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Smartphone Penetration In Asia To Reach Mass Market In 2015

Forrester SmartphoneSmartphone penetration in Asia-Pacific is on the lower end, especially compared to the United States and North America, but it is growing. A new report from Forrester Research predicts that mobile marketing strategies will play a major role in the region in 2015.

According to Forrester, smartphone penetration across the Asia Pacific region will be at 36% of the entire population in 2015, with Singapore, Australia and Hong Kong leading the way. India will have the lowest penetration, with 23% of the total population subscribing to smartphones in 2015.


Are Marketers Actually Measuring Ad Viewability? AdExchanger And Moat Run The Numbers

seenometrics-moatMedia buyers and suppliers are now authorized to transact on viewable impressions, but how many are even using this form of tracking?

To measure the adoption of viewability tracking and other forms of verification among national and global advertisers, AdExchanger recently worked with ad analytics firm Moat.

We supplied Moat with a list of 100 large online advertisers (a modified version of the Fortune 100, weighted to emphasize large digital marketers). Moat then used its crawler-based technology to determine how often those brands' ad tags are served alongside tags from any of four ad verification vendors known for tracking viewable impressions: Integral Ad Science, DoubleVerify, comScore and Google-owned Adometry. (Moat also provides viewability metrics, but its solution was excluded from this analysis.)

Here's what Moat found:

From 2013 to the first half of 2014, when the Media Ratings Council lifted its advisory warning against transacting on viewability, Moat observed a doubling of the number of advertisers running ad verification tags on at least half of their ad impressions, from 15% to 30%. Likewise, the number of advertisers running those ad tags on at least a quarter of their impressions also approximately doubled, from 32% in full-year 2013 to 60% in the first half of 2014.


Mobile And Social Formats Steal RTB Share From 'Big 3' Ad Units

rtb-smorgasbordA new crop of ad units is on the rise as mobile and social inventory expands, independent trading desk Accordant Media reported in a Q1 analysis.

Although 70% of total real-time bidded (RTB) display media is attributed to the “Big 3” primary ad unit sizes, all three fell as a percentage of total programmatic impression volume. Simultaneously “non-standard” ad sizes are on the upswing. The percentage of impressions lumped under “all other” – a bucket that includes many mobile and social formats – increased by almost half (47%) compared to Q4.

“As more programmatic media buyers are targeting social and mobile environments, the overall share of the 'Big 3' has gone down,” said Arthur Muldoon, Accordant CEO.

Relatedly, publishers are surfacing more premium formats in exchanges. “We believe the growth of premium programmatic is contributing to the popularity of ad units like the 300x600,” Muldoon said.


Q1 M&A Deal Size Rises, As Does Interest In Shopper Marketing Data

MAwrapMarketing M&A deal activity increased 22% year over year, marking one of the highest volume quarters on record, according to new data from mid-market investment bank Berkery Noyes.

On a quarterly basis, media and marketing transaction volume increased by 3% from 423 to 434 deals; average deal size also climbed, increasing from $25.1 billion to $25.8 billion in the quarter.

“Although aggregate value was consistent over the past quarter, it more than tripled compared to Q1 2013,” said Evan Klein, managing director of Berkery Noyes’ media, marketing services and technology practice. “This is a positive sign that media/marketing deal activity should continue to remain robust.”

The current debt-to-equity ratio in the marketplace today is also conducive to M&A, the report said.

Berkery Noyes breaks down media and marketing transaction analysis by market segments that include marketing, Internet media, consumer publishing, entertainment and content, B2B publishing and information, broadcasting and exhibitions, conferences and seminars.

“The digital marketing subsector was responsible for much of the activity and accounted for 41% of the segment’s volume in Q1 2014,” Klein noted. “The lines between content, marketing, and advertising are blurring, which has become evident when looking at WPP and other acquirers that are active in the space.”


Adobe Social Index: Facebook Leads Other Platforms In Referred Revenue

AdobeArtDespite some volatility in ad pricing and performance last quarter, Adobe Index’s Q1 2014 Social Media Intelligence Report indicates Facebook remains the leader in driving revenue per visit (RPV). Meanwhile other platforms – namely Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest – are in some instances noticing quarterly double-digit declines in RPV.

In paid social, Facebook saw a 160% increase in click-through-rates (CTR) year-over-year while its cost-per-click fell 2%. Impressions were up 40% year-over-year, outpaced by 30 percentage points in ad click volume.

“When we reported figures in Q3, [CTRs were up] about 300%, which obviously was a huge influx, and of course it has slowed down some, but still showing good growth,” said Joe Martin, senior analyst for Adobe Digital Index. “We also saw cost per click rates drop after the holidays. Less competition makes it a little bit cheaper than Q4.”


