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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.


Competition And Prices For Programmatic On The Rise Globally

Turn CompetitionCompetition is growing in the programmatic buying space globally, and with that, eCPMs for most channels are also on the rise, according to marketing software and analytics platform Turn.

The company's Advertising Intelligence Index, released today, looked at global trends in data-driven marketing from January 2013 to January 2014 and found that competition was increasing on all channels of programmatic: display, video, mobile and social.

"We looked at how much competitive noise is happening in each of these channels at times that marketers might want to engage with their audiences," said Paul Alfieri, VP of marketing for Turn. "There are times when your market is more noisy and there are times when your market isn't, and as a marketer, you have to evaluate when you want to play."


Adobe Social Index: Facebook CPMs Spike, Competitors Gain On Retail Metrics

adobe-social-indexFacebook CPM-based ad prices jumped more than 400% in Q4 2013, according to some 240 billion impressions analyzed in Adobe's Q4 2013 Social Media Intelligence Report. However the holiday season delivered "warning signs" for Facebook in the form of tepid growth in the visits and revenue it's driving to retail sites, relative to some of its rivals.

First, the ad data. There seems to be a fair amount of quarter-to-quarter volatility in Facebook's ad pricing and performance, as measured by Adobe. While CPMs leapt 437% in the fourth quarter, Adobe found its CPC rates were flat year over year. However those CPCs were up compared to the previous three quarters. Adobe characterized this as a seasonal rebound.

CTRs meanwhile rose 365 percent year over year, but were down sequentially compared to the third quarter.


As Programmatic Grows In China, Premium Will Overshadow RTB

iResearch ImageAs programmatic buying in China continues to pique marketers' interest, demand-side platforms working in the country are growing in revenue and importance.

Internet market research firm iResearch recently released an excerpt of its China DSP Market Trends Report 2013, including the market size of DSP display advertising in China, or the amount of ad spend that is initiated via DSPs.

In 2012, DSP ad spending was 550 million Yuan (or approximately $90.2 million*), which iResearch forecasts will grow 179.5% in 2013 to 1.53 billion Yuan ($251 million). By 2017, the market is expected to reach 17.2 billion Yuan ($2.82 billion).


RTB Impressions And Inventory Diversify In APAC Region

APAC-RTB-brandscreenProgrammatic buying and RTB in the Asia-Pacific region continues to grow, with impressions over the past year spreading out across different countries and inventory from a wider variety of publishers hitting the market.

A new Real Time Media Insights report from Brandscreen, an ad-tech company that provides DSP and trading-desk services in the APAC region, found that the programmatic marketplace is maturing in several ways.

Overall, the market is growing and impressions are spreading across the region. Brandscreen told AdExchanger that in January 2012, the Australia/New Zealand market saw 51% of the impressions in the programmatic space, dropping to 22% by April 2013. Meanwhile, the Southeast Asia and subcontinent region, including India, grew from 32.5% to 69.1%. (more…)

IAB: Digital Ad Spend Surpassed $20B In First Half Of 2013

iab-h1-2013Digital ad spending in the first half of 2013 grew 18% year over year, according to the 2013 Half Year IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report.

The increase marks the fifth consecutive year of double-digit growth in the first half. The IAB report, conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers, tracks and analyzes US Internet ad spending.

Mobile is especially hot, with revenues soaring 145% to $3 billion in the first half, up from $1.2 billion in the same period last year. “Mobile advertising’s breakneck growth is evidence that marketers are recognizing the tremendous power of smaller screens,” said Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO at IAB. Over the past year, the mobile ad format has grown from 7% to 15% of the overall online advertising pie.