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It's becoming more common to hear industry folks suggest that blockchain holds certain keys for tightening up security in the ad ecosystem--providing verification and reducing fraudulent bot activity. Regardless, it's still common for other media types to respond, with at least a whiff of doubt, "What's blockchain gotta do with me?" In fact, that response is exactly what we named the blockchain-centered session Ken G. Brook III, co-founder and CEO of MetaX (pictured at left), is leading at Ops in New York on June 6.

Blockchain has long been thought of as "that Bitcoin thing," which is where it got its start. Blockchain was and is used as the common ledger for logging Bitcoin transactions. But some folks have...

Since programmatic sales entered the video space a little over nine years ago, the market has continuously evolved. Originally, “programmatic” was all about the open marketplace, with scale and price efficiency the core focus.

A few years later, we saw the introduction of private marketplaces—invite-only marketplaces where premium publishers offered their video inventory to a selected group of advertisers, using a “Deal ID” to transact. These one-to-one relationships gave buyers transparency and controlled access to premium inventory in brand safe environments. 

Today, a new breed of buying options is emerging. Last year, a hybrid of open and private marketplaces was introduced—Curated Marketplaces. These give buyers access to inventory from a range of publishers, hand-picked against certain criteria, like viewability, audience composition, content vertical or screen type.

Under this model, advertisers maintain full control of their buying criteria but can scale a buy across multiple publishers using the efficiencies of a single Group...

The IAB held a call this week to present its latest Internet Advertising Report, developed from a semi-annual survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers. And the way the numbers sorted out, it became clear that 2016 was the year of… wait for it, this might be a shock…

MOBILE!

Kidding aside, we all know how this sounds. During the call, PwC Director Peter Stubbs said playfully that after several years of people declaring this year the year of mobile, “I think, thank god, this is the year we’ve made it.” And the IAB/PwC analysis asserted that mobile ad spend seriously exploded year-over-year in 2016—with mobile usage driving spend in video, social media, search, display, even audio.

Let’s lay out some of the key numbers here, and keep in mind this all pertains to the U.S. market specifically. Total digital ad spend was up 22% YOY in 2016, to $72.2 billion. Mobile accounted for 51% of digital...

I found it bizarre that the same day that the IAB released digital advertising revenue numbers for 2016 that point to Google and Facebook—the Duopoly!—vacuuming up about half of ad spend and almost all of growth, ESPN conducted layoffs of 100 mainly editorial employees

As several sites noted, most of those affected were longtime, trusted beat reporters. I couldn’t help flashing back to newspapers slashing similar types of writers as print revenues dried up.

ESPN is in a very different situation, and it’s really being hurt by cord cutters like me. A lot of the network’s revenue is made up of carriage...

Single-request architecture is a setup where, in a header bidding framework, the bidder sends one call to the ad server for multiple ad slots, and the server returns bids for all of those ad slots at the same time.

To explain why single-request might be advantageous to the publisher, and to the buyer/bidder, we should put it in context and explain multi-request architecture briefly. When header bidding adoption was on the rise, multi-request architecture was pretty common. With the multi-request arrangement, when the user loads the page, there’s essentially one auction that fires off for each of the ad slots on the page. As Andrew Casale from Index Exchange explained to AdMonsters in an interview at the end of 2016, this means that if you have four slots, the page initiates four requests (simple enough). But if there are five header bidders integrated on the site, each of those bidders will make an individual call for each of those...

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