RSS FeedArchive for the ‘Online Advertising’ Category

Equinix Seeks To Speed RTB Bidding

SpeedyRTBConventional wisdom holds that real-time bidding (RTB) transactions should occur within 60-to- 100-milliseconds.

As more bids compete for impressions in the open RTB ad auction environment, lower lag time between various computing outputs means higher bid completion rates. Consequently, reducing latency is a large consideration in developing RTB algorithms. Some RTB players like AppNexus address the processing challenge head on, claiming stability and low latency across their respective data centers.

Those that partner to facilitate a speedier process have turned to an unexpected entrant to the RTB space: Equinix – which has its roots as a provider of data centers. Equinix is attracting vendors like pure-play video ad exchange BrightRoll and Rocket Fuel to its ecosystem. Together with Equinix, BrightRoll has  brought to market VideoRTB+, a digital video RTB offering exclusive to Equinix data centers.

Rocket Fuel has used VideoRTB+ to gauge ad response rates, and saw a 48% improvement in bid completion using the "private" VideoRTB+ instance rather than a public network connection.

“RTB is not like sending a signal at the speed of light,” said Robert Blackburn, an SVP for cloud and content at Equinix. “It’s a conversation where information flies back and forth and completing that within a hundred milliseconds is not an easy thing.”


Rate Card Aggregator Kantar Media SRDS Goes Programmatic

srdsKantar Media SRDS has added programmatic digital ad inventory to its media planning platform, which aggregates advertising rate card information for a wide range of supply sources. It's another indicator of how demand for "programmatic direct" continues to transform the traditional planning and buying process.

WPP Group-owned Kantar is partnering with supply-side platforms (SSP) PubMatic, Rubicon Project, OpenX and programmatic direct platforms iSocket, Adslot, BuySellAds, and Shiny Ads. These platforms will act as data feeds through which can publish guaranteed-direct and private marketplace inventory to over 1,000 U.S. agencies for its subscription-only service.

Rising demand for programmatic digital ads among brands is driving the initiative. Dina Srinivasan, managing director of emerging media at Kantar Media SRDS, said the company is responding to market changes in the past year. “You had publishers soften up to the idea of ‘We’re going to give SSPs and these other platforms access to the good inventory,” she said, which has splintered inventory data across several platforms.


Facebook's Atlas To Support 'Programmatic Direct' Buys, Beginning With Microsoft Inventory

atlas-flite-innovidFacebook's Atlas Advertiser Suite is laying the groundwork to support "programmatic direct" buys for Microsoft inventory.

Beginning in early 2015, Atlas will begin supporting programmatic purchases of Microsoft ads directly through the Atlas interface. Atlas customers will be able to query avails in Microsoft’s ad serving system and reserve guaranteed buys programmatically. Over time the program will include all Microsoft inventory sources available for direct buying, including MSN, Outlook, Skype, Xbox, and Windows inventory.

"We believe that this will reduce the manual process for advertisers, and better allow Atlas clients to purchase Microsoft inventory in a more efficient way, while also automating the campaign set-up and trafficking in Atlas," Atlas said in a blog post.


MRC Standards Are Only A Starting Point For Viewability

ViewableWhen the Media Ratings Council (MRC) last week lifted its advisory against buying and selling display ads based on viewability, it marked a milestone in determining whether an ad was actually seen.

However, a number of industry execs say the problem is far from solved in display (let alone video, which still lacks a common standard) as measurement discrepancies still exist.

“There are [11] providers accredited by the MRC [to provide viewability metrics] and their numbers are all different, but the idea of how are they doing it – whether they are using geometric vs. browser optimization – is a really important distinction to make,” said Chris Louie, a VP at Nielsen, during a viewability roundtable discussion hosted by Integral Ad Science earlier this week.

The process by which vendors measure viewability should ideally answer some basic questions: “How much Web activity can you cover?” and “What is the quality of that coverage and what are the dimensions you want to use?”

There are three forms of measurement that when used in conjunction with one another, may yield the most effective measure of viewability. These include friendly iFrame measurement, page geometry (determines the ad’s positioning based on page layout) and browser optimization (determines whether the browser renders the ad). Unfortunately, these measurements often contradict each other.


Dell Streamlines Marketing Spend Through Attribution

dellOne of PC giant Dell’s first steps as a private company is overhauling its marketing spend. Dell executives unveiled results from its work with marketing attribution firm Visual IQ on Thursday at Forrester’s Forum for Marketing Leaders.

“Our goal was to understand the optimal ways to reach our customers through all the channels that we use to communicate with them,” said Drew Miller, executive director of global analytics and insights at Dell.

Visual IQ offers a SaaS-based solution, IQ Intelligence Suite, that uses data collection, machine learning and analytics to help companies better allocate their marketing spending across different channels.

