Programmatic For MCNs; Pinterest Gets Into App Installs

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MCNs Eye Programmatic

How will multichannel networks (MCNs) on YouTube, which have traditionally relied on branded content deals, survive in a programmatic world? Ad buyers are used to the efficiency and demographic targeting afforded by software-based buying, according to The Wall Street Journal. Many larger MCNs like Tastemade and Frederator rely on YouTube’s salesforce to sell their pre-roll ad inventory. This has been great to a point, until one considers that YouTube takes a healthy revenue cut. Some MCNs get around this by selling their own sponsorships – a product mention, for instance, for a fee. But as MCN’s proliferate, advertisers wonder whether it’s even worth investing. Reza Izad, CEO at Collective Digital Studio, is working to collect audience data so that he might one day be able to leverage it for future ad targeting. Read on.

Pin Overhaul

Pinterest upgraded its platform Thursday with “app Pins,” or app install ads that users will see when browsing Pinterest on iOS devices. The tap-to-install feature means users won’t have to leave the platform to install promoted apps. Separately the scrapbooking site is also working on a “buy” button that could launch in the next three to six months. At this point, it’s unclear if Pinterest’s ad and retail products will be integrated but the potential exists, points out Re/code reporter Jason Del Rey. “One could imagine a scenario in which retailers that incorporate Pinterest’s Buy button could also pay Pinterest to promote those images on the platform,” he writes. More on that.

Mayer On Mobile

How can Yahoo make money off advertising? The answer, according to chief Marissa Mayer, is for Yahoo to reinvent itself as a mobile application company. This means more data-driven native advertising products. “We have some of the best data on our platform, as well as across our network,” Mayer said during the Goldman Sachs tech conference on Wednesday. “We can help advertisers identify particular users and target messages to them.” Yahoo had 575 million monthly active mobile users and accounted for $1.2 billion in gross revenue during 2014’s Q4, or $168 million in GAAP revenue. CNBC has more.

Automated Insights Exits

Content-generation firm Automated Insights (Ai), whose technology is designed to personalize generic content, was acquired Thursday by Vista Equity Partners and will now be a subsidiary of sports tech firm STATS. According to a blog post from CEO Robbie Allen, the acquisition will enable Ai to more quickly build out its natural language platform (called Wordsmith). Additionally Ai’s focus, Allen wrote, will not solely be on sports. “Vista loved the fact that our technology is generally applicable across many industries and, by extension, many other portfolio companies.” These additional verticals include BI, media, finance, personal fitness, marketing and healthcare. Read the release.

Conductor Cash

Conductor raked in $27 million in funding on Thursday, which brings its total raised to more than $60 million. Conductor is in the business of helping brands generate customers from their presence in unpaid web channels like search and social. The platform, Conductor Searchlight, aims to draw marketers away from paid media alone. Conductor works with more than 500 brands, including AT&T, Citibank, FedEx,, REI and Ticketmaster, and boasts a 97% gain in organic traffic on average. “Consumers are speaking louder than ever before; they don’t want to engage with banner ads and are getting overloaded with emails,” CEO Seth Besmertnik said in a release. “Modern-day consumers are actively seeking out their interests and the new marketing is about getting found in those moments. throughout the live event journey.”

AdRoll For Onboarding

On Thursday, AdRoll dove into the CRM data onboarding space with audience segmentation tools for email. “Our customers are always looking for new ways to leverage their customer data. Historically we had focused only on website data, but there is a huge amount of valuable data locked up in CRM systems,” AdRoll President and CMO Adam Berke told AdExchanger in an email. “AdRoll has a unique position as a neutral cross-platform product, we allow our customers to measure and optimize campaigns across a variety of inventory sources, including Facebook. Now, AdRoll customers can broaden the reach of their retargeting campaigns across inventory sources and devices.” Read the blog post.

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