June 17, 2019 | by Alexian Chiavegato

Ad Tech Weekly Roundup

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

How Amazon is using its DSP to get more High-Quality Inventory from Publishers
Amazon appears to be taking steps to take a leadership position in an area its advertising rivals haven’t conquered yet. It is attempting to pull in higher quality inventory from outside publishers for advertisers to access through Amazon’s demand-side platform (DSP).

Specifically, the online retailing giant has been using its DSP to make gains in the connected TV ad market. It is requiring ad-supported apps on its Fire TV connected TV platform to supply Amazon with 30-percent of its ad impressions for Amazon to sell, without providing publishers a cut of the income. And what follows is Amazon then pitching ad buyers to use its DSP to purchase that inventory.

Amazon has been doing this on a “test” basis for about a year. It is something Facebook tried for about a year before shutting it down. Google has been using its DSP to make inroads with connected TV. The number of advertisers using it to run connected TV campaigns jumped 137 percent in the past year.

Ban on ‘harmful’ Gender Stereotypes in Advertising comes into Force
A United Kingdom ad watchdog group is behind new advertising rules, now in effect, around gender stereotypes. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) says harmful stereotypes in ads contribute to inequality in society.

These “harmful” stereotypes can contribute to how people see themselves and their role in society, therefore restricting their choices and aspirations. So the UK’s Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP) has developed a new standard on ads that feature stereotypical gender roles or characteristics.

Breaches of the code could include ads depicting scenarios where a man is struggling with household chores or a woman is failing to park a car. The ASA will enforce the new code and the public is invited to report ads they feel are code breakers.

Facebook Unveils New Paid Market Research Program
Facebook will take another crack at acquiring paid market research through its “Study from Facebook” app (for Android only). The company says its intentions this time are to find out which competing apps and features Facebook should “buy, copy or ignore.” The information will provide insights for shaping its product roadmap.

Facebook will be paying adults 18 years of age or older in the U.S. and India. They will be recruited through advertisements both on and off the social media giant’s site. People who willingly sign up will get paid for allowing Facebook to collect extra data—such as which apps are on their phone and how much time they spend on those apps. It will also collect “app activity”—the types of features they use in other apps, plus their country, device and network type.

Those signing up will get a promise from Facebook that they will not get snooped on while being a participant in the program (including photos, videos or messages). It also promises to not sell “participants’ info to third parties, use it to target ads or add it to their account or the behavior profiles the company keeps on each user.”

New York Times Promotes Questionable Study on Google and the Media
Quite a few journalists and media observers are scoffing at a recent report in the New York Times claiming Google “made” $4.7 billion from the news industry in 2018.

It turns out the number was “gleaned” and “extrapolated” from a ten-year-old comment by Google executive Marrisa Meyer. The cynics are saying the math is specious at best, the results are “nonsense” and hardly worthy of publication on such thin sources. The NYT still believes the story is “fair and accurate.”

The problem with making such a claim is that Google News doesn’t carry any advertising. It also doesn’t generate any direct revenue from headlines and excerpts of news content. It is also being noted that the timing of the story is connected to a piece of legislation sponsored by the New Media Alliance (which also provided the data for the original story). The bill would exempt newspaper companies from competition laws, preventing industry-leading entities from setting prices.

Advertisers Will Spend More Than $1 Billion on Kid-Centric Ads by 2021
Research from PwC shows that advertisers will soon be spending more than $1 billion a year to get the attention of kids.

PwC projects the global market for child-friendly advertising will hit $1.7 billion by 2021. It also suggests it’s time for major tech players to take the kid advertising market seriously. Why not? There is an international audience of 130-million “digitally-savvy” children and their eyeballs are glued to desktop, mobile and tablet devices. This is why media buyers are gravitating increasingly towards video-on-demand (VOD), YouTube and, of course, search engines and social media.

The research also points to the desire for the industry to provide proper privacy checks and balances to protect children’s personal information from any excesses of the digital ad ecosystem.