Industry Trade Groups Come Together For Better Ads; Facebook’s Audience Network Is Going Strong

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Bedfellows For Better Ads

A flotilla of industry trade groups – the 4As, ANA, Digital Content Next, DMA, World Federation of Advertisers, European Publishers Council, News Media Alliance, BVDW Germany, IAB, IAB Europe and all IAB regional groups – have set up something called the Coalition for Better Ads, dedicated to formalizing a new set of digital ad standards to improve the user experience. While that’s easier said than done, the group has powerful, deep-pocketed backers such as Google, GroupM, Unilever and Procter & Gamble. Of course, some of the industry’s most pressing problems also derive from intractable disputes between various members of this same coalition. Check out the release.

Facebook’s Ad Network

Did programmatic kill the ad network? Facebook’s $1 billion Audience Network says no. FAN doesn’t participate in real-time bidding, but it facilitates automated buys on third-party platforms. Advertisers are skeptical because it dictates their budget and provides little data in return. “Facebook has done a great job in understanding individuals and limiting wastage,” said David Gaines, chief planning officer at Maxus. “But when advertisers rely on Facebook’s data and let it tell you where your ad budget will be, that is not a good place to be.” More at Digiday.

News You Can Use

Apple News now allows iOS 10 users to subscribe to 14 (and counting) publications through the app. The decision brings back an original feature of Apple News, which boils down to subscription lead gen (Apple takes a 30% cut of of new subscriber signups and 15% of renewals). However, “Apple will control the payment setup, allowing it to collect data on subscribers such as address and payment information. Apple declined to comment on how much of that data will be passed on to publishers,” reports Lukas Alpert for The Wall Street Journal. More.

Premium Sounds Good

Pandora will begin rewarding users who watch a 15-second video ad with song replays and extra song skips, the company said in a blog post. It’s similar to Pandora’s sponsored listening product, which lets users opt in to an hour of uninterrupted music by watching a video ad. The offer will only include 100% viewable video inventory. “It almost supersizes our sponsored listening hour,” said Lizzie Litholm, Pandora’s SVP of ad product strategy. It was a busy day for Pandora, which also debuted a mid-tier subscription for $4.99 per month with offline listening.

New System, New Rules

AOL’s integration into the Verizon universe is exposing its ad platform business to Verizon experts in areas like computational neuroscience and statistics. “Verizon employees with traditional STEM backgrounds have been joining biweekly meetings of AOL’s Science Guild, so named by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong, to advance capabilities like ad viewability optimization,” Kate Kaye reports for Ad Age. To work within Verizon, AOL needs people who can answer the question: “How is this going to react with the other parts of the system that we have?” More.

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