Ad Tech Weekly Roundup

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

Nielsen Takes Minority Stake in Brand-Safety Firm OpenSlate
Brand-safety measurement got a boost when Nielsen Holdings PLC acquired a minority stake in a company that provides data on the nature or quality of video programming. The actual size of Nielsen’s investment OpenSlate was not disclosed but the deal puts the value of OpenSlate at more than $100 million.
OpenSlate monitors videos on YouTube and Facebook. It provides a subject matter assessment as well as a custom rating for advertisers to use in order to make sure their ads are not placed next to “unsafe” content. OpenSlate and Nielsen are also going to partner to provide data to advertisers on video quality.
As more time is spent by people on social media, brand-safety has taken on added importance. A coalition was recently formed by major marketers, social-media giants and ad agencies to develop ways to fight hate speech, bullying and misinformation as well as to protect brands online.

Publishers Enjoy Short-Term CPM Spikes in First Few Days of Google’s First-Price Auction Rollout
Some publishers are experiencing a boost in programmatic ad-revenue after the first few days of Google’s rollout of first price auction. The change was put in place by Google in the second week of September and CPM spikes between 9 and 50 percent on display inventory are being seen by publishers.
Before making the changeover, Google had been testing first-price auctions through Google Ad Manager on 10 percent of its inventory for months. As for the volume of impressions traded via header bidding, several publishers have seen a bump of more than ten percent since the change. Others have seen impressions drop even while CPMs rose.
Price fluctuations are assumed whenever a large transition takes place and publishers aren’t surprised that there has been a jump in ad revenue. But most don’t expect the trend to last long-term.

Washington Post Builds Ad Network for Publishers to Take on Big Tech
The Washington Post is hoping to provide advertisers a new place where automated ads can be bought quickly and efficiently in real-time, very similar to the Big Tech platforms. It will be called Zeus Prime and it will also support a new ad network with other publishers included.
It is another attempt in the quest to create an alternative for advertisers to Google and Facebook and increase advertising revenue for publishers. Zeus Prime will require no additional design, coding, fees or approvals thus providing an atypical way for advertisers to place ads in real-time directly on publisher’s websites.
Publishers will be able to open ad space through a real-time buying tools, across a network of publisher’s websites and apps, which is what Google and Facebook now provide. The tool will be available to local, DC-based advertisers at first. The pool of available ad inventory will grow nationally as more publishers license the technology.

Facebook Working on Smart Glasses with Ray-Ban, Code-named ‘Orion’
Is it possible that Smart Glasses will someday replace smartphones? Facebook is apparently taking major steps in that direction by partnering with Luxottica, the parent company of Ray-Ban, to develop augmented reality glasses.
The project has a codename, Orion, and Facebook is hoping to complete work and have the glasses ready for consumers between 2023 and 2025. Facebook has struggled to develop AR glasses on their own in Redmond, WA and it’s what led them to seek help from Luxottica.
Users will be able to take calls with the glasses and also visualize information in a small display and also live stream their point-of-view to friends and followers on social media.

New Google Rules Aim to Boost Original Reporting in Search Results
In the last two months, Google has issued two updates to its algorithms that elevate the search results of original reporting. The updates aim to ensure that originally reported articles stay near the top of search results longer thus providing an incentive for news organizations to focus on fresh reporting.

Google has also updated its guidelines that its people will use to help identify original reporting. This includes rating higher reporting that provides information that otherwise wouldn’t be known and looking at the history of a news organization of providing high-quality original reporting.

Because of the way publishers were rewarded by search and social media algorithms, “buzzy” news aggregation has always been popular offering. But ahead of the 2020 election, there has been pressure on Google and other tech organizations to elevate quality news and information. Facebook has already announced that it will invest millions to pay publishers to provide content for a “news tab.”

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