AppNexus Under the Lens; Curbed Founder Loves Display Ads

AppNexus Under the LensHere’s today’s news round-up… Want it by email? Sign-up here.

AppNexus Under the Lens

AppNexus is a magnet for scuttlebutt, thanks in part to its many affiliations (founded by refugees from DoubleClick/Google and Right Media/Yahoo, now aligned with Microsoft). In a no-holds-barred interview with AdAge’s Jason Del Rey, CEO Brian O’Kelley indulges the gossip swirling around his company. On the option to buy Atlas, he says, “Microsoft either has to invest heavily in Atlas to get rid of those disgruntled customers or I think they do need to find a happy home for it. I have no idea if we could afford it or if it would be a good fit.” He also discusses funding prospects; market value; and back channel chit-chat with Yahoo and Facebook. Read more.

De Castro To Yahoo?

Last Friday, The Business Insider said that Google publisher sales exec Henrique De Castro will be leaving Big G for Big Y! at the request of incoming CEO Marissa Mayer. TBI’s Nicholas Carlson writes, “None of these sources know what De Castro’s job will be, but one suggested his responsibilities will be “sales and business development.” But, a source tells AdExchanger that De Castro emailed colleagues at Google a week ago, and he confirmed again after the story broke on Friday, to say that he’s not leaving. Read more from TBI.

I Love Display

In an article by paidContent’s Jeff John Roberts, Curbed real estate blog publisher Lockhart Steel announces that he’s a display ad lover! He tells paidContent, “‘Display advertising is the future. (…) ‘” Roberts adds, “Steele’s point is that display advertising is a staple of the internet economy that publishers and advertisers now know how to buy, use and sell. (…) To make display advertising work, Steele says, it’s important to keep ad sales in-house. “Giving inventory to ad networks puts you in a world of spiraling CPM’s.” Read more display love.

Turning The Money Engine

According to Facebook’s director of ad products Gokul Rajaram, the mid-funnel is his company’s sweet spot. In a Wired article titled, “Exclusive: The Man Who Revs Facebook’s Money Engine,” Rajaram discussses the company’s ability “to influence people who are seriously interested in a brand or in a specific purchase but have not yet made a decision to spend their money.” He touches on a few familiar initiatives: mobile sponsored stories, social “offers” coupons, and easier ways for Page owners to promote posts. Read it. Rajaram will speak at AdExchanger’s Human Centered Automation conference in September.

He’s Out

The Detroit News and The Wall Street Journal are reporting that GM CMO Joel Ewanick is out. Ewanick is famous for going on the record on the eve of Facebook’s IPO to say that he was concerned about the performance of Facebook paid ads and promptly pulled a relatively (for GM) small budget. Talks are under way to determine Ewanick’s exit package (Hello golden parachute) as the Detroit News points out that “Ewanick was named global chief marketing officer in December 2010 [and has/had] responsibility for GM’s brands globally, ensuring consistent representation for all brands including Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Holden, Opel and Vauxhall.” Read more.

Real-Time Impressions

Trading desk Accordant Media reported that real-time bidded (RTB) inventory is on the rise according to its data. From a release, “Overall volume of RTB ad inventory grew 128% in Q2, 2012 vs. Q2, 2011 (up 12% vs. Q1, 2012). The United States, representing 47% of the total global RTB inventory, grew 90% year-over-year. Australia, France and Italy led the world in terms of inventory growth rate. The Canadian market accelerated in Q2 with a noticeable 20% daily volume gain following the launch of the ‘CPAX’ premium publisher exchange initiative.” Read more.

RTB No Names

Criteo’s Julien Simon takes a look at the basics of implementation of real-time bidding on the company’s display ad Tumblog known as “Boom.” Simon explains – with a dagger at the end, “In order to participate on a RTB exchange, media buyers first need to implement proper bidding protocols. Apart from the nascent OpenRTB initiative, there is not yet an industry-wide standard, so development work is required in each case. Getting everything set is usually quite straightforward, especially with the right software architecture (and the right team … another story in itself). However, since the ecosystem is made up of many companies figuring this out on the fly – no names – things can occasionally get tricky and surprises can happen.” Read more.

Audience Data, Fiscally

Neustar released earnings last week and provide guidance that their TARGUSinfo acquisition would grow between 6-13% in the current fiscal year. The display ad, audience targeting unit known as AdAdvisor is part of Neustar’s Information Services division (previously known as TARGUSinfo and acquired in December 2011). Though AdAdvisor was not mentioned specifically, for the second quarter 2012, “[Neustar’s] Information Services revenue totaled $38 million, representing sequential growth of 6% and pro forma year-over-year growth of 2%. Excluding approximately $3.9 million of onetime revenue in the second quarter of 2011. The sequential growth was driven by strength in Verification & Analytics, which grew 19% and by growth in Local Search & Licensed Data, which grew 10%.” Read the earnings call transcript on Seeking Alpha.

Making An Association

Google,, eBay and Facebook are getting together. No really. Reuters reports that the companies want a lobbying entity to handle their combined interests as it relates to regulatory and political issues. Reuters writes, “The Internet Association, which will open its doors in September, will act as a unified voice for major Internet companies, said President Michael Beckerman, a former advisor to the chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee.” Where’s Microsoft, Aol, Yahoo!? Read more. Another trade association is born.

Targeting DTP

[x+1] announced an updated to its data management platform (DMP) known as POE. According to a release, “Now even direct-purchased media inventory can receive the benefits of real-time targeting for every impression. The beta version is available for DoubleClick now, with the full release scheduled for September 2012.” Read more.

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