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

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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.

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Sharethrough Acquires VAN And Moves Into Europe

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Sharethrough VanNative ad exchange Sharethrough has acquired UK-based content distribution platform VAN in the hopes of expanding into the European market.

The acquisition price was not disclosed, but VAN’s 2013 revenue was $2 million. VAN’s sales team will be an asset, as will its strength in the automotive, entertainment and lifestyle verticals. Its clients, like UKTV, BBC, Car Throttle and Philips, will start transitioning onto the Sharethrough platform.

“VAN brings an expertise in the brand content distribution market, which they have developed through meaningful business relationships on both the advertiser and publisher sides,” said Sharethrough President Patrick Keane. “Sharethrough's technology will enable the VAN team to scale their original vision of premium branded content distribution to all forms of content, across all platforms.”

The acquisition of VAN will help provide a “launchpad” for Sharethrough to “quickly become a force in the European market,” Keane said. The company is also opening an international headquarters in London. Read the rest of this entry »


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Yo! Should Brands Pay Attention To This “Dumb, Simple” App?

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YOMarketers generally react to Yo, the one-touch messaging app, with bemused dismissal. Its sole function lets users ping each other with a single “Yo,” the simplicity of which has sparked no shortage of skepticism.

But no one took Snapchat seriously when it surfaced, and the ephemeral photo messing platform is now valued at a behemoth $10 billion.

"We see Yo as a communication platform based on simple notification,” said Yo co-founder and CEO Or Arbel. "Anyone can benefit from it, businesses or brands.”

The app has roughly 1.2 million repeat users, according to Arbel, and that number has grown steadily since the app’s debut in April. In August, Yo released a solution for brands called the Yo Index, which functions as a directory.

Instead of getting a “Yo” from a friend, users can opt to receive notifications for a variety of things based on their interests. “YOBAMA,” for example sends a “Yo” to subscribers whenever the president issues an executive order. “YOTECHCRUNCH,” similarly, sends a “Yo” for breaking tech and startup news.

“Lets say a brand wants to communicate with Yo users,” Arbel said. “They can send a push notification with an attached link. The benefits for the brand are, first, to communicate directly with its customers and, second, to drive traffic and raise engagement."

The index’s current offerings are all over the map, from weather updates to pings for new posts on Instagram and straight through to “SOFTBOILEDYO,” which alerts users when their soft-boiled egg is ready.

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Mobile Is The Beast

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chris-ohara-new-2Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Chris O’Hara, co-founder and chief revenue officer at Bionic Advertising Systems.

Mobile is truly the biggest opportunity in advertising right now. Sorry, but nothing else even comes close.

Not only are mobile devices nearing ubiquity – research shows they’re owned by more than nine out of 10 earthlings – smartphones are nearing ubiquity in the developed world, too, with 56% penetration. People are on mobile all the time, and more than half of them use the mobile device as the primary way they access the Internet. At 1.8 hours a day, media consumption on mobile devices now surpasses both television (1.5 hours) and desktop (1.6 hours). If marketers would match their investment in mobile advertising, now at just 4% of media budgets, with the amount of time we spend there – 20% of our time – a lot of people would make a lot of money.

Not only is mobile the fastest-growing, most exciting place to be in advertising right now, it’s where the hugest opportunities are. Did you know that 44% of Fortune 100 companies don’t have a mobile-optimized website? That is insane.

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How Real-Time Advertising Can Disrupt Your Competitors

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adamkapel“Data-Driven Thinking" is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Adam Kapel, senior vice president of marketing and insights at Taykey.

Advertisers use technology to sharpen targeting, measure results and be more efficient and economical. How about using it to win?

The current trend toward automatic, programmatic ad technology certainly has its benefits. But does it help companies win new business? Does it take market share and mindshare away from competitors? Does it insert you into the most important conversations of the day?

Probably not.

