Disney’s Ad Tech Ace-In-The-Hole; Amazon To Share Video Data

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Stream Dream

Disney’s big bet on streaming rests on the shoulders of BamTech, a video streaming and ad tech firm spun out of Major League Baseball’s Advanced Media division in 2015. BamTech signed a series of early streaming deals with clients like WWE, HBO, Fox Sports and Hulu. Last year, Disney bought a 75% stake in the company. The $1.6 billion question: Would Disney’s unique content and BamTech’s engineering prowess be enough to surmount the challenge of distributing content and ads via cable TV packages, streaming bundles, connected TV apps, smartphones and browsers? That complexity is “one of the big, big barriers to entry if you want to have a scaled digital video service,” says BamTech CEO Michael Paull. More at The NYT. Fun fact: BamTech is based in a former cookie (dare we say post-cookie?) factory.

Making It Rain

Citing unnamed sources, CNBC reports Amazon “would be more open to giving advertisers more data on what viewers were watching and what they were doing online.” It’s hard to tell what “open” means in this case. Will Amazon allow its video consumption data to flow outside its own pipes or (more likely) simply use it to enhance the ads it sells directly? Read on. Also: Amazon is in talks with “brand safety” measurement firms to ease adjacency concerns. OpenSlate is the emerging leader in that category.

Two Sides, One Coin

Fusion Media Group is trying to help brands make better ads by sharing engagement data with brands for ads on its properties. Working with ad tech firm Performance Pricing, Fusion will give out sliding bonuses and free impressions to the makers of ads that get the most engagement. The problem: The product registers “engagement” as the number of clicks and mouse-overs – metrics that buyers have long disparaged for incentivizing intrusive ad formats and, subsequently, ad blocking. “You’re just putting lipstick on a pig,” said Joshua Topolsky, editor in chief at digital news startup The Outline. “Three-by-twos, banners, takeovers, pushdowns – they don’t work.” More at WSJ.

Not Amped

Publishers have been frustrated by stuck-in-the-mud AMP revenue, and some attribute stagnant returns to sites loading too quickly and users easily skimming away before an ad displays, according to Digiday. The point of Google AMP is to load site content before loading ads, “but we are working on making ads faster,” says a Google spokesperson. “It takes quite a bit of the ecosystem to get on board with the notion that speed is important for ads, just as it is for content.” More.

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