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The Quest For Scale Is Ruining The Digital Ad Industry

October 27, 2016 in News

Adelphic’s VP of Product, Yael Avidan, lends her perspective on audience and scale in the digital ad industry.  

The first question marketers or agencies ask ad tech vendors or media companies is probably this: “That audience is perfect, but can it scale?”

Audience targeting is great, but ultimately, advertising’s main draw is reaching large-scale audiences. Although it reflects the return on investment, that marker can miss the point and may end up stifling the digital ad world’s growth.

We live in a time where consumer experience is fragmented more than ever across devices, channels and experiences. Yet, advertisers want yael-avidan“shortcuts” and are driving media companies and ad tech vendors to provide them with scale – even when that scale doesn’t exist.

This results in three core issues I see threatening the growth and sustainability of the digital ad world. First, the quest for scale reduces the value of smaller yet engaged audiences. As a result, many smaller publishers are having a hard time competing and struggle to maintain their revenue bases.

Second, advertisers’ willingness to pay for scale has unsurprisingly driven the emergence of bots and traffic drivers that step in and “supply” this demand. This, in turn, created a massive distrust of advertisers in the ecosystem and is one of the key problems that holds back the shift of more TV dollars to online.

Last but definitely not least, in a market that values scale above all, a handful of large publishers are capturing the majority of advertisers’ attention and spend at the expense of the rest of the market.

The quest for scale has taken the digital ad industry out of balance and created an industry where only a few win and many lose. Is there a path forward or a way out of this?

Cross-Device Solutions Can Help Pool Audiences Together

In a messy digital world of multiple devices, channels and experiences where individuals switch between several cookies and mobile device identifiers, it is challenging to identify an advertiser’s desired target audiences in a consistent way. But cross-device capabilities can enable advertisers to pool the open web and find their target audiences in a more accurate way.

Go Real And A Bit Smaller 

Marketers can find the audiences they really want, but they need to be prepared for real-world scale. When they target people, not proxies, their accuracy is higher so scale is smaller. In this much more accurate world, where they’re reaching actual people, they can better manage that performance or precision via frequency capping, sequencing and other tactics.

Spread The Wealth

Consumers travel between their devices with the greatest of ease, yet marketers still struggle across channels and with weaving in and out of walled gardens. Open web for desktop and walled gardens for mobile still do not reach some of the audiences that brands seek. Marketers must keep their minds open and trial new solutions to evolve their media mix.

To view this article in its entirety, visit AdExchanger.

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Adelphic & PushSpring Launch ‘Mobile to Mobile” Partnership, Offering Access To App Data

September 12, 2016 in News

Adelphic, a mobile and cross-channel demand side platform (DSP), on Monday announced a partnership with PushSpring, an app-based mobile audience platform, to offer ad buyers the ability to target audience segments with attributes adelphic-pushspringincluding app ownership, personas, and demographic targets. The partnership will use PushSpring’s proprietary mobile app audience data to implement targeted mobile and cross-channel ad campaigns at scale using  the Adelphic platform.

Through the PushSpring Audience Console marketers and agencies have the ability to create custom segments or access pre-built segments, export audiences for activation, and upload them for analysis, expanding the scope of Adelphic’s data offering to cover both mobile Web and in-app insights. The deterministically sourced and verified device-level data contains more than 180 million unique device IDs which can be used in conjunction with Adelphic’s recently-launched Behavior Graph to deliver targeted ads across mobile and desktop.

“Extending PushSpring’s mobile app data cross-channel, as ad buying moves from a screen-specific to a more audience-based approach, ensures that our clients have the data they need to achieve their advertising goals,” stated Gina Kim, head of partnerships for Adelphic.

To view this article in its entirety, visit MediaPost.

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Adelphic and Grapeshot Announce Turnkey Integration for Precision Live Audience Targeting and Brand Safety

August 25, 2016 in News

First Application of Grapeshot’s Keyword-Driven Targeting and Brand Safety Tools on a Mobile First Platform.

WALTHAM, MASS – August 25, 2016 – Adelphic, the leading mobile and cross-channel demand side platform (DSP), and Grapeshot, the advanced keyword technology provider, today announced that ad buyers can now leverage Live Audience, Grapeshot’s pre-bid keyword targeting solution, via Adelphic’s mobile-first programmatic media solution, to reach live audiences consuming relevant, brand-safe content. This integration is the first time Grapeshot’s technology is being made available in a mobile first application, working seamlessly with Adelphic’s Behavior Graph™ to allow brand safety controls and contextual targeting for marketers wherever they engage their users.