Advertising can be a weapon for offense, and it should be a mechanism that puts a brand right in front of customers. It should disrupt competitors, while at the same time align with the ever-changing interests of a target audience. It should be a strategic tool that allows a brand to beat its competitors to the punch. These offensive and proactive advertising efforts are called real-time competitive conquest campaigns.

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Dentsu Buys Covario; Programmatic Models

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Dentsu Buys Covario

Dentsu Aegis Network has acquired search and content marketing agency Covario. Convario's Rio SEO software offers tools for local and enterprise search, social media automation and analytics. “As points of engagement and transaction come closer together, it is crucial for our clients to have a dominant position in all key areas of the consumer journey,” said Dentsu CEO Nigel Morris. Convergence, ftw. Press release.

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Programmatic TV Is A 'Patchwork Quilt Of Inventory,' Presently

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DavidCoopThe state of programmatic TV: A patchwork of parts that need to come together in order to automate the broadcast ad buy.

During a panel at Programmatic I/O in New York Wednesday, David Cooperstein, CMO of Simulmedia; Brent Horowitz, VP of business development at BrightRoll; Derek Mattsson, president and CEO of placemedia, Amanda Richman, president, Starcom USA and Jason Lopatecki, chief strategy officer for TubeMogul, took the stage to predict "The Evolution Of Programmatic TV."

While the panelists agreed we're still a couple of years away from data-driven, automated linear TV buys, many stakeholders are trying to grab a piece of programmatic TV pie. These include networks, cable MSOs, data companies, brands, agencies, video vendors and measurement houses.

And activity around the space is coming in at a trickle. Placemedia, for instance, referenced onstage a new buy-side partnership with TubeMogul to expand digital buys to TV. TubeMogul hooked up with Visible World's TV audience-buying platform AudienceXpress, as did generalist DSP Turn.

One factor precipitating these deals is the blurring line between digital video and television. As agency and brand budgets around "video" and "TV" evolve in to "connected" or "advanced TV" buckets, the tech will transition along with it.

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Programmatic I/O: Cross-Screen Measurement Is About Revenue – And Collaboration

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crossdeviceRather than an isolated channel, programmatic is a means to an end – and it all starts with measurement between devices and across channels.

And from measurement comes revenue.

“The whole cross-device measurement question is about understanding the broader marketing goal, but we also all know that if it’s not measured, it’s not valued,” said Carat Global Chief Digital Officer Anthony Rhind during a panel session on the subject at the Programmatic I/O conference in New York City on Wednesday.

“Cracking the cross-channel piece is about getting revenue growth for the programmatic component of our industry.”

Much of the cross-channel measurement question also revolves around figuring out how to create a bridge between online engagement and offline activity. The impetus for establishing that connection comes from both the buy side and the sell side, said David Wong, VP of product at Nielsen.

“Naturally advertisers want to understand how investment online impacts offline sales, but the sell side also wants to understand how their inventory influences offline behavior,” Wong said. “For example, we’ve done work with CBS to see how their content relates to offline sales.”

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

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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.
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FTC Big Data Workshop: More Transparency, Please

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FTC ImageThe Federal Trade Commission (FTC) wants to know what marketers are doing with segmentation profiles like “urban scrambler” and “ethnic second city struggler.”

The potential for advertising segmentation to exacerbate inequality was a central topic at Monday’s FTC workshop, “Big Data: A Tool for Inclusion or Exclusion?” The Washington, D.C., event included representatives from advocacy groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on the consumer side and the National Retail Federation (NRF) on the marketers' side, as well as data companies like Epsilon.

While the FTC has proposed legislation to address issues in data marketing, the workshop also served as a forum for how the industry, especially data brokers, should self-regulate.

“There needs to be more accountability throughout the ecosystem,” FTC Commissioner Julie Brill told AdExchanger at the event. The FTC has already made legislative recommendations regarding data brokers and data security. Some are outlined in an FTC report, “Data Brokers: A Call for Transparency and Accountability,” released in May. Read the rest of this entry »


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