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Condé Nast Goes Cross-Platform With 'Catalyst' Audience Tool

Christopher Reynolds, Conde NastA year after rolling out Catalyst, its audience targeting and insights tool, Condé Nast Digital is enhancing the product to unify its audiences across digital and mobile platforms.

Like many publishers, Condé Nast has "seen massive growth in the last two years," said Christopher Reynolds, VP of marketing analytics for Condé Nast.

Last year, Reynolds said, it witnessed triple-digit percentage audience gains every month, year over year. Even with that slowing a bit this year, Reynolds said the publisher of brands like Vogue, Style.com, GQ and Wired is still growing at 60 to 70% year over year.

"Somewhere between 30 to 40% of our traffic is mobile," he says, "And we both collect data and would like to deliver audiences through our app environments and our mobile environments."

Instrumental to that will be Condé Nast's use of LiveRamp, a data on-boarding tool that for several years now has helped companies like Condé Nast mesh offline customer relationship management (CRM) data with online digital marketing applications for better targeting and more efficient spend. Just a few weeks ago the firm made its expansion into mobile official after working with several clients to perfect that broadened reach.

Data on-boarding is crucial to Condé Nast as it seeks to differentiate on its first-party audience data.

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HuffPo CEO: On Breaking Into Global Markets, Cross-Platform Content

JimmyMaymannWhen Jimmy Maymann sold content distribution company GoViral to AOL in 2011, some expected the Danish entrepreneur to take his share of the $96.7 million exit and chase new startup opportunities.

Instead, he stayed on at AOL as SVP for international, much to even his surprise.

“I always knew I didn’t want to stay on once the company was acquired,” he remarked. “I left for a month and then came back.”

One week after AOL bought GoViral came the company’s $315 million purchase of The Huffington Post. This, to Maymann, signaled an opportunity to build.

“Really, Arianna Huffington and Tim Armstrong said, ‘If we want to take HuffPost to a global level, then we really need a partner for Arianna who focuses on the business side while she focuses on editorial.'”

He was formally named CEO of Huffington Post Media Group in December 2012.

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The New York Times To Loosen RTB Restrictions, Expand Programmatic Initiatives

zimbalistWhat’s up with The New York Times Co. and programmatic? We’ve pondered that question before, but the publishing giant declined to speak at the time.

Since then, Times SVP of Ad Products and R&D Michael Zimbalist has revealed to AdExchanger that the company intends to release more inventory cautiously into the RTB space. It also is planning an expansion of non-RTB programmatic initiatives. One such area the Times is considering is developing an audience extension buy.

Much has changed at the Times in recent months.

“We had a change of leadership in our sales department,” Zimbalist said. “Meredith Levien came in to head sales after a long search, and we’ve reorganized the whole department. In doing that, I stepped in and took on, in addition to my role as head of R&D, a new role in the company, which is head of ad products. We never had a formal head of ad products function before.”

As part of this restructuring, the Times has consolidated a number of functions: ad ops, ad systems, product management, some of its custom development work and, of course, programmatic.

Zimbalist spoke with AdExchanger on the changes. (more…)


Ned Brody And Scott Burke: A Snapshot Of Key Players On Yahoo’s Team

brody-burke-yahooSpeculation about Alibaba’s upcoming IPO pegs Yahoo’s share at about $10 billion, giving Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer substantial firepower to acquire more companies and develop Yahoo’s businesses. But Mayer has an extremely thin margin of error to turn the Sunnyvale, CA company’s fortunes around.

Despite its expected windfall, Yahoo is struggling. Its revenue for 2013 was $4.7 billion, down 6% from the previous year. Display advertising, excluding traffic acquisition costs, was $491 million, down 6% compared to $520 million for Q4 of 2012. And the company has yet to increase its mobile revenue, which Mayer has said is “still not material.”

So who is helping Mayer with Yahoo’s turnaround?

After COO Henrique De Castro was fired early this year after failing to boost the company’s ad business, the task of convincing brands and agencies to spend on Yahoo’s properties fell to a larger degree on head of the Americas Ned Brody and SVP of advertising Scott Burke, among other executives.

Prior to Yahoo, Brody was rising up the ranks at AOL. He managed AOL’s paid services group before being promoted to COO of media, advertising and commerce. Brody eventually became CEO of AOL Networks (formerly Advertising.com Group and now AOL Platforms) where he oversaw AOL's owned and operated advertising, global network business, sales and advertising and publishing products.

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Old Ways At The New York Times: Is Programmatic In The Past?

NyTimes ProgramWhen The New York Times discontinued in February its director of programmatic advertising position, held by Matt Prohaska, partners and advertisers wondered how this would affect the publisher’s programmatic initiatives.

Certainly the Times sought to alter its structure, saying in a statement it was “re-imagining and growing [its] programmatic organization and strategy with a focus on yield optimization and process automation.” Michael Zimbalist, SVP of advertising products and research and development, the statement added, would head this effort.

