February 12, 2018 | by Alexian Chiavegato

AdTech Weekly Roundup

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

“Not Secure” Warnings Coming to All HTTP Websites from July in Chrome
In a post on its Security Blog yesterday Google announced that from July onwards, Chrome will mark all HTTP sites as “not secure”. This change will come into play with the release of Chrome 68, and is the latest in a large chain of steps that Google has taken to drive HTTPS adoption across the web.

Mobile Marketing: Gaining Dominance by Leveraging Engagement
Smartphones are increasingly being used as consumers’ No. 1 access to the Internet. In combination with advanced technology and compelling advertising creative, mobile marketing has seen dramatic growth. By 2020, mobile ad expenditures are expected to have nabbed 65 percent of all Internet ad budgets, and 29 percent of spending across every advertising channel combined, according to a report by agency Zenith. Several trends are emerging as particularly effective. These include the ability of mobile engagement to inform customer analytics, based on individuals’ movements and habits; mobile’s potential to offer a compelling and engaging customer experience; and as an alternate and more interesting content marketing channel. The essence of mobile marketing is, of course, addressing customers and prospects where they are in space and time. This is rapidly giving way to mobile’s potent potential for customer intelligence gathering.

‘Platform Publishing’ Delivers Growth but Risks Loom, Report Finds
Publishers are bringing in more money from third-party social media platforms as they focus on those avenues of distribution, but it isn’t growing much as a portion of their overall revenue mix, according to a new report from publishing trade group Digital Content Next. Revenue from platforms like Facebook, Apple and YouTube increased 37%, on average, in the first half of 2017 compared to the same period a year earlier, for the companies that participated in the report in both years. The share of total revenue from platform publishing was 16% in the first half of 2017, up from 14% in 2016. Among social media companies, Facebook was the biggest driver of revenue for publishers, according to the study. In the first half of 2016, the social giant provided an average of about $600,000 for publishers that participated in the study. By the first half of 2018, publishers were making an average of $1.5 million from Facebook, according to the report. According to the report, branded advertising on Facebook and syndication fees from other companies were the two of the biggest drivers of growth from 2016 to 2017. Both increased by about 90%, according to the report. In addition, the report states revenue from over-the-top video companies like Roku, Apple News, Hulu and YouTube TV represented about 54% of distributed revenue in the second half of 2017.

Twitter and Snap Make Their Pitch for Ad Sales
A dramatic rebound in the share prices of Twitter and Snap is said to be based on the idea that advertisers are increasingly looking for alternatives to the so-called duopoly (Facebook and Google). Twitter managed to make a profit for the first time in its 12-year history during the fourth quarter of 2017, sending its shares up by 12 per cent. Snapchat’s parent company, meanwhile, recovered six months’ worth of stock declines in a single day when its shares jumped by 48 per cent. Twitter and Snap are trying to seize the moment in different ways. Twitter has been investing heavily in live video and pitches advertisers on being “relevant in the moment at scale”. Snapchat offers a younger audience that is hard to reach on other platforms as well as a richer canvas for creativity, thanks to its “augmented reality” lenses that lets marketers insert their brands and products into photos that users share with their friends. The two share another advantage—they are less expensive. Twitter said on Thursday that costs per engagement dropped more than 40 per cent year-on-year, while Snap said many of its ads were nearly 70 per cent cheaper than they were a year ago, as it shifted to the same self-service auction sales model used by its peers.

Facial Recognition Tech will Feature on One Billion Smartphones by 2020
According to research from Counterpoint, mobile devices are expected to combine biometric sensors for the face, iris, voice, and fingerprints, as opposed to competing with each other. These biometric technologies will be layered on top of one another with the most convenient being opted for on an application-by-application basis. More than 1bn smartphones will be shipped with facial recognition technology in 2020, after the same figure of smartphones are shipped this year with fingerprint sensors. And, according to Counterpoint estimates, “close to 60 per cent of all smartphones with facial recognition, will use 3D technology in 2020. Data collected from multiple 3D sensors will assist emerging technologies like augmented reality, virtual reality and artificial intelligence to widen their use cases.”