Amazon Eyes Sizmek’s Ad Server; Publishers Do In-Housing Too

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Sizmek Rumbles

Amazon is circling a deal for the Sizmek ad server business, as the ad tech company closes its bankruptcy review, Bloomberg reports. Amazon has built out a strong ad platform business that spans the demand-side and supply-side. Does it need an ad server? Amazon probably has larger ad serving ambitions in video, where it would compete with the likes of Comcast’s FreeWheel and Google, but Sizmek could be a very cheap and effective way to pick up an ad server and the key analytics data that comes with it. Sizmek sold its DSP and DMP business to Zeta Global for up to $36 million – receiving $15 million in upfront stock and cash. Amazon could snap up what’s left and “level up” its ad challenge to Google. More.

On Fire

Don’t count Amazon out in any race, especially not the race for streaming adoption. The ecommerce giant’s Fire TV platform has surpassed Roku in monthly active users at 34 million, Variety reports. Roku, previously the largest streaming operator, ended Q1 with 29.1 million monthly active accounts. Amazon is leveraging its strength in other areas, like voice and content production, to drive sales of its OTT platform. And now that Amazon and Google have put aside their differences to make YouTube available on Fire TV, one of the biggest pain points for the Fire service has been cleared. More.

Pubs In The House?

In-housing is thought of as a brand phenomenon, but a similar process has been unfolding with publishers as well, though only the largest have managed the transition. “If in-housing means the disintermediation of partners in the value chain, then I would argue that only the largest of publishers have gone down the in-housing route,” Geoff Smith, eBay’s EMEA director of ad tech and innovation, tells ExchangeWire. Publishers can take more control over their auction logic, Smith says. But as with brands, publishers with in-housing programs have found it surprisingly expensive and difficult to get off the ground. “The time and resource investment needed to build an SSP, DSP or ad server is far beyond the reach of most sub-billion-dollar publishers, and even the billionaire club tries and fails on a regular basis to build or buy technology that can compete with the more established players.” More.

NPS Skepticism

The coolest three-letter acronym and new metric in corporate America is the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which asks customers one single question at checkout or in a survey: “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend the company’s product or service to a friend?” It’s an unscientific metric, but NPS has developed “a cultlike following among CEOs,” The Wall Street Journal writes. But Fred Reichheld, the Bain consultant who coined the term in a 2003 edition of Harvard Business Review, says he’s disappointed with businesses using NPS as a way to determine bonuses or attribute true performance. “I had no idea how people would mess with the score to bend it, to make it serve their selfish objectives.” More.  

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