The Duopoly Is Scaring Away VCs; Consumers Adopt OTT

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Our Better Angels

Facebook’s and Google’s seemingly indomitable position in ad tech is chasing VCs out of the category. Crunchbase data shows ad tech VC deals diminishing since 2014 and some “once-bright categories might be has-beens,” Jason Rowley writes at TechCrunch. “The moat just keeps growing wider.” On the other hand, even as VCs back away, ad tech entrepreneurs with exits under their belt have formed an informal angel investor ecosystem. “AppNexus founder and CEO Brian O’Kelley said he hopes to invest ‘in a space I understand better than most.’” More.

Up With OTT

OTT monetization is in the early stages – and remains a blip by overall TV revenue standards. But even as budgets flow in at a moderate trickle, consumer adoption has risen to flood levels. In the past four years, connected OTT devices (like Roku and Apple TV) have ballooned from 2% to 32% of online ad view share, according to data from the Comcast-owned TV ad tech company FreeWheel. The growth is also being driven by mobile viewing. “Ad views on smartphones and tablets were steady during that span as they declined on desktops,” reports Multichannel News.

Howdy Partners

Pinterest added a slew of vendors to its measurement partner program. Nielsen Digital Ad Ratings will power audience verification and measure reach, frequency and anonymous demographics. Neustar will power multitouch attribution. Acxiom, Nielsen Catalina Solutions and IRI will measure offline sales lift. And Analytics Partners will focus on media-mix modeling. The platform also released new data from Oracle Data Cloud showing ads on Pinterest boosted sales for 92% of CPG brands advertising on the platform. More at Adweek.

Exec Drop

Dentsu US CEO Robert Horler is stepping down, Alex Bruell reports for The Wall Street Journal. Nigel Morris, CEO of the Americas, will take over as interim CEO while the company works out a succession plan. Horler was with Dentsu Aegis Network for 17 years and is leaving to “do something different,” although he didn’t indicate whether he will stay in the agency business. Under Horler, Dentsu US made major acquisitions, including indie programmatic trading desk Accordant media and B2B agency Gyro. More.

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