Political intrigue aside, the Times’ decision to “re-imagine” its programmatic operations less than one year after hiring Prohaska underscores the difficulties many publishers have reconciling the traditional, high-touch way of selling advertising with new-fangled programmatic concepts. (more…)


Don't Fix RTB

steveThe Sell-Sider” is a column written by the sell side of the digital media community.

Today’s column is written by Steve Goldberg, senior adviser at EmpiricalMedia.

The industry has gone into full hand-wringing mode over fraudulent traffic, spurious clicks and low levels of viewable ads.

That is good.

After all, these are serious issues and they are unfortunately commonplace in open RTB marketplaces, such as those operated by Google, Rubicon, OpenX, AppNexus and Yahoo.

So, how do we fix open RTB?

Optimists believe the fix is on the horizon and coming in the form of filters, fraud detectors, better processes that minimize or remove fake sites, content farms (ad farms) and improved buyer oversight.

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A Big Week For Google's 'Programmatic Direct' Dreams

bonita-stewartGoogle's publisher business is on a tear.

Last week it struck two private exchange deals with Time Inc. and the 42-member Local Media Consortium. Google will support programmatic direct sales for these sellers and provide wider access to their quality inventory for global media traders such as trading desks at Publicis Groupe's Vivaki AOD or WPP Group's Xaxis.

Bonita Stewart, an eight-year Googler currently serving as the company's VP for partner business solutions in the Americas, is a key executive realizing these sell-side deals. She spoke with AdExchanger.

AdExchanger: What's your role at Google today?

BONITA STEWART: About a year and a half ago I was asked to lead our publisher side of the business, our partner business solutions for the Americas. I've had responsibility for all monetization products across search, mobile, video and display – and the Ad Exchange, which is our favorite child right now.

What is happening with the Local Media Consortium and Time Inc. deals?

We've been working with publishers since the company was founded. Last year we shared $9 billion with our publisher partners. Digital growth is proving that technology can help publishers improve and grow their business. That's what we're seeing across all our platforms, whether that's AdSense, DoubleClick For Publishers or Ad Exchange.

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Time Inc. Debuts Global Private Exchange, Powered By Google

bonita-stewart-kavataTime Inc. has set up a private exchange with inventory from its global properties, supported by Google technology.

The new, expanded marketplace – called Time Inc. Global Exchange – is built on Google's DoubleClick Ad Exchange and spans some 116 million global unique users (per comScore). Advertisers and marketers can use it to reach audiences across properties such as Time, Sports Illustrated and People in the United States, and Wallpaper, Marie Claire and InStyle in Europe.

The offering replaces the Time Exchange, a US offering that has been in place since September 2012.

According to Kavata Mbondo, Time Inc.'s VP of programmatic solutions, the exchange will expose Time Inc. inventory to new demand from Google, while also supporting guaranteed deals with buyers that want to transact programmatically.

Mbondo said large brands have been clamoring for more automated buying mechanisms for one to two years, and those cries are getting louder.

"They told us programmatic is a way [they’re] thinking of buying," she said. "That kind of forced the issue with us. If one of your biggest spenders says, ‘This is a channel we want to invest in and experiment with,’ we're going to invest in it."

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Private Exchange Deal With Google Just A First Step For 'Reconstituted' Local Media Consortium

local-media-consortiumA deal between Google and a collective of 42 local media holding companies could enable private exchange deals spanning some 800 newspapers and 200 broadcasters. The agreement is the first in a series of projects that the so-called Local Media Consortium (LMC) – formerly known as the Yahoo Newspaper Consortium -- will bid out to vendors.

These sourcing initiatives will support infrastructure, content and revenue- and audience-producing opportunities for LMC members like A.H. Belo, Morris Communications and The McClatchy Co. "We'll negotiate deals with multiple partners in all sorts of categories," said Chris Hendricks, VP for interactive media at McClatchy and chair of the LMC executive committee.

Google will offer LMC members ad-serving (DoubleClick for Publishers), ad network (AdSense) and exchange-trading capabilities to partners – presumably at favorable terms because other platforms were involved in the RFP process. Read the blog post. The set-up process will take about 90 days.

Other terms were not disclosed, but Hendricks said, "From a demand-side perspective, there's no exclusivity. Anyone can purchase this."

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Google Tells Some DFP Customers They Are Now Self-Serve

DFP-DIYGoogle has notified some customers of its DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) suite that they will no longer have access to DFP phone support or dedicated account reps. The tweak appears to be the result of a decision to raise the ad serving threshold at which publishers qualify to get managed services.

A Google rep said the change affects only a small subset of publishers. The company said in a statement, "We notified a small number of partners changes to the service model for DFP and are working with them on alternatives. This change affects less than 1% of our total customers."

While the numbers may be small, the move points to Google's increasing focus on the world's largest publishers. For the rest, it offers the lower service threshold or DFP Small Business, a free suite for publishers with less than 90 million monthly impressions.

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