RSS FeedArchive for the ‘Online Advertising’ Category

Findings From VivaKi AOD, IAB Support Mobile’s Rising Supremacy

CPMDigital ad revenues in the US hit an historic high in the first half of 2014, reaching $23.1 billion, according to the IAB’s Internet Advertising Revenue Report released Monday. Notably, the IAB reported that mobile jumped 76% YoY and overtook banner ads.

In another Monday release, the VivaKi AOD Benchmark Report saw CPMs increase across display, social, video and mobile channels. The AOD report notes that CPMs within mobile, which range from $0.52 to $1.94 in Q2 2014, are generally on the rise and that advertisers can expect this trend to continue.

“In general, we’ve seen CPMs go up over the last five quarters or so, across verticals,” VivaKi SVP of Analytics Shirley Xu-Weldon told AdExchanger. The reason is real-time bidding, which optimizes the value of each impression based on the number of bidders.

According to Xu-Weldon, targeting adds another dimension to rising CPMs. “If we know something concrete about a user," she said, "if they fall into a particular cookie pool for example, that becomes even more expensive because the impression is already qualified in some way to potential buyers.”


CPXi Keeps Expanding Its Focus

seiman hirsch cpxiRoughly a year ago, CPXi began building out two consumer-facing sites: PressRoomVIP for celebrity culture, and the music-oriented portal Hip Hop My Way.

These two sites formed the foundation of CPXi’s Consumed Media publishing division, which launched in late September. What’s unusual is that CPXi, which used to be the ad network CPX Interactive, doesn’t have roots as a publisher.

But over the past two to three years, the company has transformed itself.

“CPXi’s pivot was taking the pieces of the ad network and diversifying its various holdings into a media company,” said CEO Mike Seiman. “We have all these assets. What don’t we have? We don’t have a content creation division. When we pivoted, we hired people to create content, build a brand, drive traffic to that brand, build an audience and sell it.”

Beyond CPXi’s new publisher line of business, it offers agency-type services via the upcoming innovation lab as well as CCDR Media for direct-response campaign execution.

It also manages programmatic media via its AppNexus-powered exchange bRealTime and last year acquired AdReady so it could supply a self-serve ad platform and dynamic creative tools.

The development of the Consumed Media publishing division, Seiman said, is a natural evolution. He pointed to traditional content networks like Fox, TNT, AMC or Bravo that built or bought tech assets to monetize their inventory.

“They built [their technologies] last, but we built ours first,” he said. In rolling out Consumed Media, CPXi hopes to strengthen its position as a creator and licenser of content.

“Once we bring [consumers] in, we’ll sell those eyeballs to other publishers,” Seiman said. “Because of programmatic, mixed with data and the ability to purchase audiences like any advertiser does, we’re able to find a way to buy the right audiences who like our content such that it’s more valuable for us to pay them to come to our site. Because we’ll know how long they’ll be engaged in our content.”

Besides cultivating its Consumed Media audiences, CPXi also sees the publishing division as a testing bed through which it can experiment with advertising ideas before bringing them to clients.

If anything, CPXi has rolled in the opposite direction of many of its former ad network competitors, which worked to consolidate and streamline their offerings. CPXi is building out separate, though complementary, divisions.

According to company President Jeffrey Hirsch, this is all by design.

“Tying this back into the concept of transitioning, a lot of companies try to do it as a whole company,” he said. “We decided to break it into several smaller companies.”

Seiman and Hirsch spoke with AdExchanger.


Fraud-day With Moat: Finding Fraud Without Calling It Fraud


This is the 11th in a series of interviews with vendors combating the problem of ad fraud. Other companies participating in this series include  Sizmek. Read previous interviews with comScore, DoubleVerify, DstilleryForensiq, Integral Ad Science, PubChecker, Telemetry,VideologyWhite Ops and RTB Asia.

The meta-problem with ad fraud, according to Moat CEO Jonah Goodhart, is that it’s a tremendous industry concern, yet it doesn’t have a definition. Bots surely constitute ad fraud, but what about a 1x1 display banner, or ads stacked up in a single iFrame?

Goodhart acknowledges the latter examples are problems, but do they technically represent fraud or just bad media?

“Fraud” is such a blunt instrument of a term that advertisers can be careless wielding it. Its broadness creates a lack of transparency, which from Moat’s point of view means it can be difficult for vendors, publishers and advertisers to reconcile the issue among themselves. Goodhart rejects the notion that fraud is whatever the advertiser believes it is.

Moat’s solution is to specify exactly what it’s seeing, a discipline that overlaps with its core analytics expertise.

“The solution is to automate clear, defined metrics that roll up to fraud as a theme, without actually saying it’s fraud,” Goodhart said.

An advertiser should be able to know what percentage of traffic came from hijacked devices, for instance, and if she doesn’t want to pay for that, she shouldn’t be obligated to do so.

“We really tripled our efforts in the fraud detection arena,” said Goodhart.

