Snap Democratizes Ad API; AT&T Never Came Back To YouTube

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Snap is opening its marketing API to all developers. Previously the API was only open to a handful of certified partners, but now brands, agencies and ad tech companies who want to buy on Snapchat can do so without licensing a third party. Developers can now build custom tools for buying on Snap and overlay proprietary data sets. For Snap, opening its API to more buyers will hopefully increase bid density in its auction and thus boost CPMs, which fell 25% in Q4. “These releases help drive more spend on the platform, particularly from direct response marketers,” Lance Neuhauser, CEO of 4C, told Business Insider. More.

Human Touch

It’s been nearly a year since the YouTube brand safety meltdown and most advertisers have ended their boycotts. But AT&T has yet to return after pulling its ads last March. The company is demanding “as close to zero tolerance for this issue as possible,” brand chief Fiona Carter tells The New York Times. But the telco is pining for YouTube and its audience. AT&T spent the past year working with YouTube on its review systems, working to at least implement human oversight for preferred inventory. “Our findings are that no matter the algorithm or the filters or the formula that you currently apply, nothing beats human review,” Carter says. More.

Content Dies In Darkness

A key executive behind The Washington Post’s bold technology strategy has left the publisher to run a blockchain startup. Jarrod Dicker, whose title at WaPo was innovation and commercial VP, will be CEO of In a blog post, Dicker says will “sanction a new network effect to not be ‘owned’ by a single entity but maintained by the collective owners of the content itself.” Phase two: Help those owners monetize. Dicker tells Business Insider, “You’ll no longer have to go through middlemen. … A GE or a Pepsi, they’ll be able to find creators and work directly with them. They may realize, ‘We don’t need a Vox. We don’t need a content studio.'” Read it. More in AdExchanger: Jarrod Dicker on the AdExchanger podcast.

Finding Its Wayfair

Wayfair stock more than doubled in the past year, but it’s also one of the most-shorted public internet companies. What’s up? Wayfair mastered the art of selling furniture online before incumbent retailers realized the opportunity. But now it faces Amazon private-label lines and stores like Restoration Hardware and Williams Sonoma doing half their business online, reports The Wall Street Journal. Wayfair is one of many digitally savvy, direct-to-consumer businesses that snapped up market share and are now in a defensive crouch. Restoration Hardware and Williams Sonoma get 60-70% of their online traffic from brand-specific searches, while “Wayfair” queries account for only 9% of Wayfair’s traffic. The company must spend a higher percentage of revenue on marketing and is exposed to long-term risk if newly acquired users don’t become return customers. More.

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