marc Pritchard giving digital a tongue-lashing in 2017 with proof that 75% of P&G’s digital spend never reached a human…TV still has an achilles heel.

TV has provided the same delivery report to advertisers since it created that report on a typewriter:  GRP’s, units, cost per unit, cost per GRP.  The era of Saturday Night Fever.

TV is decades behind digital in performance metrics.

Digital, however, has a mountain of performance data versus TV.  But most of that digital data is entirely wrong, suffering from:

  • Fraud
  • Viewability
  • Last click
  • No cross-device
  • Siloed reporting (no cross-channel attribution)

Yet digital continues to grow because of TV’s kryptonite.

Houston We Have a Problem (GoogleBook)

But the times, they are a changin’.  TV is now realizing that the ‘GoogleBook’ problem is real.

Viewership of NFL is down.

Cord cutting is real.

Local auto dealers are moving TV ad dollars to digital, leaving local auto TV advertising negative by 15-30%.

Evidence of the problem culminated last week when NBC’s Linda Yaccarino said the words “We have a problem,” at a private Summit held by NBCU.  Yacarrino may be TV’s Gandhi, finally speaking uncomfortable truths for TV.

TV media sellers also banded together holding private meetings under code-name Thor, discussing how to sell TV on a performance basis in order to compete with digital.

TV is assembling the troops…but is there ammunition without attribution?

But with Facebook preparing for more Pre-Roll:  it just moved a brigade outside TV’s doorstep.

Prepare for impact.