Ads.txt Inspires Cautious Optimism; Mediaocean And VideoAmp Automate Parts Of TV Buying

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The IAB’s ads.txt initiative aims to help buyers avoid purchasing inventory on fake domains masquerading as premium pubs by letting those pubs publish an authorized list of resellers [AdExchanger coverage]. But its success depends on widespread adoption, argues George Slefo at AdAge. While many publishers are eager to weed out domain spoofers, others worry ads.txt will make their rates, which vary across exchanges and buyers, too transparent, said Marc Grabowski, EVP of global supply and business development at Criteo. “It’s a double-edged sword,” he said. “It is a trade-off between sustaining a higher CPM rate versus fill.” Another issue will be scaling ads.txt for international adoption. More.

Optimizing The Upfront

Upfront presentations have concluded, but Mediaocean and VideoAmp are trying to reduce the manual labor involved in next season’s TV planning process. Mediaocean will connect Spectra, the system many large agencies and holding groups use to reserve, pay for and traffic against their linear TV ad commitments, to VideoAmp. The point is to allow planners to pull in data, discover audiences and optimize against digital and traditional KPIs in one place. So will the upfronts ever be outsourced to software? Probably not. TV will never fully lose the “people” and negotiation part of the upfronts, but automating the commitment and campaign execution process further with data? That’s the big promise. Release.

Under The Influence

Agencies have yet another group of competitors to deal with: influencers. Brands are going straight to social media stars to plan and execute creative campaigns without the agency as a broker. L’Oréal, for example, has annual contracts with 23 influencers, and online skincare brand InstaNatural has stopped working with agencies on creative altogether in favor of influencer relationships. Brands like going direct to influencers because they produce social media content both faster and cheaper than agencies. “Between high agency markups, creative fees and imaginary fees, brands are saving money by just going direct,” said Nick Cicero, CEO of influencer network Delmondo. More at Digiday.

Data-Driven Books

Amazon introduced Amazon Charts, a data-powered best-seller list that draws on Amazon marketplace orders and ratings as well as Kindle engagement stats like “most time spent reading” or most “borrowed” books. Alexa is already programmed to recite and sell books on the list. As it happens, five of the 20 books atop Amazon Charts’ fiction list were from Amazon Publishing. More at The New York Times. With a new brick-and-mortar shop at Time Warner Center, over the bones of a shuttered Borders, Amazon is poised to close a “lucrative feedback loop.”

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