Leading Operations Online

April 7, 2014 viewability Gavin Dunaway

I returned to NYC from ad:tech San Francisco with a lot of story ideas and a nasty case of bronchitis. What a week to get stuck on the sidelines (i.e., in bed, wheezing): first, Rubicon Project, which kindly sponsored our San Francisco Meetup and a good majority of my coughing spells, went public (I saw them open the stock market on the TV in my doctor’s office!), jumped 33% and was sitting at a comfortable $19.01 at Monday, April 7’s opening.

Does Rubicon’s performance validate ad tech as a business model? Come on, Google did that years ago. But Rubicon will be scrutinized to determine wider investor interest in multi-functional platforms, especially as the company makes great entreaties to the demand side. Is there also demand for some AppNexus stock? My guess would be yes…

Pub ops...

March 17, 2014 mobile video Gavin Dunaway

Hark my words, publishers, and let them set you free: Pre-roll is not the be-all and end-all of digital video advertising. 

Sure, there’s post-roll and mid-roll, but let’s get past the rolls. In fact, let’s get past the video stream – in-stream video ad inventory is limited namely because premium video content is limited. Yet other types of inventory are vast, so vast that they may be able to satisfy advertisers’ seemingly limitless thirst for video.

Mobile stands out due to its unsellable nature – or rather, it’s a bitch for a direct sales force to peddle as advertiser interest is limited. But as I explained in a recent tome ("How Video Becomes the Champion of Mobile Revenue"), even publishers lacking video content can cash in on advertiser video budgets with mobile video interstitials. These units seem especially prime for mobile gaming apps, which account for a large amount of potential mobile inventory. 

However, mobile...

March 7, 2014 native Gavin Dunaway

No surprise that viewability was high on the minds of the revenue specialists that headed to New Orleans for the 32nd AdMonsters Publisher Forum, but another trend threaded its way throughout the three days of presentations and discourse: native.

The most high-profile examples were an insightful keynote from Quartz Publisher Jay Lauf detailing that site’s best practices in developing native content and a smart attendee session led by WetPaint Director of Revenue and Ad Ops Melissa LaCaille detailing opportunities in native and other revenue channels that don’t lean on the ad server.

A question that’s seemingly been on repeat since native took the scene is, “What is ad ops role in native advertising?” Lauf was kind enough to map out how sales, ops and marketing work together to bring the product...

Half of the publishers surveyed in a recent Audience Accelerator-Digiday report, Audience Extension Industry Overview, currently offer audience extension. About 29% of that group began offering extension in the past year— according to the report, these were mostly publishers with under 20 million monthly uniques. Extension is rapidly gaining supply-side adopters, and a host of technology providers have entered the landscape with flexible offerings that can meet a variety of needs.

According to the Audience Extension Industry Overview, 54% of advertisers planned to increase revenue flowing into audience extension in 2014, and about half of that group said it would be shifting budgets from broad or niche networks. 

While audience extension does drive additional revenue into publisher pockets—64% of pubs surveyed by Audience Accelerator and Digiday reported extension accounted for 1-10% of their revenue—it also assists in deepening...

February 26, 2014 Connect mobile video Gavin Dunaway

Like a leaky faucet drip-drip-dripping into a steel sink, mobile has long been that nagging concern keeping publishers up at night. The amount of inventory seems to multiply daily with little demand from buyers (especially when it comes buying guaranteed), so publishers are forced to turn to ad networks and programmatic channels for the pennies they can get. No surprise then that questionable and low-quality creative is popping up all over mobile sites and apps.

Many pubs are taking hints from Facebook and Twitter’s mobile revenue successes by employing feed delivery systems to push advertising into the content stream, and then leaning on native/content-marketing products as well as custom-built solutions that leverage HTML5 for eye-catching features. However, it’s difficult to scale custom products that tend to be cost- and labor-intensive.

Then there’s mobile video.

Well, yes, video CPMs are sweet, but are consumers really watching choppy video content that sucks up their data plans? Sure,...

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