Assembly To Show Inventory Costs; Snap Updates App Install Units

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See To Believe

It’s been two years since the ANA and K2 released a damning report on programmatic buying practices, and media agencies are still suffering a trust fallout. Assembly, owned by MDC Partners, has agreed to pay for clients to use a tool from AdFin allowing them to see digital inventory costs – and whether or not the agency marked up that cost. Assembly will dish out something in the “low six figures” for a one-year contract with AdFin, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Alex Bruell. But not all scrutiny will be to uncover agency markups. Belkin, for example, will use AdFin to assess the quality of its digital media investments. “Outside digital, in broadcast, we have a pretty good sense, within the realm of margin of error, that what you purchased did satisfy the requirements,” says Belkin CMO Kieran Hannon. “Go into the digital world, and it’s an abyss.” More.

Snap Installs

Snapchat has allowed app-install ads for the past year, but it is expanding its ad tech toolkit so advertisers can run app-install campaigns without creating special landing pages and campaign assets. Snapchat app installs are popular among small to mid-size developers, some of whom tell Adweek’s Lauren Johnson that the cost per install is 20% lower than with Facebook or Google. Snap’s focus has traditionally been on premium brand dollars, but “from day one, all direct response or app-install advertisers were interested and waiting on the right feature sets so that they could jump on Snap,” says Seif Hamid, SVP of product innovation at Snapchat platform partner 4C. More.

More Than Meets The Ears

Spotify on Thursday launched Spotlight, an ad format with video, text and visual overlays for podcasts, and introduced new programming around news, pop culture, sports and politics. BuzzFeed, for example, will launch a four- to seven-minute news broadcast exclusively for Spotify. The women’s lifestyle publisher Refinery29 and financial live-streaming brand Cheddar are also initial partners. Spotlight is Spotify’s grab for a share of the $18 billion radio advertising market, though the music service has struggled to grow beyond its music-only roots. “I know people are coming to Spotify to listen first, but we’re starting to build something new,’’ says head of studio and video Courtney Holt. “I want to create content that can be seen and listened to.’’ More at Bloomberg.


As app developers and marketers refine their ability to engage (or distract, as some might argue) smartphone owners, pushback to mobile overconsumption is growing. “Like air pollution or intrusive online advertising, tech addiction is a collective-action problem caused by misaligned incentives,” writes Farhad Manjoo for The New York Times. The largest ad-supported apps “now employ armies of people who work with supercomputers to hook you ever more deeply into their services.” Whether or not those platforms behave ethically, they can’t suppress the incentive to grow their share of attention. More.

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