Collective Gets Ad Tech Funding; Yahoo To Report

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Funding Collective

VentureBeat reported on Friday that Collective, the digital ad platform and services company with a cross-screen pitch, has received a Series C round of financing to the tune of $20 million, led by Cox Media Group. An additional $30 million credit line is being provided by Comerica Bank.  (An SEC June filing is here). Interesting to see Cox continue to climb aboard the Collective “train” as they put their shuttered Adify acquisition in the distance. In March, Cox announced Collective would provide its TV reps with digital ad products and services. In May, Collective CEO Joe Apprendi said an IPO was possible.

Targeting Retargeting

In an article about retargeting, US News compares the siren sounds of in-store music and merchandising to cookies, display ads and electronic commerce. Monetate COO John Healy admits that retailers need to strive to “be helpful, not creepy.” Read more. Meanwhile on ClickZ, Vizury’s Parth Mukherjee provides a quick refresher on what makes retargeting successful — from a marketer’s POV. Read that one.

Yahoo’s Soft Display

Yahoo will report its Q2 earnings Tuesday after the stock market closes. JP Morgan analyst Doug Anmuth says — in Wall Street staccato — that he is “expecting Search growth but Display likely still soft. (…) We expect Display to remain soft as Yahoo!’s sales restructuring could take time to ramp, competition is increasing and the company has reduced some inventory on the homepage and in email. Demonetization, however, could help engagement and ultimately increase pricing as remaining ads generate more interactions and click-throughs. We project slight Display growth in the back half of 2013. We are forecasting 2Q Search net revenue of $405M (+5.0% Y/Y) and Display net revenue of $418M (-11.7% Y/Y).”  On Sunday, The Financial Times also reviewed Yahoo and its CEO, Marissa Mayer, pre-earnings release. Read “Mayer still waiting for her Yahoo moment” (subscription).

RTB Momentum

Sell-Side Platform (SSP) Rubicon Project tells MediaPost that, according its own marketplace app (get it in Apple’s app store), “The U.S. had a 1% drop in spend and a 3% drop in impressions last month (compared to May). The global market didn’t fare much better, with a 1% increase in spend but a 1% decrease in impressions.” Read more. Given the source of the data, it would seem this could also be seen as an insight on the SSP’s revenue momentum?

Video Ads Interacting

Video editing and ad optimization continue to get closer together as announced a partnership with Brainient. M&M Global says Aegis’ AMNET trading desk is using the new capabilities through’s App Center: “Brainient’s applications include the Microsite facility, which allows users to open within the video to see image and video galleries, fill in contact forms or interact with social buttons, and the Product Carousel that allows viewers to shop items that appear in the video.” Read more. And read the release.

Google Like Amazon

Google will report its Q2 earnings on Thursday as the company’s e-commerce display ads — known as Product Listing Ads (PLAs) — will get the microscope treatment from Wall Street. Jefferies analyst Brian Pitz reveals some pre-earnings research in a note to clients: “The top three PLA advertisers were digital marketing companies (running ads for third-party retail clients), with Kenshoo again taking No. 1 spot. eBay (No. 5) remains a top PLA advertiser after being mostly absent from our checks in 2012. Walmart (No. 4), Macy’s (No. 8), Amazon (No. 11) and Home Depot (No. 13) also remain top PLA advertisers. Top verticals include Clothing & Shoes, Home & Garden and Beauty & Personal Care. Google continues to innovate and refine the PLA format. With rich product information embedded directly in the search results, PLAs make Google appear more like Amazon.”

DNT’s Certain Things

In Ad Age, Kate Kaye explains that the W3C working group, which has been trying to come to a compromise on Do Not Track standards, has received a new proposal from ad-industry members. Kaye writes, “The proposal would alter the way analytics firms, marketers and others that track Web surfers would have to react when they encounter a Do Not Track signal, letting them continue collecting and using behavioral data. In exchange, the industry would agree to strip that data of certain information it may keep otherwise.”  Read more.

No More Hulu Rumors

After weeks of buyout rumors, it’s official: no more rumors. As The New York Times reported over the weekend, “The three companies that mutually own Hulu — 21st Century Fox, the Walt Disney Company and NBCUniversal — [will] make a new investment of $750 million and use Hulu’s technology to compete against other online distributors like Netflix.” Read all about it.  They’re gonna need ALL that cash to compete with Netflix, let alone others — especially if broadcasters and cable companies continue to migrate online. “TV Everywhere” strategies are on the march.

Engaging Mobile

Univision’s president of ad sales and marketing, Keith Turner, remarked to eMarketer’s Ellen Oppenheim that its Hispanic audience “are early adopters and heavy users of technology, and they are more likely to engage with mobile ads than non-Hispanics.” Univision, he said, experienced 300% year-over-year growth in mobile video plays between January 2012 and January 2013. But, with such a mobile-immersed audience, he claims the greatest challenge is that many agencies and buyers “still view mobile inventory as lower value.” Read more.

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