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Weeding Out Bots; Taboola Partners With NBC Sports Digital


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Weeding Out Bots, Funds

Researchers at security startup White Ops claim they’ve found a way to weed out bot traffic from online human behavior for good, and the eight-month-old company has the financial backing to prove it. New investors, including Paladin Capital Group and Grotech Ventures, have already pumped a combined $7 million into the company. White Ops sells a line of code to its customers that lets clients determine the volume of bot traffic on their sites. White Ops co-founder Dan Kaminsky said, “In the beginning, advertisers were saying, ‘We’re afraid to do something,’ because fraud was generating so much revenue for the display ad industry.” He continued, “Now the fraud is large enough that they’re saying, ‘We’re afraid not to do something.’” The NY Times has the story.

Taboola Scores  

Content discovery platform Taboola announced on Tuesday an exclusive, multiyear partnership with NBC Sports Digital. NBC Sports Digital will display Taboola’s personalized content recommendations across 16 of its websites with the goal of increasing page views and generating revenue. Taboola says its technology uses an algorithm to examine user context, browsing history, geographic location and social media trends, and it serves more than 130 billion content recommendations monthly. Read the press release.

Targeting The Nest

Nest is sharing user data with its parent company, Google, for the first time since it was acquired in February, and the move is raising questions about privacy. The majority of the data the smart thermostat company plans to share centers on whether users are home or not, and Nest says it plans to allow other developers of household appliances access to user data. According to Matt Rogers, a Nest co-founder, “We’re not telling Google anything that it doesn’t already know.” Read more via The Wall Street Journal.

The Programmatic TV Debate

Programmatic buying for television is still in its infancy, and the jury’s hung on whether the broadcast networks will adapt. Adweek staff writers Sam Thielman and Garett Sloane square off to argue opposing sides of the debate. Thielman says no, largely because programmatic ad buying for television lacks a definitive definition. But Sloane points out that a growing number of media providers such as Cox Media and Clypd are opening their inventory to demand-side tech providers like Google, Turn and TubeMogul. Read more.

Pay As You App

US mobile carrier FreedomPop is planning a “pay as you app” feature that offers free mobile data plans by downloading sponsored apps. Meanwhile, the apps’ ads will be offered to marketers programmatically, with advertisers choosing particular time segments, geolocations and age demographics for targeting. “We are investing a lot to build out the capability for any app developer or company to sponsor data with pricing determined by an app’s approximate data consumption,” says one FreedomPop source. The company services a quarter million subscribers (Verizon has 124 million subscribers), but FreedomPop says its users are growing at a rate of 20% month on month. Read more via TechCrunch.


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Nouvelle Mobile

Le Monde is breaking the banner ad mold for mobile. As the French publisher debuts its new smartphone app, the company will roll out four new mobile ad formats. The Slider is one new format, first used by Sony Mobile and Land Rover, that integrates ads into editorial content (native much?). “In France, the advertising market is not very well developed on mobile,” said Isabelle André, CEO of Le Monde Interactif, the department that oversees the newspaper’s digital activities. “We wanted this market to move to something else, because everyone wants to buy a splash [ad]. The splash screen is a very good format, but it’s only one. And advertisers don’t create very beautiful ads for banners.” Digiday has the story.

Opera Mediaworks Buys AdColony

As first reported a couple of weeks ago, Opera Mediaworks officially acquired mobile video advertising network AdColony on Tuesday morning. The $75 million cash purchase will yield a combined audience of 700 million, according to Opera’s press release. On a call with investors, AdColony CEO Will Kassoy, who will remain in his current position, cited AdColony’s videos’ HD quality and speed as paramount to the company’s success. AdColony will continue as a division of Opera, Kassoy said, and Opera CFO Erik Harrell said he expects a $45 million increase in revenue from the acquisition. Read more at Tech Crunch.

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