Facebook Open Exchange; MaxPoint Interactive Goes Public

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Exchange Part Deux

Facebook may be getting into the ad exchange business beyond its huge and popular Facebook Exchange (FBX), which functions more like a private exchange targeting users on Facebook inventory only. Ad Age’s Tim Peterson says a new, open exchange will be facilitated by LiveRail technology (acquired by Facebook last July) and sell publishers’ mobile app inventory. Read it. LiveRail is moving well beyond enabling the sale of desktop video inventory alone.

Ad Tech And IPOs

Positioning itself as a “business intelligence and marketing automation software service” targeting retailers, MaxPoint Interactive raised more than $70 million in its initial public offering on Friday. Nevertheless, the markets frowned on the company’s stock, valuing MXPT at $250 million by EOD according to NASDAQ. Ad tech IPOs continue to be challenged – see TubeMogul’s first day of trading in July; its stock price has been on a somewhat more positive roller coaster since that time. MaxPoint had originally hoped to raise even more funds according to its S-1, which “opens the kimono” (whoa) on 2014 revenues of $106 million with a $13 million loss. Its MaxPoint Intelligence Platform is the backbone of the business and was launched in 2011.

FTC Cross-Device Radar

In a speech at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Privacy Summit in Washington on Thursday, the head of the US Federal Trade Commission, Edith Ramirez, detailed her commission’s goals. Make no mistake, tactics that are becoming part of marketing’s evolution are on the FTC radar. SC Magazine’s Teri Robinson covers the presentation: “[The chairwoman] referred to ‘the focus [President Obama] has placed on privacy’ as ‘tremendous,’ before detailing the commission’s goals, particularly data security, sussing out the connections between a data-driven world and fraud and cross-device tracking.” Read it. Also, read Google general counsel Kent Walker’s thoughts on data, privacy and innovation.

Programmatic Front

Programmatic TV? Still TBD. But, TV companies are going programmatic. Multichannel News’ Jeff Baumgartner says that Freewheel has added A+E Networks to its “FourFronts” digital video, programmatic pilot. Quoting Freewheel, Baumgartner writes, “The programmatic pilot enables matching of data in a protected escrow environment that lets publishers forecast and reserve against it.” Sounds fancy. Learn more.

Scrolling For Viewability

Infinite scrolling, such as what you see when you scroll down your Facebook page, has been thought to provide an answer to viewability concerns and, consequently, adopted by many large publishers.  Unfortunately, Digiday’s Ricardo Bilton sees lip balm on a pig: “[The] tactic, while popular, isn’t entirely foolproof: While ads in infinite scrolling sites are more viewable, the challenge comes when users scroll past the ads before they actually load.” Read it.

Piper Puffs Pandora Programmatic

Online music service Pandora met with Wall Street analysts this past week and outlined plans for its ad product line among other strategic initiatives. “We see monetization likely being driven by better local sales efforts, increased use of data, better measurement and an emerging programmatic strategy,” puffed the Piper Jaffray analysts in review. Read more on Benzinga. Pandora unveiled mobile programmatic plans in early February. Read that one. Meanwhile, GigaOm says the company will offer a day pass to get around ads. Schizo-Pandora?

Anonymous Login Targeted

Facebook continues its year-long anonymous login beta, according to Re/code’s Kurt Wagner. He reminds that the tool is “intended to allow people to test out third-party apps without having to share any personal Facebook information.” To date, apparently, people like to login as themselves and no one is using the feature. Read more.

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