Counting The Spend; Programmatic As Savior

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Counting The Spend

Online ad revenue has hit a new high – $9.6 billion – according to an IAB and PwC report. That’s a 15.6% increase in just one year. “This first quarter milestone clearly illustrates that marketers recognize that digital has become the go-to medium for all sorts of activities on all sorts of screens, at home, at the office and on-the-run,” said IAB CEO and Prez Randall Rothenberg. Read the quarterly update.

Missing The Spend

FreeWheel CEO Doug Knopper tells AdWeek that online video purveyors may be unnecessarily missing out on ad spend. “The linear TV guys have the highest number of ads. They are highly monetizing their content. Digital pure players are the lowest. They are not monetizing it yet. It’s almost like they have different business models,” said Knopper. Read more.

Programmatic As Savior

Ellie Rogers, former Chief Interactive Officer of media agency Ikon, told a Sydney media conference audience that programmatic signaled the “beginning of the beginning.” According to AdNews, she said, “Automated platforms provided an opportunity for sales houses to reinvent themselves as ‘real strategic partners who understand their clients’ business’ able to develop ‘bespoke data-driven solutions.’” Read more.

Mobile Pain

Fewer companies have been hit harder by the rapid consumer shift to mobile than Zynga. In an all-staff email about a new 18% headcount reduction, CEO Mark Pincus described the pain and the opportunity: “Mobile and touchscreens are revolutionizing gaming. Our opportunity is to make mobile gaming truly social.” But he said getting there will require lower overhead. Read Zynga’s blog. Zynga has lowered guidance for 2013 revenue from ads and virtual products. Press release.

iRadio On The Horizon?

Apple has reached a crucial agreement with Warner Music, suggesting it’s closer to launching a streaming service called iRadio. CNET is reporting that Apple may unveil the new product at its Worldwide Developers Conference next week. There could also be an advertising element to the new service, as Apple may include radio ads the way other streaming music services do. Given the sheer number of iTunes users, this could mean a much larger audience for advertisers than services like Pandora offer. Read more. Perhaps Triton Digital can get a slice of the business.

Native In Sheep’s Clothing

Google’s spam expert Matt Cutts issued a warning to marketers via YouTube video that they need to be careful with labeling native advertising. One of the most pertinent issues stems from Google’s search engine ranking system, which necessitates proper tagging when the content is an ad, so that it doesn’t show up in the results looking like non-sponsored content. Read more. Do I hear “Black Hat” Native, anyone?

The Unbearable Annoyance Of Display

Microsoft has announced the publication of new research which says that if you’re an “annoying display ad,” you’re driving away business, so shame on you! Using a test and control method (described here) that helps define the characteristics of an “annoying display ad,” researchers try to quantify the loss to publishers: “In the experiment, the authors found that they needed to pay people more than a dollar per thousand impressions to make up for the lost traffic caused by annoying ads, compared with showing innocuous ads or no ads at all.” Read Microsoft display ad chief Jenn Creegan’s intro. And download the research (PDF).  It’s a Kumbaya ecosystem moment too, as Google’s Preston McAfee collaborates on the research with two Microsoft colleagues, Daniel Goldstein and Siddarth Suri. A Microsoft spokesperson says that the three researchers were former Yahoo’s before they took different paths.

RTB ‘Wild West’

Turn Chief Architect Emile Litvak pens a retrospective blog post about the excitement and lawlessness of RTB’s formative years: “There were different approaches, ideas being explored (anyone remember browser-based first-price auctions?), no standards (we have OpenRTB now), but overall there was a feeling of moving rapidly in a new frontier.” Read it.


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