Fraud detection had traditionally been part of the company’s internal tool set, but the company is making plans to expose it to clients as part of its analytics platform.

“We’ve seen huge demand from marketers, who want transparency into what’s happening on the viewability side as well as the fraud side,” Goodhart said, adding that this has come up in every client conversation Moat has had.

Goodhart and Dan Fichter, Moat’s VP of engineering, spoke with AdExchanger.

Attention! There’s A New Kid On The Measurement Block

areclickslickedThe clock’s ticking for the click, and its replacement is rounding the corner: attention.

Real-time analytics startup Chartbeat has some illustrious publisher partners on board for its attention-based metrics – which snagged Media Ratings Council (MRC) accreditation last week – including the Financial Times (FT), Wall Street Journal and

While publishers have traditionally used click-through rates (CTR) to monetize content, the move to attention metrics has what FT commercial director of global digital advertising and insight Jon Slade calls “a profound effect on how we price access to our audience.”

He stopped short of sounding the death knell for old-school metrics like cost per mille and CTR. “We’re not saying they’re entirely useless measures for brand work like display or native, but we are saying that now there’s something more appropriate.”

FT uses attention metrics to price its display advertising based on the amount of time a user spends with its content or platforms.

“Instead of ascribing value simply to a mechanical data point – page impressions – we’re putting value to actual user behavior,” Slade said. “We’re not pricing for thousands of server pings, we’re pricing for time spent [and] advertisers really love this. Attention is a meaningful metric for brand advertising and a far closer proxy to the ambitions of a brand campaign.”


Fraud-day With RTB Asia: The China Perspective

fraudThis is the tenth in a series of interviews with vendors combating the problem of ad fraud. Other companies participating in this series include Moat and Sizmek. Read previous interviews with comScore, DoubleVerify, Dstillery, Forensiq, Integral Ad Science, PubChecker, Telemetry, Videology and White Ops.

When Andy Fan founded Shanghai-based RTB Asia a couple of years ago, fraud detection wasn’t really on his mind. Today, RTB Asia provides the country’s only anti-fraud pre-bid solution.

“At the beginning, we were focused on audience segmentation, but we quickly realized the challenge – and opportunity – of programmatic in China,” Fan said.

The opportunity is this: In China, all ad exchanges, supply-side partners and private marketplaces furnish the full IP address along with each bid request. (This isn’t the case with  other global exchanges, like Google, which hashes part of the IP address.)

With full IP addresses at their disposal, Fan and his team of 12 can categorize each unique number stream based on behavioral patterns. From there, they assign the address with a “humanness” score from 0 to 99. When an IP falls in the 0 to 49 range, the behavior associated with it is characterized as different from human behavior, and RTB Asia’s algorithm might suggest adjusting the price of the bid or scrapping it altogether. If the range is from 50 to 99, the traffic is considered to be normal and human.

As of now, RTB Asia has impressive coverage, with continually updating information about 99.98% of IP addresses in China. Current clients include SSP and DSP player AdChina and online marketing firm iClick, which is in the process of integrating with RTB Asia. China-based DSP Yoyi Media and Kuzai Technology, a company similar to Sizmek, which uses data to fuel dynamic creative, are both in the process of evaluating RTB Asia’s fraud solution.

“The entire fraud industry in China is emerging,” Fan said. “It’s our job to educate advertisers and DSPs that they don’t just have to read reports after the fact – they can detect and reject fake impressions.”

AdExchanger caught up with Fan.


Fraud-day With Telemetry: “Automating Ad Fraud Detection Is Dangerous”

fraudAd-serving and verification company Telemetry isn’t in favor of automating the ad fraud detection process.

The problem, said Geo Carncross, the company’s global VP of engineering, is that detection sensors can be fooled into thinking fraudulent impressions are real and, consequently, advertisers will start optimizing for fraud instead of for real ad performance.

Telemetry’s fraud solution is part of its overall managed service.

“We don’t expressly detect ad fraud,” Carncross said. “We identify fraudulent vehicles. The distinction is important because it’s a labor-driven thing. We build tools and technology to make the analyst more able to interact with the vehicle in real time. Once we’ve identified the vehicle, we can do things similar to what other vendors are doing by isolating and separating.”

Carncross and his colleague, Telemetry head of infrastructure Alex Clouter, spoke with AdExchanger.

IPONWEB CEO Talks Adternity, RTB Fraud And Why He Wouldn’t Be In Business Without Google

BorisRussian real-time bidding (RTB) engineering firm IPONWEB has largely operated behind the scenes as the backbone of many media-trading platforms. Notably, IPONWEB helped RightMedia build out its ad exchange preceding its 2007 acquisition by Yahoo, and has since constructed 40 more trading systems at a similar or smaller scale.

In late August, IPONWEB moved in on Adternity, a workflow and systems integration firm that builds dashboards and ad-serving tools. IPONWEB claimed the acquisition was part of an attempt to expand on an end-to-end offering that already includes u-Platform and BidSwitch technology (trading platform customization and a supply/demand “switch” connecting trading partners).

