Nielsen Stands To Gain In Restrictive 3P Data Climate; Maven Courts Publishers

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Long On Nielsen

Dan Salmon, a BMO Capital Markets equity research analyst, upgraded Nielsen from market perform to outperform, an “opportunistic call” based on Nielsen’s clients’ growing need to measure and verify third-party data and online media. “We believe tightening regulations on open internet platforms is a relative positive for a third-party measurement company,” Salmon wrote in an investor post Monday. Assets like Nielsen Catalina Solutions and Visual IQ, a multitouch attribution company, also benefit from tailwinds as measurement takes a bigger cut of overall marketing. The upgrade isn’t an indicator of much stronger revenue expectations, but Salmon calls Nielsen, which has dropped by about 40% since the end of 2016, a “sentiment stock” traded at a low multiple in part because it’s commonly targeted for complaints. Nobody likes the referee.  

Road Tripping

The online publisher technology company Maven, founded last year by ad tech vet James Heckman, is trying to collect and monetize long-tail publishers (think mommy bloggers, right- and left-wing activists and marijuana enthusiasts). The company recently spent $350,000 to fly 250 such publishers on a three-day recruiting trip to Whistler, Canada, Mike Shields reports for Business Insider. Some attendees he spoke to are dubious Maven could make up for significant losses in Facebook traffic, especially as brands exit the long tail. Programmatic sophistication can grow revenue but won’t bring back platform audiences. “It’s a big mountain to climb,” Shields writes. More.  Related in AdExchanger: Not An Ad Network: What The Heck Is James Heckman Up To With Maven?

Not For Free

Google’s year-old Funding Choices product, which allows ad-blocking users to whitelist certain sites, is taking off. In the past month, 4.5 million people used the feature to generate more than 90 million additional paid page views on those sites. Pubs are seeing 16% of users allow ads on average with some rates as high as 37%. Now Google will roll out the feature to 31 more countries and allow publishers to test subscriptions with it. It will also expand its Google Contributor tool, which lets users pay publishers for an ad-free experience, of which Google takes a 10% cut. Read the blog post.


For some Snapchat Discover partners – a curated set of publishers – the “numbers just went haywire” after a recent app redesign, reports New York magazine. The redesign split content by friends from content by publishers and celebrities, bringing down overall time spent with media companies. An autoplay video feature with the redesign increases unique views by looping users into content from other Discover partners – so if someone clicks on Bleacher Report, they can end up watching videos from BuzzFeed or Cosmopolitan – but it’s less valuable engagement. And Snapchat is struggling to mollify publishers after reducing its ad sales and partnerships teams. YouTube, Facebook and Twitter faced freak-outs after UX redesigns, and there’s no reason this is any different for Snapchat. “This just seems like growing pains that many social-media platforms deal with,” says one anonymous Discover publisher. More.

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