Adelphic And Affiperf: No Cookie Targeting? No Problem


JennaEmilyBrand marketers might not be diving into mobile video advertising, yet, but they’re certainly wading in. That caution is well-founded since measurement and buy and sell side connections are still nascent.

But analysts anticipate growth: BI Intelligence, for instance, predicts compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 73% for mobile video ad revenue between 2013-2018, compared to 15% CAGR for desktop video ad revenue.

As a result, mobile demand-side platforms (DSPs) like Adelphic Mobile predict surges in demand in the coming quarters. Although Adelphic works with a number of trading desks, it partnered with HAVAS trading desk Affiperf on a retail campaign that first went live in August.

Everyone is talking about measuring cross-screen audiences at scale, but capitalizing on the benefits of advanced targeting remains challenging, said Jenna Gino, VP and GM of Affiperf.

“There’s still a lot of compartmentalization of budget and strategy by channel,” Gino said. “With one retail client of ours, the goal was, ‘We need some level of true omnipresence’ where we had to make sure mobile was not siloed as a second screen.”

Easier said than done. Affiperf’s retail client operates brick and mortar stores and has an ecommerce presence. Mobile creates an additional customer touch point and raises questions around device type and at what frequency messages should be sent.

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Digital Publishers Push Custom Advertising Ahead Of Display


XoGroupPublishers looking for new digital dollars have homed in on native and custom advertising packages. These initiatives, more than programmatic, served as the focus for the MediaNext conference Monday through Wednesday in New York City, where the publishing community convened to discuss the status of integrated marketing campaigns.

“More advertisers are separating their budgets, with 50% on programmatic and 50% on programs that are about social engagement or search engagement. We’re going after the non-programmatic budgets,” said Ryan Harwood, CEO of lifestyle publication PureWow.

Many publishers saw far more value in leveraging their social media followers, and in-house content team to develop custom offerings like games, sponsorships and custom creative. Display ad boxes and rectangles exist, but often are tacked on to add accountability to formats that still don’t have deep analytics.

“What I’m seeing in the market is the low hanging fruit display dollars are going toward programmatic,” Harwood said.

Canadian publisher Jobpostings underwent a dramatic shift to accommodate the changing needs of advertisers. “Five years ago it was so simple,” said publisher Nathan Laurie, “You’d sell a full page, half page, or quarter page.”

These days Jobpostings ads go beyond a box. “Our packages have turned into sales that involve content online, done by our writers, similar to native advertising, and social media integration. We’re marketing the web, and giving the print away for free,” Laurie said. Read the rest of this entry »

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CPG Spend Is Up – And Fraudsters Are Taking Notice


CPGfraudBy now it’s a cliché to say that fraud follows the money – but it’s true.

And with consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies slated to represent $4.2 billion in digital ad spend this year – a number eMarketer predicts will hit more than $7 billion by 2018 – bots, and their human creators, are starting to add CPG brands to the top of their shopping list.

Ari Jacoby, CEO of digital ad company Solve Media, noted Q2 2014 had significantly higher amounts of bot activity among CPG brand advertising largely due to US mobile-based bot traffic, which was 40% higher than what Solve has seen in the past. Global mobile bot traffic was up a little more than 20% – a phenomenon corroborated by Andy Fan, founder and CEO of Shanghai-based fraud detection solution RTB Asia.

“CPG vertical campaigns have a higher percentage – possibly the highest – of bot-related fraud over travel, gaming, auto or financial services,” Fan told AdExchanger. “In China, the goal of most CPG vertical campaigns is branding, not direct response or ecommerce, and this usually leads to loose goal measurement, which makes CPG advertisers less likely to notice fraud.”

Spend on search and desktop display is up among CPGs – there's been a roughly 11% year-over-year increase, according to Kantar Media – but it's mobile that's going to be the future bugbear, especially as CPG brands start to spend more on mobile programmatic.

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Vox Media Embraces Programmatic For Its Scaled-Up Audience


Joe Purzycki Vox MediaTwo years is a long time for online publisher Vox Media. In that span, the owner of seven editorial sites – including The Verge, SB Nation, Eater and Polygon – went from eschewing programmatic to embracing it.

Vox’s strategy changed because its sites grew, explained Joe Purzycki, Vox Media’s VP of advertising.

Vox totaled 20 million monthly uniques two years ago. Today it has 150 million global uniques, and has added four additional sites.

The demographics of Vox shifted with that growth. The target audience used to be 18- to 34-year-old males. Now, the gender split is narrowing, although the brand still indexes unusually high in education and household income. That broader audience created the need for Vox to start using a data-management platform and sell advertising based on its first-party data.

Purzycki talked to AdExchanger about the changes Vox has undergone in its monetization strategy over the past couple of years and what’s ahead.

AdExchanger: Why has Vox embraced programmatic, when two years ago it was so firmly in the direct sales camp?

JOE PURZYCKI: At that time, we had just introduced [gaming site] Polygon, and were still focused on that male 18-34 audience. We had a smaller audience, and our direct sales efforts were driving our business.

Today, given size of audience and amount of inventory, programmatic is a growing piece of our strategy. We still rely heavily on direct sales, which is where the majority of revenue is coming from.

We pair our direct efforts with our programmatic efforts. That can be through private exchanges, if that’s what our clients want to do. Or, if our direct team is selling larger sponsorships or branded content series, with those larger formats that aren’t available through programmatic yet, we work with clients to do both that and buy fluid media through programmatic channels to support their direct sales buy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Facebook Advertising: Not For Cheapskate Marketers


david-serfaty“Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by David Serfaty, director of social advertising at Matomy Media Group.

Advertising on Facebook has undergone a dramatic transformation over the last year. It’s evolved from what was primarily an engagement-based platform to one that offers advertisers direct response and, ultimately, sales.

