Leading Operations Online

My father keeps full a handy sack of thoughtful maxims, and my childhood was filled with repeated phrases like, “You’ve got to go along to get along,” and “Choose your battles.” One was ingrained into my psyche at a very early age, and I find it continually relevant in the digital age: “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”

If you think the Internet is a complimentary lunch buffet, I got some bad news for you. I wince every time a digital thought leader makes a comment about the “free Internet.” The transaction between most Internet content providers and users is something I’ve always referred to as the “unspoken handshake” – users pay for their content consumption with personal data as well as by allowing advertisers the opportunity to reach them.

The use of ad blockers nullifies this agreement. With the growing concern over ad blockers’ effect on publisher revenue, highlighted by...

I joked on a recent panel that one by one, verification, viewability and bot traffic became digital media panics; so what long-lingering issue is going to evolve into the next bit of ad tech hysteria?

Our packed session at OPS cemented by opinion that ad blockers it, and people in the media world are freaking out about two recent developments: an opening for ad blocking on iOS and Google Chrome’s new ability to “intelligently” stop Flash animations, which is effectively ad blocking.

Let’s be crazy and talk about the latter first. With the supposed goals of saving laptop computer batteries (really?) and presumably creating a better experience for browsing, Chrome will detect and stop any site content running that it deems unimportant to the main content of the page. So...

I’ve been in an OPS-induced coma for the past week, letting my subconscious ruminate over the titanic loads of digital media debate that took place in the hallowed chambers of the Metropolitan Pavilion on June 9. It was just too much for one mind to take, which I corroborate by slogging through the massive amount of #OPSNY tweets. Viewability, ad-blocking, non-human traffic, programmatic, linear-digital convergence were among the high-profile topics tackled, typically across multiple sessions. It was an exhausting affair, but I was able to extract some nuggets out of my frazzled mind.

Linear-digital convergence is upon us, but holy cow, there’s a lot of work to do. ESPN worked with Sling TV for a full year before the February launch, and they’re still testing,...

 When I last spoke with Craig Leshen, President of OAO, he was helping explain that programmatic isn’t automatic – there’s still a lot of manual work that goes into these new systems. While they have helped to simplify certain functions, in many ways these systems have added to the complexity of the ad operations role by creating additional tasks and knowledge sets required to do the job.

Craig and I recently caught up and we decided to explore the flip side of this equation –

Rob Beeler: What is an example of something that has become easier for ad operations?

Craig Leshen: The process of implementing audience extension campaigns has become much more streamlined over the years and is a terrific way to target ads to users. It’s a type of targeting that has always had enormous potential but continues to be...

Recently the tech media was awash in panic over mobilegeddon – end times were nigh as Google was switching up its search algorithm to favor mobile-friendly responsive design sites. However, mobilegeddon has long meant something different to digital revenue specialists: publishers witnessing increasing amounts of mobile traffic with dwindling revenue in return.

Mobile monetization efforts have come a long way over the last few years, but publishers remain flummoxed while advertisers are dismayed by channel performance. I chatted with Opera Mediaworks’ Mark Fruehan to get a better idea of the current mobile landscape, how publishers are approaching creative obstacles and just why a tech company would pay brands to make mobile ads.

Rob Beeler: What are your feelings about the future of the app economy? It always seems...

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