Through this integration, Grapeshot’s algorithm, which quickly interprets and categorizes the content audiences are consuming on individual mobile webpages and apps, will work seamlessly within the Adelphic platform, ensuring ads adelphic-grapeshotare displayed alongside content that is contextually relevant and brand safe across 29 languages. This level of precision helps improve targeting, reduce waste and increases returns, globally. Brand and agency ad buyers can create custom audience segments for individualized targeting or select Grapeshot’s standard audience segments for universal applications. These segments can be seamlessly included or excluded in the Forecasting and Targeting products on Adelphic’s platform. For increased brand safety, ad buyers can overlay Grapeshot’s Whitelist or PG Rated standard safety targeting to ensure campaigns run on safe inventory.

“Consumers are turning to ad blocking as a reaction to unwelcome advertising. However, with better audience targeting and more considerate creative, more advertising should be welcomed. This is why we’re delighted to bring our keyword targeting capability to the Adelphic platform to improve the campaign performance and the return on advertisers spend,” said John Snyder, CEO and Founder of Grapeshot. “ Our partnership with Adelphic enables real-time evaluation of mobile web or in-app data at scale, eliminating the need for site lists, and providing contextual reach with vertical-specific keywords and phrases. “

“Quality is top-of-mind for every programmatic ad buyer, and when we talk to clients, our conversations uncover two questions: Will the correct audience see my ads and will my ads run in brand-safe environments,” said Gina Kim, head of partnerships for Adelphic. “Grapeshot’s technology provides our programmatic audience buying platform a protective guardrail as well as keyword-based advertising that targets live users based on context. Grapeshot empowers our clients to shift budgets with the assurance that their ads are served on relevant content and on sites that are appropriate for the brand.”

About Grapeshot

Grapeshot is a global privately-owned keyword data provider that provides data to help brands, agencies, trading desks and publishers navigate advertising choice. Grapeshot builds connections for clients and partners using our page crawling algorithm, providing audience and keyword targeting and analytics solutions in open and private programmatic environments. Grapeshot’s core technology and product suite offers a fully customizable, transparent and scalable solution, giving our clients simple, integrated control over brand safe targeting. Grapeshot is integrated with all major programmatic trading marketplaces including AppNexus, MediaMath, Turn, The Trade Desk, AdForm, iPinYou and AOL. Grapeshot receives over 3M QPS, 3T classifications per month, recognizing 100+ languages and deploying standard segments in 30+ languages. Grapeshot has offices in Cambridge, London, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Singapore and Sydney.

About Adelphic

Adelphic is the leading mobile and cross-channel demand side platform. Adelphic provides an enterprise-ready software solution for agencies, brands and other large media buyers to make meaningful engagements with consumers on the move. The company’s platform is fully RTB-enabled and delivers global scale through access to all leading inventory providers. Adelphic’s patented technology overcomes the limitations of user identification in mobile and across networked devices, yielding rich, nuanced portraits of real consumers. Founded in 2011, Adelphic is funded by Matrix Partners, Blue Chip Venture Company and Google Ventures. For more information, visit adelphic.com.

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Adelphic To Offer Access To Dailymotion Exchange’s Premium Video

July 12, 2016 in News

Media Post LogoMobile demand-side platform Adelphic has struck a deal with Dailymotion’s giving its clients access to premium inventory on the Dailymotion Exchange (DMX), a network delivering more than 3.5 billion monthly video views.

The deal provides access to DMX’s desktop, mobile Web and mobile app inventory, utilizing Adelphic’s “mobile-first” insights.

Dailymotion CRO Damien Pigasse characterized the agreement as “access to our premium digital video inventory,” adding it “is not just a simple addition to our DSP roster.”

DMX is a private video exchange for trading Dailymotion’s video player instream inventory.

To view the article in its entirety, visit MediaPost.

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Adelphic Partners With Dailymotion Exchange to Enable Mobile-First Premium Programmatic Video Ad Buying

July 12, 2016 in News

Global partnership provides Adelphic’s clients with access to Dailymotion’s premium mobile instream inventory to reach audiences across platforms.

Dailymotion Integration with Adelphic

Adelphic, the leading mobile and cross-channel demand side platform (DSP), today announced a partnership with Dailymotion Exchange (DMX), the private video exchange of Dailymotion, one of the largest video platforms in the world with more than 3.5bn videos views per month. With the addition of Adelphic to Dailymotion’s roster of DSP partners, Adelphic advertisers can enjoy seamless access to DMX’s premium mobile instream inventory on a global scale.

According to eMarketer, digital video consumption continues to climb with mobile video consumption surpassing desktop in 2015. Marketing dollars are following the trend and Adelphic’s high performance platform enables its brand and agency clients to access DMX’s desktop, mobile web, and mobile app inventory via Adelphic’s mobile-first insights.

