Leading Operations Online

If you've ever been a lover of the theater, or if you've ever been close to one, then Playbill is likely more to you than just a familiar name and eye-catching yellow-and-black logo. The print magazine version has been publishing since 1884, distributing its goods to readers who want to stay informed about what's happening in the world of live theater.

Playbill has only recently come into the mobile app scene, though -- the Playbill app launched earlier in 2016. That said, according to Playbill Chief Digital Officer Rachel Glickman, when they began developing the app, they had some clear ideas about the content it should deliver, the interactivity it should offer to users inside and outside of the theater, and the strategies it should ply to monetize. AdMonsters recently had a conversation with Glickman about what Playbill has done with its app to deepen engagement with its audience and to further relationships with its advertising partners. Here's how that...

All right, everyone – it was fun while it lasted, but it’s time to admit the party’s over. Like the cops shutting down a suburban rager, Google has shown up to end all of our header bidding fun by opening up Dynamic Allocation to those filthy third-party demand sources. So clean up your source codes and tell your demand partners that they don’t have to go home, but they can’t stay in your header.

No, no, no, no – don’t kick out the guests quite yet. Even if industry luminaries swear this is the end of header bidding, rumors of its impending demise are greatly exaggerated. 

Yes, for...

When the Media Rating Council released its updated mobile viewability specs for review last week, it didn’t hold too many surprises. The main definition of what counts as “viewable”—50% of pixels in view for one second in display, or for two seconds in video—carry over from the interim guidelines the MRC announced in the spring of 2015. And of course, those guidelines carry over from viewability guidelines for desktop.

The new specs don’t deliver everything advertisers and publishers want clarified. The MRC has left the door open to debate whether these guidelines are good while the user is scrolling through a newsfeed. (Some are calling for a half-second rule for newsfeed environments.) The door’s also open to talk about engagement metrics. This new draft does break out guidelines for a) content loaded into an app from the web via a link from b) guidelines for standard mobile web....

More than ever, publishers are feeling pressure to really understand and deliver on their video inventory in mobile. It’s widely held, and upheld by one study after another, that mobile video consumption has risen dramatically in recent years: eMarketer says that through 2015, 105 million U.S. users watched video on their smartphone once per month, and 95% of millennials did so at least once every week. Cisco predicts that by 2020, 75% of mobile data traffic worldwide will be chalked up to video viewing. Industry analysts figure users will be encouraged to watch more video via mobile devices as devices become more powerful and better at rendering video, wifi access becomes more prevalent, and the decreasing cost of data access leads data plans to grow in size. We could go on...

If header bidding offers such a great boost for yield among its most vocal champions, why would a programmatically active publisher have reservations about implementing it? Well, there are a few things. But one of the top concerns making some publishers shy about header bidding is latency. Pre-bid calls are being sent and received before page content even loads, and pre-bid partners may be sending inventory information onto DSPs or other sources to get bids. That’s a lot of variables, which can make for hiccoughs—any delay in this process will likely cause page latency and bring on the user ire.

So what about solutions, ways pubs can troubleshoot on their own? There’s a two-fold response. First, thoroughly test the technology of your header bidding partners before setting them live. Take note on average load times, and be in constant communication with their representatives to ensure all is well. After all, the tech providers are making revenue as well, so it’s in their primary interest for their technology to be working swimmingly. Talk with...

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