One step forward. One step backward. Rinse. Repeat. That's what viewability rates have been doing for about a year now. They rise ever so slightly quarter-over-quarter, only to fall again the next quarter.
The prospect of data sharing through a cooperative arose just last month when a group of premium publishers -- including The Guardian, CNN International, Financial Times, Reuters and The Economist -- formed a digital ad alliance that would be fueled by programmatic technologies. Included in the co-op is an agreement to share data with one another. But just how common are data co-ops in the online world, and what do today's marketers and customer insight professionals make of them?
Mergers and acquisitions in the technology space continue to set new post-dotcom bubble highs, according to a new quarterly update form Ernst & Young. The company's latest global technology M&A update -- focused on Q1 2015 -- notes that the "aggregate value of disclosed-value deals hit $77.1 billion" last quarter, "higher than any quarter since 2000." It also represents a 16% year-over-year boost.
We call this publication Real-Time Daily, because our focus is on the role technology, data -- and importantly, people -- are playing in making media-buying, advertising and marketing more real-time. One of those people, NBC Universal Chairman of Advertising Sales Linda Yaccarino showed that the pace of that change is accelerating for even the biggest, oldest and most legacy-dependent parts of the business. Appropriately, she explained it during the PeopleFront, Simulmedia's people-focused answer to the Upfronts, Newfronts, and every-which-way-fronts. During a conversation with Simulmedia chief Dave Morgan, Yaccarino used two words to illustrate that NBCU has jumped from the metaphorical …
The funny thing about rockets is sometimes they crash. Once a poster child for the fast-growing programmatic audience-buying marketplace, Rocket Fuel is no longer soaring -- at least not as fast as it had before it became a publicly traded company. And investors have noticed. The company's stock closed today at $8.91 per share, down from a 52-week high of $38.10, driven by a loss of investor confidence that it could sustain its previous momentum.
Why on earth would I begin an RTBlog that way and how is it relevant to the programmatic marketplaces we cover? Well, normally, my flip answer would be, "because those marketplaces exist on planet Earth." But today, I actually have a more relevant response, because that's how Paul Rostkowski kicked off one of Varick Media Management's breakfast symposiums in New York City this morning. Rostkowski set the stage, by noting that Earth Day began 45 years ago today, and then turned it over to me to moderate a panel about, of all things, KPIs.
Viewability remains a hot topic, and who better to discuss it with than the Media Rating Council (MRC), creators of the standard definition of viewability -- 50% of the ad being in-view for at least one second -- most use today. But despite the MRC lifting the gates on viewability as a currency last year, it appears marketers have yet to see viewability rates rise -- at least not in any significant way. Real-Time Daily caught up with David Gunzerath of the MRC to discuss the crucial subject.
At the Programmatic Insider Summit last month, Bret Leece, local chief analytics officer at Initiative, noted that programmatic is changing the nature of relationships between buyers and sellers, because once the programmatic technologies kick into gear, "it gets objective really fast." Leece contended that programmatic tech has flipped the ratio as it relates to reliance on human gut versus machine processing. But Real-Time Daily spoke with Ben Maitland, EVP of sales and marketing at MultiView, who believes the programmatic process needs more human creativity, not less.
Sharethrough, a supply-side platform (SSP) for native advertising, has announced the introduction of a new algorithm through which every piece of content will run before being delivered. The "quality filtering" algorithm -- dubbed the Content Quality Score -- is meant to grade the quality of the content of the native ad before it's served to the publisher's site.
Vindico, a Viant company and digital video ad platform, recently released its 2014 Annual Report, zeroing in on the topic of viewability. Vindico notes that the overall viewability rate of digital video ads was 45% last year, representing only a slight improvement over the 43% rate from 2013. The "improvement" is even less impressive when considering that Vindico was using an even lower bar to measure viewability in 2013.