“As our audience on mobile has now reached 50% of our global audience, it is strategic for us to build strong partnerships with demand-side platforms, that think mobile-first and that can help us facilitate the connection between advertisers and our mobile viewers,” said Damien Pigasse, CRO of Dailymotion. “Adelphic works with the top agencies and brands world-wide, and we’re excited to enable them access to our premium digital video inventory to continue to reach and engage consumers. Adelphic is not just a simple addition to our DSP roster, but one with a strong expertise in mobile.”

DMX is the private video exchange that exclusively monetizes the Dailymotion video player instream inventory. DMX’s video inventory is offered in more than 180 countries and enables advertisers from all over the world to connect with more than 300 million unique viewers per month, within premium and engaging thematic contexts. More than 10 million videos are uploaded monthly on Dailymotion by leading media publishers across a large panel of verticals (sports, news, entertainment and more).

“Video drives KPIs for branding as well as performance,” said Gina Kim, head of partnerships for Adelphic. “By incorporating DMX’s mobile inventory into our buying platform, we’ve added more scale for our clients to reach their audiences on the move, on whatever device.”

To view the release in its entirety, visit PR Newswire.

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Can Cash Back for Ad Fraud Make Brands Trust the Web Again?

April 7, 2016 in News

Two Programmatic Platforms Are Offering Refunds to Clients Who Fall Prey to Ad Fraud

Ad Fraud

Lexus dealers were so unnerved by online ad fraud a couple years back that they began urging Monica Mellier, group media director at the agency Team One, to redirect their ad dollars from digital media to legacy platforms such as TV or outdoor signs.

“We had a lot of conversations about how we could prove to them that what we were buying was reaching real people,” Ms. Mellier said. “They were definitely concerned because they never had to deal with bots in traditional mediums like TV or magazine. The idea that a nonhuman could be engaging and causing this damage was futuristic or sci-fi to them.”

But in November 2014, her programmatic media buying vendor, DataXu, began promising refunds for fraudulent impressions when they totaled more than 3%. “They gave us back money,” she said. More important, the vendor eased the Lexus dealers’ fears.

Last week, TubeMogul, which helps marketers place video ads programmatically, adopted a similar money-back guarantee, even when ad fraud is below 3%.

The moves come as ad sellers in other media have taken to using ad fraud as a cudgel against their online rivals. Last fall, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America ran a campaign during Advertising Week in Manhattan that used billboards and trucks with messages directly attacking ad fraud. The campaign led to a 6% sales boost for out-of-home ads, the OAAA said. And ad buyers can expect to hear TV executives talk up online ad fraud, whether onstage or sotto voce, during their upfront presentations this spring.

“This is an operational burden,” said Keith Eadie, chief marketing officer at TubeMogul, of the guarantee. “But it is the right thing to do. We want to remove fraud as a concern for everyone who uses our platform.”

Fraudsters scam marketers in a number of ways, but essentially charge for ad inventory that nobody sees and yet is engineered to seem to have good traffic. It’s all but impossible to completely prevent fraud in real time because modern ad tech means transactions take place in milliseconds. So TubeMogul is working with White Ops to gauge ad fraud after the fact, while DataXu works with DoubleVerify.

TubeMogul’s fraud rate is already low, Mr. Eadie said, with around 1% of the impressions it sells failing to reach an actual human consumer. But refunds can help suppress marketers’ fears about ad fraud, he said.

They could also turn ad fraud into a net positive for those who offer them.

“It will be part of what differentiates us,” Mr. Eadie said. “We have a lot of inbound interest globally from this initiative because ad fraud is such a hot topic. Removing ad fraud from the equation is part of our marketing.”

Whether money-back guarantees spread may depend at least as much on that dynamic as their ability to defend digital media as a whole.

Still, some industry players doubt refunds will shift money one way or another.

“While fraud is an ongoing concern, we believe that at the end of the day the market is pricing all these concerns into the media cost,” said Yael Avidan, VP-product at Adelphic, whose programmatic platform focuses on mobile devices. “As long as the ability to provide a 100% fraud-free environment is out of reach, the market will price that risk in.”

Marketers have likewise calculated for a certain amount of unavoidable waste in other media, she suggested.

“Each channel carries its own challenges,” Ms. Avidan added. “If out-of-home and TV were measured using online metrics, their viewability would have rendered them borderline fraudulent.”

Michael Parmley, digital marketing manager at Hotels.com, said his company already bakes in the cost of ad fraud when advertising on certain digital platforms. But reclaiming the actual money wasted might be better.

“Looking at our approach in a programmatic space, we want to make sure we are properly validating impressions, the website and viewability rate,” Mr. Parmley said. “But ad fraud is one of those pieces that is so tough to nail down.”

In its first full year, DataXu CEO Mike Baker said his company’s guarantee saved its clients $54 million and increased business for DataXu (even after deducting the refunds). Each month, nearly a dozen of DataXu’s 700 or so clients receive checks, he said. “This is something we mention at every phase of a conversation with a new customer,” Mr. Baker added.

