June 24, 2019 | by Alexian Chiavegato

Ad Tech Weekly Roundup

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

Political-News Sites Forge Ad Group to Compete With Facebook and Google
Digital publishers from all across the political spectrum are going to create another digital ad network to compete with “Big Tech.”

The Digital News Alliance is bringing together multiple “political” publishers to form an ad-sales alliance just as the 2020 election cycle gets going in earnest. Sites will include Daily Caller, Washington Free Beacon, Raw Story, AlterNet, Mediaite and Law & Crime. Comscore, Inc. data shows this group accounted for almost 12 million unique visitors in the United States in the month of May.

The Digital News Alliance will be competing for political ad spending that is expected to hit a record high $9.9 billion for the 2020 election cycle. A total of $2.8 billion will be directed toward digital outlets, according to data from WPP PLC ad-buying unit GroupM.

The alliance means midsize political publishers can pool resources of smaller ad-sales teams so the sites themselves and can provide more focus on editorial.

Ad Creators Get Inspiration from Big Data
Is there anything data can’t do within the digital advertising industry? Sure, it’s always been a fundamental part of being able to target consumers. But now, data has crept into the creative process and it has caused some consternation amongst marketing folks.

Ad agencies are increasingly relying on data to make creative choices. Part of that is because there is so much of it being collected from so many sources. The information being collected is highly specific and it shouldn’t be surprising that it is being used to create ads. But there are those “creative” types feel it should be just a part of the process (and that relying solely on data makes ads boring). But data evangelists in marketing appear to be getting the upper hand.

Data can be infused into a marketing campaign in many ways—but the stated goal is to make this old adage a relic of the past, “Have the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

Social Media Usage is Flat Globally, Mobile Ad Spend Continues to Climb
Influential venture capitalist Mary Meeker released her annual Internet report which provides a snapshot of the global situation in terms of social media use and online ad spend.

Some of the highlights: Global internet users has grown from 24% to 51% — more than doubling within the last ten years; continued growth (22 percent) in ad spend with mobile advertising skyrocketing over desktop ad spend; decelerating growth in the number of people logging on to social media; the fastest growth in usage, however, being seen by Instagram and YouTube.

The high-level takeaway is the slowdown in growth and ROI from social media can help marketers’ better plan for the future and perhaps will have marketers paying more attention to owned channels such as email marketing.

Twitter Ends Test to Make Revenue from Publishers’ Websites
A one year test of Twitter serving ads on publisher’s websites has been ended by Twitter. The experimental revenue-sharing program (known as Twitter Timeline Ads) placed ads on Twitter timelines that are embedded on publisher’s sites.

This was described as a test for Twitter to gain muscle in the programmatic advertising space. Twitter hasn’t been as aggressive as other sites in this area. Publishers such as The Street and Advance Local took part in the program. But Twitter is no longer pitching publishers about the possibility. Twitter had promised publishers the return (publishers keeping 50 percent of revenue) would be competitive with Facebook and Google.

Google Testing Augmented Reality 3D, YouTube Live Stream Display Ad Formats
Marketers face many technical and financial hurdles to incorporating augmented reality (AR) into advertising campaigns but that isn’t stopping Google from dipping its toe into expanding AR and interactive capabilities to its content and advertising offerings.

About 62 percent of creative professionals responding to a survey by United Technologies are seeing an increase in client demand for AR campaigns. But, at the same time, they feel that consumer demand for AR within ads is climbing faster than the ability to provide it technologically and there is uncertainty in how to use AR in campaigns.

In the past, Google has been slow to incorporate immersive ads. But it is now testing 3D and YouTube live-stream display formats in DV360, its programmatic ad platform. The company is also working on a live-stream format in Display & Video 360. This would allow marketers to run YouTube live-stream content in display ads across screens and devices.