Agencies Hold Back On FAN Spend; Software Acquisitions Continue Surging

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No Fans Of FAN

Facebook Audience Network is a black box and the natives grow restless. Tim Peterson reports at Marketing Land that agencies, GroupM in particular, are holding back spend from FAN because they want to know where their ads have run – and Facebook just doesn’t provide that information. “Our hesitation to use Audience Network really comes from a place of complete lack of transparency,” said Kieley Taylor, GroupM’s head of paid social. Facebook has been making concessions: separating Instant Articles inventory from the rest of FAN and providing some ad buyers with ad placement reports. It’s also evaluating private marketplace deals. But all of that could be moot if advertisers aren’t seeing results. According to Gila Wilensky, head of media activation at Essence, Audience Network might have more reach, but the performance is not as strong as you see in the news feed or on Instagram.

M&A On Cloud Nine

Software acquisitions surged to $115 billion last year, and 2017 is poised for even more growth. Cisco kicked things off in style with a $3.7 billion deal for AppDynamics, and Bloomberg’s Brian Womack suspects usual suspects like Oracle and Salesforce may be joined by dormant enterprise giants like Google and Amazon due to tax policy changes. Of course, it’s the blockbuster deals that really juice the numbers (see Microsoft’s $26 billion LinkedIn buy). Arete Research, a prominent investor research firm, just issued a report arguing Google should acquire Salesforce for around $73 billion. With two of the world’s cash-happiest companies (Google and Amazon) potentially looking to acquire market share, large companies with cloud-based customer bases could sell at a premium. More.  

Audience-Based Buying

A+E Networks announced a major deal with the National Women’s Soccer League. A+E’s Lifetime will sponsor and broadcast the games while taking an equity stake in the league. A joint venture between the companies will sell sponsorships, produce game telecasts and manage digital platform partners. It’s a coup for the league, which has never had weekly guaranteed broadcasts before, and a win for fans who previously couldn’t watch America’s star women players on TV. Variety has more.

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