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Updates To Gmail's TOS; Twitter Acquires Gnip

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Gmail TOS Change

Google has frequently been criticized for scanning user inboxes for ad targeting and other purposes. Google counters automated screening is part of the email delivery process. On Monday it updated its Gmail terms of service and one line clearly states that content analysis supports “customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection.” Context still reigns in the inbox.  Read more via Reuters.


Apple's iAd Builds Attribution Support, But Lags Behind Facebook

iad-attributionApple has been slow to improve its offerings around mobile app installs, but it's showing signs of life. Last week, the company issued its first clear signal that its Identifier for Advertising (IDFA) can be used as an attribution tool.

But what about its own mobile ad product, a.k.a. iAd? The company has been more active there as well, though plenty of work remains to be done if it aims to compete with the undisputed leader among mobile supply networks: Facebook.

Ten days ago, Apple began offering an attribution mechanism that app developers can use to attribute credit for app installs back to iAd impressions. It was the first time iAd had offered any way to link ads to app conversions -- an acknowledgement that being able to promote your app is only useful if a mobile developer could guess which impression ultimately drove the install or post-install action. Mobile ad companies have welcomed the development.

However, Apple's solution is far more basic than Facebook's, offering only a binary "yes/no" indication of whether an iOS device was previously served an ad through the iAd network. By contrast, Facebook's mobile measurement program passes a great deal more information in its attribution flag – including time stamp and campaign name.


YouTube's New SVP Talks; The Forecast For TV Upfronts

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YouTube’s (Guaranteed) Re-Do

In her first full-length interview as SVP of the video platform, Google’s YouTube chief, Susan Wojcicki, discusses her role and says there is a shift in the way YouTube monetizes content. “In the past, YouTube treated all content and advertisers the same, but now it’s packaging its top 5% of content as determined algorithmically (of course) in 14 categories and offering that up front on a guaranteed basis to advertisers.” Dubbed “Google Preferred,” this foreshadows Google’s push for the TV ad dollar – connecting TV advertisers with inventory reserve. But at what cost in comparison to premium cable? Read more.

Online TV Redux

As the TV upfront season drives breathless coverage across the media world, analysts and broadcasters apparently disagree about whether or not digital advertising will take dollars away from television ad spend. David Bank, RBC Capital Markets analyst, says in The Wall Street Journal that “it’s all about reach” and argues that online video targets a concentrated and limited consumer subset. ComScore’s VP of marketing and insights, Andrew Lipsman, counters that multiplatform Internet consumption is key. TV beats desktop Web reach, but combining desktop, smartphone and tablet greatly extends digital reach. Read more (subscription).


The TV Upfront Forecast; AOL's Video Strategy

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TV Upfront Results Loom

With the springtime TV upfront season upon us, analysts predict a flatlining for broadcast ad investment. Thursday’s IAB annual report showed Internet advertising surpassed broadcast for the first time as TV competed with online video platforms such as YouTube and Yahoo. Television networks, however, are optimistic despite sharply declining viewership, and they argue that an improving economy will bolster the market. The WSJ has the story (subscription). (more…)

Facebook’s Shifting Strategy: Less Organic Reach, More Performance

ORFacebook’s shift from social marketing to performance marketing has caused organic reach for marketers using the platform to plummet to a record low of 1%.

The low point means that for every 1,000 likes on Facebook, only about 10-20 consumers will actually see a brand’s page. But a panel at the SunTrust Internet & Digital Media Conference on Tuesday indicated while constricting organic reach irritates SMB marketers, big brands might reap the benefits of Facebook’s long game.

Nanigan’s SVP of marketing, Dan Slagen, said no one should be surprised by Facebook’s pivot. “Facebook was very clear, 12, 18 months ago [that they were] changing from being a social marketing platform to a performance marketing platform,” he said. (more…)

Adap.TV's Video Ad Insurance; Anti-Faud Companies On The Rise

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Video Ad Insurance released Advertising Assurance, which it says is a set of measures that seek to protect brand buys in the video marketplace through a collective attack on fraud, visibility and placement inaccuracy. To do so, Advertising Assurance is integrating first- and third-party technologies into’s buyer and seller platforms. argues that an open technology platform is essential to combat fraud. Read the post. (more…)

Digital Ad Revenue Passes Broadcast TV Ad Revenue Amid Mobile Surge

IABInternet ad revenue exceeded ad revenue from broadcast TV for the first time, according to the IAB’s annual Internet Ad Revenue Report. Online ad spend rose to $42.8 billion in 2013, up 17% from 2012. Broadcast revenue was a close second, at $40.1 billion.

Mobile advertising, which for a third year in a row grew three-fold (2013 mobile ad revenue increased to $7.1 billion, up from $3.4 billion in 2012), accounted for much of this growth. (more…)

Facebook's Right Hand Ads; Less Search Data

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bigadsRight-Hand Revamp

Facebook is giving its right-hand column ads a facelift by making images larger, and reducing the overall number of ads displayed at a given time. Hypothetically this gives advertisers incentive to use the right-hand side again, after news feed ads stole the show. Facebook also reported that advertisers can now use the same image for both news feed and right-hand ads, making the creation process faster. Read more. Will yield increase in the right rail for FB?


AppNexus Launches Twixt; Automating TV Ad Buying

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AppNexus Direct

A new “programmatic direct” solution from AppNexus aims to streamline negotiations that happen before digital ad buys occur. Using the product, called Twixt, “a buyer can send out RFPs out to a list of sellers, gather and compare their responses, negotiate line items, and agree to terms with publishers,” reports AdAge. For the time being Twixt is free, perhaps to accelerate adoption in a crowded competitive environment that includes players like Yieldex, iSocket, Bionic Ads and AdSlot. Read more.


AOL's Hires; Twitter Global TV Measurement

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After shuffling CEO positions among the AOL Platforms ranks last week, AOL is targeting the C-level again. The company has appointed William Pence as global CTO, “who will lead all aspects of AOL’s global technology strategy and will report directly to me,” AOL CEO Tim Armstrong told TechCrunch. Most recently, Pence was WebMD’s EVP and CTO, and reportedly had a track record of pushing new mobile products at his former company. Curtis Brown, AOL’s CTO since 2012, will stay on with the company for a number of months through the transition. Read more. (more…)