Thursday, June 15, 2017

What Verizon’s Acquisition of Yahoo Means for Marketers

For marketers looking to expand beyond Google and Facebook, Verizon’s new subsidiary, Oath, will offer improved targeting and measurement. Through its merging of Yahoo and AOL, Oath will benefit from the advertising capabilities of both companies as well as Verizon’s subscriber data.

The focus on content brands, such as HuffPost and Tumblr, will set Oath apart in the digital advertising space. These content brands will soon be “automatically available on the ‘decktop’ of Verizon subscribers’ phones”.

Oath plans to focus its growth beyond the United States by targeting key markets and possibly acquiring more companies. Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, stated the goal is for Oath to double its consumer base by 2020.

Verizon bought AOL in 2015 for $4.4 billion and recently acquired Yahoo for $4.5 billion. eMarketer estimated Verizon and Yahoo will generate a combined $4.7 billion in digital ad revenue this year.

News coverage around Verizon’s acquisition of Yahoo has focused primarily on the resignation of Marissa Mayer as well as Yahoo’s plans to lay off 2,100 workers. The Wall Street Journal reports that most of the job cuts will occur where there are duplicate roles and teams.

From the marketing perspective, however, Oath represents an opportunity for digital advertising to grow. 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Header Bidding: The Trendy Programmatic Technique

Most digital advertisers have been familiar with programmatic selling for a while but may just now be hearing of header bidding. As the newest trend in programmatic, header bidding has the potential to help both advertisers and publishers.

According to Digiday, header bidding is a technique which allows for multiple bids on the same inventory. This increases the yield for publishers and provides more data points for advertisers.

According to Technorati CEO, Shanie Higgins, “the entire idea of this system is to eliminate the need for pushing inventory back and forth, which is inefficient and wasteful”. While header bidding does help to streamline the programmatic process, it comes with a significant drawback.

By adding yet another SSP tag to their page, a publisher risks raising their page load times. Page latency has helped fuel the popularity of ad blockers in recent years.

While the header bidding technique is not perfect, publishers greatly benefit from the increased transparency and revenue. With programmatic ad spend estimated to reach $37.9 billion by 2018, the chance of more revenue is worth the risk and inconvenience for many publishers.


In response to the recent popularity of header bidding, Google has released exchange bidding in Dynamic Allocation for publisher testing. According to The Programmatic Publisher, Facebook’s Audience Network has also integrated with tech partners for header bidding. 

Friday, June 2, 2017

Key Takeaways from the Internet Trends Report

From YouTube’s decreasing share of mobile traffic to the personalization of voice-activated devices, the newly released Internet Trends report offers unique insight into the digital advertising industry. Thanks to Adweek, marketers do not need to read through the 355-page report for the key takeaways.

1)    Dip in Smartphone Sales
In 2016, smartphones saw not only a decrease in sales but also in user-base growth. Globally 2.8 billion people own smartphones. While they remain extremely popular, the user-base only grew by 12 percent in 2016 compared to 25 percent in 2015.

2)    Increased Time Spent on Mobile
Adults spend an average of 5.6 hours per day consuming digital media. The majority of that time (3.1 hours) is spent on mobile devices while desktops account for 2.2 hours. The remaining 0.4 hours come from other devices.

3)    Internet vs. TV Ad Spend
The total Internet ad spend is growing faster than television ad spend, and 85 percent of Internet ad spend is through Google and Facebook. Compared to its 2015 ad revenue, Facebook experienced a 62 percent growth in 2016.

4)    Voice is the Next Frontier
Between the fourth quarter of 2016 and the first of 2017, Amazon’s voice-enabled assistant, Echo, gained 3 million users. With its increasing personalization, voice and visual recognition are considered to be the “next frontiers in search and discovery” by Photon’s VP of marketing, Michael Levine.

5)    Ad Blocking on the Rise

With about 640 million devices utilizing ad blockers in 2016, marketers have the right to remain wary of the software.