Ad Tech Weekly Roundup


TV attempts to make digital life easier; online fraudsters are picking up their game; and consumers growing more antsy about privacy.


NBCUniversal Aims to Merge TV and Digital Ad Buying With New Tech

NBCUniversal is taking steps to consolidate linear TV and digital advertising, dropping the use of separate tools which forced advertisers to combine orders manually. The Comcast-owned company is working to create a single ad technology and sales infrastructure. This will enable marketers to run media plans across both its TV and digital properties as well as across local, national and global markets. It will be named One Platform and it combines existing and new tools for advertisers to plan, schedule, optimize and measure video ad campaigns. Demo-based buying has been around and used since 1962 and the updating is part of an effort by TV to compete with digital media by updating how they sell ads. The digital marketplace advantage is allowing marketers to use data to find people interested in specific markets.


New Tactics Punch Holes in Big Tech’s Ad-Fraud Defenses

It was only a matter of time before the “bad guys” would get better at mimicking human behavior with software in order to get around fraud-detection tools employed by the tech giants. Silicon Valley is currently dealing with subscription browsers with names like Linken Sphere, AntiDetect and Multigilogin. These nefarious tools allow users to harness stolen online accounts (purchased on the Dark Web) to generate fake ad traffic or to boost online search rankings and shopping reviews. Subscriptions are sold from $100-a-month all the way up to almost $3 thousand dollars (for a professional version). These tools can be used for legitimate purposes and the companies are hiding behind that fact currently. Complex computing software, also known as virtual machines, have been used by fraudsters for some time. Botnets are another trick used to send fake traffic. But these new tools are getting better at evading some of the AI-enabled defenses employed by Google and Amazon in the past.


Google News is killing off digital magazines, refunds all active subscriptions

Google is sending out word of its intentions of retiring its print-replica magazine service. Google news users with active subscriptions have been receiving emails notifying them of the decision that no new issues will be coming and informing subscribers that full refunds are being processed. Refunds will be sent out sometime during the next month. However, if you’ve been collecting issues, you will still have access to your library in the Google News app through the Favorites or Following tab.   Google is suggesting that users should independently re-subscribe to each digital magazine (for those that are available digitally-only), and they were nice enough to provide links for this effort. Over a year ago, the magazine section disappeared from the Play Store web interface so many experts expected this to happen eventually.


The Ad-Tech Industry Is Failing to Meet Heightened Consumer Expectations of Privacy

Recent research by a company known as BritePool found that consumers want to know more about how companies share their data. The report found that 88-percent of U.S. consumers now place great value on how their data is used. Previously, a report by BritePool found that 87-percent of users would opt-out of targeted advertising under the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which went into effect on New Year’s Day. The data comes from the polling of 1,000 U.S. consumers and suggests tougher data privacy policies will be needed to win over consumers. But many in the media industry are feeling unprepared by the enaction of this legislation, according to BritePool. They found that very few publishers and advertisers are coming to grips with the changes.