Google’s Answer To Header Bidding Has People Worried; Facebook Offers Mid-roll Ad Slot

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Playing Broker

People in ad tech don’t know a lot about Google’s exchange bidding in dynamic allocation (EBDA) product, which was pre-announced earlier this year in a bid to slow the stampede to header bidding. [AdExchanger coverage] But what they DO know, they don’t like, writes Business Insider. Because nondisclosure agreements prevent publishers and ad tech partners from talking to each other, nobody knows what kind of fee Google plans to take. And while SSPs historically have enjoyed direct relationships with publishers, Google will pay both sides in the setup (and presumably act as an intermediary). Sources speculate that Google Ad Exchange will take “last look” on the bids, giving itself an advantage. Read on.

Live Wire

Facebook is “running a small test where a group of publishers have the option to insert a short ad break in their Facebook Live videos,” the company tells Ad Age’s Garett Sloane. The mid-roll format (a fancy name for a commercial break) means users aren’t immediately turned away by pre-roll spots and producers/publishers are incentivized to host live videos for longer durations, since the ad becomes available after a minimum of five minutes. Facebook’s product is beginning to look like TV, but unlike TV (which can offer reliable audience numbers and results) Facebook Live and other social live-video platforms usually find success in hard-to-predict viral hits (Chewbacca Mom) or breaking news nobody wants to advertise against (like police shootings). More.

Cookies, With Juice

Two Princeton cybersecurity researchers, Steven Englehardt and Arvind Narayanan, recently published a report detailing the kind of access – fingerprinting, even – companies have via a smartphone’s battery status. The HTML web update last year gave site owners access to mobile device battery life APIs (so they can serve low-power apps or site pages to users who are running low). Except that by combining “percent of battery left” with “seconds of battery left,” it turns out savvy trackers can (and do) pull near-unique device identifiers. The trick can identify your phone regardless of tracking settings or if you’re using something like Google Chrome’s private browsing mode, since the battery life API backdoor is an HTML constant. The Guardian has more. The measurement versus privacy arms race continues.

Olympic Effort

If all of the major internet players are figuring out innovative ways to cover the Olympics, you can be sure Google is, too. The search giant will show users event schedules, medal counts, info on their favorite athletes and TV schedules right on the search results page, Fortune reports. Google Trends will have a special section dedicated to pointing out the top Olympic-related searches. Google Maps will offer 360-degree videos of Rio’s Olympic Stadium and surrounding neighborhoods. And, of course, there’s a video play: YouTube will send 15 influencers to stream highlights in more than 60 countries. More at Adweek.

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