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Rakuten Buys Ebates; Spotify Ad Problems

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Rakuten’s New US Commerce Data

Rakuten confirmed its purchase of US couponer Ebates, to the tune of $1 billion. Japan-based Rakuten gets a big US commerce play, sure, but what about the data trove? Of logged-in users no less? From the release: “Members are able to enjoy a range of services [travel, digital content, financial services] through common log-in IDs. With participation of Ebates, Rakuten Group aims to create the world’s largest product line-up ranging from niche to luxury products, and to allow consumers to enjoy points rewards and cash-back upon purchase of products over various partner sites through Ebates.” More.

Heard, Not Seen

Forrester analyst Jim Nail sees a problem with Spotify’s foray into video. He tells Digiday’s Eric Blattberg, “Quite frankly, unless [advertisers] get some kind of assurance that the majority of people will see the ad, they won’t come back a second time,” he said. But Spotify is optimistic. In an email to AdExchanger, head of global business marketing Amy Vale wrote, “Moving into video advertising was a natural progression. Our audience is genuinely engaged with both their eyes and ears and video certainly lends itself to that.” Viewability fight! Read it.

TV App SDK

A new software developer kit from ad seller (and browser maker) Opera extends its offering to connected TVs. It’s all about app monetization, according to Opera’s SVP for TV and devices, Aneesh Rajaram, who claims the new solution will “support getting a bigger bang for the buck from app and device inventories.” Press release.

Branding, Old School

Writing for Ad Age, Nielsen’s VP for product leadership, Chris Louie, warns against the pitfalls of relying on programmatic for brand advertising. “The temptation is strong for brand advertisers engaging in programmatic buying to let the algorithm do the work and shift to a more periodic, reactive check of effectiveness measures,” says Louie. “But this is false thinking.” Insead, “Sound, independent measurement focused on core brand objectives matters in a programmatic buying environment every bit as much than in a non-programmatic one.” More.

MediaMath Opens Borders

MediaMath expanded a partnership with Headway Digital that will bring more international data to its platform from Latin America and Europe. Headway Digital’s DMP DataXpand, which focuses on segmenting audiences in these markets, will be combined with MediaMath’s TerminalOne to better target campaigns in these markets, where DataXpand works with publishers to pool audience data. Read the release here.

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