Adomic: Programmatic Gains Vs. Direct Sales In 2013

adomic-data copyProgrammatic impressions rose to levels about equal with direct sales in 2013 , according to new data from analytics firm Adomic (formerly YieldMetrics).

Adomic compared ad impressions transacted through programmatic, direct and ad network sales. Some ad networks also conduct programmatic transactions, but those numbers could not be calculated and were included only in the study’s ad network totals.

Measuring from December 2012, Adomic found programmatic delivery rising from 28% of impressions to 36% in December 2013 among the top 1000 advertisers, compared to 42% for direct sales. By Q4 2013 programmatic and direct sales ads were roughly equivalent in volume among that same group.

Top 1000 Advertisers: Direct vs. programmatic and ad network volumes since August 2012


Among the top 500 publishers, volume of direct sales impressions dropped 8% while programmatic impressions sold rose 9% from the December 2012-2013 period.


IDC: RTB-Based Guaranteed Media To Near $10B By 2018

IDC-forwardA report by IDC, commissioned by demand-side platform The Trade Desk, said real-time bidding (RTB)-based "forward markets" will see massive spending increases over the next five years.

The report said RTB-based premium display ad spending is expected to grow globally from $230.3 million in 2013 to $14.2 billion by 2018. The United States, which is leading adoption of RTB-based forward markets, is forecasted to spend $211.8 million in 2013 ballooning to $9.4 billion by 2018.

In IDC's analysis, RTB-based forward market buys are the automated equivalent of guaranteed upfronts in direct sales, whereby advertisers pay today for ad inventory – assured to meet a set of predefined metrics – to be delivered in the future. (More: The Difference Between Programmatic RTB And Direct)

For example, an agency may send a proposal to a demand-side platform that contains details on target audience, available budget and KPI goals. The contract is then fulfilled automatically on an impression-by-impression basis, with financial penalties for non-performance also being paid to the buyer automatically.

IDC said the increased efficiency of these automated markets mean their direct sales equivalents will be rendered obsolete. Non-performance penalties are one example. “Even today, publishers’ inventory forecasting capabilities are terrible,” IDC said, and are the most frequent cause for default on performance metrics guarantees. In a direct sales model, publishers are forced to negotiate “make-goods,” or financial penalties, on a client-by-client basis.


Forrester to Brands: Don’t Ignore Google Plus

twitter-minusGoogle Plus is often compared unfavorably to Facebook when it comes to drawing up a social media advertising strategy. But a recent study by Forrester concludes that when compared to other social media outlets, notably Twitter, Google Plus promotes stronger brand engagement.

Forrester tracked 284 profile pages of 50 top brands and more than 3 million user interactions with brand posts. It found that user interactions with posts as a percentage of a brand’s followers were 0.073% (Facebook), 0.069% (Google Plus) and 0.035% (Twitter).

“If Google intended for Plus to compete with Facebook, it failed spectacularly,” Forrester said in the report. In a US survey of 60,000 online adults, Forrester found 22% use Google Plus monthly compared to Facebook’s 72%. Plus users access the site on average seven minutes per month; Facebook users log six hours.

Google Plus looks better when compared to Twitter, the report showed. Twitter also grabs 22% of online adults monthly, but Plus followers are about twice as likely to engage in a brand’s posts.


China Mobile Internet Use Gains Sophistication, Hits Roadblocks

China Mobile Data NuggetChina is one of the fastest-growing, largest mobile markets in the world.

Two new studies from Forrester Research and mobile developer-services platform Umeng delve into the unique characteristics of this continuously growing industry, including how consumers deal with the lack of high-speed data service and how social sharing plays a role in many apps.

According to Forrester's report, China had 411 million mobile Internet users in 2013, or 67% of the country's online population. And the country had 700 million smart connected devices by the end of 2013, according to the Umeng study.

Umeng also found that, in the fourth quarter of 2013, 59% of new device purchases came from existing mobile users upgrading or replacing their devices. Many are turning to higher-end devices, with 27% of smartphones in China costing more than $500. And 80% of those devices are iPhones.


Millward Brown Report Details Simultaneous Screen Use

millward-brown-screensNearly half of content consumption in the U.S. happens simultaneously to other device use, marketing research agency Millward Brown found in its 2014 AdReaction report highlighting how audiences react to ads across devices.

The report details how consumers consume content on each screen, as well as simultaneously across screens. In the United States, the agency found 41% of use is simultaneous while 59% is on one device at a time.

Simultaneous use helps explain why, while users spend on average five hours per day consuming media on screens, they consume more than seven hours of screen-based media daily, according to the report.

Presenting an added challenge to advertisers across screens is the report’s findings that 45% of simultaneous use has audiences looking at related content (meshing) while 55% of use is viewing unrelated content (stacking). Meshing may be looking up a batter’s statistics on a smartphone while watching baseball on TV; stacking could be shopping online while watching the nightly news.