Dell tapped Visual IQ to help it analyze its marketing spend across online channels such as email, display advertising and search in its North American consumer business. (more…)

Ben Edelman Vs. Blinkx, Round 3

ben-edelman-blinkxBen Edelman and Blinkx can't get enough of each other.

Three months after Edelman – an associate professor at Harvard – swatted ad tech firm Blinkx for allegedly deceptive adware install practices, and three weeks after Blinkx hit back with a point-by-point rebuttal that also called out Edelman's financial ties to clients who have shorted the company's stock, the bell has dinged again and we're into round three.

In an article published Thursday, Edelman documented some additional business activities ascribed to Blinkx and its partners. Those activities include bundling Blinkx ad-supported software in ways that allegedly mislead the end user. For instance, Edelman writes that one software bundle called "Flappy Bird," after the popular mobile game, contained two Blinkx adware components but was missing the flagship product.


ZenithOptimedia: 2014 A 'Banner' Year Thanks To RTB, Display Will Eclipse Search By 2016

power-displayWith the rise of video and native ad formats, traditional display ads don't get a lot of love in media buyer circles. But they do get plenty of money, as a new ZenithOptimedia forecast makes clear.

Spending on standard display ads (i.e. desktop banners) will rise 16% in 2014, "boosted by the revolution in programmatic buying," the Publicis-owned media agency states in its latest media spending forecast.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Dan Salmon made a similar observation in a research note today, writing, "real-time bidding is working its way through the IP advertising ecosystem at different speeds and only one addressable market -- static banner ads -- is anywhere close to full penetration."

Strength in the old-school banner – largely the result of programmatic going mainstream -- will help the whole display category whiz past search within two years. Zenith predicts spending on all digital display formats (traditional, video, social, etc.) will hit $74.4 billion in 2016, to search's $71.1 billion.


MediaMath Plugs Into Yahoo, Microsoft And Others For Guaranteed Inventory Access

mediamath GregMicrosoft and Yahoo are loosening their stranglehold on their premium display inventory.

MediaMath has set up a buying program that includes guaranteed direct buys in a programmatic environment. The program is enabled through partnerships with publishers Yahoo and Microsoft, along with technology partners Shiny Ads, iSocket and Yieldex.

The partnership represents the latest industry attempt to execute guaranteed deals in programmatic.

“Traditionally this inventory that’s available isn’t in the RTB (real-time bidding) or open auction markets,” said Greg Williams, SVP of MediaMath's OPEN Partnership program (an initiative designed to educate marketers about programmatic). “We’ve built out the infrastructure and capabilities for our clients to make guaranteed direct buys in a programmatic environment.” (more…)

Disqus Releases Its Second Advertising Product: Sponsored Comments

disqus copyWant to buy a comment?

Commenting platform Disqus released Monday a featured called Sponsored Comments, following a month-long beta testing period that included The New York Times, Yahoo and Xerox, among others.

This is not Disqus’ first foray into advertising products. Sponsored Comments arrives roughly one and a half years after it released its first ad feature, Promoted Discovery.

“Once we saw the Disqus audience was receptive to advertising, it set us off into advertising as how we will sustain ourselves as a company,” said David Fleck, Disqus' general manager of audience. (A blog post by company CEO and co-founder Daniel Ha detailed some results shortly after Promoted Discovery’s release in late 2012.)

Those not familiar with the Disqus name (it’s pronounced Discuss and originated in 2007) have likely seen or interacted with its software, as it powers the commenting features on publisher websites like CNN, National Public Radio and IGN. The system is on roughly 3 million websites and Disqus’ user base (made up of 1.3 billion uniques, according to Fleck) is linked to its broader community. Click on the name of a commenter and you’ll see a thread of her comments across other publishers using Disqus. (more…)

Netseer CEO Talks Contextual Ad Targeting Trends, New Viewability Tool

John-MracekAd-targeting company Netseer is one of the pioneers in contextual ad targeting, but as advertisers changed their focus from placements to audiences, the 8-year-old company knew it had to keep up with the times.

Netseer’s products include media-buying services and a contextual links ad network. And this week it launched a viewability solution called the Predictive Viewability Engine. AdExchanger spoke with CEO John Mracek.

AdExchanger: How has Netseer’s strategy changed since we spoke with you in 2011?

JOHN MRACEK: When we talked a few years ago, the media was focused on contextual placements. But in the environment of programmatic, there is a greater focus on pursuing cookies, retargeting, lookalikes and other types of audience-based models.

We used the same technology from our Concept Graphs [technology that analyzes search queries and Web page content to optimize placements] and applied the same intent engine to people as well as pages and so our offering has gotten much broader where we have a brand product focused more on content adjacency and a response product where the client wants to achieve a particular response goal.