August 12, 2019 | by Alexian Chiavegato

Ad Tech Weekly Roundup

A look at how last week’s news affects mobile publishers…

Twitter to Remove Third-Party Data from Ad-Buying System
Twitter has joined other tech companies in removing outside data sources from its ad-buying system. The company said the move simplifies buying for advertisers and allows Twitter to concentrate on its most important priorities—new products and technology advancements.

Twitter claims the change is not related to recent concerns about privacy and data collection. But early next year, the company will no longer provide data from outside firms that helps advertisers target users. Advertisers will have to buy third-party data on its own and Twitter will also have to approve data sources that marketers choose to work with.

Twitter said most of its advertisers already use their own data to buy ads on. Facebook announced similar policy changes regarding third-party data last fall.

The Writing Could Be On the Wall for Real-Time Bidding in Europe
The question of how viable is using personal data in a real-time ad auction under the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is being ratcheted up in the programmatic advertising world.

The status of real-time bidding (RTB) has been a hornet’s nest under GDPR and remains a subject of debate over the future of programmatic advertising. A representative of IAB Europe said it is possible to do programmatic in a way that complies with the GDPR but it will require advertisers to figure out how to execute in a way that respects consumer consent.

Critics of the IAB’s Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) claim it is impossible to legitimize something that is deeply flawed. And privacy advocates have been diligent in lodging complaints with data protection authorities all over the EU over the legality of RTB. They say if truly informed consent is even possible for the sort of data processing that occurs with every bid request in a real-time auction, it doesn’t account for data protection, which is a core tenant of GDPR.

EMarketer: Ad Tech Gets a Tax Cut as Programmatic Fees Decline
In a recent report, eMarketer says the “ad tech” tax is decreasing as vendors along the programmatic supply chain are forced to be more transparent with their fees in order to compete.

The report states, however, that total US dollars spent on fees for “non-social programmatic” buys continues to grow at an 18 percent increase to $11.6 billion in 2019. But that’s because the amount of money spent on programmatic is increasing overall. But individual vendors are lowering their take rates as they struggle to differentiate in pricing and capability, according to Nicole Perrin, principal analyst at eMarketer and author of the report.

Perrin said the volume of dollars flowing to ad tech companies will increase as more buys are transacted programmatically. This allows vendors to collect more money from fees while still lowering prices. eMarketer reported the overall amount of money spent on programmatic display ad fees in the United States will continue to rise by 15% to $13.4 billion in 2020, and by 13% to $15.3 billion in 2021.
But the research firm said vendors are no longer able to name their price when it comes to fees.

The Average Mobile Consumer Would Pay to Keep Most Popular Apps: Report
A new survey found that the “average” consumer would pay to keep apps like Google Maps and WhatsApp. The McGuffin Paid Apps Survey gave respondents a choice between deleting 16 most widely-used apps and having no free alternative, or keeping a particular app and deciding how much they were willing to pay monthly.

WhatsApp led the way with 89 percent of respondents saying they would pay an average of $2.38 a month. 78 percent of respondents would keep Google Maps around for an average cost of $3.48 a month. YouTube was next with 72 percent saying they’d pay $4.20 a month, the highest average paid amount in the survey.

The survey also revealed the five most popular free apps that users would be least willing to pay for. They would be Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Venmo, Instagram, and Twitter. Another tidbit found in the survey: women would pay 20 percent more than men for Google Maps, Facebook and Pinterest, and millennials would pay 78 percent more for Instagram and 42 percent more for Google Maps than baby boomers.

Google Sets Deadline to Block Ad Serving Of Unauthorized App Inventory
Google has announced intentions to block ad serving of unauthorized app inventory in AdMob and Ad Manager when it’s been identified by a publisher’s app-ads.txt file. Google is seeking to help app publishers prevent their inventory from being spoofed by bad actors while ensuring that the ads reach the intended audience. The change is said to go into effect on August 27th.

Publishers that fail to heed the warning about creating an app-ads.txt file will not see changes to their ad serving, but they won’t benefit from the added protection to guard against spoofing. Google suggests publishing it to the developer domain in App Store and/or Google Play Store listings.

IAB Tech Lab is behind the App-ads.text standard, released in 2017. It defines a method for app publishers to publicly declare the authorized companies that can sell or resell their digital advertising inventory. It also aims to help prevent unauthorized or domain-spoofed app inventory from being transacted across mobile, connected TV, and other devices.