March 26, 2018 | Weekly Round Up | by Christopher Hendrickson

AdTech Weekly Roundup

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

Google Sweetens Deal with Publishers
Google will be offering publishers sweeter terms as part of a new subscriber tool the company announced. Publishers will get to keep 85 percent to 95 percent of revenue when readers first buy subscriptions via Google, up from 70 percent previously. The relationship between publishers and Silicon Valley is shifting, with technology companies showing they want to compete for content. The new financial terms are part of “Subscribe with Google,” a feature that gives media companies data and tools to find and keep subscribers. It was one of several announcements the search giant made in New York to improve ties with publishers whose content helps Google sell advertising.

Google Details Plans to Fight Fake News, from Search to YouTube
Google has announced initiatives including installing a “top news” section on YouTube for only “verified” media. This is another effort to fight fake news from its search results to YouTube with new programs that will focus on credible media sources and vetting breaking news. Google was one of the major internet companies caught flat-footed during the 2016 election, exposing how platforms can be used as conduits for spreading false information and conspiracies. Often low-quality websites would rank highly in Google News despite spreading false news stories, and YouTube channels that promote conspiracies often dominate during events like the Las Vegas shooting last year. Google says it is creating what it calls a Disinfo Lab with the help of a group called First Draft, with the goal of fighting fake news during major events like elections and other breaking news.

Consumers Don’t Mind Ads on Mobile, as Long as they are Optimized Properly
Research from IAB UK reveals the main source of annoyance for consumers using mobile is not the ads themselves, but the fact that a lot of them aren’t optimized for the format. Twelve thousand UK adults were asked about their feelings towards mobile advertising, and the vast majority of them are in favor of ads in order to keep online content free. 84% prefer ads to paying for an ad-free experience. The biggest factor that is likely to squander consumer goodwill towards ads is anything that makes whatever they are trying to do more difficult to do. Clunky, screen-filling ads that have people furiously jabbing at their screens are not likely to end in a conversion, unless by accident. The difference in performance between optimized and non-optimized ads is stark. It is perhaps a pretty common-sense observation that ads formatted towards mobile devices perform better with mobile users, but there is evidently a large number of brands that haven’t realized this.

Digital Ad Spend will Reach 50% of Total Ad Sales in 2018, Forecast Says
According to Magna’s new advertising forecast, the U.S. ad market is projected to reach an all-time high in 2018, with media owners collecting $197 billion in net ad revenues, a 5.5% growth from 2017. This is a 2.7% acceleration on last year’s growth, and stronger than Magna’s earlier forecast of 5%. Digital ad formats, including search, video, display and social, will continue to make up the largest share of ad growth and are projected to account for 50% of total ad sales in 2018, a year earlier than previously forecast, according to the report. Digital ad sales are expected to grow by 14% this year to reach $97 billion, and 60% of that total will come from mobile advertising. Cyclical events in 2018, including the U.S. midterm elections, Winter Olympics and FIFA World Cup, will bring in $3.7 billion in incremental net advertising revenue.

Snapchat is Doling Out Free Stats to Brands on How Many Users Visit Their Locations
Snapchat is looking for ways to differentiate itself from other social platforms, and it’s possibly found one way: location. Snap apparently feels it can succeed where others have failed. The company has acquired two location firms (Placed and Zenly) and has put “significant engineering resources” into location across advertising and revenue, content, and product teams. In August, Snapchat began testing “Snap to Store,” a product to track whether people who viewed an advertiser’s ad then went to a store. Now, Snapchat is making that feature available to all brands, whether they buy advertising or not. Location and social media have a long history of not working out well. Facebook has tried several times to crack location while apps like Foursquare originally focused on check-ins and gaming features that allowed consumers to compete with their friends.