September 2, 2019 | by Alexian Chiavegato

Ad Tech Weekly Roundup

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

Facebook Ad Prices Surge Due to Barrage by Presidential Hopefuls
New rules to weed out presidential hopefuls running for the Democratic nomination in the U.S. has been a boon to Facebook. Ad prices to reach the targeted audience that lean to the left and/or their donors have skyrocketed.

Campaigns in the past have spent anywhere between $5 and $9 on Facebook ads simply to generate a single email address. Those ad costs have jumped to around $279 per email signee. It is all being driven by the need of some candidates to boost the number of donors to 130,000 in order to appear on the next televised presidential debate.

Facebook ad systems are based on auctions and, due to the principals of supply and demand, ad space becomes premium and ad prices are ratcheted up. Of course, other factors are involved such as creative content and the make-up of a particular audience to be reached.

Facebook Tightens Rules on Verifying Political Advertisers
Supply and demand isn’t the only factor in making it more difficult to place political ads on Facebook. The company said it is fortifying its rules in verifying people or groups who want to do political advertising on its site.

In bracing for the upcoming 2020 election in the U.S., Facebook is adding requirements for political advertisers to verify the identities of background organizations that are paying for a particular ad. Advertisers will have to clearly demonstrate they are properly registered, asking for employer I.D. and FEC numbers an official government website domain. Facebook said smaller businesses will have to have phone numbers and business email addresses verified.

All new information must be provided by mid-October. Otherwise, Facebook will pause campaign ads that are noncompliant.

Google Warns Against Blocking ‘Cookies’ Entirely
Google is now actively exploring other ways to allow for personalized ads without compromising on privacy. The company had indicated it would offer tools to let users limit the tiny files in ads that provide tracking capabilities, known in the industry as “cookies.”

But some ad tech companies and digital publishers have expressed their concerns that a complete crackdown on cookies would hurt their businesses. Google agrees and says user privacy could be adversely affected by blocking cookies.

Google thinks stricter practices in regards to cookies could bring about new and more disreputable ways of tracking users via the Internet. For their privacy sandbox, the company is exploring options such as “fingerprinting,” collecting non-identifiable signals for tracking such as font size or devices used. They are also proposing a “privacy budget” which would limit the amount of data that can be requested from a browser for identification purposes.

News Corp Readies News App to Address Publishers’ Concerns About Google and Facebook
News Corp, the parent company of the Wall Street Journal and FOX News, is forming its own news aggregation service as a counter to gripes that the major tech giants don’t adequately reward publishers’ work and sometimes play down certain types of articles.

The service will be called Knewz.com and will operate as a website and a mobile app. An early version of the service is being shown around to top executives of News Corp and an official launch expected by the end of 2019. And there is still a chance the entire project could be scrapped.

Knewz.com is said to be getting content from hundreds of news sources such as the WSJ, New York Times, Washington Post and major network news outlets. The articles will link directly to the provider’s sites and News Corp will not take a share of ad revenue. News Corp says the aim is to promote original news reports.

DTC Marketers see Higher Engagement for Ads on Mobile than Desktop
A study conducted by LiveIntent, an email marketing platform, has found that engagement is much higher for Direct-to-Consumer brands on mobile platforms as opposed to desktop. The advertising click through rate for DTC brands was three times higher and the conversion rate 50 percent larger.

The study also showed that DTC marketers also had lowers costs utilizing mobile, with cost per conversion 25 percent lower for mobile over desktop. iPhones also came out as much better for DTC as they delivered three times more clicks and conversions than Android. Women were also much more responsive to DTC ads, with twice as many clicks and conversions than men.

Overall, DTC campaigns have improved since last year, with 25 percent more clicks while conversions rose 35 percent, according to the study.