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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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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." (more…)


Hearst Magazines Deepens Relationship With Acxiom And Moves To Cloud

Hearst AxciomHearst Magazines plans to remove its marketing data from silos and bring it to the cloud using Acxiom.

Hearst hopes this move helps it bring together siloed customer information. Finding the overlap between Hearst newspaper and magazine subscribers, for example, is a manual process under the current system.

“If a customer engages with us in one channel, we can bring that into another channel. We can do direct mail with email follow-up, or take the fact that you’re a digital subscriber and bring that in,” explained Charlie Swift, VP of strategy and marketing operations at Hearst.

“That same database, used traditionally for offline, becomes far more accessible for online advertising,” said Atanas Popov, senior managing director of media for Acxiom, which has partnerships with Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, among others, allowing its clients to target subscribers beyond traditional channels like email and direct mail.

Hearst will also be able to combine offline and online data with greater ease thanks to the cloud infrastructure. Open APIs offer opportunities for personalization. (more…)


Sorrell Troubled By Transparency Debate; Mayer's Mobile Confidence

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Sorrell 'Puzzled' By Media Margin Pushback

Speaking at ad:tech London, WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell said he’s troubled by the debate around transparency and programmatic. Regarding his position on the media sold through WPP’s programmatic arm, Xaxis, Sorrel said, “We decided to do this on an opt-in basis. We ripped up 2,500 media contracts. We explained to clients what was happening and told them they could opt in.” He continued, “Some of them chose not to, largely because of the transparency issue, which I’m a little bit puzzled by because nobody knows what happens when you double click with Google or use Facebook. People don’t know how they work. Algorithms change, and people don’t know how they change.” Sorrell said WPP’s margins are 15 or 16% of revenues, compared to Facebook and Google’s margins in the 40-50% range. Read on via The Drum.

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Apple May Add Pay To iAd; MediaMath Does $1M In Video

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Apple Eyes Tap-To-Buy

Apple is rumored to be bringing its mobile payment system, Apple Pay, to iAd. Digiday reports that the integration would embed a tap-to-buy button in mobile ads, mirroring similar moves by Facebook and Twitter earlier this year. Jeff Malmad, managing director of mobile at Mindshare, said the move might help Apple “close the loop” in terms of attribution. “The mobile experience has transformed the shopping experience” added Malmad, “and the ability to understand what consumers are doing on an aggregate level [with iAd] is very powerful for brands.” More.

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Yahoo Announces 'Material' Mobile Revenue In Earnings

yahoo mobileYahoo says its investments in mobile have paid off. The company announced its mobile revenue in Q3 exceeded $200 million, or 20% of its $1.1 billion in GAAP revenue.

Mobile revenue doubled year over year, including both search and display.

Revenue growth on mobile far outpaced user growth. 550 million people are mobile monthly active users across Yahoo and Tumblr, a growth rate of 17% year over year.

"Not only are our mobile products attracting praise and engagement from users and industry awards, they are generating meaningful revenue for Yahoo," said CEO Marissa Mayer. She expects mobile revenue will exceed $1.2 billion this year.

Yahoo's story has been all about mobile. It acquired Flurry, a mobile analytics company, a few months ago. Before that, it made dozens of small acquihires generally centered around mobile apps.

This quarter, it relaunched its Mail, news and finance apps.

Mayer emphasized that mobile and desktop monetize completely differently. PCs use banner ads, while "mobile apps monetize through native ads," Mayer said. Forty-four percent of display ads are native.

Declining Display

Display is a "drag" on Yahoo's business to the tune of $60 million a quarter, Mayer said.

While Yahoo's search business posted decent results, with price-per-click rising and click volume flat, display told another story. Once again, Yahoo saw more ads sold at lower prices. (more…)


Videology Adds TV; Gannett Does Better Than Expected

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Videology Adds TV

Videology wants to support television buys. Though the firm’s main focus has been on the Internet video marketplace, advertisers and agencies are increasingly coordinating their web and TV budgets. It says 50% of revenue now comes from TV budgets. “Marketers are interested in holistic planning,” said CEO Scott Ferber. “They are saying, ‘Can I bring the addressability of Internet advertising to TV?’ The rubber is hitting the road in convergence. So we think we need a group of individuals dedicated to the current needs of TV advertisers and the future.” More.

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Bolloré Group Wants More; YouTube Losing To Facebook

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Moré For Bolloré

Bolloré Group wants to increase its stake in Havas Group from 36% to more than 50%. Adweek reports, "Havas described the offer as ‘friendly,’ but said its board had appointed an independent expert to assess the terms.” Earlier this year, Bolloré Group scion Yannick Bolloré stepped in as CEO of Havas, and there has been talk of a merger between the agency company and Vivendi, where Bolloré also has a position – but Yannick doesn't love bloat. “We don’t think bigger and fatter is always better,” he said onstage during Advertising Week. Read AdExchanger’s coverage.

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Programmatic Speeding Up; MediaMath Acquires Upcast

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Programmatic Gains Speed

Programmatic ad spend in the US will surpass $10 billion this year, according to eMarketer, and is growing at a rate of 137%. According to the research, ad spend on automation will double to $20.4 billion by 2016. “Today publishers largely guard high-value ad inventory such as TV and premium digital video content, though we expect a greater number of ads sold programmatically in these formats starting in 2015,” said eMarketer analyst Lauren Fisher. “Those who do decide to turn to programmatic, however, are likely to do so via programmatic direct, where they can still secure inventory guarantees.”

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Beset By Data, Nissan Demands More Integration At The Agency Level

roel-de-vriesMarketing is more than ever a science, but that doesn't mean it should become less of an art, according to Nissan's marketing chief.

"It's the era of big data. To the most detailed level we can check who's buying what and where and when, as well as people's behaviors and actions," the automaker's global head of marketing, Roel de Vries, told an audience at the Association of National Advertisers' Masters of Marketing conference on Thursday.

But de Vries said he believes the ready availability of so much data has been at least partly negative. "Over the last 10 years we started communicating so many messages by so many channels using so many agencies that I believe the impact of what we do has been minimized," he said.

It's the marketer's job, de Vries said, to prevent the surfeit of data from clouding the brand message. There's no question that leveraging customer analytics drives business growth.

"But it wasn't the data that achieved this," he said. "What will make our brands stand out is the clarity and consistency" of the creative.

Nissan sells 5.2 million cars each year, and people shop for a car on average only once every six years, de Vries said. As a result, "We spend a lot of money on the 0.01 people who are about to buy a car."

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