Leading Operations Online

The challenge for digital publishers, in a nutshell: Keep your business profitable enough to continue producing quality content, via an ad-supported model... while acknowleding users' awareness of, and frequent resistance to, being advertised to... while also confronting advertisers' increasing hesitancy to pay for any ad space users can't see easily... without getting in the way of users' ability to consume the content they want.

Running that obstacle course, any chance publishers have to solve more than one of those problems at once is probably worth pursuing. And for Corbis, a company known to many publishers for its extensive image licensing services, there's real promise in allowing its publisher partners to gain revenue through in-image advertising. Corbis partnered with NetSeer, using NetSeer's technology to deliver...

When the iPhone App Store opened its metaphorical doors in 2008, it signaled a dawning age for digital media. Applications were by no means a new phenomenon – the majority of software on laptops, smartphones, tablets and other connected devices are applications. 

But accessing online media through an application other than a browser was a bold move forward, offering content providers a more intimate and appropriate medium for reaching their audiences on the most personal of devices. It also proved a great channel for a variety of up-and-coming providers offering gaming (many times social) and utilities/services (with location data proving a key advantage).

Hence, Apple establishing a marketplace to manage third-party applications showed that the app was a force to be reckoned with in the burgeoning world of smartphones and other mobile devices. By the end of January 2011, more than 10 billion apps had been downloaded from the store. As of June 2015, that number had reached 100 billion – and that’s just for a single mobile...

In “15 Million Merits” – my favorite episode from the contemporary “Twilight Zone”-esque anthology, “Black Mirror” – our dystopian future protagonist lies in his cubicle-like bedroom with no walls, but a giant video screen that also serves as a wall. After a long day of riding a stationary bike at the office (yeah, you gotta watch it to understand), he indifferently watches reality shows, casually skipping commercials – typically for a porn channel – by paying a small fee.

When our hero runs low on funds and can no longer skip ads, he tries to avert his eyes from the screen only to set off an alarm – a voice barks that watching the advertisement is mandatory. (How’s that for ensuring viewability?)

Paying to remove advertising is a trend gaining steam – take Hulu’s ad-free subscription model for starters. Lack of advertising is such a...

For years, GroupM honchos have said that ads not seen by human beings should not be paid for. Now media agency is making good on that promise – in addition to numerous US publishers billing off a 100% viewable impression standard, AdNews Australia reports that nine Australian publishers have cut similar deals with GroupM.

The IAB and MRC have argued that billing on 100% viewability is not feasible with current technological limitations – unfortunately, not every impression served on a publisher’s site can be measured, regardless of methodology. Even the sites with inventory that's most highly in-view (which are generally e-mail sites such as outlook....

One of the great projects of digital media this decade has been streamlining and simplifying ad placements. We have the technology -- publishers can study where on the page they can get the most engagement, then figure out how to place an ad unit there, to grab the user at just the right time, but without roadblocking the user’s flow of content consumption.

So where does that leave in-image advertising? You open a page, you hover over a photo, and an ad unit appears floating over the image. On the surface, it might seem like an old-school tool, one of those ads that appears on top of the thing you really want to see. And, well, in-image ads have been around for a long time.

But in-image advertising is also worth revisiting, having picked up steam among publishers in the last couple years in particular. In some ways, it’s not necessarily targeted and deployed in the same ways it was five years ago. In other ways, ops and content teams have come to accept it as a solution for what are now timely problems in digital.

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