Rubicon CEO Blames Chango For Some Problems; Amazon Web Services Outage Effects Ad Tech

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Bye Buy Side

Rubicon CEO Frank Addante points to the company’s 2015 acquisition of Chango as a cause for some of its current woes. “The Chango acquisition didn’t work out the way we wanted it to,” he says in a MediaPost interview. “With desktop display, we misread the market.” After acknowledging it was late to respond to header bidding technology last year, Rubicon cut 19% of its workforce in a shift from its buy-side biz “We’ve lost a lot of market value because of header bidding, [but] it’s important to our customers,” Addante said. Since then, top executives have departed amid rumors of a private equity buyout. On the topic of server-side header bidding, Addante got a little defensive: “We’re not doing server-side header bidding right now. And by the way, no one is doing it well.” Read it.

Cloud Outage

Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3, used by about 150,000 sites and services including Sailthru, Quora, Business Insider and Giphy, had widespread outages Tuesday. While the outage shut down image hosting on a number of sites and rendered many IoT devices incommunicado, it also hurt the ad tech community. “Bidders affected have stopped bidding, services between transactions like video players have stopped rendering content and pixels and trackers are timing out,” Index Exchange CEO Andrew Casale told AdExchanger. “It’s pretty wild to see how much of ad tech is reliant on AWS.” Amazon revealed that the issue may stem from a data center in Ashburn, Va. The glitch serves as a reminder that even the most powerful clouds can have a stormy day. More.

Billion Hour Club

YouTube claims it has surpassed 1 billion viewer hours per day, a tenfold increase since 2012, and a number that’s on pace to eclipse US television viewership. “The corpus of content continues to get richer and richer by the minute, and machine-learning algorithms do a better and better job of surfacing the content that an individual user likes,” YouTube Chief Product Officer Neal Mohan told The Wall Street Journal. Alphabet doesn’t break out YouTube revenues in its earnings, so it’s unclear how the platform is monetizing the attention. Comparing YouTube to TV is apples-to-oranges, but many estimates value YouTube between $75 billion and $100 billion (roughly half the size of Disney, twice the size of NBCU). More. Related: YouTube launches a TV service at $35 per month price point. More.

The Price Of Performance

The Priceline Group spent an astonishing $3.5 billion on performance ads last year, and $738 million in Q4 alone, the company said on its earnings call this week. Brand advertising was only about a tenth of that at $295 million. Read the balance sheet. Priceline CFO Daniel Finnegan noted that Google is one of the company’s biggest ad channels. While it’s unclear how much of those marketing expenses go toward working media, if Google pulled $22 billion in ad revenue for Q4, could Priceline constitute about 3% of that?

Constant Vigilance

Domain spoofing is still a rampant threat to programmatic buying, according to Yuyu Chen of Digiday. Yet, it’s preventable. “Brands typically don’t receive log-level data from their agencies, so they don’t know what they are buying,” Metamarkets CEO Mike Driscoll told Chen. GetIntent CEO George Levin said: “SSPs should have an algorithm to detect this problem, but many flow it to demand-side platforms. SSPs and DSPs can keep their eyes closed and feel comfortable because clients don’t know this anyways.” More.

Salesforce Marketing Cloud Nears $1B In Revenue

Salesforce Marketing Cloud revenue (excluding revenue accretive to the Demandware and Krux acquisitions) was up 25% YoY to $933 million for fiscal year 2016. Salesforce’s president and COO, Keith Block, noted “massive expansion” in the number of multicloud (inclusive of Marketing, Sales and Commerce Cloud) products CPG clients use together. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff also called out the cloud company’s AI offering, Einstein, which he said more retailers and CPGs are using to improve in-store sales and to do competitive benchmarking against merchandise. Earnings.

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