In late 2013, Facebook released a steady drip of more performance-based targeting options for advertisers. It pushed that further this year when it announced several new mobile ad initiatives at its F8 developer conference. And it went full bore with both on- and off-Facebook targeting and measurement capabilities with the relaunch last month of its Atlas ad server.

All of these changes and new advertising product launches point to one thing: Facebook wants to be marketers’ everything and everyday ad platform. Whether your brand wants to reach baseball fans in Kalamazoo, cricket players in Melbourne or dog sled racers in Fairbanks, Facebook is making the case for why it’s the only ad platform marketers need for engaging and acquiring consumers on Facebook or off.

But it doesn’t come cheap. One point seemingly missing from most marketers’ discussions about the power of Facebook advertising is this: You have to pay good money in order to engage with and acquire quality customers or users.

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Yandex Has A Strong Quarter; Meredith Sees Programmatic Benefits


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Yandex’s Strong Quarter

Russian search giant Yandex reported a solid Q3 Thursday, with revenue hitting $331.5 million, up 28% YoY. Display advertising accounted for 6% of total revenue in 2014’s third quarter, totaling nearly $20 million. O&O display revenue shrank 3%, but ad network revenue grew an impressive 19% YoY, and don’t forget the company’s acquisition of ad tech platform AdFox. More on that.

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Mobile Was Instrumental For Pandora In Q3


PandoraQ32014earningsPandora’s Q3 mobile ad revenue had president and CEO Brian McAndrews singing from the rooftops – but the singing stopped when he got to the verse about monthly active users (MAUs).

Total revenue for the quarter clocked in at nearly $240 million, a 42% YoY increase. A whopping $188 million of that sum is mobile ad revenue, accounting for 78% of total revenue. Advertising revenue overall increased 44% in Q3 to $194.3 million versus $135 million in Q2 2014, and local advertising revenue also grew, jumping 118% YoY to $41.8 million.

“We continue to close the gap between advertising and consumption on mobile,” McAndrews said, noting that 84% of total listening hours – which increased 25% – took place on a mobile device in Q3.

But while Pandora’s growth is impressive, investors seemed concerned about Pandora’s less-than-stellar MAU numbers, which basically flatlined this quarter – as they did in Q2 – increasing just 5% from from 72.7 million to 76.5 million.

To that, McAndrews said that “expecting active monthly user growth at historic levels is not realistic,” considering the increasingly competitive environment Pandora plays in [see: Spotify, Google, Apple] and Pandora’s already significant market position. Pandora’s share of total US radio listening was a little over 9% in September, up from 7.7% during the same period last year.

“We continue to believe in the long term opportunity to grow our audience in excess of 100 million monthly users in the US as growing smartphone penetration, connected autos and other devices to accelerate the transition of the 250 million weekly US radio listeners to Internet radio,” McAndrews said.

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Amazon Q3: Ad Revenue Category Up Amid Weak Earnings


Amazonq3Amazon remained tight-lipped about its developing ad network during the company's Q3 earnings call, about which CFO Thomas Szkutak only said: "There's not a lot I can say there."

Amazon's "Supplemental Revenue" category, which includes advertising, Web services and co-branded credit cards, raked in $1.3 billion in Q3, up 40% YoY from $960 million. Amazon's supplemental revenue fared less favorably in international markets, as the company reported a 17% decrease to $42 million in that category.

A number of analysts called out the "vast difference" in growth rate between domestic and international markets. Szkutak acknowledged "the softer growth rate across a number of geographies," despite Amazon's interest and investment in global expansion.

Amazon, which in the last quarter, launched the Fire Phone and dropped about $1 billion on live gaming platform Twitch, reported operating losses that were close to $550 million, citing a $170 million charge for supplier commitments due to weak Fire Phone sales (it had $83 million in unsold inventory in Q3).

Szkutak didn't offer much about Twitch, saying: "It’s a really creative team doing innovative things on behalf of their customers and we are excited to have them as part of Amazon."  Read the rest of this entry »

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Rubicon Accelerates Revenue Growth in Q3, Backs Away From Video


rubiconRubicon Project's stock rose over 20% in after hours trading following the announcement that the company posted a record quarter.

That's good news for a supply side platform that has struggled to educate Wall Street of its value. Rubicon Project hoped its IPO would give it a market cap of $671 million. The current market cap is little more than half that, $367 million.

"To say we’re doing education is a dramatic understatement for sure," CEO Frank Addante said. "This market is growing so fast, and it’s so dynamic, that the rate of growth is outpacing the rate of education."

A record quarter is still relative for Rubicon Project, which went public earlier this year. But the company showed strong growth both year-over-year and compared to Q2.

Third-quarter revenue rose 60% year-over-year to $32.2 million. That's 13% higher than last quarter, when Rubicon reported revenues of $28.3 million. That quarter also posted less growth, just 49% year over year.

The company's managed revenues, or amount of money flowing through Rubicon's platform, rose 43% year over year. Within that, RTB outpaced the growth of managed revenues as a whole, going up 75%. "Ongoing momentum in open RTB auction technologies" were among the factors contributing to a strong quarter, Addante said.

Within those managed revenues, mobile grew 300% year over year. Rubicon's product includes auctions and direct orders for mobile, both on mobile web and in-app. Through its partnership with InMobi, 60 DSPs now have access to InMobi's inventory. Rubicon said it plans to focus on native mobile in 2015.

Video is another story. After touting its beta video product last quarter, Rubicon apparently didn't like what it saw. It says it can't find enough quality video inventory to run through its platform. Addante expects slow growth for the time being.

"A large amount of today’s exchange video is substandard, and not acceptable," Addante said. "We will expect more measured growth until we see more quality video inventory." Read the rest of this entry »

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