Verizon Shops Its Media Assets; Nielsen Launches Podcast Measurement

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Dropped Call

It’s no surprise that Verizon is reportedly exploring a sale of AOL and Yahoo, the Web 1.0 titans it acquired in 2015 and 2017, respectively. As The Wall Street Journal points out, the telco has already divested itself of Tumblr and HuffPost. According to the Journal, private equity will be the likeliest new home for Verizon’s ertswhile media brands, with Apollo Global Management among the bidders. The valuations being floated are $4 billion to $5 billion – well shy of the $9 billion Verizon initially laid out. No word yet on the possible fate of Verizon Media’s considerable ad tech assets, including its DSP, SSP and dynamic creative optimization capabilities. Somebody call Zeta Global?

Measure My Pod

The inability to measure podcast advertising has been a big challenge. And so here comes Nielsen with a solution to measure podcast ad effectiveness, including brand lift and brand. The tool, dubbed Podcast Ad Effectiveness+ (because apparently everyone needs to append his or her name with a plus sign these days) “enables advertisers to better maximize their strategy for future campaigns and publishers to showcase the strength of their podcast environment,” according to a release. Nielsen says it will also assess the effectiveness of “digitally inserted ads across online and mobile web environments” … which does raise a few questions. For example, what about ads that aren’t digitally inserted? And what about podcasts that are downloaded and listened to at a later time? Regardless, any move toward better measuring the wild world of podcasts is a positive one for the industry.

‘Mind-Numbing’

Let me know if you’ve heard this one before: the Association of National Advertisers is putting out an RFP for a consultant to study how messed up ad tech is. MediaPost reports that in its RFP, the ANA said the programmatic advertising marketplace is “riddled with material issues, including thin transparency, fractured accountability and mind-numbing complexity.” Without more transparency into the programmatic supply chain, marketers can’t fully optimize their investments, said ANA chief Bob Liodice, noting that this murkiness is costing advertisers billions of dollars in waste. The ANA is hoping that whoever answers its call will be able to come up with recommendations for how to clean up the ecosystem. Not that companies haven’t been trying to do so for years … This isn’t the first time the ANA has poked around programmatic. Back in 2015, the advertiser trade org commissioned a study to look into undisclosed media agency revenues, aka, the dreaded rebate. Take a trip down memory lane: “How They Did It: ANA Report Details Widespread Agency Rebate Practices.”

But Wait, There’s More!

Swedish ad platform DanAds has raised $5 million. [release]

WPP has withdrawn share awards due to Sir Martin Sorrell after finding the advertising group’s former chief executive repeatedly leaked sensitive client information to a journalist. [FT]

Crackle Plus will augment its ad targeting with data from TransUnion. [release]

IBM will use its Watson Advertising Accelerator to optimize ad creative in OTT and video environments. [release]

In the wake of last year’s acquisition of Teemo, Near has snapped up another location data company: UberMedia. [TechCrunch]

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