Amazon Finally Buys Into Google PLAs; Snap Inc. Purchases An AR Startup

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The PLA Portal

Google’s Product Listing Ads (PLAs) are a dominant unit in retail search and ecommerce, and the end of 2016 revealed a powerful new entrant to PLA listings: Amazon. “The conventional wisdom around why Amazon had refused to participate in Google Shopping has been that doing so would strengthen Google’s position in the battle to be consumers’ first destination for product searches,” Merkle’s senior director of research, Mark Ballard, wrote last week after seeing Amazon’s Google PLAs in the wild. Read it. Amazon appears to be confining its early Google Shopping efforts mostly to home goods products. If Amazon expands this initiative beyond the test phase, it would be a gamechanger in ecommerce. More at MediaPost.

Cimagine That

Snapchat parent Snap Inc. purchased augmented reality startup Cimagine Media for upward of $30 million, VentureBeat reports. The Israeli startup will enhance Snapchat’s augmented reality masks while expanding its global footprint. But Cimagine also brings expertise in commerce, helping brands like Coca-Cola and Shop Direct use augmented reality in product advertising. For Snap, ecommerce could open a new revenue stream, boost engagement and bring in additional advertising opportunities. Related in WSJ: Investors are cautious about Snap’s valuation.

Watchful Eyes

Data from Integral Ad Science revealed that fast-scrolling users are zipping past ads too fast for many to register as viewable – at least according to the IAB’s definition. “Facebook ads are far less viewable than people were expecting,” said Drew Huening, director at Omnicom’s Accuen. That said, Huening doesn’t think the lower-than-expected in-view rates will dent the ad spend going to Facebook. In an interview with Lara O’Reilly of Business Insider, Facebook’s Andrew Bosworth argues that not all platforms can be measured equally. “Different platforms are different, even if some of the pieces look similar,” he said. For example, Facebook defines an impression as an ad in-view for “north of one second,” Bosworth said, which is lower than the IAB standard. More at Business Insider.

Stream Steam

GroupM and Spotify, as part of a multi-year data partnership [AdExchanger coverage], are studying music streaming habits as a proxy for consumer behavior. After examining seven global markets, the groups found that more than 60% of music streamed on mobile devices can be linked to “moods and moments,” as opposed to more typical demos. GroupM estimates that “moods and moments” will account for $220 million in new ad revenue across markets studied. At this point, however, the segments are still nascent and unscaled, said Simeon Duckworth, head of data and analytics strategic development at GroupM. “There’s a real paucity of data,” he said. More.

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