Native Ads; Pay For View

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Native Ads

The Wall Street Journal says (subscription) the US Federal Trade Commission will take a closer look at “native ads” with an open forum this Wednesday. See the FTC event page. Meanwhile, the question of scaling native advertising is a big one for advertisers, says Kunal Gupta, CEO at Polar, but he argues on MediaPost that building native ad networks is not the way to achieve scale. Read it.

Pay For View

Apple’s app-rank algorithm is a mystery, but it is based in part on an app’s star rating. According to Adweek, some online marketing companies are offering app developers the chance to bump up their standing in the app store in exchange for payment. There is contention, however, over whether this practice actually exists. “Last year was all about chart-boosting,” said Bill Clifford, CRO at mobile ad company SessionM. “Buying as many app installs as possible in as short a timeframe as possible to get to the top of the charts. Now there are fewer loopholes available to artificially inflate rankings, and legit companies won’t spend their time with it.” Read more.

Tumblr Ads

Yahoo’s Tumblr has introduced a new mobile ad unit, called Sponsored Trending Blogs, according to Mashable. This marks Tumblr’s fifth ad product since it introduced sponsored opportunities in May 2012. Advertisers using the feature in beta include Delta Airlines, 20th Century Fox, Calvin Klein and Turner Broadcasting. Read more. Still more on The Verge.

Another Yahoo Acquisition

Yahoo has acquired natural language processing (NLP) startup SkyPhrase, which will join its Labs team in New York. TechCrunch sees a use case for SkyPhrase’s technology in Yahoo’s fantasy sports product, which has maintained popularity. Read more. TechCrunch’s Darrell Etherington opines, “Yahoo is focused on tailoring its content delivery to a modern mobile audience, which is becoming increasingly used to devices that respond to conversational queries, and which has less patience and time for longer form content.” Contextual is back!

Facebook Boost

Some publishers are experiencing a surge in traffic coming from Facebook, according to Digiday, following an update to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm. Sites like BuzzFeed and Huffington Post are among those receiving more traffic, and they are also employing aggressive Facebook strategies. Not everyone is getting the boost, though. “We’ve seen Facebook traffic go up a bit, but then this is the holiday season, and recipe and other food and drink type stuff do a bit better at these times,” said The Daily Meal publisher Jim Spanfeller. “We have not seen the increase that BuzzFeed talked about.” Read more.

Time Shifting Ads

As the use of on-demand video grows, cable companies and advertisers are trying to figure out proper compensation. Comcast has come up with an idea, according to Variety, to have ads that accompany a big prime-time show also run during older on-demand episodes. It’s a deal that could potentially help online video as well, which is treated differently than TV in terms of ad buying. Read more.

Apple Drinks Twitter Data
With the  purchase of Topsy, reported yesterday by WSJ, Apple gains access to a “firehose” of social sentiment data and a direct relationship with Twitter. According to the story, the $200 million acquisition “could help Apple better monitor the social-media conversation around its products including targeted advertising on iTunes radio or Apple’s iAd platform.” The “affinity engine” lives! Read more. (sub. required) 

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