Boris Mouzykantskii, founder, CEO and chief scientist at IPONWEB, caught up with AdExchanger at DMEXCO last week to discuss the other reasons why it acquired Adternity and how the German company factors into IPONWEB’s evolution.

AdExchanger: Why did IPONWEB buy Adternity?

BORIS MOUZYKANTSKII: Germany is an extremely important market for us. At least from my limited interaction here, you tend to get into technical discussions very quickly and having some German engineers on our team will help us to serve this market better. Historically, as a company, we worked closely with Adternity for many years. They were focusing on their UI solutions and we were building the back end and we still have many clients whom we serve directly so there was a lot of overlap this way.


Programmatic I/O: The Buy And Sell Sides Share Responsibility In Fraud Fight

fraud fightHow bad a problem is online ad fraud, and how should the buy and sell sides divvy the responsibility to combat it?

This question formed the crux of the panel “New Methods For Defeating Fraud In The Programmatic Era,” moderated by WPP's Team Detroit chief digital officer, Kurt Unkel, at Wednesday’s Programmatic I/O conference in New York City.

So are 30% of online ad impressions truly fraudulent, as some industry studies suggest?

Andrew Casale, VP of strategy at sell-side ad tech company Casale Media, thinks that’s about right. “It could be bigger,” he said during the panel.

However Neal Richter, chief scientist at Rubicon Project (which began on the sell side, but has branched out to work with the buy side), differs.

“When someone gives you a number like that, the scientist in me asks, 'Where’d you get the numerator and where’d you get the denominator?'” he said. “There could be a great deal of selection bias in this particular exercise.” Some exchanges might be overwhelmed with fraudulent activity. Others might run a much tighter ship. He added an exchange with good policies should not suffer 30% fraud rates.

Still, the exact percentage is irrelevant, said Michael Tiffany, CEO of White Ops, which specializes in online ad security. Within the mature credit card industry, he said, losses average 7 cents per $100 spent. “If fraud was just 7% of advertising, it would be 100 times worse than the credit card fraud that makes the news everybody hears about,” he said.

Deep Eddy Vodka Takes A Shot At Digital

Deep EddyOne of the best things about Deep Eddy Vodka is the taste. At least that’s what Brandon Cason, VP of marketing, has to say about the 4-year-old spirits brand that’s based in Austin, Texas.

But prospects aren't going to seek out a product they've never heard of. That’s one reason the brand, whose efforts are focused on “awareness and trial,” added digital to its marketing plan, Cason said.

Deep Eddy Vodka is in a competitive market and aims to extract as much as it can from every marketing dollar. “With any new CPG, you don’t have a lot of money on the front end,” said Cason.

Initially, the spirits manufacturer’s marketing strategy focused on out-of-home advertising, including billboards and sponsoring music festivals, but Cason wanted to branch into digital. “Any smart marketer is aware of the need to have a digital presence," he said. "It’s more important than ever.”

With The Daily Dot, Cason created a native advertising campaign  with stories built around Deep Eddy’s Ruby Red Vodka, which was available in 22 states at the time.

“They were instrumental in helping us understand it’s not just about digital display ads," he said, "but content is king, and serving up fun content that’s interesting, relevant and shareable.” The two companies used to share a working space and already had a rapport and a degree of trust.

The Deep Eddy brand is “nostalgic and throwback-based,” so the teams collaborated on native content that would expand on that theme, a “longing for the nostalgic life, and looking back at the way things were,” Cason said. (more…)

Accordant Media Tries To Simplify Programmatic With Consolidated Offering

accordant mediaIndependent trading desk Accordant Media uncorked on Friday a consolidated offering called Audience Targeting System (ATS) designed to make programmatic trading more accessible to direct market clients and prospects.

The goal, according to company CEO and co-founder Art Muldoon, is to demystify the world of programmatic trading. To do this, Accordant consolidated four components it had developed since the company’s inception in 2010: a data-management platform (DMP) called Audience Optics, a buying platform, an analytics suite and a reporting portal.

“Over the last 12 months, we scaled up our engineering team considerably and made a concerted effort to unify the different components of our technology,” said company COO and co-founder Matt Greitzer. “We’ve augmented it with other components to make the complete package of ATS.”

One point of augmentation: the Accordant buying platform. Over the past nine months, the company’s data science team has refined the algorithms that powered the platform, making it more robust.

Accordant, which has about 60 employees, positions itself as a services company as much as it is a tech vendor. It essentially offers the white-glove service, helping clients (around 60 of them – 80% marketers and 20% media agencies, whose abilities Accordant magnifies) navigate the choppy programmatic waters with its technology.

“Our ATS system represents an integration of probably 75 different types of vendor relationships in addition to the proprietary technology we’ve built,” Muldoon said.

AdExchanger spoke with Muldoon and Greitzer.