DG Q2 Proves Challenging; Ad-Supported Piracy

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As The World Of DG Turns

In case you missed it, DG, owners of MediaMind, Unicast, Eyewonder and Peer39, reported their Q2 2012 earnings last Thursday as DG CEO and President Neil Nguyen admitted that results were “mixed” with softness in the online division “mainly due to market softness in EMEA.”  On the TV side of the house, the HD video ad business is growing while SD (standard definition) is not. Read more.  On the earnings call, a few tidbits: “Peer39 continues its solid growth and is on track to hit an aggressive plan. Overall impressions grew by 33% reaching over 273 billion impressions;” and, “We also experienced operational issues in North America in the transition of EyeWonder customers onto the MediaMind platform, resulting in customer attrition and delayed new business acquisition;” and, it was reiterated that former Peer39 CEO Andy Ellenthal is taking charge of the company’s sales and operations as former MediaMind CEO Gal Trifon transitions out of his Chief Digital Officer at DG. Read the entire call transcript.  DG stock was down 16% at the end of the day Friday (Yahoo Finance).  The company now has an ~$255 million market cap with $400 million or so in debt.  It will be interesting to see if DG is sold, broken apart or can manage through… DG admitted in July its looking for strategic partners.

Dynamic Price Floors

On The Makegood, Casale Media’s Andrew Casale sees trouble in the innerworkings of today’s exchange. He writes, “With dynamic floor pricing, the auction automatically raises the clearing price to the middle of the two highest bids, not based on actual bidding behavior, but instead on past bid activity from the buyer. It’s like robots automatically bidding up your price in the absence of true buying activity, based on what you bid. This is a manipulative variant of the second price auction.”  Read more. He thinks buyers need to make a stand.  How about a “first price” auction as Microsoft’s Esco Strong argued on AdExchanger in May?

Ad-Supported Piracy

On Digiday, Jack Marshall reviews several websites known for supporting piracy and sees an industry disconnect with a number of brands and ad tech companies serving ads. He writes, “No matter your feelings about U.S. copyright laws, they are laws, and there’s no doubt these sites facilitate illegal behavior, even if they don’t house the content themselves. The oxygen that sustains many of these sites is advertising, delivered by the vast archipelago of the ad tech industry.”   Read more.  Marshall interviews AppNexus CEO Brian O’Kelley who reiterated his statement from this year’s IAB meeting that his company won’t serve on Torrent sites known for illiegal downloads – and he urges everyone to follow suit.  Meanwhile, over the weekend, a popular Torrent blog says that a Windows Torrent client known as UTorrent will go ad supported. Read it.

The comScore List

Rubicon Project says that it has reached the top of the heap when it comes to U.S. unique reach in the pay-for-play comScore, display “ad network” rankings for July 2012.  With buyers acquiring inventory across multiple supply sources through a demand-side platform model, the list may not be as relevant as it used to be. Still, it appears to have some juice as a marketing device.  Read more.  Collective CEO Joe Apprendi said as much in a January interview with AdExchanger as media planners and buyers still use the list as an “audience network” guide.

AppNexus Acqhire

Former Right Media star Pat McCarthy announced that he has joined the AppNexus mothership along with his Fantuition startup team.   He recounted the story on his Conversion Rater blog over the weekend.  Read it.  Though initially hesitant about leaving his “baby,” McCarthy writes, “I wanted to be a part of something bigger. I wanted to change the game like we did with Right Media, but to do it on a bigger scale and in new ways.”  He’s now the VP of Product at AppNexus according to his LinkedIn profile.

ComScore’s Suit

On PandoDaily, writer Erin Griffith provides her opinion on the recent lawsuit brought by comScore against AdSafe, DoubleVerify and Moat.  She writes, “When a company is suing based on these grounds, it’s not about protecting IP, it’s about protecting one’s own ass. ComScore’s stock has been in a steady decline since it reported a loss in March. In its latest quarterly earnings report last week, the company’s loss widened to $6.6 million, and it lowered its revenue outlook for the full year.” Read more.

Targeting Wi-Fi

On AllThingsD, Moolah Media CEO Shawn Scheuer offers Facebook a tip on what it should be concentrating on among many things.  He says, “Filling in the black hole of anonymous Wi-Fi and proxy browser traffic with accurate, usable information is a huge step that Facebook can take in solving this glaring (and growing) issue in mobile advertising – and it will also solidify Facebook’s place as a leader in mobile.” Read more.  Mobile is going to be big. No, really.


Looks like SAP has hired a PR company to start talking about the importance of – among other talking points – real-time bidding.  See it now.  The blog’s title is “Think Big, Grow Fast.”  SAP has venture money sprinkled around in ad tech companies such as OpenX, Marin and Tremor.  It would seem that adding more marketing/ad tech to its enterprise offerings could make sense. A PR push to lay the ground work?

FBX Now Hiring

Inside Facebook spies a few ads/marketing jobs popping up on the Facebook Careers page.  Though some are for the “Preferred Marketer Developer” program, there is also one based in Menlo Park for a “Technical Account Manager – Facebook Exchange, PMD Program.” The description reads, “As a Technical Account Manager (TAM) you will be the key services point of contact for the day-to-day issue management of all the major DSPs.” Apply now. That’s one role, of course – FB could just buy AppNexus and get the hiring over with.

How Viewable Is Viewable

On Bloomberg, Ashlee Vance covers the viewable impression wars and does an informal survey among industry mavens on what it means to be viewable, “At least 50 percent of the ad must be visible on a person’s screen for at least 1 second. (This does not strike me as a particularly high bar. A true, standardized metric is expected to arrive from the advertising industry next year, which may be more demanding.).” Read more.

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