Home Ad Exchange News Brian Lesser’s Impact At GroupM; Marketers Double Up On TV Measurement

Brian Lesser’s Impact At GroupM; Marketers Double Up On TV Measurement


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The Lesser Way

Former Xaxis CEO Brian Lesser recently ascended to a management position with GroupM, which has huge significance for WPP’s overall media buying strategy, Rob Norman told AdExchanger at the World Media Economic Summit on Thursday. “Brian very much has a business design and product design background. That’s tremendously helpful,” he said. Despite moving from a global to a domestic role, Lesser affects programmatic strategy at GroupM more than ever before, Norman said. “He’s influencing everything that’s going on in programmatic at GroupM, not just Xaxis.” We’re increasingly seeing the “horizontal structure” strategy which has seized holding companies come to mean elevating programmatic experts into positions where they can leverage more pieces of the company.

Tremor Video Cites Media Network Contraction

Video ad platform Tremor said Thursday programmatic now constitutes more than 50% of spend running through its platform. Coupled with growth in what Tremor calls its “high-function” business or “All Screen” ad formats, Tremor’s legacy media network has conversely declined to less than 10% of all spend. As a result, Tremor experienced some headwinds in Q1. While total spend was up 26% YoY to $51.2 million in the first quarter, revenue was down 9% to $34.6 million. Tremor CEO Bill Day told AdExchanger total spend is more indicative of Tremor’s business growth because it represents total dollars flowing to its buy- and sell-side offerings. Because revenue is reported in gross on the buy side and net on the sell side, he noted there is a discrepancy. “In terms of our expectations, the legacy media network declined faster than we thought, which definitely hurt our short-term revenue growth,” he said, but noted the ad network business accounts for about only $5 million now “and will only get smaller.” The results.

New Currency

It won’t be long until comScore data will be used alongside Nielsen’s to measure TV viewership in a more targeted way, Variety reports. “All of the networks are starting to offer these overlays (of data sources) as well as starting to sell a certain amount of inventory against those targets,” said Jane Clarke, CEO and managing director of the Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement. “Now you’re seeing (marketers) buy based on Nielsen age and gender ratings and then get secondary guarantees. By 2017 you’ll really start to see a shift.” Nielsen has yet to widely release its Total Audience Measurement, and networks hope comScore’s data will fill the growing measurement gap. More.

The Content Food Chain

“We’re not working for Facebook. We’re partners with Facebook,” said Vox Media CEO Jim Bankoff in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. It’s easy to depict digital media players as “slaves to the platform,” but they can also be a kind of powerful mercenary force, with ambitions that extend well beyond apps and the web. Some of the most interesting (and potentially lucrative) things Vox has on its plate include “creating new types of products that could be sold to other distributors, whether that’s programming to Amazon, Netflix, Hulu or cable networks.” More.

“Siri, Destroy Viv”


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A quiet, ongoing revolution in mobile consumer habits  “will turn smartphones and perhaps smart homes and cars and other devices into virtual assistants with supercharged conversational capabilities,” Forrester analyst Julie Ask tells The Washington Post for a profile of virtual assistant tech firm Viv. The company has rejected offers from both Google and Facebook, and its founders (who also founded the company that led to Apple’s Siri) have a unique perspective on how to tap into mobile intent from outside the confines of Apple, Google or Facebook. Others have tried and failed, but “if anybody has a shot at doing this, it’s them,” according to Oren Etzioni, CEO of the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence. More.

Still Time?

Time Inc. introduced a free, ad-supported streaming content service at its NewFronts presentation. The clunkily named “People/Entertainment Network” will cover live events, celebrity news and pop culture, and a mobile channel dedicated to “the new famous” (aka social media creators and influencers) later this year, according to Ad Age.  “Facebook and Google are gaining 80% of the dollars going into mobile advertising,” said Time Inc. CEO Joe Ripp on the company’s earnings call Thursday [AdExchanger coverage]. The company may finally achieve revenue growth after years of digital revenue failing to make good on losses in print.

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