Apple News May Not Be Paying Off For Pubs; Twitter’s Troubles Continue

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Weak Yield

Apple News is boosting traffic, but it may not actually be paying off for publishers, reports Digiday. Like Google’s AMP and Facebook’s Instant Articles, Apple News features articles in-app instead of redirecting traffic to publishers. Publishers can serve ads on Apple News and keep 100% of the revenue, but only through Apple’s ad server, Workbench, which requires formats tailored to the platform. Apple also doesn’t measure ads effectively, despite saying it would implement comScore last year. “Any time publishers are asked to use multiple ad servers, it makes monetization harder,” said Ryan McConville, president and COO of Kargo. “Publishers clearly see the benefits of audience extensions across third-party platforms … but inevitably that is also weighed against the difficulty of monetization in those ecosystems.” More.

Rebrand For A Buy

Twitter is a media company and should start acting like one, writes Christopher Mims of The Wall Street Journal. Twitter’s inability to define itself has confused product teams, users and investors, and may be why it’s struggling to find a buyer. Twitter is unprofitable mainly because of the large stock grants it offers employees, which make up 26% of its revenue. These grants are typical in Silicon Valley to boost retention, but media companies wouldn’t offer them because talent is more (ahem) “interchangeable.” Even after a precipitous stock drop in the past year, Twitter is valued at 4.3 times its 12-month revenue, whereas media companies go for one to three times yearly revenue and Facebook has a multiplier of 16.7. More.

Roaring Trade

The Trade Desk crushed its IPO, trading at around $30 on the first day after forecasting $18 per share [AdExchanger coverage]. But now The Trade Desk is coming out of its post-IPO “quiet period” and gravity will reassert itself, right? Maybe not, writes financial news site 24/7 Wall St. The stock price has remained steady in the mid- to high twenties, and analysts from firms not involved in the IPO have set a $30 price target (Cantor Fitzgerald) and a $40 target (Susquehanna). Fidelity Management, another independent firm, has scooped up almost 15% of all non-voting Trade Desk stock. More.


WPP’s Grey is getting deeper into dynamic creative with an investment in in-house direct marketing agency Grey Response. The agency claims to dramatically collapse the speed-to-market for banner creatives. “We see a big opportunity in the fact that 75% of all display is currently bought programmatically, yet only 3% of it is served dynamically,” Grey COO Wayne Brown tells The Drum. The service syncs the Grey Response team with MEC media buying and GreyWorks, the company’s creative production arm, as well as an external partnership with independent CRM agency WDMP. More.

SEO Is Confusing Again

It’s been 20 months since mobile search queries surpassed desktop, and in another 20 months voice search may be just as prominent a piece of the search ad equation. So what does that mean for SEO? Street Fight Mag has an explainer on “Schema,” a way to structure a website to enable more display context and richer user experiences for the search engine (oh, and also more access). “As suggested by the name, schema relies on a well defined structure and set of definitions,” and those definitions are set by, a collaborative organization sponsored by Google, Bing, Yandex and Yahoo. Schema isn’t new, but it’s also not well known. It will be though, since voice AIs like Cortana, Siri and Alexa are rewarding sites that adopt it. More.

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