Home Ad Exchange News The Mobile Web Versus App Debate Isn’t Over; Outbrain Raises $45M

The Mobile Web Versus App Debate Isn’t Over; Outbrain Raises $45M


thedebatewagesonHere’s today’s AdExchanger.com news round-up… Want it by email? Sign-up here.

Sridhar Speaks

“The last word is yet to be written on mobile web versus apps,” Google’s senior-most ad platform exec, Sridhar Ramaswamy, said during an appearance at TechCrunch Disrupt. “The app model is still very clunky, in that you have to go download something that’s 20-odd megabytes, you wait for 25 seconds, you install it, and then after the first 20 apps you start to forget which apps are on your phone.” Ramaswamy said both Android and iOS will push for a future where apps can be used on the fly and browsers feel more app-like. “There’s a technical convergence that’s coming.” Bonus material here on Google’s ad-blocking initiatives, data policies and Facebook’s breakout mobile success. Watch the video.

Outbrain Vacuums Up $45 Million

Outbrain raised a $45 million funding round Tuesday, adding to the $99 million it’s already raised, including $35 million in October 2013. Despite the spiralling equity giveaways, the decade-old company said it was profitable in Q1, seasonally a period of lower advertising spend. It also touted its acquisition of attribution tool Revee and expansion into the world of chatbots. (CNN is using Outbrain to power its newsbot.) The company has been No. 2 in comScore tallies (which measures desktop only) for some time, falling behind competitor Taboola. Read CEO Yaron Galai’s blog post.

Data Fisticuffs

In Hong Kong, activists are fighting against telco data tracking. The dispute is unique to the city (involving the influence of Chinese business over Hong Kong residents and egregious abuses of user privacy in the past), but the companies involved are gaining global attention. One leading Hong Kong telco holding firm, CK Hutchison, has tried hard to consolidate within the EU. The investor behind CK Hutchison, Li Ka-shing, also foots the bill for Shine, the network ad-blocking startup which shifts power from digital platforms (namely Google) to telco operators.


Google has made it easier to use DFP to sell native ads that adapt to different device screens. Through the update, advertisers provide headlines, text and images which DoubleClick formats to fit different devices. It’s part of Google’s play to enable native advertising programmatically, but for now it only works in private marketplace deals. “For the last couple of decades format has basically meant size. Every ad has a rigid width and height. And that never changes,” said Tom Bender, group manager at DoubleClick. “There is a lot of assumption in ad tech about size and we had to go up and down our stack and rip that concept apart.” Ad Age has more. Read AdExchanger’s earlier coverage.


AT&T AdWorks and Opera Mediaworks ran trials across 13 million households measuring the impact of extending addressable TV buys across mobile. Addressable TV ads tested over AT&T’s own network (or, rather, a subset of DirecTV’s subscribers) showed a 19% sales lift. The ROI jumped an additional 27% when consumers received the same addressable ad on both TV and mobile. AT&T’s brand partners in the case study were Walmart and an unnamed luxury car company, both of which say the ability to execute and measure addressable ads across screens generates serious value. Read the release.

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