The world of biddable media underwent a shift yesterday as AOL and Microsoft signed a deal that gave AOL responsibility for the majority of Microsoft's display advertising business. There are many facets to this story, several of which revolve around search, but there are programmatic advertising angles as well. With AOL (now part of Verizon) taking over most of Microsoft's display ad business, it will be interesting to see whether AOL's formidable ad tech stack can turn it around.
Fascinating data coming out of WPP ad-tracking unit Kantar Media this morning. The headline was that Kantar has begun tracking paid-search figures and breaking it out from digital's whole. Why is this news for RTBlog to comment on? Because of the corresponding insight that the display ad marketplace currently is one of the fastest-eroding ones. So I asked Kantar Media research chief Jon Swallen whether it was ironic that one biddable medium (search) was the fastest-growing, while another (RTB display) was the fastest-declining, and his answer had more to do with what people often describe as another medium -- mobile.
We cover a slew of topics here in 'Real-Time Daily' that all snake around one other. This includes viewability, ad fraud, programmatic buying and the different devices, including desktop, mobile, tablet, and now TV and radio. There's also cost and targeting data that needs to be taken into account. But how all of this cobbles together can be a bit mysterious at times. If we put too much focus on viewability, for example, we belittle the fact that it's actually just one piece of the puzzle.
The programmatic ad industry is obsessed with the invisible. It runs on software and data that floats somewhere in "the cloud." The servers that act as the brains behind it all are tucked away in "data centers." Putting everything behind the scenes and on autopilot allows marketers to focus on what they say they do best. You know, buzzwords like "strategy" and "creativity." But veiled threats exist, too.
Jelli -- which launched in 2009 as a "social radio" service to let fans engage with local radio stations in real-time -- ditched social one year ago to focus solely on programmatic advertising technologies. The pivot has paid off -- literally. Jelli, now a programmatic ad platform for audio advertising, has closed a $21 million Series B round of funding.
Mobile programmatic ad-buying is taking off. Rubicon Project, a large ad exchange and ad tech provider, last week shared that mobile now accounts for over 20% of the company's total managed revenue, up from less than 3% just one year ago. That represents a spend increase of 1,300%, and Rubicon doesn't expect it to slow down any time soon. We've been hearing similar things from other ad tech companies as well.
Nearly half (42%) of programmatic advertisers regularly get data from exchanges through spreadsheet attachments, a highly manual approach that flies in the face of what exchanges were originally built for -- automation. That figure comes from Metamarkets, a real-time analytics provider for programmatic advertisers.
Are You A Human, a Detroit-based startup that helps marketers verify whether or not they are reaching actual humans, on Wednesday announced it has closed a $4.2 million Series A round of funding. Additionally, the company has introduced the "Verified Human Whitelist," a list of a claimed 200 million consumers Are You A Human has verified as, well, human.
According to the U.S. Ad Market Tracker, presented by Standard Media Index, digital media spend has increased 24% year-over-year (from May 2014 to May 2015). Programmatic ad tech has its hands on all of the fastest-growing sectors -- including social -- and it seems unlikely that the turn toward automation will slow down any time soon.
Some things in advertising have not changed. Marketers are still tripping over themselves to be the first to make waves on Apple's latest product, Facebook remains a goldmine, and Google is still Google. But some things in the ad tech world have changed -- and fast.