Dark Social; Programmatic’s The Word

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Deepest Darkest Social

Alexis Madrigal, who coined the term “dark social” in reference to untraceable web traffic on social sites, issued an update on the phenomenon in a piece for Fusion. According to data from Chartbeat, Madrigal says most of that traffic is percolating from Facebook’s mobile apps. “The takeaway is this: if you’re a media company, you are almost certainly underestimating your Facebook traffic,” Madrigal writes. “The only question is how much Facebook traffic you’re not counting. The bad news is that, if you didn’t know before, it should be even more clear now: Facebook owns web media distribution.” Gigaom has more.

Programmatic It Girl

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) polled 349 of its members and declared “programmatic” the marketing word of 2014. Still, more than half of the marketers surveyed in a May ANA/Forrester white paper, titled “Media Buying’s Evolution Challenges Marketers,” confessed a lingering confusion about programmatic buying and a hesitancy to use automation to buy and manage campaigns. “This realistic self-appraisal opens the door for continued training and education,” the ANA said in a statement. Get the PDF (download).

Crystal Clear

And yet, confusion over programmatic isn’t slowing brand advertisers’ sashay into automation, AOL Platforms CEO Bob Lord told Ad Age in a video interview on Friday. “We’re starting to see a faster shift to programmatic advertising than we ever have before because there’s a knowledge base within the brand advertiser of what the benefits can be,” Lord said. He added that AOL Platforms’ programmatic advertising business grew from 4% to almost 37% YoY, which he attributed “to the knowledge base of our brand advertisers.”

Viewability Fallout

Google’s new findings on viewable impressions could contribute to the delay of some ad tech IPOs, Collective CEO Joe Apprendi tells Business Insider. Google’s data suggest 56% of display ads aren’t viewable across Google and DoubleClick, and Apprendi says tech companies are better off as private entities when the industry makes a bigger push for full disclosure on the inventory it serves and the truth about who’s seeing it. “Do I want to be a public company while that happens? No,” Apprendi says. “A year ago [headlines about transparency were] not even top of mind. Now it’s a consideration.” Read AdExchanger’s coverage of Google’s benchmark report.

Privatizing TV

IPG’s Magna Global tapped Cox Media and AudienceXpress to support a new web interface for TV ad buying, reports WSJ’s Mike Shields. “Magna will be able to buy linear TV ads that would run within Cox Media’s local cable ad space. Magna will also be able to target specific audience segments for its clients via the new marketplace.” The companies are calling the offering a private marketplace for television ads. More.

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