To read the article in its entirety, visit AdvertisingAge.

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Facebook Pulls Plug on Ad Serving Software

March 8, 2016 in News

Facebook Ad ServingLast year, Facebook tested ad serving software that would represent a bold expansion of its display ads business beyond its own inventory, a move potentially worth billions in revenue. Using a demand-side platform, or a DSP, marketers would be able to use Facebook users’ identity data to bid on ad slots across the mobile and desktop Internet in real time.

But Facebook recently yanked the bidding software from service because the tests showed that banner ads that were served attracted too many fraudulent impressions by bots trolling the Web, the company confirmed to The Information on Friday.

While Facebook’s current advertising business centers mostly on its own mobile inventory and apps plugged into its ad network, many in the industry have been awaiting its plunge into the mobile web’s programmatic ad marketplace. Its ad server, Atlas, which on Monday added capabilities to serve video ads and track offline purchases, can measure whether users saw ads across digital devices. But because of the pulled DSP tests, the ad server doesn’t yet have a bidding platform that would expand its pool of marketing clients wanting to tap this programmatic marketplace.


Brian Boland, Facebook’s vice president of advertising technology, described the decision to stop DSP tests as a way to keep control on the “value” of buying ads through Facebook. He said the ad-tech team “saw a ton of waste, a ton of fraud” from the banner ads it served. Banner ads, which make up the bulk of inventory on DSPs, even on mobile, “don’t drive the kind of value we see on other ad formats like native and video,” he added.

Higher Value

Facebook will still build a bidding platform that would be similar to a DSP, but it will likely have narrower capabilities than DoubleClick. After scrapping the DSP tests on banner ads, Facebook “shifted toward higher-value areas,” like native and video ads, Mr. Boland said. He declined to elaborate on what exactly its next attempt to build an ad-buying platform would look like. Two people with knowledge of the company’s plans said Facebook is building ad-buying software that enables bidding on inventory that exists on it own sites and its ad network, Audience Network.

Native ads now make up only a sliver of the mobile ad inventory across the web. Focusing on native and video is likely a bet on the future growth of those ad units on mobile as a way of catapulting Atlas ahead of DoubleClick, which was built out predominantly as a desktop-focused business. Just like Facebook has tied its fate to mobile as a publisher that supplies ads, it looks to be doing the same as it feeds demand for ads.

Michael Collins, CEO of the ad-buying platform Adelphic, said Facebook won’t be able to fulfill all the needs of advertisers by just offering native and video ad-buying. But he said Facebook seemed to be sticking with more lucrative ad units, which it knows best.

“Your average brand will need access to more than just Facebook. Will it be of value to brands? Yes, but it will be a piece of the solution,” he said.

While marketers like Facebook’s powerful identity data on users—evidenced by the social network’s 81% year-over-year surge in ad revenue last quarter—its system to serve ads across the web is closed and fragmented. Without a bidding platform, Facebook’s ad server Atlas doesn’t have all the functions a marketer would want.

Ad servers Atlas and LiveRail, which Facebook bought for a total of about $600 million in 2013 and 2014, are not considered successful yet. In January, Facebook shut down the video ad serving part of its LiveRail unit because of similar ad fraud it saw in its DSP tests. In the meantime, publishers using LiveRail can use other Facebook ad-tech products to manage their inventory. “We are taking a principled approach focused on value and yield for publisher,” Mr. Boland said.


Bright Spot

Of course, Facebook’s ads business overall is far from struggling. The company’s bright spot in ad-tech has been the two-year-old Audience Network, an ad network that was built in house to place and track ads on apps and mobile websites. Audience Network generated a run rate of $1 billion in for advertising spend for the first time last quarter, the company has said.

Because apps can use people’s Facebook identities to enable them to log in, app developers can easily add Audience Network software to leverage the social network’s data on those users. The app maker gets ad revenue, and Facebook gets a hefty cut for using its software and data.

Those ad sellers “get the benefit of Facebook’s knowledge about the end user. The quality of that targeting data leads to higher prices,” said Ben Tregoe, senior vice president of business development at Nanigans, a Facebook ad-tech partner. “You get an avalanche of advertiser demand that is clamoring for more Facebook-like supply.”

This kind of system is preferable for Facebook, which prevents the social network’s closely guarded identity data getting out. The ad network doesn’t allow marketers to have much control over where their ads go. Plus, Facebook controls the price instead of an open bidding process.

If Audience Network continues its momentum, it’ll continue to grow Facebook’s already rapidly growing mobile advertising pot from its flagship app. Eighty percent of Facebook’s advertising revenue–$4.5 billion overall– came from mobile in the fourth quarter, when it also started running ads on its popular Instagram app. That total represents an 81% jump from the same time last year.

To read the article in its entirety, visit The Information.

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