Griffin Out At Time Inc.; Adify Crew Reunites In A New Startup; Solve Media CAPTCHAs Engagement

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Time IncHere's today's AdExchanger.com news round-up... Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Time Inc. Intrigue

Jack Griffin has been asked to "leave the building" by Time Warner's Jeffrey Bewkes as the former Meredith executive had apparently ruffled enough feathers to warrant his ouster.  Among Griffin's notable moves in digital in his short six-month tenure was the hiring of former Internet Advertising Bureau CEO Randall Rothenberg. During this same time, Time Digital CEO Kirk McDonald left the company. Read more in The New York Times. In response to the news, the NYT's media reporter David Carr tweeted late last night, "Time Inc, one deep in talent, has allowed the cream of the industry to slip away and damaged the biggest publisher on earth."

Adify II?

The brains behind the former Adify vertical ad network builder are up to something and they’ve got $8 million in funding to do it. Last month, the Adify brand was retired, about three years after Cox Enterprises bought it for $300 million. Months before, founder Russ Fradin and other Adify principles left the company. Now they’ve formed a new entity called Dynamic Signal, writes Business Insider’s Nicholas Carlson (via the SEC filing discovered by Xconomy). Backers include the three founders plus Venrock, Trinity -- and Cox Enterprises is also on board. Read more.

ContextWeb Signs On To OpenRTB

Last December, the major players on both sides of the RTB divide formed a consortium aimed at smoothing out the process for advertisers, agencies and publishers through the creation of open industry standards. The group, dubbed OpenRTB, included DSPs DataXu, MediaMath and Turn, and SSPs AdMeld, PubMatic and Rubicon, with the goal easing advertisers’ and publishers’ confusion when it came to managing publisher and advertiser blocklists -- a time consuming and error-prone process that is designed to prevent click-fraud by highlighting sites associated with deceptive ad practices or clicks that have little or no value (For more details about OpenRTB, check out our post here). Now, ContextWeb is the latest player to embrace the standards. The company said that it will have the first OpenRTB-based RTB connection by the end of this month. Read the release.

Slicing LUMA’s Map

Everyone loves Terence Kawaja of LUMA Partnersonline ad industry map. Chris O’Hara is SVP of Sales and Marketing for TRAFFIQ, has taken a knife to it and finds that companies at opposite ends of the internet advertising ecosystem will survive, while those in the middle will not survive (unless there’s another bubble on the horizon – not likely.) Surveying LUMA’s map on Adotas, O’Hara writes, “Ad exchanges have been a popular acquisition target (after all, someone has to figure out how to sell commoditized inventory. Ad servers even more so (that’s where the data comes from and, looking at the map, data seems to be the glue that binds the murky middle of the ecosystem together).” Read more.

Latency Over Consistency

No, Google isn’t trying to capitalize on Borders’ troubles. Google’s Megastore is a cloud computing system for storing large amount of interactive data. Greg Linden, on his blog, Geeking With Greg, offers a highly technical review of the system and finds that there appears to be a high degree of latency, which appears to be a tradeoff for getting better consistency when other similar services have made the opposite choice. Read more.

Typing Is Recalling

Traditionally, for advertising to “work,” it has to interrupt what you’re doing. Sometimes, it has to be annoying, if that’s what it takes. But the ease of avoiding advertising online has forced marketers to exercise a bit more charm and gentle guile in order to get the desired clicks or “engagement.” Solve Media, the guys who give web users the choice of seeing an ad and copying a line from that into an access box instead relying on the usual squiggly lines of CAPTCHA text to prove they’re human, are citing a study by the International Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications (sounds impressive, no?) that validates their approach. The company’s inherent bias aside, the study claims that type-in ads can double brand recall. It also claims to drive approximately 12 times message recall compared to 32.3 percent and 3.1 percent for static ads. Read the release.

Ad Networks Beat Exchanges

But it depends what side you’re on. The conclusion of Zedo, which bills itself as a advertising technology for publishers, in a two part blog post that compares the two forms, is that ad nets are better for publishers, while agencies benefit from exchanges. For example, the typical scenario from an agency dealing with a network: “After reaching 3-5 ad network sales reps, the agency buyer has to sit and twiddle his thumbs. Finally, he gets two proposals, but then has to chase the third ad network for the last proposal.” And exchanges have certain advantages, such as immediacy in terms of going live with an ad – networks lag. The bottom line is that until one form can be made to serve both sellers and buyers equally well, there will continue to be tension in creating a holistic marketplace for online advertising. Read Part I here, Part II here.

Discard Rates

Digital ad futures buying platform Brand.net has some highlights for the second anniversary of its SafeScreen tool. The company markets the tool as a preventative page-level brand safety solution. SafeScreen evaluates brand safety at the page level and filters anything untoward before each ad impression is served. The main stat in the service is the “discard rate,” which reflects the percentage of ads not served because the page contained objectionable content. The average discard rate per channel over the past two years has been 4.3%, varying widely month to month. The highest month was October, which had an 8 percent discard rate. In terms of channels, Entertainment had the highest discards, with social media/blogs closely behind. The lowest was sports. Read more.

Ad Exchanges Demystified

Granted, if you’re even a casual reader of this site, you get what an ad exchange is and how it works. But understanding it and being able to explain it are two different things. Josh Dreller, writing on iMedia Connection, has provided a basic primer on how ad exchanges and demand-side platforms work for advertisers. Study up his overview before meeting with your media buyer and you’ll come across as an expert. (And don’t forget to read this site on a more than casual basis.) Read more.

MediaMath Goes Global

As the ad exchange landscape expands to other parts of the global, MediaMath is translating its TerminalOne DSP platform Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The initiative, part of the company’s aggressive international expansion, was led by two of MediaMath’s co-founders who are charged with driving the widespread adoption of the industry’s most robust DSP by the region’s top agencies and marketers. The international rollout will be run by Erich Wasserman and Greg Williams, who manage MediaMath’s EMEA efforts.  Read the release.

Extreme Weeds

Big data needs big processing and for those wrangling the data, evidently, they need something called Hbase. Dmitry Chechik, a software engineer at RTB-buyer and data platform TellApart (AdExchanger.com Q&A) writes, "As applications grow in sophistication, so does the amount and variety of the log data being produced. At TellApart, we track tens of millions of user events per day, and have built a flexible system atop HBase for storing and analyzing these types of logs offline." Read the deets on the Cloudera blog if you dare.

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