Sizmek Scoops Up PointRoll; Monetizing Facebook Instant Articles

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Sizmek Points To PointRoll

PointRoll is like a little hot potato getting tossed from owner to owner. Its latest handler: ad tech company Sizmek for the modest sum of $20 million. Read Ad Age’s story. PointRoll focuses on rich media technologies and was purchased by Gannett in 2005 for about $100 million. It got spun off earlier this year into a company called Tegna, which combined PointRoll with ShopLocal into an entity called Cofactor. It’ll be interesting to see how PointRoll gets incorporated into Sizmek, where many a rich media ad server has been put out to pasture (See: EyeWonder, EyeBlaster) whose rich media business has been victimized by quarterly declines.   

Leap Of Faith

CMO Today looks at the yield publishers are getting from Facebook’s Instant Articles program. It’s early to draw big conclusions, but monetization challenges include a lighter ad load and a Facebook-imposed ban on rich media, but it might all be worth it in the end. “It all comes down to how Facebook prioritizes this in news feed. We’ve seen them prioritize video, and if they do anything similar with Instant Articles the numbers could go through the roof.” More.

Trading Access For Revenue

Companies like Vice and The Huffington Post turned their digital video chops into big valuations. Reuters is trying to figure out what model works for a legacy player with resources. The news pub recently axed its pay-TV service, but evidently now sees potential scale by offering a free video app. Sahil Patel writes for Digiday that part of the expansion features a free product, “TV for Publishers,” which will let any site embed Reuters’ streaming service into its feed and sell ads on the content, with the site keeping all the revenue. Read on.

Losing Agency

Collapsing supply chains is not only a digital phenomenon. Ad Age’s Jeanine Poggi reports  NBC just executed a reorg aimed at bringing its ad sales teams closer to actual marketers, to the possible detriment of client-agency relationships. As put by Linda Yaccarino, NBC chairwoman of advertising sales and client partnerships, “We continue to work very closely with our agency partners, but clients are asking for more direct access to us as one portfolio.” More.

All In On The Wallet

The New York Times follows up on previous reporting with new anonymous tidbits about Apple’s peer-to-peer payment service, an attempt to get iPhone owners to actually use Apple Wallet. Sources say Apple is rounding up banking partners and could be ready to compete with PayPal’s Venmo or Square’s Square Cash in 2016. Apple has said it’s goal is nothing short of “replacing the wallet,” but fewer than one in five iPhone owners use the app. Read.

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