Pinterest Expedites Promoted Pins; Mobile Video Overtaking Desktop

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Pinterest Pins Paid Ads

Last fall, Pinterest announced its plan to test promoted pins. The social-bookmarking company is expediting its monetization aims, with the launch of its first paid ads. Of Pinterest’s estimated 40.1 million monthly US-based users, about 85% are female. The paid advertisers reflect this target demographic, and Kraft Foods, Lululemon, Nestle and Gap will be among the first advertisers to roll out sponsored content on the platform. Ad Age has the story. And read the Pinterest blog post. Surely programmatic pins can’t be far behind!

Automated Video Ads

The programmatic mobile video ad market will outgrow desktop video this year, TubeMogul said on Monday. Automated mobile video ad buying rose by 230% in 2014’s first quarter, sparking a notable shift in ad budgets to programmatic campaigns for mobile video. TubeMogul’s Asia-Pacific managing director, Stephen Hunt, said, “The programmatic mobile video market will grow fast and hit significant scale this year. This data shows that brands are eager to place their brand messages and video creative in top-tier publisher environments to reach affluent consumers. … It also highlights the willingness of top-tier publishers to make their audiences available for programmatic trading.” Read more via B&T.

TV’s Slow Programmatic Adoption

Programmatic ad buying is quickly overtaking online advertising, improving banner and display ad efficiency and improving audience targeting. Programmatic buying for television has been slow to follow suit, the WSJ reports. Although local cable and satellite providers are beginning to adopt automated ad buying, big TV networks continue to rely on selling premium inventory and securing business through annual upfronts. A move towards programmatic TV buying might mean less control for major broadcast networks. Yet Magna Global’s head of US investment, Todd Gordon, says, “The TV industry hasn’t changed the way it does thing (sic) in the last 15 years. It will happen slowly, but I do think we’ll see increased participation over the next year.” Read on.

Instagram Ads An Insta-Hit

Six months into Instagram’s sponsored content, advertisers such as Taco Bell and Hollister are seeing returns on their investments. Following Taco Bell’s April breakfast campaign, the fast food chain saw a 29 percentage point gain in ad recall from Instagram’s platform. In some cases, their Instagram promos saw engagement rates 400% higher than the company’s organic posts. Similarly, Hollister saw an ad recall lift of 32 percentage points for its spring line of girls’ dresses. With plans to expand its advertising offerings to more brands, introducing video into the Instagram news feed could see recall spike even further. TechCrunch has the story.

DR For Facebook

Digiday’s John McDermott takes look at a pitch deck that he says is from Facebook called, “Facebook for Direct Response.” One snippet: “Facebook’s user data and data from Facebook’s third-party partners Axciom, Datalogix and Epsilon – That makes Facebook campaigns more than twice as accurate than other online channels for DR, it claims.” Read it.

Cloud Competition

Microsoft released a number of developments at its TechEd event in Houston on Monday, specifically new features to its Azure cloud computing services. The additional features seek to simplify the cloud storage service for businesses, and to introduce several security features. Microsoft additionally announced a public preview of an internal load-balancing service, an Azure Redis Cache service and that it will soon let developers permanently reserve IP addresses from Microsoft’s pool. TechCrunch reporter Frederic Lardinois writes, "All of these new services clearly point at Microsoft’s interest in getting more enterprise customers onto Azure. While Microsoft may still be catching up to Amazon’s Web Services in many ways, Amazon has never quite focused on this market and Microsoft actually has a chance to leapfrog its competition here if it plays its cards right." Read on at TechCrunch.

Bigger Native Ads

Yahoo has given the mobile ads within the Gemini marketplace a facelift. The company added more graphics, allowing advertisers to present more than a thumbnail image and copy through its in-feed native ads. “Our new mobile ads include larger, richer graphics and photos for brand storytelling,” Yahoo Head of Americas Ned Brody wrote in a blog post. “While clearly marked as sponsored, the ads will look and act just like the content around them, and will appear within users’ personalized content streams, article pages and image galleries across Yahoo mobile and desktop products.” Read the blog post.

Direct And Indirect

Last week, a publisher reported that programmatic may be providing growth. Full stop. CEO Elizabeth DeMarse said on publisher TheStreet.com’s earnings call last Thursday that the combination of programmatic and direct sales grew ad revenue in Q1. According to the earnings call transcript, “Media revenue grew 26% year over year including double-digit growth in direct and programmatic ad sales.” Read a bit more. TheStreet has a market cap of about $85 million– for context, at the beginning of the year, publisher Business Insider was supposedly asking for $100 million+ before it took another round of venture capital.

Mobile Commerce Rising

Forrester forecasted that US commerce on mobile phones and tablets will total $114 billion in 2014, with $77 billion of that figure attributed to purchases made on tablets. By 2018, the sum total will increase by 54% to hit an estimated total of $414 billion in ecommerce sales. Despite these rising projections, ecommerce that occurs on digital devices only accounts for 9% of total transactions made in the US, according to Forrester. Re/code reported the findings on Monday.  Read more.

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