Sell-Side Arbitrage Lives On; Mark Zuckerburg Expresses Support For Publishers

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The Other Arbitrage

The ad network model may have evolved, but sell-side arbitrage is still rampant. Some supply-side platforms (SSPs) still resell inventory and misstate which publishers they represent, Digiday reports. Buyers don’t know which SSPs their publisher partners are working with, so it’s difficult for them to discern when this is happening. “We have talked a lot in the industry about holding our tech partners accountable,” said David Lee, head of programmatic at The Richards Group. “We need to also hold publishing partners and their SSP partners just as accountable.” More.    

The Zuck Reckoning

Is Facebook getting serious about helping the publishing industry it relies on so heavily for engagement (and ultimately revenue)? Buried in his sprawling letter published Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg writes, “There is more we must do to support the news industry to make sure this vital social function is sustainable — from growing local news, to developing formats best suited to mobile devices, to improving the range of business models news organizations rely on.” A first step might be more generous sharing with publishers, of ad revenue and audience data. Another key step: dumping pesky fake news once and for all in order to buoy the genuine article. Read it.

Snapchat, Media Portal

Snapchat’s Discover section has the potential to be a game-changing media channel. “Think ‘HBO of the Smartphone,’ but supported by ads,” writes Josh Constine at TechCrunch. YouTube has a bottomless creator community while Facebook generates bajillions of views for viral vids and recipe demos, but Snapchat is incubating exclusive, broadcaster-produced content (which it even calls “shows”). And like HBO, Snapchat’s best shot at new or lapsed users may be through “zeitgeisty entertainment specials,” such as the six-part BBC special “Planet Earth II” debuting Saturday, sponsored by Goldman Sachs. More.

Know Thy Enemy

Gizmodo is taking an interesting approach to political source development: Facebook advertising. The team is targeting people who list particular government agencies as an employer with ads leading them to, a kind of how-to page for secure whistleblowing, reports The Wall Street Journal. Gizmodo is owned by Univision, and the ads were run by head of investigations John Cook, who as the former executive editor of Gawker knows something about harnessing controversy. We’ll see if Facebook gets any pushback on advertisers explicitly targeting potential leakers. More.

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1 Comment

  1. Google generated £4.2bn and Facebook £2Bn in the UK last year by serving ads based on other peoples content. The Publishers got ~11% of this. Call me cynical, but I don’t see the Zuck as being particularly benevolent here!
    Publishers need to take back control and quickly. It’s why we built Adapptive.