Media Companies Lag On Digital R&D; Hearst Has Native Programmatic Plans

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Boots On The Ground

“The sooner we as an industry admit that Facebook and Google and Apple and Snapchat are running the tables on media innovation — mobile and video innovation — the sooner we’ll do something about it,” writes Cory Bergman, who runs an NBC News startup called “Breaking News.” Facebook and Google are light years ahead of R&D at other media companies, says Bergman. When Facebook wanted to make live video a priority, it threw 150 engineers at the problem in a few days. More at Medium.

In-House Exchange

Hearst says Shared Spaces, its proprietary native ad exchange, will eventually go programmatic, MediaPost reports. The publisher rolled out the product in March, which it runs in-house with licensed technology. Running an in-house exchange is valuable to a giant publisher like Hearst, which saves information on every bid to pair with its own reader data. “The data lives in the auction system,” said Mike Smith, SVP of advertising platforms and core products at Hearst. “Unless you can persuade Google, AppNexus, Rubicon and the others to provide you with all those details, the best you can do is statistically sample it. Having all that data is very useful.” More.

Search And Discover

Apple’s iAd may be unwinding [AdExchanger coverage], but a bunch of its engineers are being repurposed for another advertising initiative: App Store search. Bloomberg reports a secret team within Apple is testing paid search opportunities within its app store. It would be a major pivot for Apple, which has always eschewed elevating apps for reasons other than quality and user choice. Besides Apple’s own revenue opportunities here (which are substantial), the tech giant is suffering as users abandon app stores – where discovery is a mess – in favor of fewer active apps and in-app solutions like bots. More.

Vital Signs

Contrary to what you might think, desktop Internet use has largely continued to grow throughout the mobile revolution. But now, according to comScore data, its incredible run may be ending. In each month since December, desktop Internet has declined in total consumption minutes. More at The Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, mobile minutes were almost double desktop in March, at 1 trillion.

Sharing Is Caring

Data Trust, the Republican National Committee’s exclusive data provider, will partner with digital ad firms like Facebook, Google and Rocket Fuel to give right-leaning organizations direct access to voter histories. The Democrats have been sharing voter data for years, but this is the first time since Data Trust was formed in 2013 that the Republicans are getting in on the game. “We were doing a lot of the one-off onboarding projects with different agencies,” said John DeStefano, CEO of Data Trust. “As we head into the general election, we wanted to make sure we were well ahead of the prime buying season.” More.

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